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OB/GYN & Reproductive Endocrinology

Delivery and Maternity Care

After months of anticipation and preparation, the actual day you deliver your baby can arrive very quickly. Rest assured that our team of doctors and nurses is available 24/7 to make your delivery as comfortable and safe as possible.

This includes personalizing your labor management plan and using the latest technology to monitor the health of you and your baby.

Private Rooms and Other Safety Precautions

To help ensure the highest level of safety, all mothers and their new babies are being placed in private rooms at Temple University Hospital. This allows for physical distancing and a reduced risk of infection.

Safety measures being taken by Temple’s Maternity and Labor & Delivery units include:

  • All staff members wear appropriate personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, gowns).
  • Appropriate physical distancing is taking place in all units and rooms.
  • Limit of 1 support person who must stay in the hospital for the duration of your stay (must also meet COVID testing criteria).
  • Outside visitors are not permitted.
  • Face masks are provided for new mothers and visitors.
  • In-house lactation consultants continue to be available.

Please take the time to learn more about how we are protecting you >

Our highest priority at Temple is the health and safety of you and your baby. Please call 215-707-3008 for more information.

Virtual Tour: Labor and Delivery Units

Safe and Effective Pain Relief

Anesthesiologists experienced in pain control during childbirth will be present to provide safe and effective pain relief during labor and delivery. They can offer a variety of pain-control techniques, including:

Epidural Analgesia and Anesthesia

This technique injects pain medication into the epidural space, a small area near the spinal cord. A local anesthetic is used to numb an area of the back and a catheter is placed in the spine. Pain-relief medications are administered through the catheter. A pump is used to provide a continuous dose of medication throughout labor and delivery.

Side effects of epidurals are rare but may include numbness or tingling in the legs and sometimes itching, sleepiness, low blood pressure or a headache after the procedure.

If you have an epidural catheter in place and then require a Cesarean delivery, in most cases anesthesia for the Cesarean can be administered through the catheter.

Spinal Anesthesia

Most commonly used during Cesarean births, this technique does not involve an epidural catheter. A local anesthetic is used to numb an area of the back, and a small needle is used to inject anesthetic directly into the spinal cord. Usually only a single dose is required to induce numbness from feet to mid-chest.

With spinal anesthesia, it's not unusual to experience pressure or feel movements during a Cesarean delivery, but the medication eliminates pain. The numbness wears off in about 2 to 3 hours. Spinal anesthesia is very safe for mothers and babies.

Rare side effects include a headache that is treated with bed rest, fluids, caffeine and medication.

General Anesthesia

This is sometimes used during a Cesarean delivery if the doctor feels that taking the time to use a spinal anesthetic could put the baby at risk. A general anesthetic makes you unaware of any pain.

An anesthesiologist is in constant attendance to monitor each patient who has general anesthesia until the patient is awake.

Immediately Following Birth

After you give birth, assuming there are no complications, your baby will be placed directly on your chest. A warm blanket will be placed on the baby, and now the bonding can begin. This connection of the unwrapped newborn lying directly on your skin is called skin-to-skin contact and can provide you and your baby time to get to know each other. This initial snuggling also has very important health benefits.

Why Skin-to-Skin Contact Is Important

Skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth has these positive effects on your baby and you:

For Baby
  • Breastfeeds better

  • Cries less and is calmer

  • Stays warmer

  • Has better blood sugar levels

  • Has more stable and normal heart rate and blood pressure

  • Is protected by some of your good bacteria

For Mother
  • Breastfeeds more easily

  • Learns cues that their baby is getting hungry

  • Bonds more with their baby

  • Gains confidence and contentment in caring for their baby

The best start for breastfeeding is when a baby is kept skin-to-skin with the mother immediately after birth until the first feeding. Babies' sense of smell allows them to find the breast to begin the initial latch.

Your Stay in the Hospital

While in the hospital, you will stay in a home-like room in our Mother-Baby Unit. This is where you'll start your recovery and get to know your baby. The same nurse will care for both you and your baby, a pairing that helps you become well-acquainted from the beginning.

At Temple, we encourage “rooming-in.” This means you'll keep your baby with you in your room the entire time you're in the hospital. This is a healthy choice for families because it lets you care more directly for your new baby. Rooming-in will help you learn to care for all your baby’s needs while our staff is around to help if you need it. This will also help you feel more comfortable taking care of your baby once you go home.

When You Room-In
  • You can more easily hold, cuddle, look at, learn to respond to, and get to know your baby.

  • Your baby can get to know you more easily.

  • Your baby will usually cry less than babies in the nursery who are away from their mothers.

  • Your baby can learn to breastfeed faster and gain weight sooner.

  • You should feel more able to take care of your baby when you go home.

Breastfeeding

There are many benefits of breastfeeding. For however long you choose to breastfeed, your baby’s immune system can benefit greatly from breast milk. The following are some of the many benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby:

For Baby
  • Breast milk is easily digested

  • Perfectly matched nutrition

  • Protective effect against SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)

  • Less gastrointestinal disturbances, ear infections and allergies

  • Skin-to-skin, eye- and voice contact

  • Less diabetes and obesity later in life

For Mother
  • Convenient

  • Economical

  • Helps the uterus return to its normal size faster and prevents excessive blood loss

  • Helps with losing the weight gained during pregnancy

  • Reduces risk of osteoporosis

  • Less likely to develop uterine, endometrial and ovarian cancer

  • Reduces risk of breast cancer

As a designated Baby-Friendly birth facility, all our nurses and healthcare providers have been educated on how best to support your desire to breastfeed your infant. Specialists will be on hand to educate you in breastfeeding and newborn care, such as the safest sleep positions, holding, diapering, dressing and bathing.

Because of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby’s life. This is based on scientific evidence that show benefits for infant survival and proper growth and development.

Breast milk provides all the nutrients that infants need during the first 6 months of life. Exclusive breastfeeding may also reduce infant death caused by common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia, and hastens recovery during illness.

Helpful Tips for Succeeding at Breastfeeding
  1. “Watch your baby and not the clock” is the advice to live by. Learn your baby’s feeding cues and feed early and often.

  2. Your baby will eat 8 to 12 times every 24 hours.

  3. Rest as much as you can. Sleep when the baby sleeps.

  4. Milk production is regulated by supply and demand. The more you breastfeed, the more milk you will make.

Signs of Hunger
  • Sucking on tongue or lips during sleep

  • Sucking on fingers

  • Moving arms and hands toward mouth

  • Fussing or fidgeting while sleeping

  • Turning head from side to side

Signs of Being Full
  • Falls asleep

  • Relaxes the body

  • Opens fists

  • Relaxes the forehead

  • Lets go of the nipple

Going Home

Before you and your baby go home, you will be seen by your obstetrician and a pediatrician to make sure you're both healthy. A maternity nurse will also provide you with discharge papers that will include postpartum care information. Any medication you may require while at home can be delivered to your room by the Temple Pharmacy before you leave.

Our nurses will also educate new moms and families about safe infant sleep practices through one-on-one education. And all families who deliver their babies at Temple receive essential baby supplies to take home with them.