Pregnancy & Birth Center

Welcome your newest family member at Middlesex Health!

Welcome to the Pregnancy & Birth Center at Middlesex Health! 

Our priority is to provide a positive, compassionate, and safe birth experience for each and every family. As you prepare to welcome your newest family member—and begin your journey into parenthood—we are here to ensure that you feel safe, supported and confident during labor and in caring for your baby.

Register For The Middlesex Health Pregnancy Fair

Join us at this free community event for those planning to become pregnant, currently pregnant, or new parents. Meet labor and delivery unit staff and explore Middlesex Health and community resources to support you during and beyond your pregnancy.

Register Now!


Informational Sessions Contact the Nurse Navigator Your Care Team

Here for You at Every Step

Need to Call? 860-358-6320  |  Location & Directions

Set Up Your Birth Plan

Our first priority is healthy moms and healthy babies, and this means doing our best to accommodate your birth preferences. Determining these ahead of time allows for clear and easy communication between you, your support person and your health care team.

  1. Download and complete the Birth Plan tool or the Planned C-section Birth Plan tool.
  2. Discuss your preferences with your OB/GYN.
  3. Send your completed Birth Plan to before your arrival at the hospital.

For more detail about the options available in the Birth Plan, please see the sections on this page about fetal monitoring, during delivery, and pain management.

Sample Birth Plan

Preparing to Breastfeed During Your Pregnancy

Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your child. Breastmilk feeding is a wonderful gift you can give your child and we want to help you get off to the best start possible. To increase your chances of being successful and satisfied with your breastfeeding experience, there are some things you can do to prepare while you are pregnant.

Learn More




Packing for the Hospital

We encourage you to bring certain necessities, as well as items that provide comfort and will help you relax. It can be helpful to start packing early in your third trimester—this will help you feel prepared and more relaxed when labor begins.

For Mom
  • Copy of your Birth Plan
  • Driver's license and insurance card
  • Multiple sets of comfortable clothing (pajamas, robe, slippers/socks, one nursing bra, one pair of underwear, flip flops)
  • Toiletries (tooth care, glasses/contacts, hair care, body wash, lotion, lip balm, etc.)
  • Your Favorites (Pillows, eye mask, ear plugs, water bottle, snacks, gum/candy, phone and extra long charger, camera)
For Partner/Support Person
  • Multiple sets of comfortable clothing
  • Water bottle
  • Toiletries and medications
For Baby
  • Infant car seat (install base prior to hospital admission)
  • Baby blanket
  • Outfit for going home

What We Provide

  • Linens, pillows and gowns
  • Pads and mesh underwear
  • Witch Hazel, Lidocaine cream and nipple cream
  • Diapers, wipes and blankets
  • Hospital-grade Medela double electric breast pump

We also provide three meal trays during your stay. Please speak with the Nurse Navigator for more information about food for moms and support persons.

Keeping Your Valuables Safe

Please leave all of your jewelry and money—except small amounts for miscellaneous purchases—at home, as we cannot be responsible for looking after valuable items.

However, our staff can help you make arrangements to leave valuables in the hospital safe, if you wish.

Arriving at the Pregnancy & Birth Center

When it is time to come to the hospital, please call your doctor for specific instructions about your admission to the hospital for labor and delivery. 

You will come directly to the Pregnancy & Birth Center, located at:

Middlesex Hospital (3rd Floor/West 3)
28 Crescent St.
Middletown, CT 06457

Directions to Middlesex Hospital

Please Note:

  • Arriving During the Day: 
    • Enter through the main lobby of Middlesex Hospital.
    • Daytime hours are 5:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on weekends. 
  • Arriving at Night: 
    • Enter through the Emergency Department.*
    • Nighttime hours are 8 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8 p.m. – 10 a.m. on weekends.

*If you are arriving at the Pregnancy & Birth Center at night and you would prefer not to use the Emergency Department entrance, you may go to the main hospital lobby entrance and use the call box to notify our security team of your arrival.

