Emerson Hospital offers a full spectrum of obstetric and gynecologic services to women of all ages. With offices in Concord, Acton, Leominster and Westford, Massachusetts, the board-certified obstetricians and gynecologists on our staff, along with a certified nurse-midwife, provide comprehensive gynecologic care, family planning, prenatal and obstetric care and menopause management.
- Birthing Center – Emerson Hospital’s beautiful new center offers a perfect blend—the finest medical expertise in a serene location close to home. All designed to make each birth experience as special as it deserves to be. Expectant mothers and their families receive personalized care from the region’s most qualified medical team, including experienced obstetricians, 24x7 in-house anesthesiologists, pediatricians and nurses certified in neonatal resuscitation. High-risk pregnancy specialists, Level 2 diagnostic ultrasound and genetic counseling are also available.
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine – High-risk obstetric services, usually only found in tertiary hospitals, are offered at Emerson. A woman who has complications identified prior to or during pregnancy can be seen by a perinatologist from Brigham and Women’s Hospital on the Emerson campus.
- Reproductive Endocrinology/Infertility Services – Emerson Hospital has affiliations with Reproductive Science Center of New England to offer state-of-the-art fertility care convenient to where patients live or work. Together, we are part of a network of specialists on the cutting edge of infertility treatment.
Pain management options in childbirth
Birthing Center staff members are supportive of each woman’s needs and choices around pain control in childbirth and offer a number of resources to make each delivery as personal and comfortable as possible.
Women who prefer a natural childbirth experience are encouraged and supported at the Birthing Center. Resources such as acupuncture, natural childbirth and aromatherapy are available to make each delivery as comfortable as possible.
Anesthesia physicians experienced in pain control during childbirth are in the hospital 24x7. A variety of anesthetic techniques are available including:
- Epidural Analgesia/Anesthesia – Provides safe and effective pain relief for labor and delivery. Pain medication is administered into the epidural space, a small space adjacent to the spinal cord. A local anesthetic is used to numb an area of the back and a catheter is placed in the spine. Anesthetic medications, usually a local anesthetic and an opiate, are administered through the catheter. A pump is used to provide a continuous dose of medication throughout labor and delivery. Side effects of epidurals are rare, but may include numbness or tingling in the legs and sometimes itching, sleepiness, low blood pressure or a headache after the procedure. If you have an epidural catheter in place and then require a Cesarean delivery, in most cases anesthesia for the Cesarean can be administered through the catheter.
- Spinal Anesthesia – Most commonly used when a woman has a Cesarean birth, but does not have an epidural catheter in place. A local anesthetic is used to numb an area of the back, and a small needle is used to inject anesthetic directly into the spinal cord. Usually only a single dose is required to induce numbness from feet to mid-chest. With spinal anesthesia, it is not unusual to experience pressure or feel movements during a Cesarean delivery, but the medication eliminates pain. The numbness wears off in about two to three hours. Spinal anesthesia is very safe for mothers and babies. Rare side effects include a headache that is treated with bed rest, fluids, caffeine and medication.
- General Anesthesia – Sometimes used during a Cesarean delivery if the obstetrician feels that taking the time to use a spinal anesthetic could put the baby at risk. A general anesthetic makes patients unaware and insensible to painful stimuli. A qualified anesthesiologist is in constant attendance to monitor each patient who has general anesthesia until the patient is awake.
Support Services and Groups
Emerson offers a wide range of prenatal childbirth care classes as well as community health and wellness programs and classes designed to provide women with up-to-date information so they can take care of their health and make informed health care decisions. These programs address a wide range of topics including sports medicine, cosmetic surgery, heart-healthy eating with cooking demonstrations, the latest information on preventing and treating heart disease, programs that use hypnosis to help participants quit smoking or lose weight, and stress reduction programs that use yoga, meditation, Reiki and Qigong.