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All Our Deliveries Are Special Deliveries

Three women, nuns from Sisters of St. Francis, laid the foundation for St. Joseph Hospital in 1873 after realizing the Greater Reading area needed more hospital services. For over 140 years, Penn State Health St. Joseph has continued to successfully evolve and expand to provide exceptional service to the surrounding communities. Today, the hospital cares for patients and the environment by incorporating many green initiatives to not only improve the health of our community, but to ensure a healthier environment. Highmark Blue Shield has recognized Penn State Health St. Joseph with a Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care designation.

DeLight and Helen Breidegam named the Family Birthing Center with a gift to the St. Joseph’s Healthy Community Initiative capital campaign in 2006. DeLight E. Breidegam, Jr., is Chairman of East Penn Manufacturing Company, Lyon Station. He founded a small battery business with his father in 1946. It has grown into a global company distributing products worldwide. Helen S. Breidegam graduated from the St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing and then worked in St. Joeseph’s maternity ward. Later, she served for years as the company nurse at East Penn Manufacturing. We honor the Breidegam’s for their support of our Birthing Center.

The Breidegam Family Birthing Center opened in 2006 and offers state-of-the-art care to expectant mothers and newborns. The Center includes 15 private maternity suites (six of them dedicated to cesarean section patients) in which mothers and babies are cared for together. Our 6 bed, Level II, Department of Health accredited, neonatal intensive care nursery is located nearby for infants who have special health needs following birth. In 2017, St. Joseph Medical Center was designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby-Friendly USA.


Once you enter our home-inspired birthing suites you will feel at ease; this will be your room for the duration of your stay with us. Also known as LDRP, you will labor, deliver, recover and stay in one private room. Each room is equipped with a whirlpool tub that can be used for relaxation during labor, or for pampering after delivery.

There is a sofa bed in your suite for your support person to stay with you. Your suite also includes free Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV. When you leave us, we have lovely parting gifts in a tote bag designed specifically by your baby!

Our caring, well-trained staff is there to assist you through each stage of labor, delivery, and post-delivery care so that you feel confident in bringing your baby home. Our Lactation Consultant and staff promote skin-to-skin care to help your newborn transition into the world. Mothers who choose breastfeeding are supported throughout their stay to reach their personal goals. Mothers are comforted to know that their baby is asleep beside the bed, being able to respond quickly if the little one needs attention.

Whether this is your first baby or the next expansion of your family, we invite you to tour our facility by scheduling online or contacting Christiane Benner, OB Nurse Navigator via email, text or call 484-878-1766 and see why we make all births special!

What is a Family Birthing Center?

The Breidegam Family Birthing Center was designed with the family in mind. It allows for a family-centered environment in which mom and baby and support person are together in one room during the entire stay. In fact, baby’s routine check-ups and nursing care occurs in your room to allow for bonding and enhanced education from our staff.

  In 3 minutes and 19 seconds, see what the Breidegam Family Birthing Center is all about!

The benefits include:

  • Promoting skin to skin contact with mom or dad helps newborns transition to being in the world
  • Helps mothers reach their breastfeeding goals
  • Gain confidence through better education of infant self-care, ensuring a smoother adjustment to home
  • Makes families feel supported and informed by including them in care decisions
Studies show that sleeping within 5 feet of your baby helps moms relax and get an additional 1 ½ hours of sleep.