Birthing Center

BMH Birthing Center – Where Families Are Born!

Having a baby may be the most important decision you’ll ever make. Deciding where to have your baby may be the second most important. You need a hospital that is attentive to your individual choices for your baby’s birth, a hospital where doctors, midwives and nurses support your family in developing a birthing plan to create your own special childbirth experience. You’ll find that – and a whole lot more – at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital Birthing Center.

The Birthing Center offers expectant families everything they’re looking for in a childbirth experience: highly specialized, maternity care with the comfort and personal attention of home.

Through its relationship with Brattleboro OB/GYN and Windham OB/GYN Associates, the Birthing Center has some of the best obstetricians in the area plus midwives and doulas.

With comfortable, home-like rooms and highly personalized nursing care, the Birthing Center offers a nurturing experience like no other.

The Birthing Center offers:

Finding the Right Doctor or Midwife

It is important that you find a doctor who shares your views of pregnancy and childbirth and with whom you can create a birth plan to best meet your needs. To find a doctor who’s right for you, scroll below to see a listing of our physicians, midwives and pediatricians or visit our Find a Doctor section.

Doula (Doo-la) — A doula is a trained woman who comforts and supports mothers and their families as they bring their babies into the world. A doula provides continuous emotional and informational support during and just after birth.

We currently have about a dozen doulas on the BMH doula roster. Doulas are asked to participate in continuing education and be on-call at least once per month. Each of the doulas involved in the doula program have participated in extensive training. Their training includes stages of labor, pain management techniques and tools to support family members and partners. They are also familiar with the Birthing Center resources and staff, allowing them to be better equipped to provide support to the mother and her family.

What is a doula?

  • A doula is a trained support person who provides physical, emotional, and informational support before, during, and after birth.
  • A birth doula understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor and assists the woman and her family in preparing for and carrying out their plans for the birth.
  • A birth doula stays with the mother from the time that she is contacted to at least one hour after the birth. This continuity of care allows the mother to have a consistent presence at her birth.
  • Scientific trials have shown remarkably improved birth outcomes because of the presence of a doula. They also show a decreased amount of interventions and a higher number of mothers viewing their birth as a positive experience.

A doula is also available to meet you at the Birthing Center if you have not arranged for one before labor begins. Your nurse may contact the “on-call” doula on your request once you arrive at the Birthing Center.

You have the opportunity to meet one of the doulas at your Childbirth Education Class. For more information contact Carol Schnabel, Doula Coordinator at 802-257-1894, or Erinna Cooper, Birthing Center Nurse Manager at and 802-251-8710.


Should a cesarean birth be necessary, there is a special operating room located in the Birthing Center. This will enable you to stay close to the familiar faces of providers and staff in the BMH Birthing Center, and close to your baby. BMH also offers low-risk vaginal delivery after cesarean section (VBAC) per the guidelines of the Northern New England Perinatal Quality Improvement Network (NNEPQIN), whose mission is to improve perinatal health throughout Northern New England.


You’ll learn lots about breastfeeding in the hospital, but going home with your new baby can feel pretty scary! Sometimes it’s wonderful to have a friendly, helpful woman by your side, answering your questions and fine-tuning your technique.

The BMH Birthing Center offers lactation visits with Dawn Kersula RN, IBCLC, Aimee Creelman RN, IBCLC, Gloria Baldwin, RN, IBCLC or Priscilla Tansley, RN, IBCLC.

They can help

  • latch-on problems
  • fussy baby
  • too little or too much milk
  • feedings – too long (or too short!)

Their trained eye and years of experience help find the answers to your questions – and help you enjoy your time with your baby.

Infant Safety

The Birthing Center has a state of the art security system to protect your baby during your stay. A small security transmitter will be placed on your baby’s ankle right after birth. You will also notice that all of the nurses wear purple scrubs and pink identification badges, another way to assure your baby is safe.

See for Yourself

We invite you to visit the Birthing Center and see for yourself how Brattleboro Memorial Hospital offers families the opportunity to experience childbirth in a home-like environment located within the safety of a hospital. Tours are provided as part of any prepared childbirth class, or you can arrange a visit on your own by calling Erinna Cooper, Birthing Center Director, at 802-257-8226.

