Women & Children's Center

The #1 Choice of Seacoast Families

Experience the Convenience

Parenthood Begins Here

Preparing for a new baby is an exciting time! We realize that it can also be overwhelming, so the team at the Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Women & Children’s Center wants to help you in feeling prepared, comfortable and confident as you embark on this amazing journey. That’s why we’ve created this convenient online resource. Here you’ll find material to support and inform you as you progress from potential parent to expecting parent to super parent! 

If you have particular questions that are not covered on this website, please call us at (603) 609-6964. And of course, we’ll be happy to answer any additional questions when you come to the birth center to deliver your baby!

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A New Delivery in Wentworth-Douglass Hospital’s Birth Center

Let's Have a Baby! 

The experience of having a baby is emotional, wonderful, and a lot of work! From the initial learning phase to the actual birth to after care, there is a great deal to know. We want you and your family to be educated and poised for success! We have outlined valuable information in three phases outlined below: 

I am prepared.

Education for a healthy pregnancy

Family first.  Family centered.

The Women & Children’s Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital values a family-centered philosophy. Our experienced medical staff, including Board Certified OB/GYN and Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians, Certified Nurse Midwives, Pediatricians, Anesthesiologists, Registered Nurses, Lactation Consultants, Doulas, Childbirth Educators and Child Life Specialist believe in a philosophy of total care for the unique needs of every baby, mother and loved one throughout the experience.  

Celebrating Your Pregnancy – Come Visit!

We know you have questions, and we have answers.  Wentworth-Douglass offers parents the opportunity to tour the birth center and get prepared for your new bundle of joy.  We offer childbirth education classes, where you can meet members of the doula team affiliated with Wentworth-Douglass.  

Virtual Tour

Take a Tour

Who can deliver my baby?

We can! In fact, we deliver more babies than any other hospital on the Seacoast! You and your baby will always be in good hands with our OB-GYN physicians and certified midwives, who deliver more than 1,200 babies every year.

Filter by Practice
  • Greater Seacoast Community Health
  • WHP OB/GYN & Infertility
  • Wentworth Health Partners Garrison Women’s Health
  • Wentworth Health Partners OB/GYN & Infertility
  • All Practices

Creating a Birth Plan

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. Birth is a powerful event that is unique to each individual and family. We look forward to being a part of your birth experience. We know there is a lot of information available around what to expect during birth. We offer a downloadable packet as a way to learn more about us and to help you begin thinking about your options.  

High-Risk Pregnancy

We offer specialized and collaborative care to women experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. Pregnancy should be a joyous time – our specialized care will minimize your stress and anxiety as we work to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for you and your baby.


Planning Ahead 

Planning starts with celebrating your pregnancy, and providing yourself, your partner, and your family with information and support to help as your journey begins. 

Childbirth Education

A variety of childbirth education and new parents' support classes are available to help prepare you and your family. Find more information about childbirth classes on our website.

Remember, we want you to be informed so you are prepared. There’s even a class for grandparents and grandparents to be! It’s offered once a month on Saturday for no fee!

You can register online or by calling (603) 740-2867


Wentworth-Douglass teams with an experienced group of Doulas in the local community to help you prepare for your birth experience. We invite you to learn more here.

Car seat safety

This is a very exciting time as you prepare for the birth of your baby. The Birth Center staff would like to remind you that now is the time to start planning how to bring your precious cargo home safely and would like to offer the following suggestions about car seat safety.                                         

  1. Please read the owner’s manual of your vehicle for any specific car seat information.
  2. Before the birth of your baby, make an appointment to have your car seat installed by a certified car seat technician. Wentworth-Douglass offers free monthly car seat checks. Visit Wentworth-Douglass Hospital's Events Calendar to see upcoming dates. Or, visit safercar.gov to locate a child seat fitting station near you. 
  3. It is best to purchase a new car seat that is appropriate for the size and weight of your newborn. It is not recommended that you borrow or purchase a used car seat. Manufacturers recommend that a car seat involved in any accident be replaced.
  4. For additional information and safety tips, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website or safekids.org. All the latest car seat information can be found here with illustrations to show how your infant should be placed in the car seat.
  5. Remember that car seats are intended for travel and your infant should not sit for extended periods of time when not riding in the car.

Some Birth Center staff are certified car seat technicians and may be available to help you with installation or check your car seat prior to discharge. 

Seacoast Babies App

Get personalized information from our perinatal care team today by subscribing to our Seacoast Babies platform.

Text WDHB to 57881 now to get started.


Who can answer my questions?

Contact Us

I am comfortable.

Your labor and delivery plan

We Are Here For You

When it comes time to deliver your baby – know we are here, ready and waiting for you.

Your Birth Center

Providing quality care and comfort are our top priorities. Warm, inviting, private suites offer mom, baby and family all the comforts of home. Babies room-in with family so our nurses can educate the whole family on new baby and mom care. Lactation consultants will visit each woman who chooses to breastfeed. 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 Women & Children’s Center are locked. Visitors are invited in with your permission and security cameras monitor the hallways. 

