St. Mary's Medical Center | Huntington, WV | (304) 526-1234

Maternity Care

Welcome to St. Mary's Medical Center Obstetrics and Neonatal Units. We congratulate you on the arrival of your new baby! The following information is designed to make your stay with us as comfortable and pleasant as possible. If we can do anything to assist you during your stay please do not hesitate to ask. We are prepared to do everything to make your childbirth experience a rich and satisfying event for your entire family.

Mother-Baby Care

St. Mary's Women's Health Services is proud to offer you mother-baby nursing - one nurse for both you and your baby. This concept is the cornerstone of family-centered care. Your mother-baby nurse will give you support and direction on how to feed, diaper, bathe and care for your baby, enabling you to become comfortable with these different care areas before going home. She will also answer any questions your may have regarding your recovery.

Your baby's bassinet contains all of the supplies needed for his or her care. If you need anything else during your stay, please ask.

Your baby may stay in your suite 24 hours a day. However, nursery care is available to meet your individual needs.

Visiting Hours

St. Mary's Obstetrical Unit is designed with the entire family in mind. Fathers may stay and assist in the care of your baby throughout your stay.

Brothers and sisters are invited to visit the new baby immediately following delivery. If siblings are in the waiting area we encourage the parents to designate and adult, other than the father, to stay with the siblings prior to the birth of the baby. After the birth, brothers and sisters are allowed to visit with their parents and the new baby at any time. Because we want to ensure that your newborn is not exposed to unnecessary germs that could result in illness, siblings who have been ill recently should not visit. Also, we ask that children under the age of 15 (who are not siblings of the newborn) wait to visit until your baby is home.

Grandparents are very important and may visit between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Any other family members or friends are welcome to visit between 11:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

If the baby is in the room, visitation may be limited. We recommend that only parents, grandparents and siblings hold the baby, and everyone should wash their hands.

If you need assistance during visiting hours or in the event that you do not feel up to visitors, please advise your mother-baby nurse and she can assist you accordingly.

Important Things to Remember:

  • Because St. Mary's is dedicated to the treatment of illness and the prevention of disease, no smoking is allowed within the Medical Center. This policy is especially important for your newborn as second-hand smoke can cause severe respiratory problems.
  • Never leave your baby unattended. Should you need to leave your baby for a few minutes, please call your mother-baby nurse or a member of the Nursery staff. If you need to go to the bathroom, you should place your baby in the bassinet and push it to the bathroom door. This is important to ensure the safety of your baby.
  • Do not give your baby to a stranger. The only staff person that should return your newborn to the nursery is your mother-baby nurse or a member of the obstetrical staff. You will be introduced to staff nurses participating in your care. All nurses on the obstetrical unit have a photo identification badge.
  • Never carry your baby down the hallway in your arms. Babies must travel to and from the Nursery in their beds.
  • Always wear slippers or shoes for your protection and comfort when walking to other areas of the unit.
  • The need to suck is strong in infancy. Sucking reduces tension and soothes the baby. The hospital gift shop has vanilla-flavored pacifiers or you may bring one from home. The need to suck reduces as the baby reaches three to four months of age, and the use of the pacifier can be reduced gradually.
  • Educational programs discussing infant-care skills are offered on closed circuit TV Channel 11. Please view these at your convenience. Should you have any questions or feel uncomfortable with any of the baby-care skills discussed, please ask your mother-baby nurse to review them with you. She will be happy to work with until you feel confident in all areas.
  • You will receive a survey welcoming your comments and suggestions. Please take a few minutes to fill this out and return to us before you leave.

Celebration Dinner

After delivery, a menu will be provided for your celebration dinner. Most parents want to have this special dinner the evening following delivery. Please make selections from the menu and return it to your mother-baby nurse.

If you would like your celebration dinner after 5:00 p.m., please advise us and we will save your dinner until it is more convenient.

Baby Pictures, Footprints and Bracelets

A catalog is provided for the selection of baby pictures and other baby items. For Baby's first photograph please complete the order form and return to the Nursery the day before you plan to go home. You are welcome to select a special outfit for your newborn's first photograph. Please give the outfit to the Nursery staff when you turn in the order form.

Beaded baby bracelets may be purchased from Nursery. Footprints will be made in the Nursery at your request. We recommend that you bring your baby book to the hospital, or if you do not have one, the Nursery has plain white cards available for footprints.

Car Seats

State law requires that all infants and toddlers be restrained in a federally-approved car seat when traveling. State law also requires children under the age of nine to wear seatbelts at all times when traveling. You must have an approved car seat at the time of your discharge, and your baby must be placed in the car seat correctly when leaving the hospital. If you do not have an infant car seat one may be purchased at St. Mary's.

Infant Safe Sleep

St. Mary’s Maternity Services is proud to partner with Our Babies: Safe and Sound to educate parents of the importance of infant safe sleep. Our Babies: Safe and Sound is a project of TEAM for West Virginia Children that provides parents and other caregivers of infants under the age of one, as well as expectant parents and professionals, with information and tips on ways to keep babies safe while sleeping, and how to stay calm when babies cry. The overall goal of the Our Babies: Safe and Sound campaign is to help prevent West Virginia infants from injury and death. For more information, visit

For more information, contact Maternity Services at 304-526-1316.