A Lifelong Love Begins Here
If you’re planning for a new arrival,
you’ve come to the right place.
Maternity Care at Mercy and Memorial Hospitals
Life’s first hellos start here. Memorial Hospital’s and Mercy Hospital Southwest’s award-winning birth centers are well-known for outstanding care of mothers and their newborns. We believe that bringing a new life into the world means supporting you every step of the way. Let’s deliver humankindness—together.
Our Private Birthing Suites
At Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest, we work closely with you to make giving birth safe and comfortable. Our hospitals feature large, modern birthing suites where state-of-the-art equipment is balanced with home-like features, including a comfortable place for dad or other family members to rest.
Memorial Hospital offers wireless fetal monitoring so mothers can shower or walk around the unit while in labor. The unit also has equipment and techniques to help mothers labor more effectively, and the Helen Taylor Cobbs Children’s Healing Garden, complete with fountains and animal topiaries, near the Labor and Delivery unit to keep siblings happy.
If you’re nervous about giving birth, attending our maternity orientation and tour will provide opportunities to ask questions and learn about the birthing process. Attending this class early in pregnancy will allow time to learn about the hospital and other prenatal courses offered.
Mercy Hospital Southwest
At Mercy Hospital Southwest, the Family Birth Center suites are designed for the comfort and care of you and your baby. The private suites are spacious and modern, featuring adjustable beds and a bathroom with a shower, as well as state-of-the-art fetal monitoring systems among other equipment necessary to provide quality care for you and your baby. Each suite also includes comfortable pull-out furniture for an overnight guest and free WiFi.
The Family Birth Center at Mercy Hospital Southwest offers tours of the unit, as well as other maternity classes, including childbirth preparation and breastfeeding.
Take a virtual tour of Mercy Hospital Southwest’s Family Birth Center:
Designed for Safety and Comfort
We want your birth experience to be as comfortable as possible. Your pain will be monitored closely and options for pain control will be available to you. For mothers-to-be that are planning to have an epidural, there is an anesthesiologist in-house—not just on call—24-hours a day who can respond quickly when it’s time.
Our team has the training and technical resources to respond to unexpected or special needs. Surgical suites designed for complicated deliveries and cesarean sections are located very close to our birth centers. These allow you and your physician the comfort of knowing they can be accessed immediately if a cesarean section should become necessary.
24/7 In-House OB Physician
At Memorial Hospital, obstetrical (OB) physicians are onsite 24/7 to manage emergencies and consult with a physician on your behalf in your absence. We also care for mothers-to-be who have no chosen obstetrician.
Regardless of delivery method (vaginal or C-section), if your baby is healthy, you'll be provided with one hour of uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact and bonding time with your newborn at Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest.
What to Bring on the Big Day
Before the big day, pack a bag with everything you think you'll need at the hospital so that you're ready to go as soon as your baby is ready to arrive. Click the link below for our list of birth essentials to help get you started.
Award-Winning Labor and Delivery in Bakersfield
Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest received seven national awards in 2017 from Healthgrades, including 5-star achievement for performance in OB/GYN Care.
What does that mean for expecting mothers?
From 2013-2015, patients treated in hospitals with 5-stars for Labor and Delivery Excellence had, on average, a 53.8% lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the Labor and Delivery Excellence Award*.
In addition to the 5-star awards both hospitals received for vaginal deliveries, Memorial Hospital also received:
- Five-star achievement for c-section deliveries in 2017
- Healthgrades 2017 Gynecologic Surgery Excellence AwardTM
- Recognition by Healthgrades in 2017 for Superior Performance in Gynecologic Surgery
- Five-star achievement for hysterectomy in 2017
- Ranking among the top 10% of hospitals evaluated for gynecologic surgery in 2017
- Recognition by a leading nationwide consumer study ranking among top five hospitals in the nation with the lowest c-section rates
Both Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest are Baby-Friendly® Hospitals. These designations, received from Baby-Friendly USA, mark the highest accreditation for birth centers. Baby-Friendly hospitals are recognized worldwide for their superb infant bonding and breastfeeding practices in their birthing units.
