At Main Line Health, we've designed our state-of-the-art maternity units to be the next best thing to home for you and your family. From attractive rooms to personalized care from our highly attentive maternity staff, our focus is on making your stay as comfortable as possible.

No matter which Main Line Health hospital you choose, you can be assured of a family-centered childbirth experience backed by a strong clinical team. In addition to your obstetrical care provider, a team of anesthesiologists, neonatologists, maternity and neonatal nurses, and pediatric specialists are here to help you identify the best birthing options for you and your baby or babies.

State-of-the-art maternity suites

Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital have an LDR (Labor Deliver Recovery) model where the patient labors in one room and then is transferred to a postpartum room.

For moms who choose to breastfeed, we have lactation consultants at each of our hospitals who will educate and assist in establishing breastfeeding and provide ongoing support after you are discharged.

For specific information regarding your labor and delivery unit, we encourage you to schedule a maternity unit tour at the Main Line Health hospital that you have chosen. During your visit you will learn where to enter the hospital and how to get to the delivery suite when you go into labor.

Who will be allowed with me during labor and delivery?

For the safety of mom and baby, we encourage having no more than two support people at the bedside, such as a partner, a parent, a close friend or a doula (birth coach). But it is entirely up to you. Talk this over with your obstetrical care provider to determine what is best for you. Waiting rooms are open around the clock for other family and friends.

Will I have a private room?

It is our intent for each patient to have a personalized experience. We continue to modify and expand our facilities to ensure a private room for every patient.

Why is skin-to-skin contact important?

Babies who cuddle skin-to-skin:

  • Smell you, hear you and feel you
  • Stay warmer
  • Are calmer and cry less
  • Breastfeed better
  • Enjoy special bonding time

Does the hospital support couplet/family-centered care?

We encourage rooming-in with your baby (referred to as couplet care) to help establish a closer postpartum bonding. Your familiar voice and loving touch calms your little one like no one else can. Your postpartum stay gives you the opportunity to build confidence as a parent. Our staff is here to support you through your baby's first night and offer tips to soothe your child at home.

Will I have the same nurse while in the postpartum unit?

Our nurses work in shifts. During each shift, you will have one nurse dedicated to your care. Our nurses are here to offer personal attention to each mom and baby, making sure you're comfortable and helping you with breastfeeding, swaddling, holding your baby and more.

How soon can I start breastfeeding after my baby is born?

You can start breastfeeding as soon as you and your baby are ready. For cesarean births, this could be done during the recovery period. Our nurses receive ongoing education on breastfeeding, including positioning, proper latching and pumping.

Main Line Health physicians encourage moms to breastfeed because research shows it has numerous health benefits over formula. If you cannot or choose not to breastfeed, our staff will support you in providing an appropriate formula for your child.

If I have a baby boy, should he be circumcised?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has not found sufficient supporting evidence to medically recommend circumcision or argue against it. Despite the possible benefits and risks, circumcision is neither essential nor detrimental to your son's health. Typically the decision to circumcise is based on religious beliefs, concerns about hygiene, or various other cultural or social factors. No one should pressure you into making a decision one way or another regarding circumcision.

Before deciding, it is helpful to understand the risks and benefits, and how the procedure is performed. Hospital circumcisions are usually done in the first one to two days after your baby is born.

What newborn screenings will be performed?

Newborn screening identifies conditions that can affect a child's long-term health or survival. Early detection, diagnosis, and intervention can prevent death or disability and enable children to reach their full potential. Each year, millions of babies in the U.S. are routinely screened, using a few drops of blood from the newborn's heel, for certain genetic, endocrine, and metabolic disorders, and are also tested for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) prior to discharge from a hospital or birthing center. For more information, visit cdc.gov/newbornscreening.

Can I have visitors after I have my baby?

