Maternity Center

UnityPoint Health - Methodist West Hospital

Methodist West Maternity Center

Congratulations on your pregnancy! At our maternity center, you will find experienced and caring physicians, midwives, nurses and support staff who will help you welcome the newest member of your family. We believe in a family-centered approach to maternity care. Our team is here to respond to your needs with the highest level of skill, professionalism and compassion.

Supporting you during each stage of your labor, delivery and recovery.

Individualized Attention
We know each birth experience is unique and our nurses are always available to help and offer support as you become acquainted with your baby.
Highly Skilled Staff
Our nurses are specially trained to offer you the care that you and your newborn will need before and during the first few days after birth. If the need arises, Blank Children's Hospital physicians and specialists are on hand to provide neonatal support.
Specially Designed Maternity Units
Labor, delivery and recovery all take place in the same room, allowing mom and family to remain in one location during their stay. State-of-the-art surgical suites are also available right on the maternity unit to ensure that they are available when needed.
We believe in a family-centered approach to maternity care. Our team is here to respond to your needs with the highest level of skill, professionalism and compassion.

Preparing for Your Baby

Whether you are pregnant with your first baby or expecting your fourth, we are here to care for you throughout your pregnancy, delivery and after your baby's birth. The following information is meant to give you a good overview of what to expect during pregnancy and some of the things you should be thinking about.

Pregnancy Checklist

Choose your Provider

Our experienced nursing staff works closely with the physicians and midwives to provide you with the high quality and personalized care you and your family deserve. Methodist West Hospital is an option for your delivery if you are identified as having a healthy, low-risk pregnancy.

Who delivers at Methodist West Hospital?

The following UnityPoint Clinic locations deliver at Methodist West, along with our partners at The Iowa Clinic.

Talk to an OB provider at one of the locations above to see if Methodist West may be an option for you.

Complete Your Hospital Pre-Registration
Please complete the hospital pre-registration form at 20-24 weeks in your pregnancy.
Birth and Baby Care Classes

Becoming a new parent is an exciting time. We offer a number of birth and baby care classes to help you prepare for this new adventure. Learn about what to expect during delivery, tips on comfort measures during childbirth, prepare yourself for breastfeeding, learn how to bathe your baby and so much more!

Choose a Provider for Your Baby

Planning for a baby can be one of the most exciting times of your life, but also one of the most demanding times. Pondering names, redesigning spaces in your home, and getting all of the equipment an infant needs are just a few of the things that will consume many hours during pregnancy. Choosing the right health care provider should be included on your list of things to do before your baby is born.

Get Help Installing Your Car Seat

Request an appointment with a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST).


Frequently Asked Questions

The following are some of the commonly asked questions our maternity center receives.


When should I pre-register for my delivery?
We recommend that you pre-register for your delivery between 20 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. You can pre-register by filling out our online birth pre-registration form or by completing the pre-registration form that you received in your maternity center folder at your OB office. If you have any questions about your pre-registration, please submit a question to our team.
Should I call my OB provider or midwife before coming to the hospital?
Please refer to the instructions given by your provider about when to come to the hospital if you think you are in labor.
What tools are available for positioning to use during labor?

Positioning devices to use during labor includes but is not limited to:

  • Birthing balls
  • Peanut balls
  • CUB pillows
  • Birthing chair
  • Squat bar
  • Mirrors and more

Please let your nurse know upon arrival that you would like to use a positioning device.

Do you offer water births?
No, we do not offer water births at this time. Whirlpool tubs are available if mothers would like to labor in the tub, but once a certain labor point is reached, you will be asked to get out of the tub and prepare for delivery.
Do you have neonatal specialists available in case my baby needs extra help?
We partner with Blank Children's Hospital to provide 24/7 on-site neonatal support. Nothing is more important to you than the health and safety of your baby, and we are committed to ensuring the best possible care to our patients, especially our tiniest ones.
What if my child's pediatrician or primary care provider is from out of town?
If your baby's provider is unable to visit him/her in the hospital, an on-call pediatrician will see your baby while you are in the hospital. All pertinent records will be sent to your child's provider's office for follow-up after being discharged.
Who does the circumcision in the hospital?
At our Maternity Center, it is the OB provider or someone from the circumcision team that performs the circumcision. If you have any questions about this procedure, please talk with your provider.
Do you do delayed cord clamping?
Yes! It is now standard of care to delay cord clamping as long as mom and baby are both doing ok. Let your labor and delivery nurse know about your preference on delayed cord clamping and talk to your provider at any prenatal visits.


Does the hospital rent breast pumps?

UnityPoint Health – Des Moines Home Care is proud to offer a selection of products for new moms and their babies for purchase.These items include Medela and Spectra breast pumps, supplies, nursing bras, tanks and cover-ups. The Home Care store is located in the Methodist Plaza Atrium and is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call (515) 241-4663 with questions.

