Specialized labor and delivery care in Austin and Central Texas
St. David's HealthCare is the area's leader in childbirth services. Our family-focused approach to care provides mothers, babies and families with a comfortable and safe birth experience. With facilities featuring newborn nurseries and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), we are able to offer the most advanced levels of care for your child.
Maternity and newborn care
We offer a complete range of maternity and newborn services, including educational courses (on site and online) and maternity tours. Additionally, our beautifully designed labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms offer access to advanced perinatal care when needed.
Our spacious rooms provide a soothing and homelike environment. All rooms feature the latest birth technology, and if a cesarean birth becomes necessary, our fully equipped C-section suites are conveniently located to provide immediate, seamless care. For non-emergency C-sections, we encourage the father, partner or support person to attend.
Antepartum room visitation policies
In our antepartum (before birth) unit, visiting hours are unlimited for a patient's spouse/significant other and close family and friends. The number of visitors present in the room is up to the patient. However, for special situations and procedures, your doctor may choose to limit the number of people who are with you. We also ask that your family and friends do not visit if they are ill.
Following your baby's birth, we encourage family time. Our postpartum care rooms provide the privacy you need to enhance bonding with your new baby. Postpartum rooms also feature a sleeping space for the father, partner or support person. Our team also provides breastfeeding support, expert care and additional education, as needed.
Advanced neonatal resources and care
Every day, St. David’s HealthCare provides the safest labor and delivery programs for high risk moms and babies, while giving the best comprehensive and compassionate care in Central Texas. Although our desire is for everyone to have a healthy baby, we know babies occasionally need special medical care. For these cases, we offer additional resources and services, such as:
Nurse navigator program for high-risk moms and babies
To help you make an informed decision regarding your child's care, we offer nurse navigators for St. David’s Medical Center and St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas. After your referral to this program, our nurse navigator connects with you and your family to coordinate a personalized visit of our maternity areas and NICUs. They also coordinate an in-person consultation with one of our neonatologists to discuss care and expectations.
We want to familiarize you with our facility as well as dispel fears, encourage informed decision-making and increase your understanding of the NICU. We will do all of this while guiding you through this unique and often overwhelming experience.
If it is determined that neonatal surgery is necessary for your baby, our nurse navigators at St. David's Medical Center can partner with your obstetrician and maternal fetal medicine physician to deliver expert care of you and your baby.
St. David's HealthCare NICUs provide advanced technology and an expert staff consisting of neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal nurses and other specialty experts. All our hospitals also have the ability to transport patients to a higher level NICU, if needed.
Additionally, our family rooms are places of care and comfort for families with children in the NICU. These rooms provide convenient and healing places to rest close to your child.
Neonatal and maternal transport team
Transport teams are on-call 24/7 to transport patients via air or ambulance. We receive mothers and high-risk babies from around the state who benefit from a multidisciplinary team of experts. This team includes board-certified maternal-fetal medicine specialists, obstetricians, cardiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, pediatric surgeons and nephrologists.
Maternity and childbirth education classes
The key to confidence in parenting is education and preparation. To help with this, we offer parent education classes that provide answers to your questions about childbirth, newborn care, breastfeeding, C-sections and other topics.
Expectant parents may take classes at any of our locations, regardless of where they plan to deliver. We host our childbirth education classes at St. David's Medical Center, St. David's North Austin Medical Center and St. David's South Austin Medical Center. We offer:
- Advanced Coping Skills
- Baby Care Boot Camp
- Breastfeeding Basics
- C-Section Childbirth
- Infant and Child CPR
- Pumping for Your Baby
- Reality Childbirth
- Sibling Class
- The VBAC Journey
We also provide the opportunity to bundle classes together for a lower price. To find out more or register, please call (512) 544-4226.
We offer a course on the Lamaze technique, in which we focus on relaxation methods and controlled breathing patterns to help manage pain. Our instructors teach distraction methods, such as focusing on a photo or having a massage from your partner.
All-natural childbirth classes
We also teach classes to support an all-natural approach to birth. These classes stress the avoidance of medications unless absolutely necessary. This method also calls for an active role for the baby's father or support person as a "birth coach." Along with good nutrition and exercise, these classes teach relaxation and deep-breathing techniques to cope with labor pains.
It is our goal to keep parents and their babies together, but should your baby have any needs outside of the private room, our team is ready to provide the highest level of care necessary. Newborns in our care can receive any procedure needed during their stay. We provide a variety of services including:
- 24-hour specialty neonatal nurse practitioner care
- Bilirubin tests to check for jaundice
- Critical congenital heart defect tests
- Newborn hearing tests
- Newborn screening tests, which are sent to the Department of Health to identify metabolic disorders
Personalized childbirth experience
We strive to personalize the birth experience for every mother and newborn. We provide you with options and amenities to help you bond with your baby during your hospital stay.
We are committed to helping all families enjoy skin-to-skin care as soon as possible after birth. Ideally, baby is placed on a parent’s chest within minutes of birth. No material is placed between the parent and baby, and they may continue holding baby until it's time for the first feeding. Skin-to-skin bonding is also practiced in the operating room.
Several benefits are associated with skin-to-skin care, including:
- Activating the baby’s natural instincts for breastfeeding
- Helping the parent and baby bond emotionally
- Keeping the baby warm and calm, which helps prevent low blood sugar
- Stabilizing the baby’s heart rate
- Stabilizing the baby’s oxygen saturation and breathing rate
Our Labor and Delivery suites are designed for families to remain together after delivery. This practice, known as rooming-in, gives parents time to get to know their baby immediately after birth.
Rooming-in benefits for baby can include:
- Better regulated body rhythms (such as heart rate, temperature and sleep cycle)
- Increased brain development
- Less crying and easier to soothe
- More effective adaptation to life outside the womb
- Sounder sleep
In addition to sleeping better and getting more experience caring for baby, rooming-in benefits for parents can include:
- Better bonding between parents and baby
- Faster recognition of feeding cues
- Increased breast milk supply in mothers when nursing on demand
As a parent, one of the most important things you will decide is how to feed your baby. Our team understand the importance of breastfeeding and has dedicated a full-time International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant to help parents navigate the start of their breastfeeding journey. Additionally, all our nurses are trained to assist with basic breastfeeding needs.
To help prepare for this part of your life, you can attend St. David's HealthCare breastfeeding classes.
For babies, the benefits of breastfeeding include:
- Decreased risk of cancers
- Decreased risk of childhood obesity
- Decreased risk of diabetes
- Decreased risk of ear infections
- Decreased risk of meningitis
- Decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Less intestinal illness and diarrhea
- Less risk of pneumonia
Breastfeeding also comes with many benefits for mothers, including:
- Decreased risk of cancer
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis
- Delayed return of menstrual cycles
- Faster weight loss after delivery
Virtual tours of our maternity unit are available. This experience is designed to introduce families to our hospital and help them prepare for their special day. To make a reservation and learn more about our services, please call:
St. David’s South Austin Medical Center – (512) 816-7229
St. David’s Medical Center – (512) 544-4226
St. David’s Women’s Center of Texas – (512) 901-2155
St. David’s Round Rock Medical Center – (512) 341-6464
St. David’s Georgetown Hospital – (512) 544-4226