28 Weeks: Hospital Tour Of Martha Jefferson

Last week we toured the famous Martha Jefferson Hospital! I had never been inside the brand new establishment, but I’ve heard good things about “Hotel Martha.” It was all the buzz last September when the hospital moved from High Street to Pantops – 100% brand new facilities. I really didn’t consider any other options on where we would have our baby since the choices here are Martha Jeff, UVA (which I think is mostly higher risk) and one small birthing center. Most of my friends have all delivered at MJ.

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We were very impressed with what we saw. The whole hospital has gorgeous mountain views! It’s a pretty small hospital, especially compared to Carolinas Medical Center where I worked as a dietetic intern, but I really like it. Fits with the small town we live in, and it felt more like a big birthing center to me. Good color choices too – not too much stark white! The décor is beautiful.

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The hospital’s Labor and Delivery unit is right on the first floor. There are 11 delivery rooms and then two halls of postpartum rooms, plus a c-section unit and a cute nursery. All are very secure with locked doors and security systems.

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Our group was led into one of the delivery rooms. At first I found it scary with the big bed in the middle, but then it grew on me and got cozier. The bed can do all kinds of cool things – from adding a bar to dropping the foot down to make it two levels. There is also a window-bed where Matt can sleep. It didn’t look all that comfortable, but if the alternative is a chair, looks good enough.


The nurse who led our tour talked a lot about skin to skin, breastfeeding, and labor and delivery as natural not a disease. It was all great to hear. She ALSO clarified that the c-section rate for first time c-sections is 17%!!!! That means that the 34% stat we heard in childbirth class included repeats and other confounders. 17% is great news. She said the doctors here compared to other hospitals where she has worked are very patient.

Another FYI: photograph is fine but videos are not allowed : ( Such a bummer because I would LOVE a video of my birth (for my own personal viewing)

Check out the bathroom!!!! I so want to get in that tub. I hope I am able to!

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We wrapped up the tour in the postpartum rooms, which were much smaller, more standard hospital rooms (but thankfully were all singles). The bathrooms were nice, and the whole hospital has free wifi! The bed is also supposed to be much more comfortable in there. I tested out the pillows and they were pretty fluffy!

After our group split, Matt and I checked out the cafeteria in honor of dietitians and food service experience! Plus it’s where Matt will likely eat meals : ) Looked really nice – whole wheat pizza crust and a big salad bar!

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And whaddya know – No Bull Burgers on the menu!

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The tour left me excited to go into labor – 12 weeks from now I hope! I can’t believe we will actually be there as parents. So exciting!

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30 thoughts on “28 Weeks: Hospital Tour Of Martha Jefferson”

  1. what a beautiful hospital! I love the colours too instead of white. I think our maternity ward is also painted a soft colour rather than white. I’ve only been in there once quickly to drop something off but we get a full tour on July 15th! I’m excited too!!

  2. That was such a strange feeling to tour the hospital and know that the next time we were there, it would be because I was about to give birth! Looks like a great hospital– ours was small too, and I loved that. I really felt like every nurse was so supportive and helpful throughout our stay.

  3. Looks like a nice place for a special experience! I actually labored, delivered and recovered in the same room. Didn’t know it was unusual until I started hearing about other places. It was nice to get all unpacked while I was still mobile and know where everything was. And hope that cafeteria is good!

  4. I agree, your hospital is nicely decorated! Other than the finishes, it looks very much like the hospital I gave birth in. For some reason when I had my hospital tour, birth didn’t feel imminent yet so I felt like I was just looking around for no reason. So when my actual labor and birth came, it felt unfamiliar. Luckily, you thought to take pictures though, that’s a big help. 🙂

  5. That seems like a great hospital! The warm colors really help and it’s always nice to be reassured that you are on the same page as the staff on lots of things you’re wanting. I have my hospital tour in about a month and I’m super nervous that they won’t be on the same page as me- but I don’t have any other options– total bummer.
    Also, the food must be amazing there- I just HATE that we don’t get to eat, for the most part. That may be the death of me!

  6. That hospital looks so nice! I’ve moving to a new city (from outside of Asheville over to Wilmington, NC) in a few months and that is probably where I’ll end up having my first child (not pregnant, but hope to be in the next year or two), so I hope they have nice facilities, too! Love the mountain views. I bet you’ll have a great experience there.

