At Penn State Health Obstetrics and Gynecology, we pride ourselves in offering all the services that women need to achieve pregnancy and have a healthy baby. From general gynecological care before you plan a family, to obstetrical care and high-risk pregnancy management during your pregnancy, our team of board-certified physicians will care for you every step of the way. 

Care and convenience

  • Private rooms and bathrooms
  • A special meal for mom and support person
  • All major insurances accepted
  • Rural setting with free parking

Clinical resources

  • Attending physicians and skilled nurses present 24/7
  • Backed by the resources of an academic medical center
  • 24/7 anesthesia
  • Breastfeeding Program

What to Expect When You're Expecting at Penn State Health

Preparing for the birth of a baby can be exciting and overwhelming. Participants will hear from our team of obstetricians, midwives, anesthesiologists, family and community medicine providers and pediatricians.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Pregnancy and COVID-19: Answering Your Questions

Is mom required to wear a mask during labor?

If she tests negative for COVID-19 when coming to deliver her baby, she will not be required to wear a mask.

If mom tests positive for COVID, is the support person allowed to stay for delivery or must they leave?

The support person will be required to leave.

Are we allowed to walk the halls in labor with COVID restrictions?

No. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, you and your support person must stay in your labor and delivery room.

What is the policy if the mom refuses to be tested for COVID-19 when coming in to deliver?

She and her support person will have to remain masked at all times, and our staff will wear full personal protective equipment while caring for her.

Will it be possible to tour the new Labor and Delivery Unit prior to delivery?

Due to COVID-19, we cannot offer in-person tours of the Labor and Delivery Unit. We do offer a virtual tour of the newly expanded Women and Babies Center of the Children's Hospital.

What if the mother is asymptomatic but tests positive for COVID? Would these situations be looked at on a case-by-case basis?

For the safety of everyone, if a mom tests positive, her support person would be unable to stay with her.

Would there ever be a case where a support person would no longer be allowed to come?

The support person cannot stay with the mom if she tests positive for COVID-19.

How would the following scenario be handled?

Mom is an asymptomatic COVID-19 positive individual. Support person is also symptom-free. With the most recent data suggesting that 40-45% of COVID-19-positive individuals are asymptomatic, this is not an unlikely scenario. Is there a patient-driven option where the support person can be present for labor and delivery? How would this scenario be handled postpartum?

Any patient who tests positive for COVID-19 and is within the 10-day window of quarantine may not have a support person in the hospital for the stay.

Do mothers labor, deliver and have postpartum time in the same room until discharge, or will they have to move to different rooms?

Mothers will labor, deliver and spend the first one to two hours in a labor and delivery room. Once they are stable, they will be moved to the new postpartum unit for the rest of their hospital stay.

How many nurses and doctors will we typically see during our visit?

The number of nurses and doctors that moms will see will depend on the length of time for her labor and stay in the hospital.

Do you have wireless monitors available? What about tubs to labor in?

We have portable monitors that allow laboring moms to move about more freely. At this time, we do not yet have laboring tubs, although they may be provided in the future.

Do you have lactation consultants working on the weekends?

Our lactation consultant is available on weekends. Additionally, many of our obstetrical and NICU nurses have been trained as breastfeeding resources.

Do you ensure that all mothers and families are cared for equally? It’s been a hot topic that women of color are not cared for equally.

Penn State Health values diversity in all of its forms greatly, and we are aware of the disparity of health outcomes for people of different ethnicities. We go to great lengths to ensure that all pregnant women and infants receive equal and optimal health care.

Is it possible to avoid one specific doctor if you know them and feel uncomfortable delivering with them?

You can schedule an induction date after 39-weeks with your preferred doctor. However, we are unable to guarantee that your chosen doctor will be able to deliver your baby if the induction process takes longer than expected.

Is it possible to refuse medical students involvement in your care, especially if you are a medical student at Penn State College of Medicine yourself?

Yes, you have the right to request that medical students not be involved in your care.

What labor assistive devices are available for mothers to request at the hospital, such as a yoga ball to sit on?

We have birthing balls, peanut balls and rocking chairs to assist with the laboring process. Additionally, we have portable monitors that enable laboring moms to move about.