Your Labor-Delivery-Postpartum Room

At the Middlesex Health Pregnancy & Birth Center, each family has a welcoming and cozy private room. This room is yours for your entire stay. Rooms are spacious and have many comforts of home, including:

  • Private bath/shower, including hair dryer
  • Mini-refrigerator
  • TV & DVD player
  • Sofa bed for support person
  • Wi-Fi
360° Room Views

Photo #1: Set Up for Labor & Delivery
Photo #2: Set Up for Postpartum & Recovery

Fetal Monitoring

Monitoring Baby's Heartbeat

After you arrive at the hospital and settle into your room, we will monitor your baby's heartbeat for 20–30 minutes.

After the first 30 minutes, we will work with your OB/GYN to decide on a plan for additional monitoring. We offer both periodic and continuous monitoring and will determine which is best for you and your baby.

Advanced Technology for Comfort & Flexibility

The technology we use to monitor your baby's heartbeat can be worn while you are changing positions or walking/moving around during labor.

Fetal Monitoring Output

We work with you to create an individualized pain management plan that includes comfort measures, pain medication or both.

Comfort Measures

Our experienced team will support you with comfort measures, based on the preferences you indicate in your Birth Plan. Available options include:

  • breathing techniques
  • massage
  • birth affirmations
  • position changes
  • hydrotherapy
  • aromatherapy
  • counterpressure
  • vocalizing
Pain Medication

If pain medication becomes necessary or you choose to use it, we offer several traditional options.

  • Narcotic pain relievers: These pain relievers will help you rest in between contractions.
  • Epidural: An epidural is a form of anesthesia (management and prevention of pain using medications). After an epidural, you will experience pain relief but may still have the ability to feel pressure.
    • An epidural will provide longer term pain relief and can provide comfort during a C-section, if needed.
    • Epidurals are given by anesthesiologists, or doctors who specialize in pain management during pregnancy, surgery and other medical procedures. Our anesthesiologists are available at all times.
    • After an epidural, you can no longer get out of bed. However, your nurse will continue to assist you with position changes that allow your labor to progress.

Nitrous oxide is a safe alternative to traditional pain and anxiety medications. It allows you to actively participate in labor and delivery while getting fast, easy pain relief.

What is nitrous oxide?

Nitrous oxide is a gas that, when inhaled, can relieve pain and anxiety. The nitrous oxide mixture used at Middlesex Health is 50% nitrous oxide and 50% oxygen. Our special equipment ensures that you get a perfect 50/50 blend with each breath.

How does it work?

Nitrous oxide works in seconds and can immediately help with your symptoms. When you need pain relief—for example, when you feel a contraction starting—you can simply breathe into a mask that you hold until the pain passes. You can use nitrous oxide at any time during labor, right up to birth. You will still be able to move around and push, when the time comes.

Nitrous oxide does not have any long term effects. The gas leaves your system in just a few breaths. It does not impact the progress of your labor.

Are there side effects for me? Does it affect my baby?

Some women report nausea when using nitrous oxide, but taking a few deep breaths without the mask will eliminate the nausea.

Additionally, there are no known effects of nitrous oxide on a baby during labor. This is because the gas is cleared from your body through the lungs in just a few breaths.

Will I need extra monitoring if I use nitrous oxide?

No, there is no extra fetal monitoring required if you use nitrous oxide.

Activity & Eating During Labor

Activity During Labor

The Pregnancy & Birth Center is specially designed to allow you to walk during labor, and we can monitor you and your baby while you move around. 

Please note that at this time, to keep you as safe as possible during COVID-19, walking in the hallways is not permitted. All patients and support persons must remain in their room.

We also do our best to accomodate any other wishes you may have, including:

  • hydrotherapy (standard tub or shower chair)
  • birthing balls
  • peanut balls
  • rocking chairs
  • squat bar
  • birthing stool

All of these options can be arranged by choosing them on your Birth Plan or by discussing your wishes with your health care provider. You may also request to bring your own, new labor tub for your private room. This must be arranged in advance with the Nurse Navigator.

