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Pregnancy and Childbirth

Contact Us

Phone: 605-224-3320

The Family Center is located on the third floor of the north building at Avera St. Mary's.

Baby Photos

Visit our on-line Baby Gallery to view photos of babies born at Avera St. Mary's.

Having a child may be the most memorable moment in your life. Whether you are the mother going through the delivery or the proud father bursting with joy and excitement, Avera St. Mary's strives to make your moment a wonderful experience.

With Avera St. Mary's dedicated staff, spacious labor and delivery rooms, delicious meals and great gifts, you are sure to have a comfortable stay at Avera St. Mary's Family Center.

Skilled Staff

In addition to the regular education and re-certification hours required for nurses, Avera St. Mary's also requires each OB nurse to complete and receive certification in Neonatal Life Support and STABLE (how to stabilize a critical infant for transfer). The staff is well educated in all areas of childcare and wants to share their knowledge with all families coming to Avera St. Mary's. Avera St. Mary's wants to make sure you feel safe and ready to take your newborn home. They are there to answer any questions you might have during and after your stay at Avera St. Mary's.

Childbirth Pain Control

Childbirth Pain Control

One of the most common questions from new moms is how they will manage the pain associated with childbirth. Avera St. Mary's encourages many natural tools for pain relief, and also offers full range of medication options for laboring moms.

Natural tools include: birthing balls, massage, visualization, doula or labor support, warm shower, changing positions, a rocking chair, soothing music, affirmation and a whirlpool.

Pain medications include: Demerol, Nubain, Interathecal Spinal Block and Epidurals. It is important for you to discuss the options, your preferences and any side effects with your physician.

Questions from New Parents

Questions from New Parents

To help answer a few burning questions that all first time mothers are concerned with, we encourage mothers to watch videos about breastfeeding, infant care, car seat safety and infant CPR. The staff will also show parents how to properly give their child a bath. Many new parents feel that they may hurt their child when giving a bath or putting clothes on their baby or just aren't sure how to even begin giving a bath to their newborn.

Giving the first bath in the hospital, allows parents to ask questions and gather tricks or techniques to giving a bath. A bath is a new experience for a newborn, so you never know how they might react. Some newborns patiently let their parents give them a bath, but for the many others, their infant may cry and squirm. If the latter happens, it is nice to have an educated nurse to help you through the first time bath experience.

To answer questions after you are home, a booklet titled "The Family Center" is sent with every mother/infant. This book contains information about postpartum care, newborn care, crying and comforting techniques, bottle-feeding, sucking and pacifiers, breastfeeding, infant development, infant safety, illness, smoking, vaccinations, and important phone numbers.

The OB staff keeps the information in this book up to date and available for all parents. Avera St. Mary's knows that having a baby can be overwhelming and you might not think of questions until after you have left the hospital. "The Family Center" book acts as a quick reference for common questions new mothers have about themselves and new infant. However, if the book doesn't answer your question, you can always call the OB department and someone would be happy to help you with your concerns.

Bright Beginnings

Bright Beginnings

Avera St. Mary's offers a program called Bright Beginnings. This program offers an opportunity for new parents and infants to talk to a nurse one on one to answer their questions about the mother as she recovers from childbirth and about their new infant. We provide an assessment of the infant's well-being, which includes weighing, assessing skin color, and providing assistance with feeding problems. This time is scheduled before the infant leaves the hospital and provides a chance to ask those questions overwhelmed, new parents forget to ask before they leave.

Families Welcome

Families Welcome

Families are welcome at Avera St. Mary's OB department. Husbands or significant others are allowed to stay overnight with the mother. Each labor and delivery room is private and complete with full bath, TV with VCR and a CD player. Each TV in the hospital has cable hook-up, so patients can watch TV at anytime during their stay.

The mother can also find a show called "Baby Talk" on the patient channel, which provides education on childcare. The staff can print you a specific TV guide that just gives times and descriptions of "Baby Talk" shows that you would find interesting.

The hospital also has a collection of books and movies that patients can choose from if they wish. The OB department has four labor, delivery, and recovery rooms and several private rooms with showers and TV with VCR.

Avera St. Mary's encourages rooming in, or having your newborn stay within your room throughout the night, when medically safe. We also provide a staffed nursery in case the mother feels they are not getting adequate rest with the infant in the room.

We offer a unique meal service in the OB department. Mothers can choose lunch and dinner from a menu. The menu has a variety of items to choose from such as chicken strips, hamburgers, French fries, grilled cheese sandwiches, chef's salad and more. There is also a snack fridge located on the floor with juice, milk, crackers, cereal, bread and pudding. If you have the munchies during the day or a craving at night, you can help yourself. The staff wants you to feel welcome and at home during your stay