Center provides innovative medicine and exceptional care for women across Oklahoma

As the population of Oklahoma City has continually grown, so have labor and delivery services at Mercy. The previous facility was designed to support 3,000 births annually but averaged over 4,000 births in recent years. This 34 percent increase underscored an exciting opportunity to serve more patients in the growing metropolitan area.

Mercy asked REES to design a facility that improves access to care for thousands of women each year. The Love Family Women’s Center offers advanced medicine and compassionate care to women of all ages. This four-story, 175,000-square-foot center has 73 patient rooms, increasing the capacity for deliveries by 40 percent, or 6,000 births, each year.

To design the center as a comprehensive destination for women’s health, the team collaborated closely with Mercy to understand their needs and guidelines. Early on, Mercy assembled focus groups to gain insight and understanding on what they must offer as a healthcare provider. Questions were asked to a group of women who had delivered their babies at various hospitals in the region. Topics that were covered consisted of:

  • Services offered throughout their labor and delivery
  • What they would change about their experience
  • The meaning of comprehensive women’s care
  • How to improve hospital visits for both patients and loved ones.

REES used the resulting data, evidence and information of the research to drive the design of the facility.


Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Square Feet




Key Function

Comprehensive Women’s Healthcare Services

A Welcoming Entrance

The entrance to the center flows into a bright, inviting welcome area with easy access to patient services. High ceilings and large windows offer abundant natural light in the space, providing a comfortable and serene environment. The vast lobby includes a registration area, expanded waiting area, family and visitor lounge, and a chapel. A donor wall features the generous local donors who funded nearly $43 million of the project, while the vestibule alcove displays Mercy’s mission statement and other important information, facts and events. The outdoor courtyard offers an oasis from the busy hospital. Healthcare workers, volunteers and loved ones can relax and recharge amidst the busy hospital environment.

First of Its Kind

Low Intervention Birthing Center—Oklahoma’s First Hospital-Based Midwifery Services

The Love Family Women’s Center is the first in the state to provide a hospital-based low-intervention birthing center (LIBC) and midwifery clinic. This service allows women who prefer a less-invasive birthing experience the opportunity to bring their child into cozy, home-like environment—all while being steps away from a higher level of care in case of unforeseen circumstances. This unit is designed more as a residential, hospitality space than a typical labor and delivery room. Suites feature an upholstered headboard, wood-looking vinyl flooring, warm light accents and touches of botanical film on the glass. Birth-friendly amenities are available such as laboring tubs, a spa-like bubble wall with adjustable lighting and birthing slings to provide comfort during labor pain. Loved ones can wait in the spacious family area, equipped with a nourishment station open for patients and families to utilize throughout their stay. Near the LIBC, a midwifery clinic provides gynecological care and well-woman exams for women of all ages. The unit is run by certified nurse midwives in collaboration with obstetricians, who have extensive experience in prenatal, childbirth, postpartum and other health services.

Obstetrics Emergency Department—Specialized Emergent Care

The first of its kind in Oklahoma City, an obstetrics emergency department addresses urgent pregnancy-related concerns. The department is a great service to the women receiving care at Mercy—they can go somewhere that understands their medical history and receive specialized care for their pregnancy and postpartum symptoms. In typical situations, issues that warrant an emergency trip are seen at locations that may not be involved with the woman’s provider. Now, patients who are at least 20 weeks pregnant and up to six weeks postpartum are seen by physician experts in obstetrics, giving them peace of mind.

Support in Every Aspect

Community Service and Education Spaces—Advocating for Women in Every Phase of Life

Spaces on the ground floor are dedicated towards providing services, education and support for healthcare professionals, patients and community members. A conference center hosts a variety of educational services such as childbirth classes, CPR training, and support groups. The center can broaden their reach and virtually connect with those in rural Oklahoma, improving care and access across the state. An outpatient therapy clinic features a therapy gym and private consultation rooms to serve women of all ages and stages of life. Physical therapists with specialized knowledge and training in women’s health address a wide range of issues including pelvic floor therapy, dietician services, lactation services and more.