All of our private, spacious suites have showers, refrigerators, television, free wi-fi and a comfy sofa-bed for visitors. We encourage you to bring personal items to help create a relaxing environment for you – including relaxing music and comfortable clothing.

Quality Care

Our expert, caring team includes physicians, surgeons, midwives, nurses, lactation consultants, and other clinicians including a child life expert - all centered on you, and your family. 

Interpreter services

Services are available as needed for those who are visually or sight impaired or who speak a foreign language. Just contact your nurse or the switchboard for more information.

Nothing About Me Without Me

At the beginning of every shift, your nurses will bring the shift report to your bedside. This will allow you to hear the information being relayed to the next nurse about your progress towards discharge. It will also allow you to be an active participant in your plan of care and development of goals for that day. After a plan is mutualized between you and your nurses, it will be written on a whiteboard in your room. This will serve as a reminder to both you and the staff as to what YOUR plan of care is for that day. These rounds occur typically at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

Pain control during labor

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
  • wireless fetal monitoring
  • birth balls
  • pain medications
  • nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • epidurals
  • doulas

Cesarean Birth

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.  

Special Care Nursery

Sometimes babies need extra care after delivery. The Hannaford Special Care Nursery at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital offers a family-centered model of care to facilitate bonding and attachment between parents and newborns, and prepare the family for the transition to home.

Located right in the Women & Children’s Center and designed for multiple levels of care, the nursery features a stabilization area for infants awaiting transport to a neonatal intensive care unit, and six private special care rooms for preterm up to 32 weeks. Our private special care rooms are equipped with state-of-the-art monitoring systems, radiant warmers, bassinets and a sleeping sofa so you can stay with your baby.

The Hannaford Special Care Nursery also includes a specially-designed family suite with an area for dining, showering and visiting with family.

My Family’s Comfort

The Women & Children’s unit supports family as part of your experience as much as you want it to. Your partner is just as much a part of this experience as you are. Visitors are encouraged if you are feeling well, but your health and wellness remain our top priority. “Family Rest Time” happens daily from 1pm-3pm, when visitors are asked to refrain from visiting so mothers and babies can spend quality time together.


A Unique Birthing Experience

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital provides a birthing experience like no other, extending our support well beyond the day of birth. From maternal/newborn visits to ongoing lactation nurse assistance and access, we are committed to you (and your loved ones, too). Maternal/newborn visits are offered either in person at 15 Old Rollins Road Suite 105 or virtually.

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.

Cesarean Birth - What Can I Expect

If you are scheduled for a Cesarean delivery, this PDF resource describes how you can prepare and what to expect during the surgery and immediately after your baby is born. 

Download PDF

Skin to Skin

Skin to skin is the process of putting your baby directly on your bare chest after birth and during your hospital stay. Skin to skin increases bonding, gets breastfeeding off to a good start, keeps the baby warm, and calms mother and baby. At Wentworth-Douglass, 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.

The benefits of skin to skin include:

  • Babies who go skin to skin immediately after birth have an easier time transitioning to their new environment      
  • Babies are more likely to latch at the breast if breastfeeding
  • Babies have more stable and normal temperatures  
  • Babies have more stable heart rates and blood pressures  
  • Babies have more stable blood sugars         
  • Babies are less likely to cry   
  • Babies are more likely to breastfeed exclusively and for longer duration     
  • It is comforting for both moms and babies     
  • Skin to skin with dad can help infants feel less stressed when mothers and babies are separated for medical indications          
  • Skin to skin with fathers increases attachment and allows for special bonds to be formed 


As a designated “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. For questions or assistance contact the Lactation Consultants at (603) 740-2233 or the Women & Children’s Center at (603) 740-2261.

Click here for additional resources on reasons to breastfeed.

Safe Sleep

  • Always place babies to sleep on their backs during naps and at nighttime                          
  • Use a firm mattress covered by a fitted sheet, avoid loose sheets and blankets
  • Place the crib in an area that is always smoke free
  • Don’t place babies to sleep on adult beds, chairs, sofas, waterbeds, pillows, or cushions
  • Avoid placing toys or any soft bedding in the crib with the baby
  • Use sleep clothing, such as sleepers, sleep sacks, and wearable blankets as an alternative to blankets. 

Wentworth-Douglass is recognized as a “Bronze Certified Safe Sleep Hospital" by the National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program for its commitment to best practices and education on infant safe sleep

Circumcision: What you should know

After the birth of a male child, parents must decide whether or not they want their son circumcised. Although circumcision is one of the most common operative procedures performed in American hospitals today, parents are often unsure about making this decision based on factual information.

  • Is circumcision medically necessary?
  • Is circumcision painful?
  • What if l choose not to circumcise my son?

Read this helpful guide to help you make your decision. 

