Pregnancy & Birth
One of the most joyous events a family can experience is the birth of a child. If you are having a baby, we’re with you.
MaineGeneral offers many birthing options, a comprehensive childbirth and parenting education program, breastfeeding support and other support services to complement your choices and needs.
Our Maternity & Pediatrics center at the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta is warm, inviting and homelike.
We make sure your birth experience is special, safe and meaningful.
Along with our maternity services, MaineGeneral relies on the expertise of pediatric professionals trained to treat children from birth through adolescence. For babies who need specialized care, we have a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staffed 24/7 by a team of pediatric hospitalists.
In addition, two of our medical practices – Kennebec Pediatrics and Winthrop Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine – are devoted to newborn and children's health.
Did you know about the Harold Alfond College Challenge, which gives every child born in Maine a head start on saving for college?
After your delivery, you can rely on the continued expert services you count on through our gynecology practice or any of our primary (family) care practices.
Our doctors provide personal, state-of-the-art obstetric care for routine pregnancies and high-risk conditions. Our medical staff also includes certified nurse-midwives who provide comprehensive women’s care and offer water birthing if you are interested in that birthing option.
Our team also offers cesarean delivery, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and tubal ligations.
Labor and Delivery
At MaineGeneral, we want your labor and delivery experience to be as comfortable and meaningful as possible, including:
- Private labor rooms with whirlpool tubs and private postpartum rooms with showers
- Various types of labor support, including water therapy, birthing stools and birthing balls
- Comfort measures, such as birthing balls, 24-hour epidural availability and nitrous oxide
- One free room service meal per family
- Expanded food options for patients when the cafeteria is closed, including frozen meals and snacks and room service
- Overnight accommodations for spouses/partners
- "Raising Readers" canvas tote bag filled with books to encourage reading right from the start
- Nursing staff available to answer your questions or address your concerns, 24/7, through our 24-Hour Warm Line
Because the parent-infant bonding experience is so important, we make every effort to keep the family together as much as possible after birth.
We encourage skin-to-skin contact and babies routinely stay in your room. While you're with us, the nurse caring for you will also care for your baby and answer your questions.
Before your pregnancy ends, we invite you to tour the unit where you will be giving birth. We offer unit tours on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 5:30 p.m. and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month at 10 a.m.
We will answer questions, discuss available labor and delivery options and help with any special requests or circumstances.
To schedule a tour, call toll free (888) 468-1347.
MaineGeneral Medical Center is proud to be a Baby-Friendly Hospital that offers an optimal level of care and support for breastfeeding. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
Many women choose to strengthen the mother-child bond and give their babies the best in nutrition by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding also offers an optimal mix of antibodies, which means fewer colds, allergies and ear infections for your baby.
Our goal is to give breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully start and continue breastfeeding.
As a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital, we offer one-to-one consultations, support groups, resources, workplace strategies and more to help you provide a wonderful beginning to a healthy and happy life for your baby.
Our Lactation Services
Our certified lactation consultants provide encouragement and assistance and are available seven days a week. They also teach MaineGeneral's breastfeeding class and lead our breastfeeding support groups, which meet regularly at the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta. You are welcome to attend.
Our lactation consultants can assist you before you have your baby, while you're in the hospital and by phone after you go home. Simply call them at (207) 248-5229 to make an appointment.
Our lactation services include:
- Breastfeeding and pumping rooms for the convenience of breastfeeding mothers
- Prenatal counseling on breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding support groups
- A wealth of breastfeeding information
- Renew! A Shop for Women, which features breast pump rentals and sales, breastfeeding clothing, custom-fitted nursing bras and accessories, books and supplies, feeding pillows, baby bibs and baby slings
The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
Baby-Friendly hospitals like MaineGeneral must adhere to The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, evidence-based practices shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration:
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in the skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
- Give infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
- Practice rooming in — allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital.
Here are a few simple steps you can follow to help make your breastfeeding experience successful:
- Keep your baby in your hospital room and sleep near your baby at home. This makes it easier to learn your baby's feeding cues and you will be able to get more rest.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends your baby have a diet of purely breast milk for the first six months of life.
- Avoid using formula unless your health care provider recommends it. Formula may make your baby too full to nurse frequently and may contribute to allergies.
- Pacifiers and bottles are not recommended for the first four weeks. Your baby is learning to nurse during this time and pacifiers and bottles may decrease your milk supply and cause your breasts to become engorged.
- Breastfeed early and as often as your baby demonstrates hunger cues, such as hands to mouth, lip smacking, tongue thrusting and rapid eye movement.
- The more often your baby nurses, the more milk you will make.
- Hold your baby with his/her skin against your skin. This helps improve bonding between you and your baby and helps your baby grow. It even stabilizes your baby's heart rate, breathing rate and temperature.
To learn more about breastfeeding, please attend one of our breastfeeding classes or support groups. Call 1-855-4MGHINFO (1-855-464-4463) to find a date that works best for you.
MaineGeneral offers a comprehensive program of maternity education courses and support for both new parents and veteran parents looking for "refresher" courses.
Our classes and programs are taught by childbirth and parenting educators, MaineGeneral maternity nurses and certified lactation consultants.
Visit our website events calendar to learn more about and register for any of our maternity education classes. You can also register by calling toll free 1-855-MGH-INFO (1-855-464-4463).
