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Women's Care

Birthing Options

These days many expectant mothers are working with their physicians to customize their pregnancy and delivery experience. At Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital, we want you to have your baby your way so we offer our expectant mothers new or personalized birth options. We do, however, encourage our patients to consult with their physician prior to choosing any birthing option.

Birth options at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital include:

  • Family-centered Cesarean section -- In a normal c-section, ECG dots are placed on the mother’s chest to monitor her vitals, and a curtain is placed above her abdomen so she does not have to watch the surgery. However, during a family-centered c-section, the medical team put the ECG dots on the mother’s back, so her chest is free to hold her newborn. They can also agree to drop the curtain once the baby’s head emerges, so the parents can see the baby being delivered. Other changes to the normal c-section procedure included “walking” the baby out of the womb slowly and waiting for the umbilical cord to stop pulsing before clamping it. “Walking” the baby out would allow the fluid to be squeezed from the lungs, similar to what happens in a vaginal delivery. Waiting to clamp the umbilical cord is considered beneficial because it allows more blood and nutrients to be transferred to the newborn.

    Preparing for your Cesarean section
  • Receiving nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for pain during labor – If requested and approved by your physician, Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital will provide nitrous oxide (laughing gas) as a method of pain relief during labor. Women using nitrous oxide remain awake and in control of their own pain relief. The gas does not interfere with contractions, and the time it remains effective is short.

  • Soaking in a tub during labor, if your health allows – This is very exciting! Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital is now offering tubs for water immersion during labor. Warm water can enhance relaxation during labor or could even decrease labor pains. Unlike a water birth, however, the baby is delivered outside of the tub. Again, consultation with your physician is recommended before choosing this option for your birth plan.

  • Midwife services are available in partnership with Connectus Health and WOMEN

  • Requesting limited separation with your baby after delivery

  • The attending medical team will initiate skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby as soon as possible after delivery.

  • Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital will assign one dedicated nurse for both mommy and baby.

  • Our hospital recommends attending childbirth preparation classes and/or joining a breastfeeding support group.

  • Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital offers sibling classes so your little ones can become familiar with the hospital setting and learn about new babies.

  • We encourage our new moms to visit one of the many outpatient lactation centers to ask questions about breastfeeding as they arise. Appointments are requested.

  • Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital offers education for new moms to learn about safe sleep positions for your new baby.