Experience the Convenience
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!
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:
Education for a healthy pregnancy
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.
We know you have questions, and we have answers. Wentworth-Douglass offers Celebrating Pregnancy events for parents to come learn more, meet some members of the team, tour the birth center and get prepared for your new bundle of joy. At these events, you can learn more about childbirth education classes, and about the doula team that is affiliated with Wentworth-Douglass.
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.
Leia Card, M.D.
Wentworth Health Partners OB/GYN & Infertility
Jerome Schlachter, M.D.
Wentworth Health Partners OB/GYN & Infertility
Certified Nurse Midwife
Christine Brant, CNM
Wentworth Health Partners OB/GYN & Infertility
Certified Nurse Midwife
Susan Penney, CNM
Wentworth Health Partners OB/GYN & Infertility
Jeffrey Johnson, M.D.
The Center for Medical Genetics
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.
Our board certified maternal-fetal specialist, Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, offers specialized and collaborative care to women experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. He works in partnership with OB/GYN providers and moms-to-be with chronic health concerns and those with fetal genetic conditions or congenital malformations to provide the best care possible. 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 starts with celebrating your pregnancy, and providing yourself, your partner, and your family with information and support to help as your journey begins.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Your labor and delivery plan
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. You may invite friends and family to be with you during labor, or they can wait in our comfortable waiting area just steps outside the birth center door.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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 brought to 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.
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 or other babies having complications after birth. 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.
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.
Wentworth-Douglass offers many comfortable, relaxing waiting spaces throughout the hospital. A waiting area is just outside the entrance to the center and there are also plenty of nooks and crannies throughout the hospital with seating and room for anxious visitors to wait while your baby makes its entrance. The hospital has a cafeteria serving a variety of food and beverages as well as the Waterfall Café located in the main lobby that serves coffee, juices and snacks. A meditation room is also located on the first floor.
Wentworth-Douglass Hospital provides a birthing experience like no other, extending our support well beyond the day of birth. From after-birth home visits to ongoing lactation nurse assistance and access, we are committed to you. Your unique birthing experience extends to all of your loved ones, too. From an onsite playroom for siblings to new grandparent classes, your whole family will take comfort in knowing they can play an important role too.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Read this helpful guide to help you make your decision.
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 webpage to learn the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety and learn about the resources available to help.
Support as you begin parenthood
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.
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.
The class is located in the Steinberg Conference Room, right on the Women & Children’s Unit just steps from your room. Our class is taught by specially trained Women & Children’s RNs and Lactation Consultants. At the class you will receive a book to take with you as a guide for when you are home. The class will include topics such as:
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.
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.
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.
The medical staff affiliated with Wentworth-Douglass Hospital includes both pediatricians and family practice physicians and providers to care for your child.
Emily Davie, M.D.
Ryan Johnson, M.D.
Terri Lally, M.D.
Rachel Laramee, M.D.
Chiedza Jokonya, M.D.
South Berwick Family Practice Center
South Berwick, ME
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.
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.
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.