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Giving Birth at Clearwater’s Morton Plant Hospital

Morton Plant Hospital Clearwater

Tampa Bay is fortunate to have many different excellent birth options, including Morton Plant hospital in downtown Clearwater. Today we had a private tour of the labor and delivery, NICU and mother/baby unit and are pleased to share what we learned!

Before You Go into Labor

You’ll be able to pre-register and meet with a special “family admission nurse” in advance to talk about your choices and preferences, all before you even start labor. You can also attend one or more of their classes, offered on topics like laboring without pain medicine, with pain medicine, breastfeeding, big sister/big brother, Dad boot camp, waterbirth and others. You can also take a tour of the facilities yourself to get an idea of where you’ll be staying, where family members can wait and more. 

In Labor

Once you’ve been admitted to the hospital, you have several great options for relaxed, comforted labor. For instance, you can choose to labor in a birth pool, if your provider supports this option (ask them!) You can also choose to use nitrous oxide. (See our previous blog about nitrous oxide in labor here.) And of course, a full array of other medical pain management options are available.

Giving Birth

The team at Contemporary Women’s Care offers one of the few, if not the only, local hospital options to give birth to your baby in the birth pool, too, if you like. If your baby will be born via c-section, the operating team can also offer you a gentle c-section. (Read here for more info on gentle cesarean.) Because Morton Plant has achieved the prestigious Baby-Friendly Hospital designation, every baby born, inside the OR or in an L&D room, is placed skin-to-skin with her mother for at least one hour immediately. The hospital also has a level II NICU for babies who need additional medical care and offers donor breastmilk, too!

Postpartum Recovery

Enjoy a beautiful view of the Gulf of Mexico and intracoastal waterway from your recovery room in the mother/baby unit. L&D and mother/baby nurses have lactation training and a handful have received the Certified Lactation Counselor and Internationally Board Certified Lactation Counselor (IBCLC) designations. This team conducts rounds in the mother/baby unit, ensuring every new mother gets the support she needs.

Arriving Home

Outpatient lactation visits are available for mothers who need additional assistance with breastfeeding baby. New mothers are also encouraged to call the unit if advice discussed with a nurse is forgotten or if more help is needed.

In 2015, Morton Plant broke ground on a $200 million expansion, including the new four-story Doyle Tower, which will house al women’s services on one floor. In part because of its Baby-Friendly designation and waterbirth options, Morton Plant is one of the most popular birth locations in Tampa Bay, with more than 2000 babies born there last year.

About Amy Lewis

Amy is the co-owner of Buddha Belly. She is passionate about assisting women through life's most challenging transitions and nurtures a lifelong commitment to women in serving mothers as a doula.

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