July 2, 2024

Best maternity hospitals: We have 29 of them

Our safe, high-quality, compassionate care landed us on Newsweek’s America’s Best Maternity Hospitals 2024 list.

Kim Anderson holds her premature son in 2018 during his stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. She’s grateful she got to be so involved in his care.

Having a baby can be the most joyful event in a parent’s life. But sometimes things don’t go according to plan.

When that happens, it’s comforting to know you’re having a baby at one of the best hospitals in the nation.

Twenty-nine Kaiser Permanente hospitals were recently named to Newsweek’s list of Best Maternity Hospitals. That includes Kaiser Permanente Sunnyside Medical Center in Clackamas, Oregon, where Kim Anderson gave birth to her son in 2018.

A high-risk pregnancy

At age 45, Anderson knew she might have pregnancy complications due to her age.

“My care team took great care in discussing the challenges with being of an advanced maternal age,” Anderson said. “Of course they wanted me to go the full 40 weeks, but they said that the goal for my pregnancy was to get me to 36 weeks.”

At her 36-week ultrasound, her doctor explained that her amniotic fluid had decreased, and her baby was not growing like he should. The care team was concerned, so Anderson was given medications to start labor.

Time in the NICU

Kim Anderson, with her now-5-year-old son, Hakan, remembers those days in the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Anderson’s son, Hakan, was soon born. He was 4 weeks early, weighed 4.6 pounds, and struggled to eat. Anderson’s care team quickly determined that Hakan needed to be admitted to the NICU, or neonatal intensive care unit.

The NICU can be daunting for new parents. It’s filled with high-tech equipment and life-sustaining machines that beep at all hours of the day and night. It’s not the peaceful environment many parents envision spending the first days in with their new baby.

But Anderson quickly bonded with the NICU teams taking care of Hakan. They included her in discussions and involved her in her son’s care right from the start.

“I got to be part of every decision,” Anderson said. “The nurse let me give him his first bath. I asked them to teach me how to use the feeding tube so I could help.”

The NICU teams understood the value of keeping mom and baby together.

Kaiser Permanente hospitals honored

Hakan Anderson (left) gives a thumbs-up, while he and his mom, Kim Anderson, acknowledge his fifth birthday and 5 years since he was treated in the NICU.

“Parents are an important part of the NICU team,” said Jennifer Marsh, NICU charge nurse at Sunnyside Medical Center. “We help them to be with their baby, to bond, as much as possible, while making sure their little one gets the specialized care needed to get well.”

It’s this type of compassionate care for parents and their babies — before, during, and after the birth — that you can expect from Kaiser Permanente. It’s also one reason why Sunnyside Medical Center was among the 29 Kaiser Permanente hospitals named to Newsweek’s America’s Best Maternity Hospitals list for 2024.

The Newsweek list recognizes hospitals that provide high-quality care for pregnant patients and their babies during the entire maternity journey, including the months after childbirth.

To create its list, Newsweek used:

  • Recommendations from hospital managers and medical professionals across the nation
  • Surveys from maternity patients
  • Quality metrics for data such as infection prevention and exclusive breast milk or chest milk feeding

‘High-quality, compassionate care’

“We’re proud to be recognized by Newsweek for providing exceptional care,” said Kari Carlson, MD, national clinical lead for obstetrics and gynecology at Kaiser Permanente. “Especially when you’re dealing with a challenging situation, it’s reassuring to know you’ll receive high-quality, compassionate care from our team of doctors, specialists, midwives, nurses, and other health care professionals.”

After 2 weeks in the NICU, Hakan had grown and was eating well enough to go home. Today, he’s “adorable, fun, silly, and kind,” Anderson says.

And while Hakan just celebrated his fifth birthday, the NICU is still close to Anderson’s heart.

“Looking back, I had an excellent experience with the labor and delivery nurses and doctors,” Anderson said. “I asked many questions as I stepped into my new role of mom: changing diapers, feeding and bathing and dressing Hakan. The nurses were quick to offer help, guidance, and support. Their phenomenal care during my stay left a positive impression on me.”

Learn more about maternity care at Kaiser Permanente.