Pregnant in Tucson? Researching which hospital or birth center would be a good fit for your upcoming birth? We are proud to bring you the most comprehensive look at the SIX different labor & delivery options in our city.
We've listed all five below in alphabetical order with a brief Q & A...answered by the center's staff.
"At Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, you’ll find all of the maternity care you need, whether your pregnancy is normal and healthy or complicated and high-risk. Our obstetricians have the lowest rate of C-sections and highest rate of vaginal births after cesarean section in Arizona. We specialize in vaginal breech delivery and the vaginal delivery of twins. We focus on making you feel comfortable, informed, and safe while you’re with us and hope you’ll remember this special time at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson."
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? Each patient labors in her own private room with fabulous mountain views (the best in town)! Labor rooms are approximately 300 square feet. Rooms are equipped with chairs and sleepers and private shower/bathroom. Regular birthing beds to keep patients safe. Birthing balls and laboring tubs are available in each room for patients who desire to utilize them. Families are encouraged to bring in whatever supplies they feel will assist in their birthing experience. There is no limit to the number of visitors in the room. After baby is born, there are adjustable height cribs available for your use.
WATER BIRTHS? Water births are not available at this time.
EPIDURALS? Immediate access to anesthesiologists is available.
EATING & DRINKING PERMITTED DURING LABOR? Eating and drinking is decided on a case-by-case basis through discussion of plan of care between the patient and her physician.
C-SECTION RATE? 28%
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT? Immediate breastfeeding is encouraged for those mothers who choose to do so. Lactation consultants are in the hospital and are available whenever needed. Patient may also request to be seen. Some nurses have completed the IBCLC (International Breastfeeding Certified Lactation Consultant) program and all nursing staff attend lactation in-services. Banner University Medical Center Tucson is also the only local hospital to offer pumping education classes.
HOW SOON CAN MOMS RETURN HOME POST-DELIVERY? Vaginal delivery 24 hours; c-section 24-48 hours.
"Women’s Care at Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital is designed to provide excellent care in every phase of childbirth, with the most advanced medical capabilities. Our continuum of care includes comprehensive prenatal through postpartum care with perinatology services for high risk pregnancies. We offer a warm, home-like atmosphere for every woman’s personalized care throughout her stay."
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? They are very spacious and include all of the latest technology, as well as a large comfortable bed for mom, a walk-in shower, and a pull-out couch for others to spend the night. The colors and lighting were designed to promote relaxation and comfort. Rockers, birthing balls, and water massage tubs are available for new moms to promote comfort and relaxation.
WATER BIRTHS? Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital declined to comment.
EPIDURALS? 24-hour anesthesiology is available.
EATING & DRINKING PERMITTED DURING LABOR? Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital declined to comment.
C-SECTION RATE? Carondelet St. Joseph's Hospital declined to comment.
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT? Certified Lactation Consultants are available 7 days per week to support the new mom and baby. Free breastfeeding and postpartum support groups are also available weekly.
HOW SOON CAN MOMS RETURN HOME POST-DELIVERY? The length of stay for mom is very individualized based on a mutual decision between her and her physician. Typically vaginal births stay two nights, c-sections stay three.
*Note that there are currently no Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) in Tucson that offer home birth as an option.
"The Women's Center at Northwest is a free standing, fully supported birth/newborn/ and women’s surgical inpatient facility in Tucson. It opened in 2000 with all private rooms, 24/7 in-house Anesthesia, 27/7 respiratory support, 24/7 Neonatology support, dedicated lactation consultants, as well as Social Workers to assist women and their families. Parking is very close to the main entrance. We provide 24/7 specialized tracking security system for the babies’ safety, WIFI for visitors and the family, and special celebration meals (either Dinner/Lunch or Breakfast).
The LDR model of birthing is utilized. All mothers and their infants transfer from the labor/delivery room to a mother/baby room within 2 hours of birth. Babies stay with their mother, not in a nursery, unless the baby needs special care."
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? We have birthing balls and peanuts, rocking chairs, a select number of spa tubs, and there are showers in every room. The LDR rooms are approx. 225 sq. feet in size. Every birthing room and post-partum room includes a comfortable sleeping couch for the dad or partner to rest. The bed is a standard birthing bed.
WATER BIRTHS? Water births are not performed at Northwest Medical Center, but a select number of spa tubs are available for relaxation during labor.