Is it ok to use my friend's or sister's breast pump if she is no longer using it?

It is not recommended that most store-bought breast pumps be shared. By sharing a breast pump, the risk of infection and contamination is increased. If a mother chooses to use a previously owned pump, it is recommended to replace all parts including tubing.

It would be best to look at the manufacturer's guidelines and manual to see if it is a closed or open system. Some pumps do not have a closed system and milk can get into the motor. If the Hepatitis B virus is in the milk of the previous owner, it can dry within the motor. When the pump is used again it can reactivate the virus.

 Note: Hospital grade rental pumps purchased from UnityPoint at Home have a closed system, allowing them to be used more than once.

Delivering Your Baby

Directions to the Maternity Center

Arrival Instructions

Be sure to ask your health care provider if there are any special arrival instructions for you to follow.

  1. Park in front of the hospital (east side) from 60th Street.
  2. From 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., the main entrance is open. After hours, please use the emergency entrance.
  3. After entering the hospital, take the elevators to the fifth floor. You will enter the maternity center reception area after stepping off the elevator.
Neonatal Support
Methodist West provides a secure newborn nursery, board-certified anesthesiologists available 24 hours a day, and board-certified lactation consultants. Our unit also provides specially trained neonatal nurse practitioners and transport nurses from Blank Children's Hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide care to your newest addition. Our neonatal nurse practitioners and transport nurses attend each delivery and can treat babies with some health problems in the Specialty Care Nursery (Level II NICU). The unit also has two state-of-the-art C-section delivery suites available for both scheduled C-sections and emergency C-sections should the need arise.
Infant Security

The safety and security of you and your baby during your stay at the hospital is very important to us. In order to protect the safety of our patients, we are not able to give specific details about our security system, but rest assured knowing that we have put a number of measures in place to keep you both safe. The following are a few things that you and your family can do to help keep safety a priority.

  • All hospital employees wear unique photo ID badges that show their name and title. Do not let anyone take your baby unless they have a hospital ID badge with their name, title and picture on it.
  • If you are not sure about someone who wants to take your baby, call your nurse or ask to accompany your baby.
  • Never leave your baby alone. If you go to the bathroom, take your baby with you in the bassinet or leave your baby with someone you trust.
  • For safety and security reasons, please keep your baby in the bassinet when transporting your baby outside of your room.
  • Newspaper Announcements - The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children discourages hospitals and parents from publishing birth announcements in local newspapers because a small number of infant abductions have been linked to those announcements. So to protect our patients' privacy and safety, UnityPoint Health – Des Moines Iowa Methodist Medical Center does not submit birth announcements to area newspapers.
We believe a strong support system is essential to the health and well-being of families. For the safety of our patients, there may be periodic changes made to our visiting guidelines. For the most up-to-date guidelines, please visit our Patient and Visitor Information page.

Lactation Services

The decision to breastfeed is a personal one. Breastfeeding provides numerous benefits for you and your baby - and is a beautiful and natural way to bond. Our qualified Lactation Services staff is here to provide extensive breastfeeding and education support. If you have any questions, please contact one of our International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) by calling (515) 241-6570. Please leave a message if your call is not answered, and we will respond as soon as possible.

Our Services

Prenatal Breastfeeding Class
We recommend this class to all pregnant women who wish to learn more about breastfeeding. You will learn the art of breastfeeding, what to expect during the beginning days and what support resources are available after you leave the hospital.
Inpatient Visits
Following the birth of your baby, our consultants will answer any questions you may have and will help educate you on how best to meet your breastfeeding goals. You may ask your nurse to speak with a lactation consultant at any time during your hospital stay. Our consultants are available for inpatient visits seven days a week and provide coverage at both of our maternity centers.
Outpatient Visits
If breastfeeding questions or concerns arise after you return home, our consultants can help with any breastfeeding challenges you may face, including positioning, latch-on, engorgement and low milk supply. Our goal is to provide you with the help you need to reach your breastfeeding goals. Call 515-241-6570 to schedule a one-on-one outpatient visit. You may receive a bill depending on your insurance. You can contact your insurance provider to find out if they cover outpatient visits with a lactation consultant.
Safe Sleep Hospital Gold Certified.png

Certified Safe Sleep Hospital

Blank Children's Hospital is proud to be a designated Gold Certified Safe Sleep Hospital by Cribs for Kids®. As a Nationally Certified Safe Sleep Hospital, Blank Children's Hospital is recognized for following the safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and providing training programs for healthcare team members, and family caregivers.
Learn more about infant safe sleep

Find an OB/GYN or Midwife

Our maternity center works closely with physicians and midwives to provide you with the high quality and personalized care you and your family deserve.

Birth & Baby Care Classes

Becoming a new parent is an exciting time. We offer a number of birth and baby care classes to help you prepare for this new adventure.

Maternity News & Articles