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Mom smiling and holding her newborn in a hospital bed

Maternity Center at St. Mary's

At St. Mary’s, we believe that every birth is a miracle and every miracle is unique. We want your birth experience to truly be your own. We take into account your family, traditions, customs, values, and beliefs as well as your physical health during your time at our facility. We provide many options to help you during your birthing experience.  St. Mary’s offers a variety of pain relief methods:

  • Movement in position
  • Jacuzzi bath tubs
  • Nitrous oxide
  • More extensive relief through an epidural process

The Maternity Center at St. Mary's has been designated a Safe Sleep Hospital Champion and an Abusive Head Trauma(AHT)/Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Champion by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

At CHI Health St. Mary’s, we’ve thought of everything to make your delivery special. Our spacious birthing suites include a jetted tub, mini-fridge, WiFi, flat screen TV and a comfortable sleeper sofa. Plus wireless monitoring lets you move around during delivery.

Our nursing staff is well educated and prepared to handle any kind of special request or issues that may arise.  During delivery, mother and baby will each have their own nurse, whom is specialized to provide the care you need and deserve.

Maternity Education

Pregnancy is a joyous time for parents. View our checklist for each trimester below, that provides more information about the weeks of your pregnancy.

Educating Yourself

You want to be as prepared as possible for the arrival of your little one-our classes will give you the skills and information you need to create a happy, healthy future for your baby and yourself.  All childbirth education classes are taught by our very own St. Mary’s labor and delivery nurses.

When should I take classes?

Plan to take your class during the second or third trimester of your pregnancy.  We recommend registering early, allowing you to choose the date and times that work best around your schedule.  Our classes are scheduled every other month starting in January.  There is a small fee for each couple, this is to be paid to the registers desk prior to your set class date. Call (402) 874-5214 with any concerns of payment.

Please call (402) 873-3321 to speak with a labor and delivery nurse, she will assist you in getting set up for the correct childbirth education class.

First Trimester

  • Schedule a tour of the Maternity Center at St. Mary’s.  We offer education tours to help you get acquainted with our facility as well as your options for labor and delivery.  To set up a tour, call (402) 873-3321.
  • Check your vaccination records.  It is very important to ask your provider’s office for your immunization records to determine when you last received the Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis).  Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a highly contagious respiratory illness.  The vaccine most commonly used for whooping cough gives protection for less than 10 year, so unless you are revaccinated as an adult, you could get this illness, which can be passed on to your newborn.
  • Explore your options for pregnancy classes.  Classes can help you and your partner prepare for the arrival of your little one.  There are many options to choose from at St. Mary’s.  St. Mary’s offers a wide variety of topics such as breastfeeding, infant care, childbirth education, and more.  Register early to ensure you get a spot in the class you want.
  • Make a financial plan.  Contact your insurance company and ‘pre-certify” if needed.  St. Mary’s will work with you and your insurance company to meet the goals you and your partner have set for the birth of your child.  We also have a payment plan option for those who are not insured.  

Second Trimester

  • Create your birth plan.  St. Mary’s can provide natural childbirth, 24-hour CRNA administered anesthesia, and various other options for your delivery, allowing you to choose what you prefer.  We will work with your physician to design a birth plan that is right for you and your baby.
  • Plan your birth support options.  Talk to your partner, doula, relative, or friend about being your support during delivery.
  • Make child care arrangements. Now is the time to start exploring your options, as many care centers may have a waiting list.
  • Schedule time to rest.  Your body is experiencing many changes right now, so be sure to set aside time to get the rest and relaxation you need to stay healthy.
  • Buy birth announcements and address envelopes.  If you plan to send birth announcements, get them ready now so you can focus on your new baby when they come home.
  • Notice when your baby moves and keep track of activity.  Spend time bonding with you baby as they grow and become more active.  Perform fetal kick counts as directed.  There are several free apps that can help in this process.
  • Take infant care and pregnancy exercise classes.  Start learning to take care of your baby and keep yourself healthy.

Third Trimester

  • Potential phone call from the Hospital.  A St. Mary’s staff member may contact you to discuss admission process and visitation policy.  We will also discuss any special requests and educate you about cesarean birth, if scheduled.
  • Take a childbirth education class.  Learn about labor-coping tools, medications, epidurals, and childbirth options.
  • Get a car seat check complete.  Nebraska law dictates that your baby will not be able to leave the hospital without a car seat.  The car seat checks can be done through the Southeast District Health Department, call (402) 274-3993 to schedule an appointment.
  • Select a physician for your child.  Be sure to call and check that the physician is accepting new patients.
  • Take a breastfeeding class.  We staff certified lactation consultants that can provide you with education and training as needed.
  • Discuss requests with your support person.  Talk about any cultural and family traditions or prayers that you would like to incorporate into your delivery experience.
  • Decide on a name for your baby.  If the gender of your baby is a surprise, have names picked out for both a boy and a girl.  It might be a good idea to have a backup name as well, in case your first choice doesn’t seem to fit when you meet your little one. 
  • Continue bonding with your baby. Read aloud and play music to soothe and comfort your baby.
  • Pack your hospital bag. It’s always a good idea to be ready early, just in case. We have a handy checklist to help you know what to pack.

If you’re unsure of what to do after you go into labor, follow these steps. Please note: If your situation is an emergency, you should go to the emergency department (on the North side of the hospital) or call 911.

  1. Call ahead to St. Mary’s (402) 873-3321. We will prepare for your arrival.
  2. When you arrive, come in the main entrance on the North side of the building and proceed to admissions.
  3. A registered nurse will care for you and will notify your provider of your progress.
  4. If you arrive at St. Mary’s after normal hours, please proceed to the emergency department directly to the right inside the main entrance of the hospital.

Managing Pain During Labor

You should discuss your pain management options with your health care provider before delivery. The best approach will depend on your preferences, recommendations from your provider, and how your labor progresses. Our goal is to provide the environment that best meets your needs and expectations.

Adjusting Postpartum

After your baby’s birth, we will help you get settled and maintain stability in the postpartum time, a nurse will teach you about postpartum self-care, nutrition, and other matters. An infant care nurse will also help you learn about bathing, cord care, feeding, and circumcision care, if needed.

We provide rooming in of your newest family member, to help with bonding and feeding schedules as they are established.  We encourage you to make decisions and to be involved in your baby’s cares while you are both are in the hospital.  

Bringing Up Baby

Soon after your little bundle of joy has arrived, you’ll be ready to take your new family home. St. Mary’s is ready to help you care for your baby—the information in this section will equip you to handle common health issues and potential problems you might encounter.

Car Seat Testing

It is recommended that an infant whose weight is less than 5lbs 8oz at birth or less than 37 weeks gestation will complete a test known as car seat angle tolerance.  This test is done prior to dismissal, usually in between feeding times.  The test last anywhere from 90 minutes – 2 hours depending on the distance that the infant will travel the most in a car seat.  This test determines if the infant can tolerate the position of the car seat for the longest period suggested.