Are we allowed to have visitors after delivery?

You can have your one support person.

You mentioned “newborn nursery.” Are healthy babies in a nursery or in the room with mom?

We strongly encourage each mom to have her newborn remain with her in her postpartum room. This encourages bonding, breastfeeding and feeling comfortable providing care for your infant. A newborn nursery is available to monitor infants for a short duration if they need time to adjust to newborn life after delivery or if mothers truly need a break.

Should we call the office in advance to notify if we are planning to use Penn State Health Pediatrics on Hope Drive in Hershey?

Penn State Health Pediatrics on Hope Drive is currently accepting new patients. You can notify the staff upon your arrival for delivery that you plan to take your baby to this practice.

I’m currently taking Lovenox and was told I would possibly switch to heparin at 36 weeks. How many hours after taking heparin would I be allowed an epidural?

The wait time for receiving an epidural after taking heparin is eight hours. You should review all of your medications - both prescribed and over-the-counter - with your care team prior to going into labor.

Does Penn State Health allow maternal-assisted caesarean procedures at any time?

We do not allow mothers to reach down to pull their baby out and up to their chest. We do support skin-to-skin contact soon after birth and use clear drapes to allow moms to watch their baby being delivered.

You mentioned that you’re on the Labor and Delivery floor during the day. What happens if we have a midwife and are in labor or deliver at night?

As of Jan. 1, 2021, we have midwives covering labor and delivery Monday through Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. At this time, if you are laboring and/or delivering outside of this time frame, you will be cared for by the physician team.

What would you say are the biggest differences between physician care and nurse-midwife care?

An obstetrician/gynecologist is a physician who has between 11 and 16 years of school and training after high school, spending four years after medical school studying female reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth. They also study medical and surgical care for women. They can treat both low-risk and high-risk moms and can perform a cesarean birth.  

Certified nurse-midwives can earn a master of science in nursing in two years and a doctor of nursing science in three to five years. Midwives specialize in the normalcy of pregnancy and birth and can support patients with minimal interventions (if desired) during labor and birth. They take a team approach to your prenatal care in the clinic, so you see the same smaller group of providers for your appointments. They spend a good portion of your visit providing patient education. If you choose to have pain medication during labor, the midwives will support that decision as well.

Is there always a midwife present for labor and delivery at Hershey Medical Center?

As of Jan. 1, 2021, we have midwives covering labor and delivery Monday through Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Why is delayed cord clamping important?

Technically, the blood that resides in the placenta and umbilical cord belongs to the fetus. Allowing time for some of this blood to transfer to the baby improves blood pressure, reduces the work the baby’s heart has to do and improves blood flow to organs, such as the brain. It also reduces anemia later in infancy and reduces the chance that the baby could later need a blood transfusion. This intervention is especially important for premature babies, who are at risk of anemia with transfusion, as well as serious complications like bleeding into the brain.

Do midwives do any inductions?

Yes, our midwives can do labor inductions.

Is the support person allowed to leave the hospital and come back to be with mom and baby during their stay?

Yes.

At what point can we choose a midwife instead of another care provider - when we arrive for delivery or before?

Women who are low-risk and healthy can opt to see the midwives during their prenatal clinic visits. The patient’s chart will then be flagged as a midwife chart so when you present to labor and delivery, the staff notifies the midwife on-call that day to manage your care. The midwives also look out for midwife patients when coming on duty. If your pregnancy has some risk factors, the midwives may opt to co-manage your prenatal care and/or labor with the physician team. Women who are considered to be high-risk will require care managed by the physician team.

What if mom refuses to be separated from baby?

We strongly encourage mothers and babies to stay together unless there is a need for the baby to have care that can only be provided in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Do you typically see velamentous cord insertion (VCI) in the NICU?

Velamentous cord insertion is a pregnancy complication in which the umbilical cord is abnormally inserted into the placenta. It can affect the growth of the fetus or his/her ability to tolerate labor, but it does not generally lead to the need for admission to the NICU. Of all the admissions to our NICU, most were from pregnancies that did not involve velamentous cord insertion.

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