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Birth Center

Bartlett Beginnings Birth Center provides family-centered, individualized care. We strive to meet your goals for childbirth while providing you with all the safety and services you 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.

Our Labor and Delivery Suites

At Bartlett Beginnings Birth Center, you will go through labor, give birth and recover with your baby in a private suite equipped with a special birthing bed.

Each room is furnished with a birthing ball, a private Jacuzzi tub and shower, guest daybed, TV, DVD player, dining area and rocking chair.

Bartlett is a "rooming-in" hospital. This means that your baby stays with you in your room throughout your stay. This practice promotes breastfeeding and bonding and helps families gain confidence and independence in learning to care for their new babies.

Typically, families remain in the same room after delivery. Due to the unpredictable nature of birth numbers and the size of the facility, there are times when stable families may be asked to move to either another room in the birth center or in a neighboring unit in the hospital where they remain under the care of our nursing team.

We Honor Your Labor and Delivery Choices

During your labor, a highly skilled nurse will assist you and your support person. 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 and Massage

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. We will help and encourage you to rest and relax as much as possible between contractions.

Labor Coaches and Doulas

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.

A doula is a person who is trained to provide continuous and nurturing physical, emotional and informational support during labor and delivery. We are happy to provide information and help facilitate a doula-supported labor and delivery through the Doula Network program. While they are not employees of the hospital, these doulas can provide their services here. Learn more about doulas.

Intravenous Medication

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 it works by blocking sensations in the abdomen, back, buttocks, perineum and legs. Epidural blocks must be given by anesthesiologists. Be sure to discuss any possible side effects of epidurals on you, your labor and your baby with your healthcare provider. There is an additional fee charged for the specialized services of an anesthesiologist.

Cesarean Section

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.

The birth center's operating room is located on the labor and delivery unit. During a cesarean birth, your partner or support person is encouraged to remain by your side.

If you had a prior cesarean section and are thinking of vaginal delivery, you are encouraged to have an early discussion with your provider and read Bartlett Regional Hospital's policy on vaginal birth after cesarean.

Specialized Care: Training and Experience

While the vast majority of pregnancies, deliveries and babies are healthy, some patients need more 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 delivering several weeks early and critically ill babies will be stabilized until a skilled transport team arrives to take these patients to a hospital providing the extra care required.

Birth Center Tours and Pre-Registration

We recommend that you preregister about one month before your due date. You can pre-register over the phone by calling 907.796.8900 and pressing "0" to reach Patient Access Services.

We also recommend that you call and schedule a tour of our birth center prior to your expected delivery date. If you let us know at least 30 minutes 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.

You can also take a virtual tour of the birth center by watching the video below.

Visiting Guidelines

Mothers 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.

All patients and visitors to Bartlett are asked to wear a mask in common areas and whenever healthcare providers are in their rooms.

What to Expect After Delivery

After your baby is born, you will stay in the birth center until your doctor discharges you—generally after 24 to 48 hours.

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

Here are some of the support services, tests and procedures we offer after delivery:

Breastfeeding and Lactation Support

We are a Designated Baby-Friendly Facility and follow the U.S. 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 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, the Breastfeeding Clinic provides inpatient breastfeeding support as well as outpatient appointments every weekday. 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.

To make an appointment, call 907.796.8975

Hearing Screening Test

All newborns in Alaska receive a hearing screening. This painless procedure takes about 30 minutes, and parents receive the results immediately. For more information regarding hearing screening tests, check out the state of Alaska's Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program website.

Newborn Metabolic Screening Test

This test involves a small prick to your baby's heel to get a few drops of blood which are tested for 30 different metabolic disorders. Your baby will be tested once before you leave the hospital and then again at around 2 weeks of age. Your baby's doctor will discuss any abnormal results with you. For more information regarding metabolic screening tests, visit the state of Alaska's Universal Newborn Metabolic Screening Program website.

Vitamin K Shot

Shortly after birth, your baby will be given an injection of vitamin K—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 to prevent infection and possible blindness that might result following exposure to certain bacteria during the birth process.

Sleep Education

Bartlett Beginnings provides safe sleep education for families in keeping with American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines. Since 2016, Bartlett Beginnings has received support from the Bartlett Foundation to provide the Bartlett Sleep Awareness Family Education, or B-SAFE, program.

Birth Center 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 water breaks.
  • You have a bloody discharge similar to starting your period.
  • Your contractions occur every 4 to 5 minutes for over an hour.
  • Your doctor or healthcare provider instructs you to do so.

Please call us before you come to the hospital at 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 Should I Bring to the Hospital?

A week or two before your due date, pack a bag with the following 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 midpregnancy.
    • For your baby: blankets, a diaper, infant-size sleepers, infant gown, etc.
  • Cosmetics and toiletries.
  • Camera or video camera. Remember to bring your charger.
  • Personal comfort items.
  • Please leave all valuables at home.

Do You Perform Circumcision?

If you have a baby boy and wish to have him circumcised, tell your care provider. Your 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 Kind of Meals do You Provide?

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 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 support person may have a celebratory dinner after the delivery of your baby. OB staff will tell you more about that after your baby is born.

Do You Help With Birth Certificates?

Yes. 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's 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 because you should not drive a vehicle for several days after delivery.

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.

Do I Need to Bring a Car Seat?

Yes. Alaska state law requires that all infants ride in a safety-approved car seat. Visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration website for an excellent online tool for selecting the "right" car seat for your child.

Bartlett Regional Hospital staff does not check the fit of the car seat in your vehicle—but 4 out of every 5 car seats are used incorrectly! For this reason, we strongly recommend that you make an appointment to check the installation of the car seat in your car. This is a free service and only takes about half an hour. Schedule a checkup through Safe Kids Alaska, sponsored by the Juneau Police Department. Call 907.586.0600 for your free appointment.