Women's Services - Transitions
The DCH Health System understands how important health issues are to women. West Alabama is fortunate to have two excellent facilities that offer both family-oriented childbirth and intensive care units for critically ill newborns. The Women’s Center at DCH Regional Medical Center
offers rooms decorated in a homelike atmosphere, and two room suites and private accommodations are available. At the Women’s Pavilion at Northport Medical Center
, a mother can stay in the same comfortable, well-equipped room from the time she arrives until the day she goes home.
Both hospitals feature neonatal intensive care units directed by physician specialists and staffed by experienced nurses.
The DCH Health System offers clinical-based education programs through the Women's Center at DCH Regional Medical Center
and Women's Pavilion at Northport Medical Center
The Women's Center is conveniently located on the third floor of DCH Regional Medical Center
in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
The Women's Center is designed to help expectant mothers and their loved ones enjoy the birthing experience together. Throughout the birthing experience, mothers remain in their own labor, delivery, and recovery room (LDR). After giving birth, the new mother moves from the LDR to a homelike, private room or suite on a unit that specializes in the care of new mothers and infants. Each comfortable and attractive room features a sleeper for a family member or guest. In addition to our all-private rooms, we have suites, each with a sofa bed and a sitting room that's separate from the mother's room. With our rooming in option, mothers can choose to keep their baby with them in the room throughout your stay.
For more information about the Women's Center, call (205) 759-7230
Some of the features available at the Women's Center include:
- Certified Lactation Consultant - we have a lactation consultant available to answer questions and concerns about breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding Support Group - meets monthly.
- Sibling Party - an ice cream and cake party given for big brother or sister is our way of saying "You are very special too."
- A videotape that covers caring for your baby through the first few months will be given to you when you discharge.
Prenatal Education Classes
Becoming a parent will be one of the most exciting times of your life. Naturally, expectant parents have questions and anxieties about having a baby.
The Prenatal Education Classes series will help eliminate many fears and doubts by providing expectant parents with a better understanding of the childbirth experience. These classes will help parents prepare for parenting and take a more active role in the birth of their child.
For a more fulfilling childbirth experience, a modified Lamaze class is offered as part of this series. The father, or other support person, will be instructed as a “coach” to provide mothers-to-be with added comfort and support during labor and delivery.
Here is a list of the classes offered in this series. Preregistration is required. For more information, call the (205) 333-4772, or click here to send an e-mail.
- Early Pregnancy – This class answers commonly asked questions and offers information on what to expect with pregnancy.
- Preparing for Childbirth – Stages of labor, types of delivery, labor and delivery procedures are discussed in this class.
- Refresher to Childbirth– Review childbirth, breathing and relaxation techniques and the support person's role.
- Caring for Your Infant – This class focuses on the first days after bringing the newborn home. Information on daily care, infant safety and infant CPR are discussed.
- Beginning Breastfeeding – This class helps new moms who are breastfeeding get started.
- Grandparents Class– This class covers helpful hints for first-time grandparents.
- Helping Siblings Adjust – This one-hour class acquaints big brother or sister with his or her new role. A tour of the postpartum suite and nursery is included in this class.
When you know that your baby is ready to make his or her grand appearance, we work with you and your physician to make sure your admission goes smoothly. When your doctor tells you it's time to go to the hospital, simply go to the Emergency Department entrance, and someone will promptly assist you.
The Women's Pavilion at Northport Medical Center
has one of the most progressive and modern obstetrical units in the West Alabama area. Comfort and privacy are provided through family-centered, single-room maternity care. This approach allows the mother, father and newborn to remain in the same room throughout the labor, delivery and postpartum stages.
The Women's Pavilion features spacious private rooms, beautifully furnished and decorated. All necessary medical equipment is discreetly stored in each room so that families can enjoy a comfortable, homelike atmosphere.
Women delivering their babies at the Women's Pavilion enter the hospital through the Pavilion. The patient rooms are only a few steps away, and nurses specially trained in obstetrical care will help mothers and fathers get settled and ready for their special delivery.
If a cesarean section is needed, the mother is transferred to a surgical suite within the Women's Pavilion and returns to her room for recovery and postpartum stay. If the baby needs special care, an intensive care nursery with a highly trained staff is located in the Pavilion.
The Women's Pavilion also offers:
- Certified Lactation Consultants are available to answer questions and concerns about breastfeeding.
- A sibling party with ice cream and cake party for big brother or sister.
- Celebration Meal - special meal for new mom and a guest, served in mom's room. Several menu choices available.
For mothers who plan on breastfeeding, the Lactation Center, part of the Breast Care Center, offers prenatal, telephone and full consults, prenatal breastfeeding classes, monthly support group meetings, breastfeeding books, tapes and pump rentals, post-discharge clinic visits and phone follow-up after discharge. The Lactation Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (205) 750-5186. Appointments are needed for lactation consults, bra fittings and follow up weight checks.
Childbirth Education Classes
All childbirth classes are taught by Registered Nurses, many who are certified through the Council of Childbirth Educators. For more information about our complimentary childbirth classes, or to register, call (205) 333-4296 or e-mail Women's Pavilion Childbirth Classes
Please sign up for classes when you are 20 weeks pregnant.
Here are some of the classes offered at the Women's Pavilion:
Comprehensive Childbirth Class
- This class is designed to teach first time parents information regarding labor, delivery and postpartum. Anesthesia options are also discussed. This class is a MUST for all new parents.
