Every baby’s birth is special at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. Physicians, nurse midwives and our staff of experienced obstetrical nurses coach and support expectant parents as they go through the birthing process. The Birthing Center meets the needs of all expectant parents including those who wish to have natural childbirth in a home-like setting with the security of knowing that the state-of-the-art equipment is close by in the event of an emergency.

Why would I want a natural childbirth?

Mothers choose a non-medicated approach to labor and delivery for a variety of reasons. No matter your reason, we want to support and encourage you in your choice.

What do I need to do to have a natural childbirth?

  • Find and attend a childbirth class.
  • Create a birth plan and discuss it with your provider.
  • Choose your support team.  This team may include your significant other, family or friends.
  • Make sure your support team knows your wishes.
  • Decide which if any technique you will use to help your labor, i.e., Hypnobabies, Lamaze, Meditation, the Bradley Method.
  • Consider having a doula to attend your labor/delivery.

What does The Birthing Center have to help me with natural childbirth?

  • Intermittent fetal monitoring – you will be on the monitor at an interval ordered by your provider.  When not on the monitors, you will be able to move as desired including walking around the unit.
  • Wireless fetal monitoring – if your provider deems necessary to continuously monitor your baby’s heart rate, we can utilize this type of monitoring system.
  • Showers in every room.
  • Birthing Balls – can aid in a variety of positions that can help with labor comfort and progress.
  • Peanut Balls – can aid in a variety of positions that can help with labor comfort and progress. Can be used with epidurals.
  • Bar for the bed – can be used to achieve positions of comfort during labor.
  • Rocking chairs.
  • Beds that can be put in a variety of positions .
  • Saline lock intravenous access.

What does The Birthing Center offer during and after delivery?

  • Delivery in the position of your choice.
  • Delayed cord clamping.
  • Immediate skin to skin for mother and infant (dads may be included).
  • Limited interruptions during the first hour of life.
  • Breastfeeding support to ensure feeding during the first hour of life.
  • Delayed bath for newborn.

Answering the What ifs...

What if I need to be induced?

Many of the options will continue to be available. Discuss your options with your provider and care team.

What if I decide I want pain medication?

Intravenous pain medication is an option during early labor. However, since the sedative effects are passed to the infant, pain medication cannot be given during active and second stage of labor.

What if I decide I want an epidural?

We encourage you to talk to the anesthesia group during your third trimester for assessment no matter what method of labor/delivery you choose. During and immediately after the epidural placement, one support person can remain at your side. We still offer many positions and tools to help you with your labor and delivery. All the options available during and after delivery are still available.

What if I require a cesarean section?

If you and your provider decide that you need to deliver by cesarean section, some options are available during and after delivery. If you are a candidate for spinal anesthesia, you can request a clear drape that will allow you to witness the birth of your baby. You can still have your infant skin to skin immediately after delivery. You can breastfeed in the operating room. You will be able to have one support person with you in the operating room as deemed appropriate by your care team.