Birthing Center FAQ

Q. Do you have prenatal classes?

If you’re having your first baby, it might seem rather overwhelming. You may feel you are about to enter the great unknown. No doubt you have lots of questions. The Birthing Center is here to guide you through and help you prepare for that big day. We have classes, not only for mom, but for dad and siblings if needed, all of which are free.

Q. What are your birthing rooms like? Are they private rooms?

The Birthing Center is equipped with seven spacious birthing rooms—all of them private. In these rooms, labor, delivery and recovery happen.

Once you have recovered, you will be moved to a mother/baby suite. Eleven of these rooms are private and five are semi-private. In these rooms you will be allowed to spend as much time bonding with your baby as you wish, but this is also a place for you to rest. After all, once you go home, you’ll be on duty full time.

Q. Who can visit me during the childbirth?

If you are not having a cesarean section, you may have anyone you wish be with you during labor and delivery, as long it is okay with your physician.

During times where we need to examine you, however, your family and friends may be asked to leave the room. In those cases, your family will be asked to go to the waiting room. Please tell your family members not to wait in the hall, keeping them clear in case we have an emergency situation.

If you are having a cesarean, we ask that only one person be in the operating room.

Following the birth, we want to be extra careful to protect the baby from any infections, so our visiting policy gets a little more restrictive. Only significant others, grandparents and siblings will be able to visit while the baby is in the room.

Do you do epidurals?

Anesthesia safety we take very seriously. Any anesthesia has benefits and risks. Just like in big city medical centers, epidurals and any other anesthesia is administered by 24-hour anesthesia physicians. If you choose to have an epidural, your physician’s office will show you a video explaining the process, so we are sure you are informed.

Q. What if my baby is premature and or has special medical needs when born?

Memorial Hospital of Carbondale was the first hospital outside Chicago to be designated as a Level II Plus Special Care Nursery. That means we can take care of babies as early as 28 weeks gestation. It is staffed by two full-time board certified neonatologists, two neonatal nurse practitioners and a team of compassionate nurses to help you through what can be a trying time.

Q. How do I preregister?

You will receive a Birthing Center binder of information when you first visit your physician that includes a registration form. Simply fill it out and bring it the Memorial Hospital of Carbondale registration desk sometime around your 6th month of pregnancy.

Q. What is the Birthing Center’s philosophy on breastfeeding?

The Birthing Center strongly encourages exclusive breastfeeding. Breastfeeding helps in your baby’s transition to the outside world and reinforces the bond between the two of you. The first hour after your baby is born is commonly known as The Golden Hour. It’s the very first time Mommy, Daddy, and Baby spend together as a family.

Upon delivery, your baby will immediately be placed on your chest for skin-to-skin contact. This skin-to-skin contact will help with the baby’s body temperature, heart rhythm and breathing. It is also a wonderful time for bonding and introductions.

Our wish is for you to have a quiet and peaceful moment to bond with your new baby. After this time alone, we welcome you to invite family and friends to meet your beautiful new bundle of joy.

During this time, your nurses will monitor both you and your baby. If no problems arise, your baby may remain with you. Moms will immediately see their baby following a Cesarean delivery, then baby will be taken to your Mother/Baby room to wait for you if there are no complications. If complications do arise, your baby will be taken to the nursery for observation.

Lactation Specialists are available to help your experience. In the occasion that your baby is in need of extra attention in our Special Care Nursery, we provide the support and resources for you to begin pumping. Choosing to breastfeed can be one of the most important decisions you make to protect your baby’s health and well being. If you are unable or choose not to breastfeed, our staff can discuss other options for feeding with you.

Q. Do I need a physician for the baby?

Absolutely. In fact, it’s one of the most overlooked decisions. When the baby is born, immediately we notify the physician selected. Your OB/GYN will not be this physician. You’ll need to either choose a pediatrician or your family physician to be the baby’s doctor.

Q. Do you provide car seats for the baby?

A car seat is something you will need to have in order to take the baby home. It is required by law that babies be transported this way. Unfortunately, we do not provide car seats.