Elevated Level of Caregiving

Labor and Delivery Unit—Serving More Women and Infants

Nearly double the size of previous rooms, the 15 labor and delivery suites foster a comfortable environment for mothers preparing for birth. Rooms offer birthing amenities, such as laboring tubs, jetted showers and spa-like surroundings for natural pain relief during labor. Each space is equipped with a wardrobe that provides storage for the patient and family, as well as a sleeper sofa and a recliner for added comfort.

One of the labor and delivery rooms is dedicated to patients of size, featuring specialized equipment and a patient lift to ensure their safety throughout the birthing process. Furthermore, a section of rooms is zoned as isolation rooms, guaranteeing that mothers experiencing airborne diseases can give birth without putting other patients at risk. The nurse’s station is located in the heart of the unit, providing guidance and ensuring that medical staff are readily available to help mothers throughout their labor and delivery experience. The design and layout of the suites prioritize the physical and emotional well-being of expectant mothers, providing a supporting and nurturing atmosphere for childbirth.

Multi-Faceted Aspects of Compassionate Care

Unique to the center, Mercy has taken a mindful approach for those experiencing child loss. Bereavement rooms are dedicated for families to gather and grieve. An intentional thought in the design, this area is situated in a more private location of the center. The rooms are equipped to serve the family in their time of need, including a caring cradle which gives the family more time to be together with their loved one. In addition to the accommodations, the unit has a specific set of nurses available around the clock to help families feel supported and cared for during the difficult time.

Antepartum and Surgery Units—Care for Those with High-Risk and Surgical Needs

Women admitted with high-risk pregnancies receive care in the antepartum unit, designed to cater to their unique needs and circumstances. Recognizing that these patients may have an extended stay, each room comes with additional storage space and a mini fridge for ease and convenience. Rooms also feature enhanced fetal monitoring equipment, providing a continuous recording of the child’s heart rate and indicating early signs of distress. The unit is located directly across from three large caesarean section suites with express access to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The location’s proximity enhances safety and confidence, making advanced emergent care readily available for the mother and baby. Adjacent to these units, a section of the hospital is designated for gynecological surgery needs. The pre-op and recovery rooms in this area are thoughtfully designed to promote rest and comfort, facilitating a smooth transition for patients before they return home. This integrated approach to women’s healthcare ensures comprehensive support and specialized attention at every stage of the childbirth and recovery process.

Postpartum Recovery—Improving the Recovery Experience

The second floor is entirely dedicated to postpartum recovery. Forty-seven rooms surround the perimeter of the floor and offer women the care and essentials they need for the best possible start. Each room is equipped to support both mother and baby during recovery. Infants can stay with the family or can rest in the secure newborn nursery, located steps away from the mother’s room.

Skybridge—Connection to the Existing Hospital

The second floor of the center connects to the existing hospital by way of a skybridge, allowing families of babies needing a higher level of care to have a direct elevator to the existing hospital’s NICU on the fifth floor. The skybridge provides a quick path for providers in emergent situations and a comforting space for recovering moms journeying to see their child in the NICU. The design of this area blends the style of the Women’s Center with the child-focused spaces of Mercy. Graphic art from Mercy’s child-centric spaces were incorporated, as well as dimensional art and colors not utilized elsewhere in the center.

The Future in Mind

Fourth Floor Shell—Built for Growth

The hospital’s growth is strategically planned with the third floor designed as shell space. This is intended to adapt and change with future needs, embodying Mercy’s commitment to deliver healthcare services to women across the state as the population continues to grow.

Every detail of the Love Family Women’s Center is meticulously designed with mothers in mind. The expansive facility not only provides comprehensive, advanced medical care to women across Oklahoma City, but it stands as a hub for compassionate care and exceptional patient service across the state.