Labor & Delivery
Houston Methodist offers complete labor and delivery services:
- Board-certified staff of OB-GYNs, specialized nurses and emergency care physicians
- Private rooms for antepartum, labor, delivery and postpartum
- Pain management
- Neonatal CPR-certified nurses specially trained in stabilization and care of critically ill newborns
- Neonatologists and critical care staff
- Level I and II newborn care
- Hearing screening services provided by in-house audiologists
- Lactation specialists available to answer questions and address concerns
- 24-hour access to the maternity care units to encourage active participation of parents
Houston Methodist caters to the comfort of you and your family, which is why we focus on patient-centered maternity care and comfort.
- Private labor and delivery rooms
- Birthing nurses
- Pain relief options
- Cesarean section
- Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
- High-risk pregnancies
- Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
- Newborn services
- Visiting hours
- Infant security
- Breastfeeding support
- Breastfeeding at home
- Baby’s first photo and online nursery
Private Labor and Delivery Rooms
Houston Methodist offers a unique environment for labor, delivery and the postpartum period. This environment lessens anxieties and encourages mother-baby bonding from the first breath. We want to make your stay a family friendly bonding experience by allowing siblings and immediate family to stay with mom. We do ask that another adult be present to help care for any children.
Designated specialists are on staff for high-risk patients. Though encompassing the most advanced technology available, the labor and delivery suites are created to replicate the warmth and calm of home. Our high-level support staff and specialized doctors work within this nurturing environment to provide the best experience possible for families.
A fully staffed well-baby nursery is available when mom needs some quiet time.
Mom and her support person are encouraged to bring items that may be helpful to use during labor and delivery for comfort. Beneficial during labor are massage items, a portable MP3 or CD player and a favorite picture for a focal point. We provide a labor ball and birth bar for the bed to help with labor positioning.
There are experienced and dedicated nurses, and then there are experienced and dedicated nurses with a love for newborns. That is where the Houston Methodist nursing staff fits in. We understand the impact a caring nurse can have on a mother’s birthing experience. That is why each mother is assigned a devoted nurse to care for her throughout her labor and delivery.
A neonatal nurse, who brings a specialized level of training, can also be present, just in case there are any unexpected complications.
Pain Relief Options
Every woman’s labor is unique; the level of pain endured will vary with each woman. Our goal is to ensure our patients the safest and most pleasant birthing experience possible. Based on your personal wishes and your doctor’s recommendations, anesthesia may be an option. Epidural anesthesia is the most common type, as it allows the mother to remain alert and involved in the delivery process. Your doctor will discuss these options with you at length.
At our birthing center, we believe a support person — a spouse or other trusted companion — can make mom feel more comfortable during this exciting and memorable experience. It is recommended that at least one support person is present during labor and delivery.
Cesarean section, or C-section, is sometimes planned in advance because of an existing medical condition or because more than two babies will be delivered. In other instances, a C-section is performed when difficulties in labor create concern about the health of the baby or the mother.
In the event you need to have a C-section, anesthesia will keep you comfortable. In most cases, mothers remain awake during the procedure, and spouses or support persons are invited to be present. Due to a longer recovery time, your hospital stay may be a few days longer. However, with the help of a nurse, you should be up and out of bed within 24 hours. Mothers who have had a C-section should plan for extra help when leaving the hospital.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
Mothers who have previously delivered by cesarean section may still be able to give birth vaginally, through what is known as vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Your doctor will be able to inform you as to whether or not you would be able to deliver a child by VBAC.
Houston Methodist is well prepared to care for you and your baby if your pregnancy is considered high risk. A pregnancy is considered high risk when the risk of birth defects or complications is increased. Although most births are without incident, a pregnancy can be considered high risk because of the specific health history of mother or child.
Houston Methodist's dedicated high-risk delivery team and facilities can manage any level of high-risk delivery. High-risk deliveries pose an elevated risk of health complications to both the baby and the mother. Our neonatal team provides coordinated care for the most critically ill infants:
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
In this special moment, rely on us to be ready should anything unusual arise. Houston Methodist is prepared for those newborns who need extra care. Our Level II NICU is staffed by specially trained neonatologists who monitor our high-risk and premature babies 24 hours a day.
The purpose of these tests is to detect 26 different newborn conditions that can be corrected if caught early. This is a state-mandated blood test required at 2 and 14 days of age. The first test is given at the hospital; the second will be performed at your pediatrician’s office.
Houston Methodist, in compliance with Texas state law, offers a hearing screen by a certified hearing professional prior to discharge.
Fathers and immediate family are welcome to visit mom and the newborn at any time.
Visiting hours are typically 24 hours per day but may be limited based on the patient’s condition. Family and friends may visit in your room or wait for your new arrival while in one of our waiting rooms, but no hallway waiting is permitted so that safe and confidential care can be provided for patients. One adult visitor may spend the night. A sleeper couch is provided for your guest’s comfort. Siblings are encouraged to visit their new brother or sister and mother.
Nothing replaces the watchful eye of a parent. Houston Methodist has measures in place to help protect your infant. Birthing Center employees identify themselves by wearing a pink badge, which allows them to transport your infant.
We also have additional safety measures:
- ID bands are placed on baby and both parents/partners
- Transponder is placed on baby to monitor his/her location
- Baby is footprinted and photographed
- Nursery entries are secured
- Surveillance cameras are on each unit and at all entrances and exits
- The staff is highly trained in security measures
- All patient information is kept confidential
- Houston Methodist does not provide outside agencies or newspapers with information regarding births
Happiness, amazement and relief overcome you as your baby enters the world. During the remainder of your stay, you and your baby will be cared for by nurses who specialize in mother-baby care. Lactation consultants and education specialists are available to help you learn the best technique for breastfeeding your baby, which is encouraged during this time.
Babies are weighed, given preventive eye infection treatment and given an injection of vitamin K. Your chosen pediatrician will check your baby’s vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate.
Your infant will be a source of great joy for your family, but you may have lots of questions. The staff is here to help you and your family learn to take care of your baby . Assistance with hands-on learning experiences, such as diaper changes, feeding and dressing baby, is offered. A professional photographer is available for photographs of your new baby at an additional cost. Our meal services allow you to order your meals, and a meal ticket may be purchased in the cafeteria for a nominal fee to allow a guest to dine in your room with you.
Breastfeeding is a special time between mother and baby, but it can take time to establish. Houston Methodist encourages breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding newborns and infants. Certified lactation consultants and breastfeeding educators are available to support breastfeeding mothers. The nursing staff is also well trained to assist mothers with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding at Home
We encourage breastfeeding in the home and when you return to work. Our lactation consultants are available to answer your questions and ease concerns after you leave the hospital. We are here to provide support, answers to your questions and additional resources on breastfeeding equipment and accessories.
The gift shop sells gift items, baby clothing, seasonal merchandise and a variety of big brother and sister gifts. Medela breast pumps are available for purchase and rental. Other breastfeeding supplies are available as well.
Our physicians at Houston Methodist specialize in labor and delivery at the following convenient locations.