Baby Care Class
MaineGeneral's two-hour class in baby care helps you gain a better understanding of your newborn. Topics include:
- Buying for your baby
- Newborn characteristics and development
- Infant crying patterns
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) prevention
- Car seat safety; please bring your car seat
- Hands-on practice in newborn bathing and diapering
The cost is $25 per couple, or free when you take our Prepared Childbirth Series or Weekend Workshop.
MaineGeneral's two-hour Breastfeeding Basics class offers information about the advantages of breastfeeding and how to get started. Other topics include:
- Milk production
- Physical and emotional responses to breastfeeding
- Breast pumps
- Expressing and storing milk
- Tips for lactating working mothers
If you are considering breastfeeding, we encourage you to attend this class. The cost is $5 per couple to cover supplies.
Breathing and Relaxation Techniques for Childbirth
MaineGeneral's 90-minute Breathing and Relaxation Techniques for Childbirth class focuses on comfort measures, breathing techniques, visualization, imagery, massage and positions for labor.
This cost of this class is $25 per couple if taken alone. The class is free when you take our Prepared Childbirth Series (Lamaze) but you must sign up for it separately.
Prepared Childbirth Series (Lamaze)
MaineGeneral's two-class Prepared Childbirth Series (Lamaze) includes information on:
- Labor and birth
- Hospital procedures
- Partner's role
- Cesarean birth
Our Baby Care Class and Breathing and Relaxation Techniques for Childbirth are included with the series but you must sign up for them separately.
The cost for this class is $49 per couple.
Prepared Childbirth Weekend Workshop
MaineGeneral's seven-hour Prepared Childbirth Weekend Workshop (Lamaze) is strictly a labor/birth class focusing on:
- Phases and stages of labor
- Comfort measures
- Medical interventions
- Cesarean birth
- Relaxation and breathing techniques for labor
The cost for the class is $49 per couple. Our Baby Care Class is included with your registration fee but you must sign up for it separately.
MaineGeneral's delightful one-hour Sibling Class lets children ages 2 to 9 become familiar with the Alfond Center for Health's Maternity & Pediatrics center and learn what it will be like to have a new baby in the home.
A film and diapering practice are included. There is a $5 fee to cover the cost of educational materials.
Credit Card Refunds
Refunds will be issued to the form of payment within 14 business days after receipt of your refund request.
If you paid by debit or credit card, it may take up to seven business days for the credit card company to post the payment to your account.
To request a refund, please call MaineGeneral Customer Service at 1-855-464-4463.
MaineGeneral welcomes the opportunity to provide you with services that ease your transition to parenthood. In addition to classes and workshops, we provide:
- 24-hour Warm Line: Staffed by MaineGeneral nurses ready to answer questions about newborn care and parental concerns. Call toll-free (888) 468-1347.
- Resolve Through Sharing: A support process to help families through the loss of a baby at any time during the pregnancy.
- For more information, call toll-free (888) 468-1347.
- Car Seat Fitting Stations: Offered regularly at various community locations.
- CradleME: A free program that supports health and wellness for birthing families. Call (888) 644-1130 for more information.
Harold Alfond College Challenge
Harold Alfond's dream of helping every child in Maine pay for college became a reality in December 2007 with the announcement of the Harold Alfond College Challenge program.
Founded by Mr. Alfond, the Harold Alfond Foundation provides a $500 scholarship gift to be invested in a NextGen College Investing Plan® account for each newborn Maine resident.
MaineGeneral Medical Center is proud to work with the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and the Harold Alfond Foundation in making this program available to Maine newborns and their families.
Learn more about the program or call FAME at (800) 228-3734. You also can also learn more about the NextGen College Investing Plan®. For help with the NextGen application, please call (800) 228-3734.
Your child’s safety is a top priority at MaineGeneral. Here are some things you can do to keep your baby safe while you are in our care:
- At birth your baby is banded with an identifying bracelet that matches with your ID band and your partner’s ID band. In addition, a state-of-the-art security band is placed on your baby.
- All hospital employees wear a badge and Maternity & Pediatrics staff also wear a special badge.
- We photograph and do footprints for your baby as a form of identification.
- Whenever you move your baby any distance, be sure to use the infant crib.
- Never carry your baby through the hallway.
- Do not leave your baby unattended even for a moment.
- Do not give your home address or phone number to a stranger.
You play a key role in the safety of your baby; together we can work to provide safety for your baby.
Please call us at if you have questions or want more information:
- General questions & information: (207) 248-5200
- Labor & delivery: (207) 248-5230
- Lactation services: (207) 248-5229 (8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Sunday)
- Nurse manager: (207) 621-5394 (6 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday)
It's the Law
If you have a medical emergency or are in labor, you have the right to receive, within the capabilities of the hospital’s staff and facilities:
- An appropriate medical screening examination
- Necessary stabilizing treatment (including treatment for an unborn child)
- If necessary, an appropriate transfer to another facility, even if you cannot pay or do not have medical insurance, or are not entitled to Medicare or MaineCare. MaineGeneral Medical Center participates in the MaineCare program.
At MaineGeneral, we believe you should have accurate information to help you choose a health care provider or medical practice based on the quality of care you can expect to receive.
Click the Patient Experience button below for information about our level of care based on medical practice survey responses from patients.