Bartlett Beginnings Family Birth Center

Bartlett Beginnings provides family-centered, individualized care. We strive to meet your goals for childbirth while providing you all the safety and back up services you’d expect from a state-of-the-art hospital. Our staff cares for you with genuine warmth, dignity and respect. During your labor and the birth of your baby, your privacy, comfort and safety are of the utmost importance to us.

Director: Karen White, BSN, RNC-OB
Contact us at: 907 796-8424
Hours of Operation: Open every day, 24 hours.

Mothers will determine their own visiting hours. Please check with the OB staff prior to visiting to make sure your visit occurs at the most appropriate time.

Bartlett Beginnings Visitation Policy - Click Here

Visit Our Baby Nursery

Did you or someone you know just have a baby? Search our nursery and print a memento of the occasion.

Search Baby Nursery

Visit Our Facility

We recommend that you pre-register with Patient Access Services. We also recommend that you call and schedule a tour of our facilities prior to your expected delivery date. If you let us know at least a half-hour before you plan to arrive, we can usually accommodate a tour. This chance to meet our staff, see our facilities, and have your questions answered will help you be more relaxed as you anticipate labor and delivery.

The Labor and Delivery Experience

We help families feel at home.
At Bartlett Beginnings, women labor, give birth and recover with their babies in a private suite equipped with a special birthing bed. The room is furnished to make you and your family feel comfortable and at home throughout your entire stay. It also provides ready access to the latest medical equipment, just in case it’s needed. Your baby is cared for in your personal suite and stays with you and your family. Your room is furnished with a private Jacuzzi tub, guest daybed, color TV, DVD player, I-phone/tunes docking station, dining area and rocking chair.
We honor your labor and delivery choices.
During your labor, a highly skilled nurse will assist you and your support person and provide information and reassurance. We have both bedside and wireless fetal monitor systems.  We want to help you meet your birth goals. Pain management during childbirth is about patient choice and you may change your choice of pain management at any time. These may include:

  • Breathing, Relaxation & Massage Techniques
    Breathing techniques help by calming and relaxing you as labor contractions intensify.  There are many methods of patterned breathing techniques that can be very effective in labor.

Relaxation is one of the most important skills you can learn to reduce the pain and discomfort of labor.  When under stress, most people are unaware of how tense their necks, shoulders, arm, etc., really are.  The less your body has to "work" in these areas, the more progress it can make during each contraction.  We will help and encourage you to rest and relax as much as possible between each one.

Labor coaches can provide tremendous support during all phases of labor and childbirth.  Your coach can encourage you, help you with breathing and relaxation techniques, and keep you up-to-date on your progress. 

Professional labor support or doula is a woman who is trained to provide continuous and nurturing physical, emotional and informational support to a mother during her labor and delivery. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily. We are happy to provide information and help facilitate a Doula supported labor and delivery through the Doula Network program.  While not employees of the hospital, they can provide their services here.  For more information on doulas, visit

Birthing balls are available in the Labor & Delivery rooms for your comfort as well. Your nurse can assist you in its use. Private showers and tubs are available in each room.  Water aids in relaxation.  Many women get good pain relief in the shower or tub.

Childbirth preparation classes can help prepare you and your coach for what to expect during labor and birth.

  • Intravenous Medications
    Pain medications are available to ease the stress of labor if you want or need them.  Depending upon your wishes and how quickly your labor is progressing, your doctor may suggest an analgesic, which works by reducing pain and promoting relaxation between contractions. 
  • Epidural
    Another option for pain management is a Patient-controlled epidural anesthesia.  This involves an injection below the spinal cord, and works by blocking sensations in the abdomen, back, buttocks, perineum and legs.  Epidural blocks must be given by anesthesiologists.  Be sure to thoroughly discuss any possible side effects of epidurals on you, your labor, and your baby with your caregiver.  There is an additional fee charged for the specialized services of an anesthesiologist. 

We support skin-to-skin bonding immediately after delivery. Routine assessments, tests, and baths for well babies are done in the delivery room.

Cesarean Sections

Our philosophy of family-centered care does not change if you deliver by cesarean section--planned or unplanned.  A cesarean birth can be somewhat frightening and we take the time to fully explain what you can expect to happen and why.  We encourage you and your family to ask questions so everyone understands what's happening.