Eating During Labor

For safety reasons, your stomach must be empty of solid food, in case a Cesarean birth is necessary. However, the following options are available to prevent dehydration, help with discomfort and boost your energy:

  • ice chips
  • sips of clear fluids
  • Ensure Clear, a high-carbohydrate drink specially made for women in labor

Vaginal Delivery

Pushing During Labor
Position Changes

During the pushing stage of labor, our team will provide encouragement and education. We recommend frequent position changes to help move your baby down the birth canal. These can include:

  • Side lying
  • Lying with your legs supported
  • Squatting
Birthing Beds

Our birthing beds have many features, including: 

  • Squatting bar attachments
  • Adjustable positions to aid in pushing
  • Optional mirrors, if you'd like to watch your baby's head when it crowns

We do not routinely perform episiotomy (an incision in the perineum), unless it is necessary for a quicker or safer delivery. Our team will use perineal massage, warm soaks and frequent position changes to help reduce tearing.

If an episiotomy becomes necessary, we encourage you to use ice packs, Witch Hazel pads, a donut pillow or a sitz bath to ease discomfort.

After Delivery

During the first hour after delivery, or the golden hour, you and your newborn will stay skin-to-skin. This helps promote bonding and breastfeeding.Your nurse will stay at your bedside for the first several hours, in order to assist you and your baby whenever needed.

Please note that we will do our best to accomodate all of your birth preferences, including for skin-to-skin contact. However, our team will also ensure that you and your baby are safe and receive any additional care as needed.

C-section Delivery

What is a Cesarean section?

A Cesarean section, or C-section, is the surgical delivery of your baby through an incision, or surgical cut, in the abdomen and uterus.

Are all C-sections planned?

No—a C-section can either be planned or unplanned.

  • If you are having a planned C-section, you can complete a C-Section Birth Plan ahead of your delivery date.
  • Sometimes, a C-section becomes necessary once you are in labor. If you need a C-section, Middlesex Health has two fully-equipped surgical suites within the Pregnancy & Birth Center. All of the providers and support staff needed to perform a C-section are available within a moment's notice.
How does Middlesex Health approach C-sections?

At Middlesex Health, we provide we practice gentle Cesarean birth. Gentle C-sections bring attention to the surgery as your birth experience. This means that we can accommodate your wishes for:

  • A clear drape that is lowered at the time of delivery to allow you and your support person to view the birth of your baby
  • Aromatherapy during your procedure
  • Starting breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after delivery
  • Listening to music
After Your C-section

After delivery, you will return to your room with your nurse. Here, you will continue to bond with your baby, recovery from the birth and get some rest. In the hours after your procedure, you can expect to:

  • Begin eating and advance your diet, as tolerated
  • Feed your newborn every two to three hours, or on demand
  • Begin moving around (eight to 12 hours after delivery)
  • Have your foley catheter removed



Caring for Your Newborn


The day your newborn arrives is one of the most anticipated days of your life, and you will want to spend as much time as possible with your baby. We support your baby staying in your room with you 24/7, so that you can begin to understand and bond with your newest family member. You can also expect our team to perform any exams, baths or other tasks right in your room.

Special Medical Attention

If your baby needs any special medical attention after birth, we have the expertise and technology to meet those needs. Learn more about our Special Care Nursery (Neonatal Level II) under the "About Us" tab.

Baby's First Bath

At Middlesex, we recommend delayed bathing. This means that we will not give your infant a bath immediately after birth to allow for skin-to-skin contact and immediate bonding.

When the time is right for your baby's first bath, you will get to be a part of the process. We use swaddle, or immersion, bathing. This family-centered approach to bathing means that your baby will stay loosely wrapped in their blanket while in the bath, and we will help you gently unswaddle and wash each limb, one at a time. Limbs are then rewrapped, helping your baby stay comfortable.

What are the benefits of swaddle/immersion bathing?

  • Improved Thermoregulation: Swaddle bathing helps keep your baby from getting too cold or too warm during their bath.
  • Less Stress: Swaddle bathing has been shown to reduce stress hormones in babies during swaddle baths, compared to traditional sponge baths.
  • Better Learning for Parents: Because swaddle baths are less stressful for babies, they are also less stressful for parents. In a more relaxed environment, you can learn more about bathing your baby before you go home.
  • Improved Breastfeeding Rates: Babies who are less stressed have more success with breastfeeding.

Feeding Your Newborn

A Plan that Works for You

We work with all new moms to create an individualized feeding plan that meets your goals and your infant's needs.

