The 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.
With comfortable, home-like rooms and highly personalized nursing care, the Birthing Center offers a nurturing experience like no other.
The Birthing Center offers:
- LDRP model (Labor, Deliver, Recover, and stay with their babies Postpartum)
- Tub births
- Highly trained and experience physicians, midwives, and registered nurses
- An experienced anesthesiology team available 24/7
- Certified lactation consultants, breastfeeding classes and support available to every new mom a full range of childbirth education and parenting programs, including Hypno-Birthing®, sibling preparation, boot camp for dads, and a new moms support group
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.
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.
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 where 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 Debbie Partrick, Birthing Center Nurse Manager, at 802-257-8228.
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.
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.
The Birthing Center has been recognized for many years as the “most educated unit”at BMH. Staff are always attending conferences, planning workshops and taking classes to increase their knowledge and share that experience with their co-workers.
All Birthing Center nurses have BLS (Basic CPR), ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), NRP (Neonatal Resuscitation Program), and STABLE (Infant Stabilization).
There are three nurses that carry certifications specific to the Birthing Center. The areas are; Maternal/Newborn Nursing, Advanced Fetal Monitoring, Inpatient Obstetrics, and Low Risk Neonatal Nursing. The nurses that hold one or more of these certifications are; Marie Gill, Sue Nadeau and Debbie Partrick. Each of these nurses is an RNC.
We also have two trained Bereavement Specialists; Marie Gill and Debbie Partrick.
There are five board certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) on staff that are available to assist new moms and babies with breastfeeding. These nurses are experts and are dedicated to the art of breastfeeding. They are: Dawn Kersula, Aimee Creelman, Priscilla Tansley and Gloria Baldwin.
We have two certified Lamaze instructors who teach classes on a regular basis to help new parents prepare for childbirth; Dawn Kersula and Tammy Geno. Dawn has been recognized by Lamaze International for her work as a leader in Vermont and is also an FACCE (Fellow of the American College of Childbirth Educators).
Choosing the Lamaze Class for You
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
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 802-251-9965 or 802-251-0400.
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.
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 Don Tretler at 802-254-3742 ext. 135 or by email.
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.
- 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
- 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 – Please have your car seat fitting at Rescue, Inc.
Please Don’t Bring
- Large amounts of money
- Valuable jewelry
- Things you would be sad to lose
BMH Volunteer Doula Network is a free service that features free doula (labor support) services. BMH currently has about a dozen doulas that are on call. It is recommended but not required that you meet the doula before your labor begins. Meeting before offers you and the doula an opportunity to review your birth plan, talk about any questions or concerns and get to know one another.
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 at your request once you arrive at the Birthing Center.