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Posted on Sun, Dec 4, 2011 : 6:22 p.m.

How the University of Michigan's Mott Hospital handled childbirth while moving to new facility

By Nathan Bomey

(Related story: A massive logistical feat: University of Michigan moves patients, staff, equipment to new Mott Children's Hospital)

While the University of Michigan Health System was moving today from the old C.S. Mott Children's and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital to the new facility, it was difficult to say exactly how many patients were being moved.

It wasn't because the hospital didn't have complete records of its patient roster.

It was because mothers were giving birth during the transition, which started shortly before 7 a.m. and ended at 3 p.m.

"Our population is increasing as we move," said Pat Warner, executive director of the hospitals.

Chao_Liu_Yang Guo_ Eva_Liu_Mott_Hospital_baby.jpg

Eva Liu, the last baby born at the old Mott Hospital, was born at 8:45 a.m. to parents Chao Liu and Yang Guo.

Photo courtesy of the University of Michigan Health System

Never fear, no pregnant mothers were forced to give birth while being wheeled down the 800-foot secure indoor pathway from the old building to the new facility. After all, this isn't NBC's "ER" or CBS' "Chicago Hope."

Still, the hospital was quite cognizant that moving from one building to another with women in labor required advanced planning.

Hospital officials decided early in the two-year planning process for the transition that women who were close to giving birth at the old hospital would not be moved over to the new hospital. Instead, for a few hours, the Health System was operating birthing centers in two hospitals.

The hospital, which hosted 3,800 births in 2010, announced this afternoon that Eva Liu, a girl, was the last baby born at the old Mott Hospital and Von Voigtlander building. She was born at 8:45 a.m. to parents Chao Liu and Yang Guo.

Five minutes earlier, Hamza Mahmoudi, a boy, became the first baby born at the new hospital. He was born at 8:40 a.m. to Yasmina Debieb and Ali Mahmoudi.

"Welcome to the Mott family, baby Mahmoudi!" the U-M Health System wrote in a Facebook post.

Welcome to the new hospital, too.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 8:16 p.m.

I volunteered on the maternity ward at U of M in the mid -1980's. There was a main hallway of rooms with an intersecting hallway at each end. The rooms were nice and adequate; there was a quad room at that time! Then I gave birth there in 1996 and 1997. Those rooms were beautiful, spacious and either new or newly- remodeled. Women were encouraged to relax in the large, private showers. A new feature at that time was being able to be in labor, delivery and recovery-- all in the same private room. Now there are more rooms. I'm sure there are new features in these, too. A positive birth experience is to be remembered and cherished forever.


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 6:17 p.m.

"women who were close to giving birth at the old hospital would not be moved over to the new hospital" what does this mean "close"? i only ask because i'm thinking if i were in labor there's no way i'd let them move me, no matter how "close" i was. i wonder if the patients had somewhat of a choice.

Kara Gavin

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 12:52 a.m.

One minor correction to a great story - the mom of the first baby born has the last name Debieb, not Bebieb! Sorry we gave you a misspelling! Kara Gavin UMHS Public Relations


Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 7:09 a.m.

Ha! lol! First mistake at the new hospital? J/K! Glad to see it in place and congratulations to all the new parents who were going through this historical transition!

Nathan Bomey

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 : 12:58 a.m.

Thanks, Kara, it's fixed!