Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS - Ochsner Health System said Tuesday it is moving all of its women's services departments, including the labor and delivery unit, from their current location on the main Jefferson Highway campus to its Ochsner Baptist Hospital Uptown, as part of an expansion of services.

Doctors say the opening of a new, $40 million Women's Pavilion at Baptist is prompted by a need for more space for maternity and neonatal needs in the Uptown area.

'We're going to be able to add the alternative birthing center which will give women a choice in deliveries and we found from focus groups that was very, very important,' said Al Robichaux III, chairman of the OB-GYN department.

'We'll also be able to enlarge our intensive care nursery which, as a high-risk obstetrician, allows me to accept more critical pregnancies.'

The hospital's neonatal intensive care unit will also move to Baptist, officials said.

The bigger space will also allow families to take part in the birthing experience, doctors said, and allow expansion at the Jefferson Highway campus.

'This will free up space at Jefferson Highway to take more patients coming from across the country for our world-class health services,' said Warner Thomas, Ochsner president and chief executive officer.

The new women's services area is set to open this winter on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of Ochsner Baptist, on Napoleon Avenue.

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