Safe practices while at the hospital

  • Hand hygiene is the single most important thing anyone can do to prevent the spread of infection from one person to another. Our team follows protocols to ensure a safe environment. 
  • Cover your cough: Your health could be at risk with exposure to so many different germs. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue whenever you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve. Germs can be passed from one person to another within a three foot area.
  • Call, don’t fall:  Make sure your call button is within reach. If you are not certain you can get out of bed on your own, call for help. Most falls happen in the hospital when people get up to go to the bathroom without help.
  • Express your concerns: If you have a question or issue you are concerned about, first please talk to your caregiver. Most questions and concerns can be addressed quickly by the staff on your unit. If your concerns have not been addressed, you may ask for a supervisor or call the Patient Advocate by dialing 2823 on your phone.
  • Be your own advocate: If you cannot speak, question and make decisions for yourself, ask a trusted family member or friend to help you. That person can help remember information you have asked and speak up for you if you cannot. If you do not understand the language being spoken, ask for an interpreter. Make sure you completely understand the treatment you are agreeing to before you sign an “informed consent.” Be sure your doctor and family understand your wishes for treatment if you are unable to make decisions. 

Postpartum Mental Health

One in five women experience depression and/or anxiety while pregnant or following the birth of a baby. Often, the symptoms are disregarded as being related to other causes (fatigue, feeding issues, etc.). However, they may be an indication of postpartum depression or anxiety.

If you are not feeling like yourself, support is available. It’s important to speak with your healthcare provider about how you’re feeling physically as well as emotionally. Contact your provider’s office today.

Visit our Postpartum Mental Health page to learn the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety and  learn about the resources available to help.


Who can answer my questions?

Contact Us

I am confident.

Support as you begin parenthood

Your Baby Has Arrived!

You’ve had some time to bond as a family, begin to heal from your labor and experience your first days together.  Going home for some can be an anxious time, but at Wentworth-Douglass, we’ll help make that transition smooth, and get you ready for your new normal. 

We’ll Prepare You to Go Home

The Women & Children’s Center (WMCH) at Wentworth Douglass Hospital is committed to providing patient and family centered care. We offer a class that is specifically designed to prepare you and your baby to be discharged home. Planning for discharge begins on admission and we want you to feel safe and comfortable bringing your new baby home.

At Wentworth-Douglass we are committed to providing patient and family centered care. Planning for discharge begins on admission and we want you to feel safe and comfortable bringing your new baby home. Our specially trained RNs will offer guidance on Self care, Newborn Care, Safety at home, Feeding and more. You'll receive a book to take with you as a guide when you are home.

We encourage you and your partner to attend. The education offered in the class will include the whole family. We look forward to providing you with patient and family centered support and resources. 

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.


Newborn Medical Care

After transitioning home, it will be important to pick a provider for your baby’s future health care needs. Wentworth-Douglass Hospital works closely with pediatricians and family practitioners who care for the whole family. Please see below for some options as you make the choice for who will provide care for your baby.


Pediatric & Family Care

The medical staff affiliated with Wentworth-Douglass Hospital includes both pediatricians and family practice physicians and providers to care for your child.

Filter by Practice
  • Dover Pediatrics
  • Greater Seacoast Community Health
  • Wentworth Health Partners Adult & Children's Medicine
  • Wentworth Health Partners Barrington Health Center
  • Wentworth Health Partners Bellamy Health Center
  • Wentworth Health Partners Dover Family Practice
  • Wentworth Health Partners Durham Health Center
  • Wentworth Health Partners Hilltop Family Practice
  • Wentworth Health Partners Lee Family Practice
  • Wentworth Health Partners Primary Care at Pease
  • Wentworth Health Partners Primary Care-Portsmouth
  • Wentworth Health Partners South Berwick Family Practice
  • Wentworth-Douglass Hospital-Wound Healing Center
  • All Practices

Expert Pediatric Care – Close to Home

Some children need advanced care.  Wentworth-Douglass has partnered with Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) to provide expert care for your child with Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Genetics, Nephrology and Pulmonology needs.  CHaD at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital offers family-centered out-patient services in a warm and friendly center located on the 3rd floor of the hospital.  CHaD providers also offer services to some older patients with congenital conditions and outstanding service in fetal echocardiography.  The team includes physicians, advanced nurse practitioners, specialized pediatric nurses and medical assistants, who work closely with other teams in the hospital, including social work, behavioral health specialists, child life specialists and diabetes educators to provide your family the best comprehensive care.

In-patient Pediatric Care

The Women & Children’s Center also provides care for pediatric patients in a kid-friendly environment.  Four dedicated rooms are overseen by a caring, expert team of pediatric RNs.  Family is vital during a child’s recovery and caregivers are encouraged to stay throughout hospitalization. Amenities include private patient rooms with sleeping couches, a security system, free Wi-Fi, Cable, DVD player, and meals for patient and caregivers. We also have an open visiting policy to accommodate siblings, relatives and friends. Caregivers are invited to be present during all procedures and a treatment room with coping materials is used to ease your child’s medical experiences.

Child-Life Specialist

Children often need added support to relieve stress and anxiety during their stay. Our Certified Child Life Specialists are here to help in coping with hospitalization, and gain understanding of medical conditions and treatment. 


Who can answer my questions?

Contact Us

For Questions & Tours

Get in Touch

Should you have any questions or want to schedule a tour, please feel free to contact our Maternal/Child Resource Office