A Childbirth Uniquely Yours
Preparing for a new baby is an exciting time. Our physicians and nurse-midwives, nurses and other medical professionals believe every childbearing experience is unique. We work in partnership with you to design a care plan tailored to you and your baby.
Our spacious and comfortable Birth Center welcomes more than 1,300 babies each year, making us the most popular center on the Seacoast.
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital is the first hospital on the Seacoast recognized as a Baby-Friendly Hospital, providing an optimum level of care and support for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. It is also a Bronze Certified Safe Sleep Hospital for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep.
A Birth That's Right For You
Only you know what birth plan is right for you. Our philosophy is to partner with you to help you achieve the labor you envision.
Women’s perceptions of labor pain vary, so do their choices about pain management and comfort. We have many options for non-medicated and medicated labor to help you through the process. Some options include:
- Jacuzzi for comfort during labor (we do not do waterbirths)
- wireless fetal monitoring
- birth balls
- pain medications
- nitrous oxide (only available if patient has a negative COVID-19 test result)
All babies whether vaginal born or cesarean born, who are transitioning well, are placed skin-to-skin with mom for at least one hour immediately after birth.
Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital offers women who have previously had cesarean births the opportunity to try for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). For women who are considered good candidates for VBAC, a vaginal birth can have many benefits, including faster recovery times, shorter hospital stays, less discomfort and less chance of blood transfusions and postpartum infections.
About 60-80% of women who attempt VBAC are successful in delivering vaginally. Talk to your obstetrician or midwife about the benefits and risks of VBAC based on your medical history.
Should your birth experience include a C-section, rest assured that you won’t need to go far. The C-section surgical room is located right in the Women & Children’s Center. In most cases you will remain fully alert and your support person can remain with you for the birth. Your baby will be placed skin-to-skin with you as soon as possible. You will often be able to touch and get to know your baby while still in the surgical room. Your support partner will also be able to hold the baby as long as the baby is in good health.
What to Expect: Scheduled Cesarean Delivery
Individualized Care in Private Suites
Warm, inviting, private rooms offer mom, baby and family all the comforts of home. Babies room-in with mom and dad so our nurses can educate the whole family on new baby and mom care. We provide room-service style meals so that mom may order her food according to her own schedule.
For safety and security, all entrances to the Birth Center are locked and visitors are invited in with your permission only. Security cameras monitor the hallways.
Support available during your stay, includes:
- RNs and Certified Lactation Consultants trained to provide breastfeeding education and support to you if you choose to breastfeed.
- A Discharge Preparation Class to help you feel safe and comfortable bringing your new baby home.
As a Baby-Friendly Hospital, we are committed to helping you achieve your breastfeeding goals. More than 80% of our mothers begin breastfeeding, a rate that is well above the national standards.
This support begins from the moment your baby is born. Placing your baby skin-to-skin on your chest after he or she is born is shown to help establish successful breastfeeding and bonding as your baby transitions into the world. If skin-to-skin is not possible when the baby is born due to special medical needs, the practice is still beneficial when it becomes medically possible.
Every family is supported by caring nurses with extensive breastfeeding education, and board certified lactation consultants are available to support you in breastfeeding and answer your questions. Once you and your baby go home, our lactation consultants are available by phone to offer on-going support.
Learn more about our support for breastfeeding moms and babies.
Hannaford Special Care Nursery
Our Special Care Nursery offers family centered care to encourage bonding and attachment between newborns and parents while preparing for the transition to home.
The nursery features a stabilization area, and six private special care rooms for preterm babies up to 35 weeks. The rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring systems, radiant warmers, bassinets and sleeping sofas so mom can stay with her baby. There is also a specially-designed family suite with areas for dining, showering and visiting with family.
Maternal Newborn Follow-up Nurse Visit
Wentworth-Douglass offers every woman a follow-up nurse visit for you and your infant in your home. Routine follow-up nurse visits are usually scheduled 2-3 days after discharge, unless otherwise ordered by your practitioner. During the visit, the nurse will complete a Maternal/Newborn assessment, provide health teaching, and answer any questions that you and your new family may have. Each visit is individualized to meet your family's specific needs.
Our education and support programs are geared toward helping you prepare for childbirth and embrace your new roles as parents. Tours of the Birth Center are given during all childbirth classes. Tours are also scheduled twice per month. See the full schedule of Childbirth Education Classes.
We also offer the Seacoast Babies mobile to help you navigate your pregnancy journey.
New Parents Support Group
Come and meet other new parents and discuss topics of concern to you. These groups are led by lactation consultants and child life specialists. The group meets most Fridays from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. No registration is necessary for this class. Visit Childbirth Education for more information.