Prenatal Education

Perinatal Education helps to ensure the birth of a baby is one of the happiest, safe, and most important events in a lifetime. At St. Mary’s Healthcare, our care team is there to support the educational needs of each unique family during their childbirth experience. We are dedicated to deliver comprehensive information based on best practice. Perinatal Education empowers families to develop confidence as they welcome and care for a new baby.

(Select the links in the blue boxes for more information)

Breastfeeding Education

Choosing the way to feed your new baby is one of the most important decisions new or expectant parents will make. It is important to understand how breastfeeding benefits infants and families. To learn more about breastfeeding and lactation support:

  • ask your health care provider,
  • enroll in a prenatal or breastfeeding class and bring a family member or friend,
  • tour the St. Mary’s Birthing Center
  • seek out community support groups or services, and
  • review the informational links on this page

In some situations, parents or infants may have medical or health concerns that affect breastfeeding as a choice. If this is a concern, talk to your health care provider.

Food Safety & Nutrition

Food safety is vital for everyone – but especially for pregnant women, their unborn babies, and children younger than five. This information provided by St. Mary’s Healthcare explains why and provides real-world advice on how to lower the risk of foodborne illness for pregnant women and their unborn babies, and how parents can protect their young children from foodborne infections.

In addition to the information, talk with your health care provider about any foods or other products to avoid because of any special health needs for you or your child.

Outreach Services

New moms and families have a tremendous responsibility and influence on their baby. When they’re better equipped and supported, their children have a greater chance of growing up emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy. Please refer to the community outreach links on this page for more information.

Safe Sleep

Follow the ABCs of Safe Sleep. A – Alone, baby should sleep alone: B – Back, put baby on their back: C – Crib, put baby in a safe crib. Unsafe sleep practices include infants sleeping on their tummies or sides or in places other than cribs/bassinets/play yards, such as adult beds, baby slings, car seats, couches or armchairs. Also unsafe is sleeping with pets, other children or adults, or with blankets or other bedding, crib bumpers, or stuffed toys. Please refer to the safe sleep links on this page for more information.

Vaccines/Immunizations and Medications

Pregnant women share everything with their babies. That means when a pregnant mom gets vaccines, she isn’t just protecting herself— they are giving the baby some early protection too.  If you’re pregnant, talk to your doctor about which vaccines you may need and whether you should get them now or wait until after your child is born. Please refer to the vaccines/immunizations and medications links for more information.

Additional Prenatal Education Links

As a new mom it’s important to know you have the resources you need, when you need them. Here are some additional resources you may find useful throughout your pregnancy journey. As always, please feel free to reach out to the St. Mary’s OBGYN Health Center or the St. Mary’s Birthing Center if you have any additional questions.