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Labor and Delivery

At Rush, staff have taken great care to create a soothing and nurturing labor and delivery environment in the Family Birth Center. At the center, you can labor as you choose while surrounded by capable and caring staff. And when it’s time to deliver your baby, they are there — along with your loved ones — to help bring your new baby into the world.

Space designed around families

You can expect the following in the labor and delivery unit:

  • Spacious rooms, which allow laboring moms the space they need for relaxation and pain-relieving exercises.
  • Large windows that offer impressive city views and natural light.
  • Amenities, including birthing balls and showers, to help support the labor process.
  • Comfortable sitting and sleeping space for family or friends who you want to share the birthing experience with you.
  • Nearby operating rooms in cases of c-sections or emergencies.
  • A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) right next door. The specialized neonatology team at Rush can quickly care for babies needing more intensive care after delivery.

Pain management during labor

You have several options when it comes to managing pain during labor. You can learn about these approaches prior to labor through the childbirth classes at Rush. 

When having a baby at Rush, the labor and delivery team will provide individualized care and support you throughout the entire labor. This includes but is not limited to use of the following:

  • Relaxation and breathing exercises:  If you would like a natural childbirth (no pain medication), the labor and delivery team will assist with the following:
    • Relaxation approaches
    • Breathing techniques
    • Other natural ways to relieve pain during labor, such as the use of birthing balls and showers
  • Pain relief medications:  If would like to use pain medications during labor, the labor and delivery team will works with anesthesiologists at Rush to administer an epidural block and/or local anesthesia.

Skin to skin after delivery

The Family Birth Center promotes skin to skin during the “golden hour,” the first hour immediately after delivery.

  • A healthy baby will be immediately dried off and placed directly onto mom’s chest, with baby’s skin against mom’s skin.
  • For c-section deliveries, the baby may be placed skin to skin on mom or, if not available, held by dad skin to skin until mom is ready and able.

Spending the first hour right against mom’s skin makes it easier for baby to adapt to the outside world. Benefits of skin to skin include the following:

  • Stabilizes mom’s blood pressure and bleeding
  • Regulates baby’s temperature and blood sugar
  • Stabilizes baby’s heart rhythm and breathing
  • Supports baby’s brain function and immune system development
  • Encourages breastfeeding soon after birth

Even after the first hour, skin to skin remains beneficial and should be continued by moms or dads during the baby’s first month of life.

Breastfeeding support

Science supports that exclusive breastfeeding is best for baby. That’s why breastfeeding support at Rush begins immediately after delivery.

  • Skin to skin encourages breastfeeding soon after birth.
  • Bedside breastfeeding support is provided in the mother baby unit.
  • Lactation consultants are available throughout recovery and your stay.
  • Breast milk is given to babies in the NICU as much as possible. The Mother’s Milk Club at Rush supports the use of breast milk in preemie babies and babies with special health needs.

Mother Baby Unit

After delivery, moms will be transferred to the Mother Baby Unit to recover before being discharged home.

When you go into labor

If you are in labor and planning to deliver your baby at Rush, go directly to OB registration, located on the first and fourth floor of the Brennan Pavilion in the Tower. For information about preregistration procedures, call (312) 942-5000.