Bartlett Beginning’s operating room is right on the Labor & Delivery unit. During a cesarean birth, your partner or support person is encouraged to remain by your side.  

We promote skin-to-skin bonding as soon as practical after cesarean birth with the goal to accomplish this in the OR suite.

If you had a prior cesarean section and would like more information on a trial of labor after cesarean section you are encouraged to have an early discussion with your provider and read Bartlett Regional Hospital’s policy in the following link:

Bartlett Regional Hospital Policy Statement on trial of Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Section.

After Your Delivery

After your baby is born, you will stay in Bartlett Beginnings until your doctor discharges you to home.

Bartlett Beginnings has specially trained nurses to care for the needs of both you as a new mother, and your new baby.  They will help you get to know your baby so you can begin to feel comfortable caring for him/her by the time you go home. Your baby will remain in the room with you during your stay at Bartlett Beginnings both day and night.  Spending this time with your new baby will really help you get to know your baby.  Also, mothers and babies rest better when they are close

Hearing Screening Test
All newborns in Alaska receive a hearing screening test.  This painless procedure takes about one-half hour and parents receive the results immediately. For more information regarding screening tests, check out the State of Alaska's Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program Web site.

Newborn Metabolic Screening Test
The newborn metabolic screening test involves a blood test.  A small prick to your baby's heel produces a few drops of blood which is all the lab needs to screen your baby for 30 different metabolic disorders!  Your baby will be tested once before you leave the hospital and then again around two weeks of age.  Your baby's doctor will discuss any abnormal results with you. For more information regarding screening tests, check out the State of Alaska's Universal Newborn Metabolic Screening Program Web site.

Vitamin K Shot
Sometime within the first 1-2 hours of birth, your baby will be given an injection of Vitamin K.  Vitamin K is a naturally occurring vitamin that helps in the blood-clotting process.  Once feeding is well established, your baby's body will produce enough Vitamin K on its own.

Eye Ointment
An ointment called erythromycin will be placed in your baby's eyes within an hour or two after birth to prevent infection and possible blindness that might result following exposure to certain bacteria during the birth process.

Car Seat Safety
Alaska state law requires that all infants ride in a safety approved car seat.  Did you know that more children die each year in motor vehicle crashes than all childhood illnesses combined?  It's true.  Bartlett Beginnings wants you and your children to be as safe as possible every time you ride in a car.  Make sure your baby’s car seat is newer than 6 years old, and that it fits your baby properly. We will assist you in settling your baby in the car seat before you leave the unit.

Bartlett staff does not check the fit of your car seat in your vehicle.  Four out of every five car seats are used incorrectly! For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment to check the installation of your car seat in your car.  This is a free service and only takes about 1/2 hour.  Schedule a check-up through SEARHC Child Passenger Safety Program at 364-4456 ( or through Safe Kids Alaska sponsored by the Juneau Police Department. Call 586-0600 for your free appointment.

Specialized Care: Training and Experience

While the vast majority of pregnancies, deliveries, and babies are healthy, some patients need specialized care. Our physicians and nursing staff continue to educate themselves to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques and studies. All of the OB nurses have completed Neonatal Resuscitation classes, and many are certified in either obstetrics or nursery care. Our unit is equipped to care for women and babies with complications. Women in danger of delivery several weeks early and/or critically ill babies will be stabilized until a skilled transport team arrives to take these patients to a hospital providing the extra care required.

Prenatal Education and Parenting Support Programs

We encourage you to take advantage of our prenatal education programs and resources for the childbearing years. At Bartlett Beginnings, we are committed to providing the best tools possible to prepare and support you through pregnancy and childbirth as well as the joys and challenges that follow. The following link will take you to a description of the classes and when they are offered.

Bartlett Beginnings Prenatal and Parenting Education Programs

Breastfeeding Clinic

We are committed to breastfeeding.

We follow the US Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative Guidelines ( to ensure that the highest standards possible for protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding are followed.  All staff nurses are trained in breastfeeding and can offer guidance and support during your breastfeeding experience.

Our Breastfeeding Clinic provides breastfeeding support services for mothers and babies from birth throughout the breastfeeding relationship. Staffed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have specialized education, skills and knowledge about helping mothers and infants breastfeed, we offer inpatient breastfeeding support as well as appointments every weekday for babies and mothers having breastfeeding problems once home. Our Lactation consultants evaluate and treat breastfeeding problems such as infants with difficulty latching on, excess weight loss or slow weight gain, painful nursing or other feeding difficulties.

This service is provided free of charge both during your hospital stay and afterwards in our out-patient clinic if you have any feeding problems.

Make an appointment by phoning us at 907-796-8424.

Click here to download our Breastfeeding Clinic Brochure.

Discharge Calls

You can expect a call within a week or so of your discharge home to see how you and your baby are doing.  OB staff is committed to identifying any needs for follow-up care or community resources you might need.

Frequently Asked Questions

It's natural to have questions about childbirth. This is a very special time for you, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need. 

When should I go to the hospital?
It's time to come to the hospital when:    

  • Your bag of water breaks
  • You have a bloody discharge similar to starting your period
  • Your contractions occur every 4 to 5 minutes for over an hour, or
  • Your doctor or health care provider instructs you to do so

Please call us before you come to the hospital (907-796-8424). We can help you decide whether it's time for you to come in, and we can prepare for your arrival. When you arrive, we will evaluate your progress and notify your doctor.

What kind of room will I have?
You will have an attractive, private room in which to labor and give birth. Bartlett Beginnings has an on-site operating room for a cesarean birth, if needed.

What should I bring to the hospital?
A week or two before your due date, pack bag with items for your hospital stay:

  • Nightgown (front-opening styles are convenient for breastfeeding)
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Bra (nursing style if you plan to breastfeed your baby)
  • Clothes to wear home
    • For you: comfortable clothes that fit during mid-pregnancy
    • For baby: blankets, diaper, infant-size sleepers, gown, etc.
  • Cosmetics, toiletries
  • Camera or video camera with extra film and batteries
  • Personal comfort items
  • Please leave all valuables, such as jewelry, credit cards and cash over $5, at home

Who can be with me during labor and delivery?
This is your choice. You may invite your husband or partner, a support person and/or family members to stay with you during labor and delivery. If it becomes necessary to deliver your baby by cesarean section, a support person may accompany you to surgery.

What about circumcision if I have a son?
If you have a baby boy and wish to have him circumcised, tell your care provider. Your care provider will often perform this procedure in the clinic after you and baby are discharged, but it may be done before you leave the hospital. There is a hospital charge for the procedure, and a professional fee will be added to your care provider’s billing.

What about meals?
While in the hospital, you may select your meals from daily menus. Juice, coffee, milk, fruit and some snacks are available in our OB unit for you. Your husband or partner, family and visitors may purchase beverages, snacks or meals from the hospital coffee shops or cafeteria and bring those items back to OB. You and your husband or support person will have a celebratory dinner after the delivery of your baby. OB staff will tell you more about that after your baby is born.

What about paperwork?
Hospital staff will help you complete birth certificate forms according to state requirements.
If you are unmarried and want the baby's father's name to appear on the birth certificate, you and the father must sign a paternity affidavit in the presence of a notary public after the baby is born. A notary public is available in the hospital.  The hospital will submit this affidavit to the state along with the birth certificate.

What is the hospital discharge procedure?
Your doctor will decide when you are ready to go home. Your nurse will help you complete any remaining paperwork and review with you instructions for caring for yourself and your baby.
Someone will need to drive you home since you should not drive a vehicle for several days after delivery.
How long will I be in the hospital?
The answer varies for each patient. Generally it is very safe for new mothers to return to the comfort of their own homes 24-48 hours after giving birth. Before you go home, your physician will examine you. If you are not medically ready to go home, you will be encouraged to stay and continue to receive the care you need.

What should I know about my insurance?
Before your baby is born, learn what your insurance plan covers. Nurses cannot answer insurance questions. You will need to know:

  • If preauthorization is required for maternity services
  • If the plan covers both you and your baby
  • The authorized length of stay for vaginal and cesarean births

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