Services

Expanded Care Options

Patients interested in a home-like birth with a midwife at Mercy Birthing Center Midwifery Care now have more options available:

  • Midwives can now provide continuous care to both mom and baby on the Mother/Baby unit
  • If desired, the Birthing Center will help arrange for a private pediatrician to provide in-house care
  • Change allows patients with at least one vaginal birth and one cesarean section a midwifery birth

Mercy is constantly seeking ways to provide expanded options to best support each family and its preferences. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to broaden options for more women seeking midwifery care,” said Elizabeth Cook, DNP, certified nurse midwife and director of Mercy Birthing Center Midwifery Care.

To learn more or see if you qualify, please contact us at 314-251-7358.

Prenatal Care

Throughout pregnancy, every patient at the Natural Birth Center has a series of prenatal visits with her midwife. Your “estimated due date” (EDD) is based on a 40-week gestational period, starting with the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP). The EDD is either confirmed or changed based on your first ultrasound. Your prenatal visits are scheduled according to your due date and gestational age.

During your pregnancy, diagnostic studies (such as lab work, cultures and pap smears) are done to check your health and check for any potential risks to the baby. If the test results are normal, we’ll discuss them with you at your next visit. If the tests come back abnormal, we’ll notify you of the results, as well as any additional testing or follow-up needed.  

We generally perform a dating ultrasound at your first visit to confirm the pregnancy and to help determine your estimated due date. We will order a second ultrasound at 20 weeks gestation to make sure your baby is developing as expected. If there are no complications in your pregnancy, these are the only two ultrasounds we will recommend.

You must be between 37-42 weeks gestation to deliver in the Birthing Center. In general, we see you about every 4-5 weeks during the first part of your pregnancy, then every 2-3 weeks from 28 to 36 weeks gestation. We’ll see you weekly during the last month of pregnancy (36 weeks until delivery). During the visits, we’ll measure your belly, listen to the baby’s heartbeat and review any lab work with you. We encourage you to share any questions you might have.

Low-Risk Births

Eligibility guidelines for a low-risk birth in our Mercy Birthing Center:

  • You are carrying a single baby.
  • Your baby is positioned head down.
  • You don't have any chronic or complex medical conditions.
  • Your labor begins between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy.
  • You aren’t taking any medication for gestational diabetes.
  • Your pre-pregnancy BMI is 35 or less. To determine your BMI, visit this calculator for women.
  • Your prenatal test results don’t indicate a need for fetal monitoring.
  • You're receiving prenatal care from our midwives at Mercy Birthing Center.
  • We have no restrictions on your age.

Eligibility for Midwifery Care on Labor & Birth: 

Moms who have had one prior Caesarean section may receive prenatal care from the midwives at Mercy Birthing Center, and then deliver with the midwives on Labor & Birth.

Also, for moms who are receiving prenatal care from the midwives, in the instances that the following situations arise, the midwives will continue to care for you in our Labor & Birth suites:

  • Your labor begins before 37 weeks.
  • Your labor needs to be induced or doesn’t begin before 42 weeks.
  • You need to receive labor-augmenting medication such as Pitocin, which would require your contractions and baby's heart rate to be continuously monitored.
  • You decide to receive an epidural.
  • We have concerns about the health of the baby or mother (such as fetal heart rate or a maternal condition) that require continuous monitoring.

Care will be tailored to each mom’s unique situation by our midwifery and collaborating physician team. We consider it an honor to care for moms with many different labor plans!

Prenatal Massage Program

The Mercy Birthing Center is now offering prenatal massage for pregnant moms. A Birthing Center nurse, who is an experienced licensed massage therapist and certified in prenatal massage, provides the massages to our pregnant moms. Offering prenatal massage adds another service to the holistic approach to pregnancy and birth experienced by our moms in the Birthing Center.

Studies show that massage therapy performed during pregnancy can be beneficial in reducing anxiety, decreasing symptoms of depression, relieving muscle aches and joint pain, and improving labor outcomes and newborn health.

Swedish massage is the primary type of massage used for pregnant moms. The primary goal of prenatal massage is to relax muscle tension and improve lymph and blood flow. Other techniques can be incorporated into the massage session, such as lymphatic drainage to decrease swelling or hot stones to assist in relieving back pain. After the first trimester or when it is no longer comfortable for mom to rest on her back or her stomach, the side- laying position with the use of special bolsters and/or birthing balls may allow for a more comfortable position during the massage.

Patients are asked to come in 15 minutes before their first sessions to fill out paperwork and a health history. The patient’s health history will be updated before each massage to rule out any contraindications or a need for a release from the primary care provider.

  • 30 minutes $45
  • 60 minutes $70
  • 90 minutes $85

To make a prenatal massage reservation, please call:  314-251-7955

Child Car Seat Inspections

Mercy Birthing Center has a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) on staff and offers car seat inspections. CPS technicians perform child safety seat checks and provide hands-on assistance to parents for the proper installation of child restraint systems and car seats.

To schedule a child safety seat inspection, please call 314-251-7955 or email: laura.whiting@mercy.net

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