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Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum Services at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital

Choosing West Penn Hospital for your birth

Your birth experience is a special, memorable time. West Penn Hospital aims to provide you with the best, highly- personalized care for your labor, birth, recovery and postpartum hospital stay.

Our team of fine professionals offers compassionate care every step of the way while also having the latest technology available for you and your baby. Ours was the first hospital in Pittsburgh to receive the distinguished Magnet designation for nursing excellence; an honor we are extremely proud of!

West Penn Hospital continuously receives praise for its outstanding Lactation Services. The lactation staff is on-site seven days a week and provides a free, weekly support group for all nursing mothers.

For babies that require extra attention and care after birth, our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is housed on the same floor as labor and delivery. West Penn Hospital’s NICU is considered a “center of excellence” and serves as a referral center for premature and ill babies throughout the region. The NICU”S dedicated staff is composed of highly skilled nurses, respiratory therapists, social worker, developmental specialist, physician assistants and neonatologists.

We promote a “Family Centered Care: philosophy which recognizes birth as one of life’s major events. Parents are encouraged to room with their infants and spend time getting to know their new baby. Overnight accommodations are available for the father or support person. Siblings are welcome to visit their new baby brother or sister after the birth.

West Penn Hospital is a well known and respected referral center for high-risk fetal care in the Pittsburgh area. Within our birth facility, we are able to provide the highest level of care and technology available for mothers experiencing problems during their pregnancy.

Our Birthing Accommodations

The West Penn Hospital offers obstetric suites that are specially designed to meet the needs and wishes of today’s mother.

Our beautifully furnished birthing suites provide many of the comforts of home. These large rooms have adjustable lighting and temperature, updated hardwood floors, comfortable chairs and/or sofas, internet access and an adjustable birthing bed. All of our suites are equipped with flat screen TVs and showers, while several of the suites have Jacuzzi tubs. When the time to give birth draws near, the infant warmer, scale and birth cart are brought into the room. The suites contain everything you may need during your labor and birth including fetal monitoring, use of hydrotherapy, the option to use a birthing ball, and 24-hour access to epidural anesthesia, if you choose. Under normal circumstances you will labor, deliver and recover in the same room.

Should a cesarean birth be necessary, our multiple operative delivery rooms are located within the labor and delivery unit. The father or significant other may stay with the mother during the cesarean birth in most situations.

Your baby will remain with you after birth in recovery as long as both mom and baby are stable. The new mom will stay in recovery until the new mom is stable. Babies will be taken to the Nursery at 2 hours of age to be checked by the nursery staff. Mothers who are planning on breastfeeding are encouraged to begin nursing their babies in recovery.

Your Comfort

Upon admission, your labor nurse will discuss your preferences for pain control with you. Women who wish an un-medicated birth and would like to use the Jacuzzi during labor, can request to be put into a room with a tub, or may use the shower for comfort.

Women are welcome to bring their own birthing ball with them, or ask for one once admitted to the hospital. Doulas (professionally trained labor support assistants) are also welcome for those women that opt to have one during their labor.

West Penn Hospital provides a full range of anesthesia services, available 24 hours a day. The epidural is the most commonly used anesthesia for labor and birth. If you elect to have an epidural, the anesthesiologist will visit you, explain how the epidural anesthesia is given and answer any questions you may have.

A “Family-Centered Care” Philosophy

West Penn Hospital promotes a “family-centered care” philosophy. Simply stated, mothers, fathers and significant others are encouraged to spend as much time as possible bonding with their infants. Newborns can remain in their mothers’ suites throughout their stay. Overnight same-room facilities for new fathers and significant others offer parents an opportunity to become directly and immediately involved with the care of their newborns.

Secure Surroundings

Our Obstetric department employs a state-of-the-art infant security system, equipped with monitors and infant sensor tags (which are placed on your infant immediately after birth). The nursing staff will review the security measures with the parents.

Education and Breast Feeding

  • Childbirth Education
  • West Penn Hospital Lactation Center

Maternal/Child Health Services

  • Neonatal Intensive Care
  • Pediatric Care
  • Infant Apnea Center
  • Pediatric VIEW
  • Pediatric Development

Childbirth Support Services

  • Newborn Nutrition
  • Car Seat Safety
  • Choosing a Pediatrician

Additional Patient Information and Education

  • Newborn Photographs
  • Social Services
  • Birth Certificates and Social Security Numbers
  • Newborn Hearing Screening, Hepatitis B Vaccine and Shaken Baby Syndrome

Arriving at West Penn Hospital

When the big day arrives, you will want to know well ahead of time where to enter the hospital and where you should park. Your directions will vary slightly based on whether you will be having a planned delivery (via caesarean or induced labor) or a natural birth.

If you are in labor, or were directed by your doctor to come to West Penn Hospital for care and you are NOT coming for a scheduled caesarean or induced delivery:

  • Enter the hospital through the main Emergency department entrance on South Millvale Avenue.
  • Do NOT use the parking garage. Your partner/driver may drive up to the Emergency entrance and assist you into the building.
  • The OB Safety nurse will meet you at the door, where you will be assisted into a wheelchair and taken to the Labor and Delivery department on the 5th floor.
  • Your partner/driver will be given a parking pass that allows him/her to access the private parking lot across the street.
  • (This free, convenient gravel lot is reserved for partners of expectant moms)
  • After your car is parked, your partner should return the pass to the Security office inside the Emergency Room.
  • Your partner will be directed to the 5th floor, where he/she will join you. 

 If you are scheduled for a caesarean section, or for an induced delivery:

  • Please park your car in the parking garage, located on South Millvale Avenue. Take the elevator to the second floor. Walk across the skywalk and proceed to the information desk. If the doors at the end of the skyway do not open automatically, press the button to the right of the doorway to

    gain entry.

  • If a greeter is not present, you will simply proceed down the hallway. On the floor, you will see a series of letters. Follow the arrows that lead you to the "E" elevators.

  • Take the E elevators to the 5th floor - Labor and Delivery.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact:

  • Lorra A Hess, Manager, Labor and Delivery at 412.578.5319

  • Wendy Reynolds, Manager, Post Partum/Newborn Nursery

    at 412.578.5453

  • Sandy Porco, Manager, Childbirth Education and Lactation Services at 412.578.7030

Approximately one month prior to your expected delivery date, you will be contacted by West Penn Hospital for insurance and other pertinent information. If it is more convenient for you to call us, you may reach the Reservations Department at 412.578.5062 weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Assisting Visitors and Friends

  • Parking Services
  • Visiting Hours
  • Photography
  • Patient Privacy
  • Cafeteria and Gift Shop

Supplies to Bring to the Hospital

  • For Mom
  • For Baby
  • For Labor
  • Miscellaneous

Bereavement Information

  • Pregnancy Loss
  • Angel Heart Perinatal Bereavement Team
  • Care of the Family
  • Memorial Services
  • Extended Services


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