Absolutely! At Main Line Health we offer 24 hours a day, seven days a week visitation. We encourage family and friends to visit as often as the family desires. In order to provide a safe and healing environment, we do ask that you help us by following these visiting policies:

  • One partner/family member may stay overnight. Your overnight guest must be at least 16 years old unless the person is a parent of the newborn.
  • Children visiting must be at least one year old and must be current with their chicken pox vaccine. Please be aware that there may be additional restrictions in effect during flu season.
  • Any visitors, including siblings, who are not feeling well (e.g., cold, flu, fever) should not visit. We ask our visitors to respect that our new moms are healing and bonding with their babies, and to keep voices down.
  • It is at the discretion of the care providers to modify visitation in order to support a healthy environment.

Should I ask my visitors to wash their hands before holding my baby?

Yes. Inside or out of the hospital, washing your hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of disease or infection. At the hospital we commonly provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers as well. When you return home, you should continue to request that visitors wash hands before holding your baby. Hand sanitizers may be used but do not provide better protection.

How does Main Line Health ensure the security of my baby?

Several security measures are in place at our hospitals to ensure the safety of your baby. The nursing staff will review all safety procedures with you. For your baby's protection, it is important that we know who is visiting and where your baby is at all times. Always ask to see identification and do not allow anyone without identification to take your baby from the hospital room. All babies wear a security tag during their stay.

Neonatal intensive care units (NICUs)

When newborns, especially babies born pre-mature are in need of extra medical attention. Often babies just need time to develop immature body systems or overcome an illness. In the event your baby is premature or has medical problems at the time of birth, the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at each Main Line Health hospital provides intense monitoring and a daily regimen of care to help your baby.

Board-certified neonatologists and neonatal advanced practice from Children’s Hospital of Philadephia (CHOP) provide high-quality, specialized newborn and neonatal intensive care to babies at Main Line Health hospitals. Our team collaborates with families and primary care physicians to ensure every newborn receives the care they need, backed by the resources of CHOP – a world leader in neonatal medicine – and the experience, comfort and convenience provided at a community hospital.

Some of the babies born here each year are born prematurely, experience respiratory problems at birth, or require additional treatment or observation due to other health complications.

Each year our four NICUs care for hundreds of babies supporting premature or low birth weight,  immature lungs or other health conditions that require special attention. We provide specialized care at each of our Main Line Health hospitals, including CHOP neonatal providers with the latest care protocols - resulting in the best outcomes.

There are some instances in which babies with specific conditions may need a higher level of care. This would require them to be transferred to another Main Line Health hospital, or to CHOP.

Cord blood banking

The umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells, which can be used to treat more than 70 life-threatening diseases, including many types of cancers and blood disorders in children. Stem cells in umbilical cord blood are a byproduct of birth and are usually discarded; there are no ethical controversies surrounding their use.

Donation is completely painless and poses no physical risk to the mother or baby. Main Line Health hospitals offer the option for women to donate their babies' lifesaving umbilical cord blood for free through a partnership with The Mason Shaffer Public Cord Blood Program.

This service is available at Lankenau Medical Center. Check for the availability of this service if you are delivering at Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital or Riddle Hospital. For more information, visit masonshafferfoundation.org.

Requesting a copy of your child's birth certificate

You will complete birth certificate paperwork during your hospital stay, and a birth certificate will automatically be mailed to you in six to eight weeks. A Social Security card is also included in this process.

What emotional support services are available?

Welcoming a new baby is a life-changing experience and we are aware of the many physical and emotional needs you may have during and following childbirth.

Emotional difficulties during pregnancy and in the postpartum period are treatable with professional assistance. Asking for help is the first step in feeling better. Please know there is support for you and your family.

Maternity social workers and nurses assist moms in this process and provide resources and emotional support. Patients are offered a post-discharge phone call made by our expert staff at the Women's Emotional Wellness Center as a way to embrace mom and family with continued support once discharged to home.

The Women's Emotional Wellness Center at the Main Line Health Newtown Square provides outpatient mental health treatment and psychiatric services to women and their families. The Women's Emotional Wellness Center specializes in the period before, during and after pregnancy but also provides services for fathers, grandparents and other caregivers. Treatment is covered by most commercial insurance plans and Medicare.

To learn more, visit mainlinehealth.org/wewc.