Mother and Baby
After nearly 100 years of taking care of moms and babies, one thing at Community Medical Center remains the same—we’re dedicated to giving families the best birth experience possible.
But other things have changed. As research uncovers better ways to help with labor, delivery and infant care, we continually update our practices. That keeps us at the cutting edge of treatment for at-risk deliveries and newborns in need of extra care.
We’ve also evolved in another direction. We understand that birth is a normal event, and families do better in a setting that feels more like a home than a hospital. Our Women and Newborn Center was designed around that idea.
More important than the setting is our approach to the childbirth process: We want what you want. We give you the closest thing to your own birth plan possible, while backing it up with our advanced system of emergency care in the rare event that your labor and delivery do not proceed normally.
We help 1,600 babies come into the world each year. Here’s a guide to how your time with us will proceed:
Before you arrive
Childbirth is natural, but you can still learn ways to help it go smoothly. We offer informative birthing classes for moms—bring another person if you choose. There are two options: Birthing Basics 4-Week Course, which meets one evening (7pm to 9pm) a week for 4 consecutive weeks, or an intensive Birthing Basics Saturday Course, which meets all day on a Saturday (9am to 4pm). Brothers and sisters can come to our sibling classes to get a head start on having a new baby in their home. And for expectant parents, we also offer newborn care classes. Pregnant women and new mothers who are looking to keep fit can attend our MOMercise water aerobics classes.
Now is also the time to get ready for your stay with us. Pack a bag with items such as:
- A comfortable tank top or camisole.
- Pajamas, if you prefer yours to our gowns. Bring ones that you don’t mind throwing away afterwards.
- Shampoo, hairbrush and other personal grooming articles. If you forget something, ask. We keep some on hand.
- A list of your regular medicines, including the dosage.
- Relaxing music if you wish.
You’ll need a car seat to take your new baby home, and it’s important to have the right size and install it in your car correctly. You can get help at Missoula Rural Fire District Station #1, just down the road from Community at the intersection of South Avenue and Reserve Street. Call them at 549-6172 to register for one of their regular car seat fitting sessions. You can also view car seat tips at www.safekids.org
You’ll also need to pre-register with us. Many moms drop by at the time of their scheduled glucose check, at around 28 weeks. It’s a short walk from the lab in Building 1 to our main desk, where you can fill out the forms—be sure and bring your insurance card.
While you’re in labor
Expectant moms labor in one of our six suites, which are big enough for family and guests as well. And you aren’t limited to your room. You can walk around, use your Jacuzzi tub or relax in a glider chair.
We support natural childbirth and we welcome your doula, if you are using one. You can also choose to use pain medication, and decide with your doctor what type would work best for you.
After you deliver your baby, you’ll stay in the labor suite for a brief time before moving to a post-partum room.
After your baby is born
Babies are born right in the labor suite, and then placed skin-to-skin as soon as possible. This quick, close contact is now recognized to promote many health benefits. We put healthy babies in their moms’ arms immediately after birth.
Skin-to-skin contact also helps babies start breastfeeding, which provides the exact nutrients your baby needs plus many more advantages. We strongly encourage women to nurse their babies, and if you choose to breastfeed our skilled nurses and certified lactation consultants can you get started. We also offer a breastfeeding support course. For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, click here.
We also follow the latest clinical guidelines by offering hepatitis B immunizations to new babies, along with newborn metabolic and hearing screenings. Learn more about these practices, as well other important immunizations such as those for whooping cough (pertussis) and measles (see below).
It’s uncommon for babies to be born with health problems. But for those who are, we have a Level-3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) directly adjacent to our delivery rooms.
In some cases, a cesarean delivery is the safest way for the baby to be born. At Community that happens in an operating suite that is just seconds away. You can choose a significant other to be there with you in most cases.
If everything goes well, your baby will be in your arms within minutes of being born and will stay with you in the recovery room. Breast feeding and skin-to-skin contact are just as important for these babies, and we’ll help you get started as soon as possible.
If there are no complications, moms and babies typically go home one or two days after a vaginal birth and within four days if they’ve had a cesarean section. We’ll give you advice to help things go well and to keep your baby safe and healthy as you settle in at home.
Comfort and security
We get to know each mom, baby and family that comes to the Women and Newborn Center, and we work hard to make your time with us comfortable and safe. For example:
- Spacious labor suites have Jacuzzi tubs, private bathrooms and fold-out couches for dads and other guests.
- Our Family Waiting Room is more like a living room, with comfortable couches and chairs, a fireplace and picture windows.
- You and your guests can order meals from Cuisine On Call between 7:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. These meals are delivered to your room, and mom’s meal is free.
- Our security system sounds an alarm if a baby gets too close to an exit.
We’re proud of our facility and what we do for new moms and their families. If you have questions, or if you’d like to stop by for a tour, call Community’s Women and Newborn Center at 327-4220.
Polio, diphtheria, tetanus, measles—these and many other vaccine-preventable diseases are rarely seen in the US today. Immunizations protect not only the children who get the shots, but by keeping the incidence of these diseases low, they also protect kids who are too young or too sick to get the vaccine.
When vaccination rates decline, though, these diseases can come back. Recent epidemics of whooping cough (pertussis) happened after fewer children were vaccinated.
Here are the immunizations we recommend at Community:
- Hepatitis B. This is a contagious liver disease that can be passed from a mom to a baby at birth. You can have hepatitis B without knowing it, but vaccinating babies right away can keep them safe.
- Influenza. This disease can be very serious in young children. Babies over age 6 months should get an annual flu shot.
- DTaP (Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis). This vaccination series starts at age 2 months. Older kids and adults get a similar vaccine, Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), because immunity can wear off over time. This is especially important for parents and grandparents of infants, since they can pass whooping cough on to babies too young for their first shot.
- MMR (Measles, mumps and rubella). This two-shot series starts between 12 and 15 months. Kids should have the second shot before age 4 years. Having rubella during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects, and if you don’t have immunity you could get the disease before or during a subsequent pregnancy. That’s why we recommend that new mothers also get this vaccination.
- Polio. Babies should start this series at age 2 months.
Your pediatrician may also recommend vaccinations for other diseases, such as chicken pox (varicella), pneumonia and rotavirus.
The most common side effects of a vaccination are a sore spot at the site of the shot and a mild fever. Severe problems, such as an allergic reaction, are very rare. However, false and frightening information—such as the supposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism—is easy to find on the Internet. To get the straight story on immunizations, vist the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov or the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org
We also screen newborns for a number of metabolic disorders that are not common, but can become serious. A few drops of blood from your baby’s heel will be sent to the lab to test for conditions such as phenylketoneuria (PKU).
Click to watch the Emmi® OB/GYN Video - Programs help patients prepare for labor and delivery , surgical procedures, hospital visits and how to plan for recovery at home.
Here are some other websites with useful information on related topics:
- General Information on preterm birth, parent issues, and prevalance, etc. CLICK HERE
- American Academy of Pediatrics CLICK HERE
- Safe Sleep Information CLICK HERE
- More information on car seat safety:
- For hearing screen information from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services: CLICK HERE
- For newborn metabollic screen information: CLICK HERE
- For Lactation Information: