Pregnancy is a time of enormous excitement, tremendous anticipation and countless questions. Choosing where to have your baby is an important decision.
You are in good hands at Columbia Memorial Hospital. Our labor and delivery nursing staff has an average of 16 years of experience helping women like you through their births and recovery. The obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs) and certified nurse midwives you meet during your prenatal care at the CMH Women’s Center are the same team who will attend your baby’s birth.
The CMH Women’s Center and the Family Birthing Center at Columbia Memorial Hospital offer numerous programs and resources to help you have the healthiest pregnancy and birth possible. This webpage is a guide to some of the services available to you during and following your pregnancy.
Whether your little one decides to arrive in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night, CMH always has an OB/GYN or nurse midwife on-call and ready to attend your delivery. You may not know in advance who will help you with your delivery, so we encourage you to meet all of our providers throughout your pregnancy.
Please make an appointment with the CMH Women’s Center by calling 503-338-7595 as soon as you suspect you may be pregnant. Early prenatal care gives you and your baby the best opportunity for a healthy pregnancy.
Your first prenatal visit will be scheduled around seven to eight weeks after your last period. However, if you feel like you need to be seen sooner due to medical history or concerns, please call and ask to talk with a nurse. The nurse will discuss your situation with a provider, and may schedule your first appointment sooner.
It will include:
If you are an expectant mother and an Oregon Health Plan (OHP) member, be sure to sign up for the First Steps program. First Steps is a free incentive program of Columbia Pacific CCO that rewards you for making healthy choices during your pregnancy. You can earn more than $100 in Amazon.com gift cards for taking steps to help you have a healthy pregnancy!
To sign up for First Steps:
The CMH Outpatient Pharmacy has a wide selection of items to help you stay healthy and comfortable throughout your pregnancy, including:
Smoking, vaping or chewing, especially when pregnant, is harmful to your health and to your baby. It is important that you stop smoking once you know you are pregnant. Many women find pregnancy a motivating time to stop using tobacco.
As you reach the third trimester of your pregnancy, it’s time to start thinking about your baby’s birth. Some things to consider include:
Whether this is your first or fifth baby, we encourage you to take birth classes early in your third trimester. These classes are offered in collaboration with North Star Doula. They are free to women who plan to deliver their baby at the CMH Family Birthing Center.
Birth classes are a great way to get to know other expectant parents, to discuss your expectations and hopes with your partner, and to prepare for your baby’s birth. Classes cover topics like labor and pain management, nutrition, infant care, and self-care after baby is born. Sign up early!
We welcome you to tour the CMH Family Birthing Center before your baby is born. Tours are offered every Wednesday at 2 p.m. and by appointment. Please call the CMH Family Birthing Center at 503-338-7581 to schedule your tour.
Each birth is different. Some are very intimate, with just the mother, her partner and the care team present. Others are festive, with older children, friends and family stopping by.
Often, one person will serve as your “Care Partner”. In many cases, this person will be a spouse/life partner or a close family member. While CMH does not offer a doula service, you are welcome to hire a doula privately. We welcome doulas as part of your support team.
You may choose to invite other people to your baby’s birth. However, we ask that your visitors follow CMH’s Visitor Guidelines. You should also be aware that:
Most women do not need to prepare for breastfeeding their baby. However, if you meet any of the conditions below, we recommend meeting with a lactation consultant with the CMH Lactation Program at 30-36 weeks:
Call 503-791-9140 to schedule an appointment.
Well-baby visits are an important part of caring for your baby. Your baby’s pediatrician will check to make sure that your baby is growing and developing as expected. They can provide valuable advice on feeding and sleeping, administer immunizations, and be available when your baby gets his first cold. See a schedule of well-child checkups.
The CMH Pediatric Clinic offers no-cost consultations so you can meet our providers before your baby is born. Call 503-325-7337 to schedule a prenatal consultation.
The CMH Family Birthing Center is ready to care for you any time of day, any day of the year. An OB/GYN or nurse midwife is always on-call. When you are in labor, you will have an experienced labor and delivery nurse dedicated to your care. After the birth, a pediatrician will come to the Family Birthing Center daily to examine your baby.
You may also request a visit from one of our certified lactation consultants who will help you and your baby get off to a good start with breastfeeding.
Many women find labor more comfortable when they’re able to move about and change position. With our remote fetal monitoring system, you can take walks, bounce on a birthing ball, or find another position that works for you. You may also choose to labor in our specially designed labor tub or in the shower.
In addition, we offer aromatherapy with essential oils that may help you to manage nausea, anxiety, and/or pain.
Nitrous oxide used at a low dose during labor is considered safe for the mother and baby. It helps to reduce pain and anxiety during labor, while still allowing the mother to feel contractions.
When using nitrous oxide in labor, you would breathe the gas through a face mask. You are in control of how much and how often you use it. The effects will begin quickly after you breathe in the gas, and will fade quickly after you remove the mask. Read more about nitrous oxide analgesia.
You may also choose to receive an epidural or intravenous (IV) pain medication.
The Family Birthing Center is set up to help you bond with your baby before leaving the hospital. Whenever possible, you will be able to hold or lay with your baby immediately following their birth. This skin-to-skin time has been shown to improve the mother and the baby’s health and well-being.
Mothers are also encouraged to “room in” with their baby, which means that your baby stays with you in the room as you recover. This gives you and your care partner time to get to know your baby and to learn how to care for them.
After your baby is born, you may enjoy a massage to help you recover physically and emotionally. Our massage therapists are available Monday through Friday.
Let’s celebrate your special day with a special meal for you and your partner! Our chef lovingly prepares a three-course meal for two. The menu includes a wide variety of entrees, soup or salad, and dessert.
The CMH Lactation Program offers a number of services to help you and your baby get off to a good start with breastfeeding, and to help you through hurdles that may come up along the way. Services include:
If your baby is a boy, and you’ve decided to have him circumcised, please ask your OB/GYN about the procedure. Infant circumcisions are performed in the CMH Women’s Center after you’ve been discharged from the hospital.
Before you leave the hospital, your OB/GYN will talk with you about making a follow-up appointment at the CMH Women’s Center. During these postpartum visits, your OB/GYN or midwife will check to make sure you are healing well, to see that you and your baby are thriving, and to discuss birth control options.
We also recommend scheduling your baby’s first well-baby visit with their pediatrician before you leave the hospital. These first appointments are very important for finding and treating problems like jaundice, heart murmurs, genetic abnormalities, and feeding difficulties.
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