- Breastfeeding classes are offered for expectant parents who wish to breastfeed their infants. Basic techniques and practical skills are emphasized. Informal discussions are encouraged.
Beyond Your First Baby
- This class is for those who already have beeen through the labor process, but may need a refresher. You wil learn about aspects of childbirth that might have changed since your last birth, as well as the differences between subsequent deliveries.
Big Brother/Big Sister Class
- This class is designed for children ages 3 to 8 years old. This class discusses what life will be like with a new baby. A tour of the unit is given so children will be comfortable with visiting mom and baby.
All About Infant Care
- This comprehensive class teaches first time parents how to prepare for the arrival of their newborn. Basic newborn care is discussed, including diapering, feeding and bathing. You will also learn what to expect after delivery and once at home.
Infant/Child Safety & CPR
- You will learn how to perform CPR, rescue a choking infant or child and learn how to prevent childhood injuries. Another MUST class for all expectant parents.
Entering the 3rd Trimester
- This class is taken during the second trimester and targets first time parents at 22-28 weeks gestation. Normal pregnancy changes, as well as potential complications of pregnancy during the third trimester are discussed.
Breathing and Relaxation
- This class targets couples who are at least 34 weeks pregnant and who want to learn various techniques to achieve a natural labor and birth. Topics include how to recognize tension, the use of a focal point and breathing techniques.
For information about the Women's Pavilion or prenatal classes, call (205) 333-4600 or click here
Your monthly breast self-examination reveals a lump in one of your breasts, and you need access to outstanding diagnostic and treatment services.
You’ve just found out you’re pregnant, and you want to know more about breastfeeding your baby.
The Breast Care Centers at DCH Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center are available to help women deal with important health issues that occur through all stages of their lives.
Services For Diagnosing & Treating Breast Cancer
Every woman is at risk for breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in women. The good news is that breast cancer can usually be treated successfully if it is caught early. The state-of-the-art diagnostic services available at the Breast Care Centers are essential in diagnosing breast cancer.
Diagnostic Services At The Breast Care Centers
The Breast Care Centers offer diagnostic procedures used in the detection of breast cancer. The diagnostic services available in detecting breast cancer include:
Mammography: The Breast Care Centers now provide digital mammography. Digital mammograms make the mammogram experience quicker and provides a digital image for review. The digital image has been reported to be more sensitive in detecting early breast cancer.
Breast ultrasound: Breast ultrasound uses inaudible sound to produce images of the tissues in the breast and can identify where an abnormality or tumor is located within the breast.
The Breast Care Center at Northport Medical Center offers the newest noninvasive biopsy procedure available - the Mammotome Breast Biopsy System.
The Mammotome Breast Biopsy System
is a noninvasive procedure that causes little pain and doesn’t require sutures or stitches. Mammotome is a type of nonsurgical needle biopsy that only requires one incision, about one-quarter inch in size, to obtain multiple tissue samples. This procedure is able to capture even the smallest abnormalities – microcalcifications – for testing, which can be the earliest sign of cancer. Because of this, physicians are able to diagnose breast cancer at its earliest stages, when it is most treatable. Unlike surgical biopsies, the Mammotome procedure is performed with minimal anesthesia. In most cases, the Mammotome procedure provides peace of mind that additional treatment will not be necessary.
Most breast biopsies are not malignant (cancerous). However, if your biopsy reveals breast cancer, surgery may be required. DCH Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center offer comprehensive surgical services on an inpatient and outpatient basis. The Outpatient Surgery departments at both facilities offer individual patient rooms for privacy and comfort. Having the full backup of hospital and inpatient services gives reassurance to you and your family. Our surgical services include biopsies, lumpectomies and mastectomies.
If your physician recommends treatment for breast cancer, the DCH Cancer Treatment Center offers a highly skilled staff and advanced treatment in a supportive, comfortable environment. The DCH Cancer Treatment Center, located on the campus of DCH Regional Medical Center, provides the very latest in radiation and chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Support groups, social services and financial counseling are also available on-site.
Services For New Mothers
New mothers are increasingly choosing to breastfeed their babies. Lactation services are provided by Board Certified Lactation Consultants.
In addition to lactation services by Board Certified Lactation Consultants, through the Breast Care Center at Northport Medical Center, you can rent and/or purchase equipment for breastfeeding, including Medela breast pumps, nursing bras and other accessories.
Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes are available through the Breast Care Center at Northport Medical Center and the Women’s Center at DCH Regional Medical Center.
Breastfeeding Support Group
A Breastfeeding Support Group is conducted through the Women’s Pavilion at Northport Medical Center (telephone: 330-3031).
In addition to the wide range of breast care services offered through the two convenient Breast Care Center locations, Northport Medical Center and DCH Regional Medical Center offer the most progressive and modern obstetrical units in the West Alabama area.
Gynecological procedures, including abdominal or laparoscopic-assisted vaginal hysterectomies, are performed at DCH Regional Medical Center and Northport Medical Center. These procedures are available on an inpatient or outpatient basis, as determined by your physician.
Breast Care Services at Fayette Medical Center
Fayette Medical Center provides ultrasound and mammography services for the detection of breast abnormalities. The mammography program at Fayette Medical Center is approved by the State of Alabama and the American College of Radiology