  7. Looks like you will have a wonderful place to birth your baby! We keep trying to set up times to tour ours and just our luck all the rooms have been full lately so we are scrambling to find a time to tour before this baby arrives (which could be shortly).

    I love that your hospital has a 17% c-section rate! That is one of the reasons we chose ours as it has a 16% rate.

  8. Awesome hospital. I had an awesome delivery and it was all due to my nurse that was AMAZING, she had been doing it for over 27 years and guided me so well. Anyways i wanted to do the bath and she said don’t do it – it slows things down, and i never did. I had a 6 hour labor with 5 pushes for my first. It was all due to her.

  9. Very nice hospital! I’m so excited for you! Did they say why you can’t video? Thats crazy…I’d really want to be able to tape the whole experience! I’m just so surprised in your room there isn’t recording allowed!

    1. It’s just a rule…probably liability. I might sneak a video or so during labor when the room is empty just to remember the day, but obviously wouldn’t able to do the birth

      1. with an iPhone how would they know if you were taping or photographing? Interesting that they don’t want videos if something goes wrong. But, I guess when you deliver in a facility, you have to follow their rules!

    2. I took a class in college where they talked about this. The doctors are concerned about being subject to a malpractice suit. There is so much that could go wrong in the delivery and so much that could be questioned: if you had done a c-section here, if you gave this medicine there then the baby wouldn’t have X, there wouldn’t be so much Y.

      A very interesting article on the topic:


  10. Oh I hope the food is good! Our hospital food was beyond awful. I stuck to fresh fruit, cold sandwiches and cereal.

    The notorious quote from my husband ‘you can’t possibly get food poisoning from hospital food, right?’ hahaha.

  11. Holy bathroom!! I would move all the way out there just to hang out in that bathroom after having my next child!!!

  12. Looks so nice! Bathtub!!! Good food! I don’t think our hospital has those, but it does have an 11% first time c-section rate so I feel really good about going there. The labor & delivery nurse I talked to said that both of the doctors who deliver babies there are very good about letting a woman’s body do what it’s supposed to do. I also love that our hospital is small (our town is small too, of course). When I had to go in recently to be monitored I was the only one there in labor & delivery.

  13. It’s a surreal feeling…thinking “this is where I’m going to be…I’m going to be one of the mothers with a new baby”. I remember thinking this as I cared for other new mothers 🙂 Exciting time. Enjoy every minute.

  14. We are delivering at Martha Jefferson this coming Monday (repeat C-section, so I guess I add to that 34% statistic you heard). For my first child I was in labor for 32 hours and they never “rushed” anything – didn’t force pitocin on me, asked about breaking water before doing it, etc. They allowed me to use the tub, birthing ball, walk – anything I wanted. My c-section was an emergency because my baby (who is now 7) went into distress and had to be born immediately. I had both of my other kids at the other MJ before they moved, and I think the only downside to the new hospital is that it’s not quite as “dad-friendly”. My husband had his own bed in the other hospital and here he will be on what’s basically a fold-out couch/futon. The C-section rate has more to do with your doctor than the hospital itself, and it’s nice to know they have the facilities to be able to handle an emergency situation if it arises.

    As far as videos go, they will not allow you to tape because if things go wrong, that’s evidence in your hands for a malpractice suit. I have a lot of friends in the medical field, and they don’t want you to have more ammunition for a lawsuit. Pessimistic and depressing… yep. You should be able to document your child’s birth any way you wish. I’m not sure that you can even videotape at the birthing center. Also – the birthing center has transfer rights to Martha Jefferson, if you decide to go that route.

    Also, don’t know if you saw the article, but MJH was voted the most beautiful hospital in the US for 2012. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the info! Glad your first child was OK : )

      And so cool it was most beautiful – I hadn’t heard that.

  15. Hi. I just moved to Charlottesville 1 month ago and i am 23 weeks pregnant. i have not yet decided between UVA and Martha Jefferson and i would like to know if you had the opportunity to visit both. How is UVA in comparison to MJ? I see you have done a lot of research and are very informed. Any info would be really appreciated. Thanks

    1. Welcome! I didn’t visit UVA, but most people who aren’t associated with the hospital (spouse is a resident, etc) choose Martha Jeff. It’s a REALLY nice hospital. People have good things to say about UVA, but they call MJ “Hotel Martha” because it’s so nice and new 🙂

  16. I was wondering if you’d share who your obgyn was through pregnancy? I’d also like to deliver at Martha

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