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Mothers and Babies

Preparing for your little one is an exciting time. Whether you are early in the process and trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant, have been told you have a high-risk pregnancy, or you have a newborn or a growing child, we’re here for you and your baby.

The obstetrics and maternity team at Penn State Health St. Joseph has been recognized for outstanding patient care by Highmark Blue Shield with a Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care designation and has been designated as a Baby-Friendly Hospital by Baby-Friendly USA.

Our obstetrics providers, certified nurse midwives and pediatricians are located in several locations throughout Berks County – offering care close to home.

Preparing for Your Baby

Every new mom wants their birthing experience to be special. Our team is dedicated to providing a personalized experience for you, your baby and your new family. As you begin to plan for the arrival of your new baby, we suggest you schedule a tour of the Breidegam Family Birthing Center. You can meet your personal navigator, the nurses and support staff and ask any questions you may have about your birthing plan.

We also offer a Preparation for Childbirth Class to help you prepare for your new baby. It is important to start this class before you are 34 weeks pregnant. We offer both a two-week series and a four-week series to complete the eight hours of teaching. Class fee is $65 and may be covered by insurance. You can sign up online or call 610-378-2569.

In preparation for breastfeeding, we suggest you take our Introduction to Breastfeeding Class before the baby is born. The class should dispel some myths you have heard and give you some practical tips for the family. Class fee is $10 and may be covered by insurance. You can sign up online or call 610-378-2569.

Centering Pregnancy Program

At Penn State Health St. Joseph, we offer a unique program that allows women to experience pregnancy with other women due about the same time. We group 8-12 women having their baby the same month, who attend 10 prenatal sessions together. Exams with a provider are private, then the group comes together to discuss pregnancy-related topics and to support one another through the pregnancy journey. The group discusses everything from common discomforts, sleeping issues, stress management, labor and delivery, nutrition and breastfeeding in group setting. Mothers who complete the Centering Pregnancy Program have the opportunity to continue group discussions about care for their babies through Centering Parenting.

The group allows women to form lasting connections and friendships, which is less likely during traditional prenatal care. Groups are offered in both English and Spanish at our Downtown Reading and Bern campuses. For more information contact Kim Hunter, Centering Coordinator at khunter3@PennStateHealth.psu.edu or (610)378-2569.

Breidegam Family Birthing Center

Where you have your baby is just as important as your birthing plan. Penn State Health St. Joseph Breidegam Family Birthing Center offers state-of-the-art care in 15 private maternity suites. Your stay in the same room during labor, delivery and recovery. The rooms are large, providing enough room for your support person to stay with you during your entire stay. Each room has a whirlpool tub that can be used during labor or after delivery.

Our Breidegam Family Birthing Center offers room service meals prepared and delivered at your request, open visiting hours, quiet time for mom and baby, and lactation services so you can start breastfeeding with help and support from our staff. We also have a six-bed, Level II neonatal intensive care (NICU) nursery nearby for infants who have special health needs following birth.

After Your Delivery

After your baby is born, we don’t stop supporting you and your new family. If you choose to breastfeed your baby because of the many benefits it can provide both you and your baby, we have trained staff to help you. We also have an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant that can provide one-on-one counseling if you are facing any challenges with breastfeeding. For more information, call Cindy Griffis at 610-378-2068.

We offer a breastfeeding support group—The Baby Bistro—or new mothers that meets the first and third Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m., at Breidegam Family Birthing Center. Contact berksbreastfeeding@gmail.com for more information.

Pediatric Care

We have pediatric primary care physicians as well as pediatric specialists in Cardiology, Gastroenterology, Pulmonology, Orthopedics, Neurology, Neurosurgery and cancer care through our partnership with Penn State Children’s Hospital. You can receive pediatric care in two convenient locations, at our Downtown Pediatrics location in Reading and Penn State Health Medical Group – All About Children location on Walnut Street in West Reading.

Centering Parenting Program

Our Centering Parenting Program is an extension of our Centering Pregnancy Program. Centering Parenting offers group support of 6-8 mothers and partners that have children of the same age. The group comes together for well-baby check-ups and education on parenting. Mothers who complete Centering Pregnancy have the opportunity to continue group care with their babies through Centering Parenting, but any new mother who plans to receive care for their baby at the Downtown Pediatrics clinic can also join this program. For more information contact the Centering coordinator at khunter3@PennStateHealth.psu.edu or (610)378-2569.

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