Award Winning Maternity Care Across Palm Beach Health Network
Palm Beach Health Network offers complete and comprehensive care for you and your baby at Good Samaritan Medical Center, St. Mary's Medical Center and West Boca Medical Center. Our OB/GYN doctors in the Palm Beach Health Network provide high quality care for you during your entire pregnancy. From prenatal care, through the labor and delivery process, to post-delivery, our experts are here for you with advanced OB services and pregnancy care, wherever your journey may lead you and your baby.
Labor and Delivery Options
Every expecting mother wants to have a unique birthing experience that meets her needs. Palm Beach Health Network's birthing locations offer special OB services that may include a variety of alternatives to a “normal” hospital birth such as:
- Showers During Labor – Depending on your preferences and pregnancy, you may choose to shower during labor. Showers are available in each of our private labor, delivery and recovery rooms. Showering during labor can help you relax, minimize labor pains, reduce discomfort from contractions and often helps women progress toward delivery.
- Birthing Ball/Peanut – You may choose to use a birthing ball during labor. A birthing ball is a large exercise or physical therapy ball that can help women get into positions that may alleviate discomfort, help position the baby for delivery, prevent back strain and encourage the progression of labor.
- Music Therapy – Patients may choose to bring and play soft music during their labor. Music has been shown to reduce anxiety and pain and is soothing to many women during labor.
Please discuss labor and delivery options with your OB/GYN or your healthcare provider.
Our Birthing Centers
All facilities offer private birthing suites where the baby stays, unless the NICU or Special Care Nursery is needed.
Most pregnancies and deliveries proceed as planned, but if there are any issues, you can take comfort knowing our maternal fetal medicine, neonatal physicians and pediatricians are there to care for you and your child.
Since women experience labor in a variety of different ways, some women may ask for help to make their labor more comfortable. We encourage you to discuss your options with the anesthesia/obstetrical team.
What you feel in labor is related to the stimulation of the nerve fibers, which surround the uterus. To relieve pain, these nerves can be soaked in numbing medicine, which is similar to what is used by a dentist. A small plastic numbing medicine can be given into the space to decrease the pain. You may still feel the pressure of the contraction, but you should be much more comfortable.
Several different types of anesthesia are used during labor and delivery. They may be used alone or with one another. Some of the anesthetics that may be used are:
- Epidural Anesthesia
- General Anesthesia
- Local Anesthesia
- IV Pain Medication
- Spinal Block
- Nitrous Oxide
Anesthesia will be influenced by various factors, including any medication you are taking, history of lower back problems, allergies, any oral medications taken recently, family history of high fevers with anesthesia and a history of medical problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, breathing problems, recent cold or flu, diabetes (blood sugar) or bleeding problems.
Ultrasound is an important part of all pregnancies. 3D and 4D ultrasounds are available and are performed only to closely examine suspected fetal anomalies.
The nursing staff provides lactation support to new mothers, including board-certified lactation consultants and/or Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC) who provide specialized support to women who choose to breastfeed. Our lactation consultants in Palm Beach are registered nurses with advanced training in breastfeeding management. Upon request, a lactation consultant will visit you in your room and help you with any breastfeeding issues you might have. Your lactation consultant/CLC will:
- Provide information about the benefits of breastfeeding
- Observe you and your baby while breastfeeding
- Provide suggestions to resolve breastfeeding problems
- Provide support and education for using the hospital breast pump
- Instruct you in the proper handling and storage of breast milk
Disclaimer: All patients who are being admitted or are symptomatic will receive a COVID-19 test. We currently allow two support persons per patient.
Pelvic Floor Pain/Incontinence after Pregnancy
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction (PFD) refers to a wide range of problems, including incontinence and pain in the pelvic region. The “pelvic floor” is the muscle group that forms a sling or hammock across the pelvic floor. Together with surrounding tissues, these muscles hold the pelvic organs in place to function correctly. The pelvic organs include bladder, uterus and bowels. Pelvic floor muscles control the sphincter functions which help maintain bladder and bowel control and are responsible for sexual pleasure.
PFD symptoms are common in postpartum women. Pelvic floor physical therapists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that may have occurred during your pregnancy and delivery. Early diagnosis, treatment and preventive approaches are important for perinatal pelvic floor health. If you notice any of the following signs, do not hesitate to call your doctor and ask for a pelvic floor physical therapy referral.
- Constipation, loss of bowel or gas control
- Fullness, heaviness in the vaginal area
- Increased difficulty with complete emptying of the bladder
- Irritation of vulva/external genitals
- Leakage of urine while sneezing, coughing or laughing
- Loss of urine control, increased frequency of urination, an urgency to urinate, bladder pain or burning urination
- Low back pain
- Muscle spasms, cramps or vaginal pain
- Pain or discomfort with sex
- Painful gynecological exams or difficulty inserting tampons
- Pelvic girdle (front, back or side) pain of any kind
- Persistent “poochy” belly
- Scar tissue pain in the vaginal area or with C-section