My Birthing Experience


My Bon Secours Baby

Our Labor, Delivery, Recovery (LDR), have large, comfortable rooms, with ample space to walk around and for your family to be with you. Each includes a specially equipped birthing bed, so that you can labor and deliver without being moved from room to room or from bed to bed. There is a private bathroom and shower for each suite.

In LDR, most mothers stay in the same birthing suite throughout labor, birth. and for an hour or so after birth. These moms then move to a private postpartum room for the remainder of their stay.

LDRP models add the “p” for postpartum, or care after birth. In an LDRP care model, many mothers are able to stay in the same birthing suite from the time they enter the hospital until they go home. Private postpartum rooms are also available for longer lengths of stay.

In either LDR or LDRP, the discomfort and inconvenience of moving from room to room during this very private, important family time is greatly decreased or eliminated altogether.

We subscribe to the definition of family-centered care as developed by the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA):

"The birth of a baby represents, as well, the birth of a family. The woman giving birth and the persons significant and close to her are forming a new relationship, with new responsibilities to each other, to the baby, and to society as a whole. Family-centered reproductive care may be defined as care which recognizes the importance of these new relationships and responsibilities, and which has as its goal the best possible health outcome for all members of the family, both as individuals and as a group.

"Family-centered care consists of an attitude rather than a protocol. It recognizes a vital life event rather than a medical procedure. It appreciates the importance of that event to the woman and to the persons who are important to her. It respects the woman's individuality and her sense of autonomy. It realizes that the decisions she may make are based on many influences of which the expertise of the professional is only one. It requires that all relevant information be made available to the woman to help her achieve her own goals, and that she be guided but not directed by professionals she has chosen to share the responsibility for her care.

"The practice of family-centered maternity care is founded on this philosophy and encompasses birth practitioners, birth places, and maternity-newborn care, as determined by the needs and choices of each woman and her family."

At our hospitals, mothers and babies are not seen as separate individuals. Care is designed around the two of you together, an "ensemble" whose medical and emotional needs are complementary. Maternity and nursery nurses coordinate your care, so that you and your baby are able to take best advantage of your time for learning about each other. Mother-Baby Care works hand-in-hand with flexible rooming-in (below) to assure you have the skills and experience needed to parent successfully when you leave the hospital.

Rooming-In allows families to keep their baby with them throughout their stay in the hospital.   Evidence shows that Rooming-In has many benefits including better breastfeeding, early response to hunger cues, higher milk production, increased confidence in going home, safe sleep practice, and more sleep for everyone.  So, make yourself at home, we will provide personalized care for mom and baby and education for your family in your hospital room.  We understand that there may be times when parents (or our medical professionals) need for baby to be cared for in the nursery temporarily and encourage you to speak with your nurse about these options.

All types of anesthesia

Your preferences for pain relief are completely up to you. Some women labor with little or no medication, and some women have epidural anesthesia during much of labor. We believe the choice is between you and your physician or nurse-midwife. You have a full range of options, and we have the staff to provide support for your decision.

Certified Nurse-Midwives

Certified nurse-midwives, or CNMs, are licensed health care practitioners educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery. Most were nurses first, and then went back for a master’s degree in nurse-midwifery. CNMs provide primary care to women of childbearing age, including prenatal care, labor and delivery care, care after birth, gynecological exams, newborn care, assistance with family planning decisions, preconception care, menopausal management and counseling in health maintenance and disease prevention.

At Bon Secours, CNMs practice with physicians so that the full range of care is available to women at all times. Our goal is to treat birth like a natural process, not an illness and to provide a high-touch experience in a homelike environment within the safety of a hospital.


The word doula refers to an experienced woman who helps mothers-to-be during labor, delivery and/or the postdelivery period. The doula provides the mother with physical and emotional support along with her partner. Although fathers play a vital support role, sometimes additional help is needed. With a doula, a father can share in the birth at the level where he is most comfortable. The doula’s skills and knowledge can help him to feel more relaxed and to participate as much as he wishes in the birth, assuring the mother of full labor support at all times. Doulas working with Bon Secours-affiliated providers and with our parents are welcome at all Bon Secours hospitals.

Labor Hydrotherapy/Jetted Tubs

For many women, hydrotherapy or the use of water as a non-pharmacologic pain relief technique is extremely desirable for labor. This can be a great tool for women who want to minimize their exposure to IV drugs or an epidural in labor.

Lactation consultants are specially trained and certified to assist mothers with breastfeeding preparation and learning successful breastfeeding skills. They are available at all our hospitals and at A Woman's Place, located in the Bon Secours Center for Family Health in Innsbrook, and can often make the difference for a positive, long-lasting breastfeeding experience. Call 804-340-BABY [2229] for more information or to locate a lactation consultant near you.

In an effort to enhance bonding between parents and newborns and support breastfeeding, Bon Secours has introduced Magic Hour. Barring any unusual medical needs immediately following delivery, nurses dry infants and place them skin-to-skin on the mother’s chest, allowing precious time for bonding and breastfeeding.

  • Bon Secours Magic Hour is an ideal time for mothers and babies to be close and has many benefits for the baby.
  • Babies have an amazing ability to interact with their parents. They can distinguish touch, smells, tastes, sounds and sights right away.
  • Breastfed babies will nurse better when placed skin-to-skin on the mother immediately following birth.
  • A mother’s body can maintain her baby’s temperature more effectively than warm blankets and warmers.
  • Babies who spend the first 90 minutes of their lives with their mothers skin-to-skin cry less than those who are dried, wrapped and placed in a bassinet.


At 3:00 a.m., when your new baby is doing something unexpected and you can't decide whether or not to call the baby's doctor, our nurseries provide a safety net. Feel free to call our New Baby nurses. We're up and happy to help.

As part of Bon Secours’ mission to bring good help to those in need, Bon Secours Virginia now offers the convenient option of hospital bedside prescription delivery through the BedsideRx Program. If a patient chooses to use the BedsideRx service, a pharmacy staff member will deliver and a pharmacist will be available to counsel the patient on his or her discharge prescriptions prior to discharge. The BedsideRx Program makes the transition from hospital to home easier for the patient.

To participate, a patient being discharged from the hospital simply notifies his or her nurse and has his or her prescription insurance card and co-pay method ready. The nurse will contact the outpatient pharmacy. An outpatient pharmacy member collects the prescriptions, insurance card and co-pay method and dispenses the medications from the outpatient pharmacy. A pharmacy staff member quickly delivers the discharge medications to the patient’s bedside. A pharmacist is available for counseling the patient on his or her medications. Beyond providing an easy, time-saving option for obtaining prescriptions and over-the-counter items prior to discharge, the BedsideRx Program can also help improve patients’ adherence and prevent missed doses, which can speed up the healing process.

The BedsideRx service is currently available at several locations:

good health pharmacy at St. Mary’s Hospital
good health pharmacy at Richmond Community Hospital

Bon Secours good health pharmacies are a convenient resource for hospital visitors, employees, and volunteers.

For more information, please e-mail the BedsideRx pharmacist, Amanda Matassa, at

This is the Internet equivalent of going by the nursery to see the babies! You can have your baby's photo posted on the Internet so that relatives and friends in other cities can view your baby and leave messages for you. Parents authorize posting of photographs. To ensure security, no last names are ever used. There is no extra charge for this option, but it is part of the overall baby photo package, so not all parents select this option. Photographs appear online within a few days of birth. To see our babies, visit:

Click here to view pictures from St. Mary's Hospital.

Click here to view pictures from St. Francis Medical Center.

Click here to view pictures from Memorial Regional Medical Center.