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Maternity and Pregnancy

Why choose Ochsner Health for your maternity and pregnancy care?

When you’re expanding your family, you want a team who makes the experience as special as possible, from prenatal care to delivery to follow-up care. At Ochsner, you can depend on our care team, which may include obstetricians, family medicine physicians and certified nurse midwives, to provide that extraordinary care.

Ochsner is the preferred destination for many maternity and pregnancy patients in Louisiana. With our array of resources and dedicated staff, our team delivers high-quality care to moms and babies alike.

Numerous Ochsner locations have earned Birth Ready Designation and the Birth Ready + Designation from the Louisiana Department of Health and many have earned a Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade of A.

Ochsner Medical Center (inclusive of Ochsner Medical Center - West Bank Campus and Ochsner Baptist) earned the High Performing in Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy) rating from U.S. News & World Report. This is the highest rating award for maternity care, reserved for the top third of hospitals evaluated by U.S. News & World Report. Ochsner Medical Center was the only facility in Louisiana to receive the ranking.

We strive to always provide our new moms and their families with the care they need every step of the way. Our Patient and Family Advisory Board, which includes patients and family members, is dedicated to helping our team meet that goal.

The maternity and pregnancy team is led by our obstetricians, family medicine physicians, maternal fetal medicine specialists and certified nurse midwives, who work hand in hand with dietitians, lactation consultants and nurses to provide the care you need. If you have special needs because of other health issues with you or the baby, we can help you seamlessly get the care you need from cardiologists, nephrologists, urologists and pediatric surgeons on the Ochsner team.

A typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks, and during that time, you will need a lot of care to keep you and the baby as healthy as possible. Known as prenatal care, these regular visits with your obstetrician, family medicine doctor or certified nurse midwife will answer your questions about pregnancy, including what you should and shouldn’t eat, how to safely exercise and what medications you can take. During these visits, you’ll also have regular weight checks to help ensure you’re gaining the right amount of weight. You’ll also have regular screenings of you and the baby to test for health issues that could complicate labor and delivery or place the baby’s health or development at risk.

If your pregnancy is low risk for complications, you’ll typically see a member of your care team once during your first trimester (weeks 1-12). During your second trimester, (weeks 13-27), you’ll see your care team about every four weeks until your third trimester (weeks 28-40). Around week 30, you’ll begin having visits about every two weeks, with visits increasing to once a week from weeks 36 until delivery. Virtual visits are available through Connected MOM, an online maternity monitoring service that reduces the number of times you must make an office visit.

At Ochsner, we offer a variety of maternity and pregnancy classes that will prepare you for the birth of your baby, including:

  • Breastfeeding class — Learn the basics of breastfeeding, including positioning, latching, early feeding and milk production. This class also addresses questions about hormones, breast anatomy and breast pumps.

  • Breastfeeding for working moms — Gather information about how to continue breastfeeding when you return to work. Specifically, you will receive helpful tips about breast pumping while working.

  • Grandparents’ prenatal class — Find out what has changed in labor and delivery. This class at Ochsner Baptist Women’s Pavilion is designed for grandparents interested in learning about the latest developments.

  • Prenatal class — Learn about general prenatal health, labor anesthesia, delivery options and post-delivery care for mom and baby. You can also take a tour of our labor and delivery unit.

The ABCs of low intervention childbirth — Pick up valuable information and resources to prepare for childbirth. Topics include the mind-body connection, labor support techniques and low-intervention birth.

Once you are in labor or you are meeting your doctor or midwife for your scheduled induction or C-section, you will head to the hospital you and your prenatal care provider have selected. There, you will labor and deliver in our comfortable, family-friendly and secure Family Birthing Services unit, where you’ll receive award-winning care from a team of physicians, anesthesiologists, advanced practice providers and nurses. Lactation consultants are available to assist with establishing breastfeeding, and anesthesiology specialists are available to help with pain management. Neonatal intensive care units are either available on-site or nearby for easy transport.

You may also choose to deliver at:

All Ochsner locations also offer Telestork, a 24/7 virtual service created by Ochsner and monitored by registered nurses to track fetal heart rates across the entire Ochsner system.

After you leave the hospital, you will follow up with your care provider at his or her office within the first few weeks of delivery for a postpartum evaluation. During this visit, you will talk about your physical recovery and any challenges you’ve experienced, and you will be evaluated for postpartum depression. You’ll also discuss birth control options during this appointment.

FAQs

After receiving a positive pregnancy test at home, it is important to see a doctor to confirm pregnancy. A missed period is often the first clue that you might be pregnant, but there are other symptoms including headache, fatigue and breast tenderness. You may also experience nausea and frequent urination, food aversion or cravings, and mood swings.

After a positive pregnancy test, you should immediately book an appointment with a doctor or midwife to discuss your options.

During your first pregnancy appointment with a doctor of midwife, blood tests are done. Blood tests pick up the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG), which is a hormone produced by the placenta. This hormone is detected earlier in pregnancy through a blood test versus a urine test. Blood tests can detect pregnancy about six to eight days after ovulation.

A false-positive pregnancy test result is very rare. You may get a false positive test result if you’ve recently been pregnant, are taking certain medications or you have certain medical conditions, such as ovarian cysts, a urinary tract infection or kidney disease.

Pregnancy is the period you are pregnant. Maternity is the period after you give birth.

Maternity leave is time granted off work to be with your newborn baby. Some women take maternity leave anywhere from a week to a month prior to birth. Your OB/GYN will be able to work with you to decide the best time for you to begin your maternity leave, which can last for weeks or months depending on your needs and work schedule.

A birth plan is a written document that helps you express your wishes for labor and delivery, and it’s a form of two-way communication with your care team. Your birth plan may contain information about who you want present during labor and delivery, pain management preferences, monitoring of the baby and how you plan to feed your baby (breastfeeding or formula). While your birth plan outlines your preferences, it’s important to understand that your care team may need to deviate from the plan to keep the delivery as safe as possible.

Menopause and pregnancy have several symptoms that are similar including weight gain, a missed period, mood swings and bloating and cramping. If a patient is sexually active, it is recommended that they consult their physician for diagnosis.

Menopause is official once a patient has gone through an entire year without a period. Prior to this time, the patient is in the stage of perimenopause, which has symptoms including irregular periods, hot flashes and night sweats. During perimenopause, pregnancy is still possible.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Maternity and Pregnancy

Maternity and Pregnancy Locations

Ochsner American Legion Hospital
1634 Elton Road
Jennings, LA 70546
  • : 9:49 p.m.-9:49 p.m.
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner University Hospital & Clinics
2390 West Congress St.
Lafayette, LA 70506
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Lafayette General Surgical Hospital
1000 West Pinhook Road
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Lafayette General Medical Center
1214 Coolidge St.
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner St. Mary Women's Clinic
1151 Marguerite St. , Suite. 700
Morgan City, LA 70380
CHRISTUS Ochsner Lake Area Hospital
4200 Nelson Road
Lake Charles, LA 70605
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner LSU Health - Monroe Medical Center
4864 Jackson St.
Monroe, LA 71202
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Baptist Women's Pavilion
2700 Napoleon Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115
Ochsner Medical Center - Baton Rouge
17000 Medical Center Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner St. Anne Hospital
4608 Highway 1
Raceland, LA 70394
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Center - Kenner
180 West Esplanade Ave.
Kenner, LA 70065
  • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Ochsner Baptist - A Campus of Ochsner Medical Center
2700 Napoleon Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70115
  • Open 24/7