Labor and Delivery

St. Joseph Hospital's labor, delivery and recovery suites are located on the second floor of the hospital. We believe that your child's birth is an event to be cherished for a lifetime, and our tradition of excellence is the reason we have the privilege of welcoming more than 5,000 newborns annually. Each birth is unique, based on the growing family's special needs and desires. For all of our growing families, we pledge to provide a safe and nurturing birth experience. Our family-centered approach to care will help you and your loved ones celebrate this new addition to your family with comfort and confidence. We understand the importance of offering personalized care, which is why our health care team is committed to delivering quality care and strives to accommodate the needs of the patient and family.

Our patients range from those with uncomplicated deliveries to those who are experiencing high-risk pregnancies and have special needs. Our care supports practices that keep mother and baby together after cesarean section deliveries.

Perinatal High-Risk Center

We are well known as a perinatal high-risk center, and receive referrals from physicians throughout Southern California. Every parent hopes to have an uneventful delivery and a healthy baby. And, chances are you will! However, if special care is required for your newborn, the neonatal experts and NICU at CHOC Children's are just footsteps away. Team members from both St. Joseph Hospital and CHOC work collaboratively to meet your needs - from pregnancy management, through labor and delivery and newborn care.

The Golden Hour

The first hour of life is a special time for family bonding. We call this first hour the Golden Hour because it enhances the bonding experience and the baby’s growth and development. Our nurses fully support and encourage this time for families and ask that all visitors remain in the main lobby during this special time.

Immediately after the baby is born, he/she is dried off and placed skin-to-skin on mom's bare chest. As long as the baby is healthy, he will remain undisturbed until he breastfeeds for the first time. A blanket will provide warmth and comfort to both mom and baby. Mom provides the perfect heat for baby, and the rise and fall of her chest regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing. Routine procedures, such as bathing and weighing, will be delayed for the first hour. Any necessary procedures can be done with baby on mom's chest during skin-to-skin time.

Click here for more information on skin-to-skin positioning.

OB Hospitalist Program

St. Joseph Hospital instituted a Laborist Program to enhance the safety of women and children entrusted to our care. St. Joseph Hospital laborists are board-certified obstetricians who remain on the unit solely to care for labor and delivery patients. Laborists are available 24 hours to examine you, evaluate the progress of your labor, detect and respond to laboratory abnormalities, answer your questions and provide a safe delivery.

St. Joseph Hospital laborists respect each family's birth plan and collaborate with your personal obstetrician, who remains in charge of your care. The laborist, upon request from your personal physician, is able to manage your labor until he/she arrives, or in the event that your doctor is unable to make it in time for your delivery. And, women have the option of trial of labor after cesarean section (TOLAC), safely performed with the support of a laborist.

Emergencies can occur and when they do, time is precious. The laborist is already on hand, ready to provide lifesaving intervention. Because of this added level of safety and service, the St. Joseph Hospital Laborist Program receives high praise from patients, families, obstetricians and obstetrical nurses.

Cord Blood Banking

Cord blood has the ability to save lives. Cord blood is the blood that remains in the umbilical cord and placenta after the birth of your baby. The cord blood contains stem cells that can be collected and stored for future medical therapies.

St. Joseph Hospital has a relationship with CHOC Children's Cord Blood Bank.

We also support the parents' decision to use another Cord Blood Bank. If using another provider, please talk to your obstetrician regarding the necessary collection of cord blood prior to delivery.