Baby Steps Blog

Dawn Kersula, RN a perinatal specialist in the Birthing Center writes a weekly blog to help moms and their families. Check out Baby Steps.

a Star is Born

The birth of a baby is a stellar event for families and friends. Commemorate this amazing arrival with a star engraved with the baby’s name and birth date.  When you make a commemorative gift of $50 or more to BMH, a birthday star will be hung on the BMH Birthing Center wall.


Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting are designed to be a happy, healthy part of women’s lives. Labor need not be an ordeal to be feared, but a positive, rewarding experience – and a truly happy birth day.It’s never too soon to register for Lamaze classes. Most students begin classes around the 30th week of pregnancy. (More information in the Events Calendar)

Choosing the Lamaze Class for You

Full Series
Six weeks, 2 hours per week – $ 75. This classic series meets weekly and is the class most often chosen by first-time parents or couples who feel the need for a thorough review. Classes start every month.

Refresher Mornings – $ 30
Focus on the process of labor and relaxation strategies. Learn how second (or third or fifth!) labors and births differ from the first, and how to achieve your goals for this birth.

Birthshop – All day class $60 (8:45am – 4pm)
Birthing basics for the mother unable to attend a Lamaze series. Learn relaxation and stages of labor, view a birth movie, and tour the new BMH Birthing Center.

Childbirth Preparation Classes Using Hypnosis
This is a one day intensive class or a four week series.  For more information contact Lois Trezise at 802-251-9964 or 802-251-0400.

Register for Lamaze Classes

The New Moms Network programs happen every Wednesday, 9:30-11:00 AM in the Brew Barry Conference Center Exercise Room, at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. They are open to all new parents (not just the moms) no matter where the baby was born. No registration needed, no charge, and all area moms invited – pregnant or postpartum! For more information contact Dawn Kersula 802-257-8226. To see schedule listing, please click here.

Breastfeeding Basics – How-to class for successful, happy breastfeeding. Pregnant moms, partners, new moms and babies are all welcome. The free program is offered every other month. For information or to register for the class, call 257-8877.

Breastfeeding Help – Breastfeeding may be perfectly natural, but it’s not always naturally perfect! Our board certified lactation consultants see new moms and babies by appointment. Call 257-8226 for more information.

Register for Classes

Sibling Tour – We are glad to schedule a tour for your older children. Give the Birthing Center a call to schedule at 802-257-8226.

Training Camp for New Dads – Held quarterly. For more information, contact David Bingham at 802-257-3742 ext. 127 or by email at

What do I need to bring to the Birthing Center with me?

Pack a bag for yourself and your partner. Your labor support people are considered part of the birthing party, and are welcome whenever and wherever you are. We provide recliners or cots for dads (or your primary labor support person), and a meal card that will offer them the employee price at our Mapleview Café. Partners can really appreciate clean clothes and a toothbrush after a long labor, so pack a bag for them too. Meanwhile, here are some ideas for mom’s bag. You may have ideas, too.

For Labor

  • Birth Plan
  • Gown or nightshirt (you can wear ours if you want)
  • Glasses, if you wear contacts
  • Pillow from home – put on a bright pillowcase
  • Massager, massage oils
  • CD player and music (you can use ours if you want) or IPod
  • Swimsuit, sports bra, or T-shirt to wear in the tub (not required!)
  • Bath pillow for the tub
  • Warm socks
  • A focal point (stuffed animal, picture, etc.)
  • Special snacks or beverage (We have an array of juices, ginger ale, Italian ices, toast, etc. If you just have to have a particular item, though, bring it with you!)
  • Aromatherapy items

For Postpartum

  • List of phone numbers
  • Phone Card for long distance calls (or bring your cell phone)
  • Nightwear and bathrobe (you can use ours if you wish)
  • Nonskid slippers
  • Toiletries, beauty products, makeup
  • Loose fitting outfit to wear home
    Clothes for baby to wear home (usually one layer more than what you wear home)
  • Receiving blanket
  • Car Seat (Just So Pediatrics hold a Car Seat Fitting Station on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month. Please call 802-251-8626)

Please Don’t Bring

  • Large amounts of money
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Things you would be sad to lose