When possible, we strongly encourage moms to begin breastfeeding shortly after birth, and we have expert lactation consultants available if you need additional support. However, our priority is to ensure that you go home feeling confident that you can provide the very best care for your baby.

To assist you in achieving a successful breastfeeding experience, we offer:
  • Education about breastfeeding before and after your baby is born. Please see our breastfeeding during pregnancy page for more information.
  • Hands-on support while you’re in the hospital from our expertly trained nurses and lactation consultants.
  • Outpatient support if you have lactation questions. If you would like to schedule an outpatient appointment, please call 860-358-6867 or email
  • Peer support once you leave the hospital through our support group, which meets every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m in the Pregnancy and Birth Center Classroom. Registration is not required for the group, but you can call 860.358-6867 if you have questions. (Currently meeting virtually- Please Register Here).
Breast Pumps

If necessary, a breast pump is provided to you for free during your hospital stay.

If you will need a breast pump at home, our Lactation Consultant can help you obtain one through your private insurance.

The Pregnancy & Birth Center is also a Medela Symphony Breast Pump rental station. The pump described below is what is available to you at Middlesex and is also available for rental after your stay. Our Nurse Navigator can assist you with the rental process.

Symphony® Breastpump Plus (Hospital Grade)

Features and Benefits:

  • 2-Phase Expression Pumping
  • Long-term daily use
  • Electric or battery powered
  • Double or single pump
  • Multi-user with personal double pumping system
  • All parts that come into contact with breastmilk are BPA/DEHP Free

Please Note: You can rent a breast pump from Middlesex Health even if you did not deliver your baby at Middlesex Hospital.

Care for Mom During Pregnancy

Education & Information

Whether this is your first child—or your fourth!—you may find yourself wanting to gather as much information as possible. We provide evidence-based education to build your confidence and help you feel prepared.

Health & Wellness Classes

We offer yoga, pilates and more to help you feel your best during and after pregnancy. During COVID-19, these sessions are being offered online only.

Supporting Your Pelvic Health

At the Middlesex Health Center for Continence & Pelvic Health, we have a program just for expectant and new moms. Our team can work with you to address bladder concerns, muscle strength, painful intercourse and other concerns you may have.

Information for Partners

Partners and support persons play many important roles during pregnancy, during labor and delivery and after your baby arrives. The following tips can help you be a positive and helpful presence for your loved one in labor.

During Pregnancy
  • Talk About Birth Preferences: Use the Birth Plan tool to start a conversation about how mom pictures labor and what she expects.
  • Attend Childbirth Education Classes: Going to childbirth education and newborn care classes with mom can help you learn about what to expect—and your role during labor, delivery and postpartum. These classes also discuss your role as a support person.
  • Complete a Car Seat Check: Local fire departments and police stations perform car seat safety checks. For more information, you can also visit the Safe Kids Connecticut website.
  • Encourage, Encourage, Encourage: Even before labor, remind your pregnant partner that they are doing a great job coping with the changes that come with pregnancy and preparing for parenthood.
During Labor & Delivery
  • Help Set the Tone: Dim lighting, quiet voices and aromatherapy can all be conducive to smoother labor and delivery.
  • Help Mom Change Positions: Changing positions during labor is very helpful to the birth process. Also, remind mom to use the bathroom hourly and drink water, as able.
  • Take a Break: Having a baby can be emotional and tiring for partners, too! 
      • Couch/Sleeper Sofa: For your convenience, each room has a sleeper sofa. We also provided linens and pillows.
      • Snacks: Bring snacks so that you can eat something on the go when you are hungry or tired.
  • Encourage, Encourage, Encourage: Always remind your laboring partner that they are doing a great job and that you'll soon be able to meet your bundle of joy!


1 Specialty Care Location

1Pregnancy & Birth Center at Middlesex Hospital

Middlesex Hospital
28 Crescent St.
Middletown, CT 06457
Office Hours

The Pregnancy & Birth Center is staffed 24/7 to meet the needs of laboring moms and newborns. Please see the visitor information section of our website for up-to-date hours and policies.

Pregnancy & Birth Center at Middlesex Hospital