The Breidegam Family Birthing Center
As a designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, the Breidegam Family Birthing Center at Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center provides a welcoming space for mothers, newborns and partners, while assuring the most advanced medical care. You’ll stay in one of our 15 private rooms, where you’ll labor, deliver, recover and stay with your baby and support person. Enjoy the option of laboring in air-jet whirlpool tubs located in your room. Your baby’s routine checkups and nursing care take place in your room, ensuring uninterrupted time for your family to bond and get to know each other. A lactation specialist will be available to help you get started with breastfeeding your baby and address any questions or concerns you might have. In the event that your baby requires special care, our six-bed, Level II neonatal intensive care nursery is just steps away.
You can see and learn more about the Breidegam Family Birthing Center by taking a tour with your personal navigator, who will help you explore the center, meet the team and answer your questions.
Benefits of a family birthing center
- A safe, home-like environment for you to birth your baby
- Immediate skin-to-skin contact with your baby after birth
- Assistance with breastfeeding
- Instruction on caring for your new baby
- All the support services you need
Pediatric care for your baby
Your baby will be in good hands with our primary care physicians who will conduct well-baby visits and attend to any medical issues your child encounters. You’ll have access to pediatric specialists in cardiology, gastroenterology, pulmonology, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery and cancer care through our partnership with Penn State Health Children’s Hospital. You can receive pediatric care in convenient locations throughout Berks County.
Care and education for mothers-to-be
Learning that you’re pregnant can be life-changing. Your focus changes, and all you want is the best for your baby. Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center offers all the care you’ll need while you’re expecting, from routine prenatal visits to expert care for a high-risk pregnancy. Our skilled team members will be with you every step of the way.
Preparation for Childbirth
Discover confidence in childbirth with our comprehensive, one-day Preparation for Childbirth classes. You’ll gain essential knowledge and practical skills for pregnancy, labor, delivery and early postpartum care. Empower yourself with information to navigate the journey of labor and birth, ensuring a more confident and informed experience. All classes take place at St. Joseph Medical Center, 2500 Bernville Road, Bern Township, and include a tour of the Breidegam Family Birthing Center. Classes are available on Mondays from 5 to 9 p.m. or Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon and should be taken during your sixth or seventh month.
Breastfeeding Your Newborn
Learn why breastfeeding is so important to both baby and mother during our Breastfeeding Your Newborn class, offered monthly throughout the year. This two-hour class, taught by an on-staff lactation specialist, offers basic techniques for breastfeeding and covers the mechanics of producing, pumping and storing breast milk.
Share the joys and challenges of breastfeeding at Baby Bistro, a welcoming space where moms come together to talk about their experiences and learn from each other. Get valuable advice from our knowledgeable lactation team members. We can guide you through any problems you might be experiencing and help you prepare to return to work.
Centering Pregnancy Prenatal Care
Centering Pregnancy is a group in which eight to 12 expectant moms — all due the same month — meet for health assessments, education and support. The program promotes self-care and includes self-monitoring and extended time with health providers. Discussions on pregnancy-related topics are led by expert facilitators, and women bond in a relaxed setting. Groups are geared toward both first-time and experienced mothers. Contact Stacy Shirk by email or by calling 610-587-1598.
Baby Friendly® Hospital and Blue Cross Distinction
St. Joseph Medical Center recently was redesignated as a Certified Baby-Friendly® Hospital by the Baby-Friendly® Hospital Initiative, a global program that encourages breastfeeding and early mother bonding. St. Joseph is the only hospital in Berks County to have been awarded the designation, which extends through 2028.
The Medical Center also has been designated by Highmark and Capital Blue Shield as a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care 2023. The designation signifies the maternity program meets nationally established selection criteria in delivering quality specialty care in a safe and effective manner.
We are proud of these recognitions that acknowledge our commitment to providing the highest standards of care in a supportive, nurturing atmosphere for women and their families.