EPIDURALS? 24-hour in-house anesthesiology is available.
EATING & DRINKING PERMITTED DURING LABOR? Eating and/or drinking is a physician decision.
C-SECTION RATE? Unknown.
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT? Lactation Consultants make rounds daily for patients requiring special attention. Additionally, every RN has received special education to assist all mothers with breastfeeding. Approx. 79% of all of mothers who deliver at Northwest Medical Center elect to breastfeed their infants.
HOW SOON CAN MOMS RETURN HOME POST-DELIVERY? The length of a mother’s stay postpartum is based on their condition.
"The Midwifery Center, formerly El Rio Birth Center, is an accredited birth center attended by midwives that has offered a model unique from traditional hospital labor-and-delivery experiences since 1982. The center offers a home-like, natural childbirth experience with the safety net of a hospital known for excellent maternity and newborn care."
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? The rooms each have a queen size bed with complimentary furniture and a huge birth tub, plus a separate bathroom. We use birth stools, balls, rocking chairs, music, and other comfort measures that are portable and can be used in any space by any family.
WATER BIRTHS? Yes.
EATING & DRINKING PERMITTED DURING LABOR? The mother may eat and drink as she chooses.
C-SECTION RATE? Unknown.
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT? There is no routine separation of mothers and babies at TMC. The Golden Hour of uninterrupted skin-to-skin time is observed for all births at TMC. During the Golden Hour, initiation of breastfeeding may begin, following your newborn’s cues. There is no routine administration of formula or pacifiers at TMC and donor breast milk is available should the baby have a medical need for supplementation. Additionally, TMC has a wonderful team of lactation consultants who provide breastfeeding assistance at birth and after discharge home.
HOW SOON CAN MOMS RETURN HOME POST-DELIVERY? Moms are typically able to go home within four to 12 hours after delivering their babies.
"TMC’s Labor and Delivery features a full team of professionals, all extensively trained in caring for mom and baby, including any rare crisis situations. Specialists are standing by 24 hours a day, every day, to handle any high risk pregnancy and deliveries. On-site specialists include perinatologists who are experts in maternal-fetal medicine, dedicated Labor & Delivery anesthesiologists, and neonatologists who care for babies needing extra assistance in TMC’s nationally renowned NICU (Newborn Intensive Care Unit), just across the hall."
WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? TMC’s spacious Labor and Delivery rooms are all private, with built-in seating where birth coaches can rest. All the rooms are furnished with a peaceful motif, including all that is required for a safe, comfortable delivery: birthing balls, large beds that are fully convertible to handle any birthing position, and huge shower stalls for comfort in labor. Four of the rooms also have large bathtubs. Personalized birth plans are encouraged and welcomed.
WATER BIRTHS? Generally, TMC does not offer water births.
VBACS? TMC is able to support Vaginal Birth After Cesarean for previous c-section moms who wish to pursue trial of labor, and has many successful VBACs each year. Not all hospitals offer this option.
EATING & DRINKING PERMITTED DURING LABOR? TMC does not encourage eating in later stages of labor.
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT? TMC employs at least eight lactation consultants, all RNs and all internationally board certified (IBCLC). TMC is the only hospital in Southern Arizona to receive the prestigious global IBCLC Care Award for its outstanding Breastfeeding Support Program. All new moms who wish to receive a breastfeeding consultation will be seen, with consults available seven days a week. Lactation consultants also teach prenatal breastfeeding classes and host new moms and their babies at weekly breastfeeding support group meetings. Outpatient consultations are available by appointment. TMC also provides a retail shop near Labor & Delivery (the Desert Cradle) that offers breastfeeding pumps, books, and supplies.
HOW SOON CAN MOMS GO HOME POST-DELIVERY? TMC expects stays to last about two days for a vaginal birth and two to four days after a cesarean birth.
*NOTE ABOUT BLOOD CORD DONATION* Tucson Medical Center is the only hospital in Southern Arizona to collect donated umbilical cord blood as part of the Arizona Public Cord Blood Program. Expectant parents have the option of donating their baby’s umbilical cord blood to the Be The Match registry where it could save the life of someone with a life-threatening disease who needs a stem cell transplant. Donating cord blood does not hurt the mother or the baby. It does not change your labor or delivery and donation to a public bank is free.
Best wishes for a safe and peaceful labor, delivery, and recovery!