Labor and Delivery Unit
The region's best doctors, most advanced technology and highest level of critical care facilities for mothers and babies
One of the most exciting and yet most anxious times in a woman’s life is having a baby. Almost 3,000 babies are born at Hurley every year, and our team of obstetricians, maternal fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists (specialists in sick or premature newborns) are here to help make the birth of your baby a pleasant, safe experience for you, your family members and your newborn. With the region’s only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), we are ready if a premature or very sick infant is born at Hurley Medical Center or is transferred here from another hospital. We also have the only Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Pediatric Emergency Department, and Center for Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Delivering at Hurley: The Steps
When you are in labor, most likely you will enter Hurley Medical Center through our Emergency Department, where your labor status will be assessed by our emergency specialists. You will then be directed to one of our three triage beds in Hurley’s Labor & Delivery Unit. Here we determine how far along you are in your labor.
When you are close to delivering, you will be transferred to one of our nine Labor and Delivery Mother-Baby Rooms for labor, delivery and postpartum care. Women with complicated pregnancies or planned Caesarean sections also deliver in these suites. If there are no complications, you will recover from labor in this room and your newborn will be able to stay with you.
Once you have recovered, you will betransferred to Hurley’s Postpartum Unit on the 1st floor near the Well Baby Nursery. If possible, your baby will go with you, receiving well-baby care right at your bedside. You will stay 1-2 nights in the Postpartum Unit and then be discharged from the hospital.
Hurley’s Antepartum Unit has 15 beds and is specifically for the care of high risk pre-delivery patients who need to be hospitalized, as well as patients having gynecological surgery. Conditions that might require hospitalization include: high blood pressure, symptoms of early labor, premature rupture of membranes, or any problem prior to delivery. Eachantepartum room is equipped with a sleeper chair so that a visitor can be with you through the night.
Hurley’s Labor and Delivery Unit is equipped with nine large Labor & Delivery rooms, able to accommodate one or two support people during delivery. Furnished with hardwood floors, low lighting, and a muted color scheme, these private rooms offer a warm, home-like atmosphere. Each room contains a private bath, a recliner chair, and a bassinet so your new baby can stay right with you in your room if there are no complications. As well as a TV and VCR, we also offer the Newborn Channel with tips and information for new moms, available 24/7.
When your baby is ready to be delivered, your suite transforms into a delivery room. Medical equipment is concealed behind special panels and cabinets for immediate access. A baby warmer, instrument cart, and other birthing equipment are brought in as needed.
Hurley Medical Center has several professional midwives on staff to assess women in labor once they arrive in our triage area. They will assess a patient’s labor status and determine the proper care steps based on this assessment. The patient may go to Labor and Delivery, the Antepartum Unit, or home. Hurley midwives also provide general obstetrical prenatal care in our OB/GYN Clinic. To learn more about Hurley's midwives and the services they perform, click here.
For critically ill or premature babies, Hurley is ready with the only Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in the region
Each year nearly 1,000 babies are born prematurely or critically ill, either at Hurley Medical Center or in the surrounding 3-county area. For the best chance of survival, these fragile lives require the expert, highly-specialized critical care available only from Hurley Medical Center’s Level III NICU.
Being designated a Level III NICU facility means that our entire NICU staff—neonatologists, perinatologists, NICU nurses, nurse practitioners, and respiratory therapy nurse specialists—have the state-of-the-artknowledge and technology needed to care for critically ill and premature newborns. All birthing suites offer immediate access to Hurley’s NICU.
High Risk Delivery
Women experiencing complications related to their pregnancy deliver in the same attractive, comfortable setting as our Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby Units. In the Hurley Center for Maternal and Fetal Medicine, our maternal fetal medicine specialists and perinatologists (specialists in high-risk pregnancies) have particular expertise in managing the labor and delivery of high risk women with the following medical conditions:
- Fetus with an abnormality
- Genetic conditions: cystic fibrosis, heart defects, sickle cell disease
Hurley Medical Center offers state-of-the-art Caesarean Delivery suites conveniently located near our Labor and Delivery and Mother-Baby Units. Most Caesarean sections are performed on the Postpartum Unit, and following your procedure, you will return to your private mother-baby room for recovery.
Pain Management Options
If you choose to use pain medication in labor, you will be offered a systematic medication in early labor and possible anesthesia in later labor. Some common pain relief options are:
- Local Anesthesia - a local anesthetic injected into your vagina or the area surrounding it to ease pain during delivery. This rarely affects the baby and after it wears off, there are usually no lingering effects but it does not relieve the pain of contractions during labor.
- Epidural - Performed by an anesthesiologist, this kind of anesthesia is helpful for easing the pain of uterine contractions, the pain of delivery, and the pain of an episiotomy and is injected into the spine. You may lose muscle control in your legs, but you can usually still push during contractions. Epidural blocks are also effective during Caesarean birth.
- Spinal Block - A spinal block is given as an injection into the lower back, effectively numbing the lower half of the body. However, a spinal block has to be injected into the spinal fluid, meaning that the needle is inserted a little deeper than an epidural (though it does not touch the spinal cord itself). Spinal blocks are most often used for Caesarean births because the medication is short-acting and is usually given only once.
- General Anesthesia - General anesthetics are medications that cause a loss of consciousness. When used for childbirth, the mother will not be awake during delivery. It is rarely used for routine deliveries, but may be used for an emergency Caesarean delivery.