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Facility combines expertise of OB/GYNs, midwives

SCRANTON, Pa. – Bouncing babies are back at Geisinger Community Medical Center with the opening of its new labor and delivery unit. 

The Childbirth Center opened Oct. 10 and returns to the medical center a service it has not offered since 2007: maternity care for expectant mothers and babies. The $15 million center features eight spacious delivery and postpartum suites on the city hospital’s third floor.

The birthing suites are designed to allow expectant mothers to move around freely and feel as comfortable and “at home” as possible. The large rooms are intended for labor, delivery and recovery, so mothers can remain in one place throughout their stay. The facility is fully equipped to provide patient-centered care as well as the latest medical technology, equipment and staff expertise. 

At the Childbirth Center, obstetrician/gynecologists and certified nurse midwives will work together to comfort and care for mothers-to-be and their babies, and expectant moms will be able to tailor their birth plans according to their preferences. Midwives will facilitate natural birth plans, and OB/GYNs will be on duty at all hours to intervene when needed.

“Geisinger Community Medical Center’s midwifery program is the first in Scranton offered by a hospital system. Geisinger is committed to caring for women at every stage of their lives,” said Sandra Culbertson, M.D., chair of Women’s Health at Geisinger. “That commitment includes extending new services into the communities we serve. This is just one of many women’s health initiatives we plan on introducing in Scranton.” 

“Our highly educated and trained certified nurse midwives are qualified to administer a wide spectrum of women’s health services with a personal touch and minimal technology and interference during low-risk, low-intervention pregnancies,” said Manuel Arreguin, M.D., chair of Obstetrics/Gynecology in Geisinger’s northeast region. “Moms will be able to experiment with a variety of positions and take advantage of birthing balls and hydrotherapy tubs to manage pain and make the labor process as comfortable and natural as possible. At the Childbirth Center, the hour after birth will ideally be a bonding time for skin-to-skin contact between mother and child.”

A variety of pain management options, including epidurals and nitrous oxide, will be available, and if the unexpected occurs during a midwife-assisted birth, physicians will be ready to step in. If an emergency C-section is necessary, an obstetrician/gynecologist will be prepared to perform surgery, and the handoff from certified nurse midwife to OB/GYN will help facilitate a feeling of security and confidence.

Should the need arise, the Childbirth Center will work directly with the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre. Geisinger Wyoming Valley’s NICU recently transitioned to level III, and by January 2020 will be able to care for babies born as early as 28 weeks into pregnancy. The NICU can currently care for babies as young as 31 weeks into pregnancy. 

When Geisinger acquired Community Medical Center in 2012, the health system made a $158.6 million commitment to providing new programs and services to Lackawanna County, including a $97.1 million construction project at the Scranton hospital that increased the medical center’s footprint by more than 35 percent and features a 5-story 143,000 square-foot tower that houses a 14-room operating suite and an 18-room intensive care/critical care unit. 

That commitment was fulfilled in 2015, but Geisinger has continued to build programs in Lackawanna County including a pediatric specialty clinic in Dunmore, an outreach program that offers pediatric cardiology, oncology, hematology, endocrinology, neurology, nephrology, infectious diseases and pulmonology.

About Geisinger
Geisinger is committed to making better health easier for the more than 1 million people it serves. Founded more than 100 years ago by Abigail Geisinger, the system now includes 10 hospital campuses, a health plan with more than half a million members, a Research Institute and the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With nearly 24,000 employees and more than 1,700 employed physicians, Geisinger boosts its hometown economies in Pennsylvania by billions of dollars annually. Learn more at Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

A room at the newly opened Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton.
A newly renovated patient room inside The Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center.
A room at the newly opened Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton.
A newly renovated patient room inside The Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center.
A room at the newly opened Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center looking out over Scranton.
The view overlooking Scranton from inside a new patient room at The Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center.
A delivery room at the newly opened Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton.
One of the delivery rooms at The Childbirth Center at Geisinger Community Medical Center.

For media inquires:

R. Matthew Mattei
Media Relations Specialist

570-808-3971
rmmattei1@geisinger.edu