Pregnancy Information

The Center for Women and Newborns is committed to patient- and family-centered care. Learn more about the programs and services we offer to make your stay with us comfortable.

View Our Guide for New Parents (pdf)

View Our Updated Visitor Policy (pdf)

Programs and Services

Video and Photography

Providing the best patient care possible and maintaining patient privacy and confidentiality are of primary concern. For this reason, BWH Strategic Communications offers the following guidelines related to video, photos and media at BWH:

  • All photography, film, video and audio recording for news or commercial purposes, i.e. for promotion on any website or in any materials, must be approved first through BWH Communication & Public Affairs.
  • BWH Communication & Public Affairs must approve and escort reporters, photographers and video crews when their focus involves hospital or patient matters, takes place on hospital property or involves the use of the hospital's name.
  • Patients’ family members, who wish to photograph a procedure (ex: ultrasound) or the birth of their baby may do so as long as verbal consent from the patient, which is then documented in the medical record, is obtained, as well as verbal consent from the attending physician and any staff member who would be included in the picture or video.
  • This approval and any photography, film, video or audio recording is conditional, based on events in the clinical area at the time of treatment/delivery. This includes photographing and filming of a mother and infant(s) by the partner in post-partum units.
  • Please note that only a hand-held camera can with available light or built-in light sources are permitted.

For more information, please contact BWH Communication & Public Affairs at any time at 617-525-6370, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. After hours and on holidays, they can be reached through the page operator at 617-732-6660.

Baby Photos

Order photos of your baby through Mom 365

Family-friendly Cesarean

Brigham and Women’s Hospital offers parents who are having a cesarean birth the option of being able to see their baby’s birth through a clear sterile drape during the delivery. If mother and baby are doing well after delivery, you will be given the option of being skin-to-skin with your baby in the operating room. This will give you the much needed time to bond with your baby during the first hour of life. Read more about skin-to-skin care.

A family-friendly cesarean also means:

  • Your intravenous line and blood pressure cuff will be placed on your non-dominant arm so that you will be free to hold your baby
  • You may bring your own music if desired
  • Your doula can be present

Watch a video about gentle cesarean sections at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Watch our YouTube Playlist about Childbirth and Labor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital


The Center for Women and Newborns at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is pleased to provide low-risk women planning natural childbirth (labor and birth without an epidural or anesthesia) an option to labor in a room equipped with a labor tub (hydrotherapy).

Benefits of natural childbirth and hydrotherapy:

  • Laboring without anesthesia provide you with the ability to move freely in labor and allows you to find positions to help the baby’s head to come down.
  • If you choose natural childbirth, you are less likely to need interventions such as an intravenous line, oxytocin, catheterization (placing a tube in your bladder to drain urine), or delivery using instruments.
  • Learning relaxation techniques during labor and birth can help you during other life events.
  • Laboring in water allows for a feeling of weightlessness to promote relaxation and help you maintain energy.
  • Being in water allows for less compression of the blood vessels that bring blood to your uterus and other muscles, so they will in turn be better energized and oxygenated.
Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a flavorless, odorless gas, mixed with oxygen that is inhaled through a face mask. It is not clear exactly how nitrous oxide works to reduce pain levels. Typically its use results in less pain- you may be aware of the pain without feeling bothered by it.

Your nurse or midwife will instruct you on how to use the face mask. The mask will not be attached to you while you inhale gas. This is intentional and will prevent you from inhaling too much gas at once. If you become too drowsy as a result of the gas, you will no longer be able to hold the mask to your face.

To benefit from the effects of nitrous oxide you need to place the mask on your face and breathe deeply before your next contraction begins. It takes 30 to 60 seconds for the gas to become most effective, so you should try to time your inhalations about 30 seconds before each contraction, or at the moment you begin your next contraction.

The effect of nitrous oxide has been described as a kind of strange sensation of feeling the pain while at the same time feeling a sense of bliss.

Taking Home Your Placenta

For a variety of spiritual, cultural, health-belief related or other personal reasons, you may wish to request to take your placenta home with you after your baby’s birth. If so, a person in the Admitting Office will give you a form to complete when you come to the Hospital to have your baby. At your delivery, your provider will be able to confirm that your placenta will be able to be sent home with you. If so, you will then need to notify your postpartum nurse and he or she will facilitate that process.

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