When Your Baby Needs Extra Care
If your baby is born prematurely or with a serious illness, Memorial Hospital and Mercy Hospital Southwest have Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) just steps away from our birth centers. Specially trained NICU doctors and nurses use state-of-the-art equipment to care for every need of the tiniest of newborns. Our NICUs provide specialized care for premature babies and embrace parents as a vital part of the health care team.
Visiting Your Baby in the NICU
You are welcome to visit your baby at any time in the NICU. There are some precautions that must be taken in order to enter the NICU. Our staff will walk you through the necessary steps you'll need to take each time you visit your baby, whether you plan to touch your baby or not.
If you are feeling ill, please let us know. If you display symptoms of coughing, sneezing, runny nose, rash, fever, or have been exposed to a communicable disease, we ask that you do not enter.
The number of visitors to the NICU may be limited on occasion.
How is My Baby Doing?
If you have any questions regarding your baby's condition, please feel free to ask your baby's nurse. Your nurse is here for you, as well as your baby, and will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Parents are encouraged to call our NICUs at any time of the day or night to ask about their baby.
Memorial Hospital NICU: 661.327.4647 x3197
(You may dial extension 3197 if you are calling from a room within the hospital.)
Mercy Hospital Southwest NICU: 661.663.6070
(You may dial extension 6070 if you are calling from a room within the hospital.)
Patient confidentiality laws restrict our ability to release information about the babies in our care to anyone other than the baby's parents.
Lactation Support Center
The Lactation Support Center at Mercy Hospital Southwest is Bakersfield’s first center to offer a full scope of resources for breastfeeding women. The retail store is filled with items made especially for breastfeeding mothers that are available for purchase. We also offer breast pump rentals and the personalized support of our trained staff.
Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts you can give your new baby. Breast milk provides babies excellent nutrition, and breastfeeding benefits mom, too! But there can be challenges to overcome. Our certified lactation consultants are professional breastfeeding specialists trained to teach mothers how to feed their baby. They can help if you are experiencing breastfeeding problems, such as difficulties with latching, painful nursing, or low milk production.
Mercy's lactation consultants are available to assist you even after you and your baby go home through the Lactation Support Center, located just next door to Mercy Hospital Southwest.
Lactation consultations are by appointment only. If you delivered your baby at Mercy or Memorial Hospitals, breastfeeding consultations are available at no charge. Others will be charged a one-time fee.
Breastfeeding Support And Supplies
The Lactation Support Center also offers a retail store that carries a variety of supplies especially for breastfeeding mothers.
- Breastfeeding bras
- Breast pump rental and sales
- Education and assistance with breast pumps
- Free breastfeeding literature
- Herbal supplements
- Information about parenting classes and childbirth classes
- Breast pump replacement and supplemental items
The Lactation Support Center
500 Old River Road, Suite 200 (Second Floor)
Inside Women’s Imaging Center at Mercy Hospital Southwest
Monday-Friday: 12 - 4 PM
To learn more about the Lactation Support Center or make an appointment for a consultation, please call 661.663.6056.
Birth and Parenting Classes
We are committed to helping you be the best parent you can be—think of us as your wellness partner before, during, and after pregnancy. We offer parenting and childbirth classes for moms-to-be and their partners. Our childbirth classes will help you prepare for the new addition to your family, starting with the experience of giving birth. The more you know, the more relaxed you will be when the time comes. Parenting classes will give you the knowledge and skills you will need to confidently care for your baby.
Learn more about our parenting and childbirth classes:
Reasons for Seeing an Obstetrician
When it comes to you and your baby’s health, you want only the very best medical care. An obstetrician can help guide and support you through all aspects of pregnancy and delivery, including counseling on pain relief, vaginal bleeding in pregnancy, and delivery methods.
Specifically, obstetricians can help with:
Maternity Services at Mercy and Memorial Hospitals
We offer a wide range of OB/GYN services at our hospitals, birth centers, and outpatient care clinics, including:
Considering Having a Baby
If you’re considering having a baby, take a moment to read these health tips for getting pregnant, then meet with a provider at Dignity Health Mercy and Memorial Hospitals for personalized care. Your maternity team may include your obstetrician, family medicine doctor, maternal-fetal medicine doctor, and a midwife or neonatologist.
To find an OB/GYN, please call 661.324.7070 or use our Find a Doctor search tool..