At the Hospital

At the Birthing Center, we want to do more than help you welcome a healthy new baby. We want to make your entire childbirth experience personal, relaxed and memorable. Our suites are full of comforts and conveniences to make labor and delivery more pleasant.

Complete state-of-the-art equipment is right here, but it's hidden away.

Tucked away in each room is everything our staff needs to welcome your baby into the world. Special equipment is immediately available if the unexpected occurs. And should the need arise, cesarean birth suites are located within the Birthing Center for immediate access.

Options for a more comfortable childbirth.

To help make childbirth as comfortable as possible, we offer a range of pain management options. Epidural anesthesia is available 24 hours a day.

Family Centered Cesarean Delivery

We are proud to now offer Family Centered Cesarean Delivery. The concept of "family centered" cesarean promotes early mother-infant bonding and skin-to-skin contact. A family centered cesarean in which immediate skin-to skin contact between mother and baby is provided, enhances the mother's experience and also improves the infant's outcomes. Evidence supports, that immediate or early skin-to-skin contact after a cesarean delivery may increase breastfeeding, decrease time to the first breastfeed, reduce formula supplementation in the hospital, increase bonding and mother's satisfaction, maintain the temperature of newborns and reduce newborn stress.

We are pleased to offer Family Centered Cesarean Delivery at UnityPoint Health - Meriter hospital to enhance the delivery experience of all women having a cesarean birth, while maintaining a safe environment for both mothers and babies.

Personal support from professional nursing staff.

Of all the resources the Birthing Center offers, of all the comforts we provide, new parents agree - our knowledgeable and caring nursing staff is one of the most appreciated. Whether you need help breathing through a contraction or someone to suggest new labor positions, you can count on our nurses for support. And our nurses follow your birth plan as closely as possible, so you can welcome your baby into the world the way you desire.

Your Hospital Stay

Parking Pass

You will receive one parking pass that can be delegated to a family member or friend. To get the pass, go to the Guest Services office in the lobby. They are open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Other visitors can also park in the ramp, for a small fee. Parking is free on holidays.

Visitors

You decide who visits and when. You may want to ask some relatives or friends to wait to visit until after you've returned home so you have plenty of time to rest after your baby's birth. To protect you and your baby, we recommend that you ask relatives or friends with colds and/or flu-like symptoms not to visit. Children under age 12 must check in at the nursing station.

Meal Service

The Food & Nutrition team strives to provide high-quality food to promote health and healing. Meal service consists of a house select meal delivered to your room three times a day. A diet clerk will visit you before your second meal to "personalize" your meals and accommodate your preferences, desired portion sizes or any allergies you may have. If your physician has ordered a special diet, the menu may be modified to adjust for changes in calorie, texture, fluids or other nutrients.

Birthing Center Family Kitchen

Since we know that new moms can be hungry at any time, we make every attempt to keep healthy foods ready for you whenever you may need it. We also know that expecting dads and labor support persons need an opportunity to grab a quick snack without having to go too far from their loved one's room.

Each floor of the Birthing Center has a kitchen for between-meal use by you and your labor support person. You will find juices, fruit, sandwiches, soup, milk, yogurt, crackers, fresh vegetables, bagels, muffins and cereals.

Rooming-In

One of the advantages of family-centered care in the Birthing Center is that your baby stays with you from the moment of birth. You will discover your newborn's preferences, begin a feeding relationship and ask questions of your nurse every step of the way. By spending time together, you will discover the uniqueness of your new baby. With the support of your nurse, you care for your baby in your private room. As part of our commitment to being a Baby Friendly Hospital and to the promotion of rooming-in, we do not have a traditional nursery. A holding nursery is available for those families that are in need of some respite care for a few hours, usually when Mom has had a complicated delivery and needs some time to rest. Please make arrangements for this with your nurse. Learn more here.

Going Home

Routine discharge is by 1 pm. You and your physician or nurse-midwife will decide together when you are ready to go home. Mothers who have a vaginal birth generally go home the second day after giving birth. Mothers who have a cesarean birth usually go home about three days after giving birth. Factors that could extend or shorten your stay include complications, personal preference and insurance coverage.