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Maternal and Child Health Unit

MCH2019Family Birthing Unit 

Our Family Birthing Unit offers a natural homelike setting in which to give birth and get to know your new baby. At the same time, we offer the backup of high-tech equipment and the latest know-how to provide the highest quality care for both mother and baby.

Our Family Birthing Unit is designed so that a mother, baby, and father or significant other can sleep over in the same room.

The birthing experience for families who choose to deliver at Franklin Memorial Hospital begins well before birth with home visits by the nurses who will be with you during your labor and delivery, and a tour of the Family Birthing Unit.

The Family Birthing Unit offers you many choices. You can start your birth plan now and have everything ready for you when the big day comes.

Nurses from our Birthing Unit offer optional Preparation for Childbirth classes, teaching the Lamaze method of relaxation and exercise to make your labor as productive and comfortable as possible. A warm-water soaking tub is also available in the Birthing Unit to ease the discomfort of labor.

At Franklin Memorial Hospital our nursing staff includes lactation consultants who can help you get started with breast feeding, answer any questions you may have, and work through any problems you may encounter. They are happy to meet with you before your delivery to help you weigh the pros and cons of both breast and bottle feeding.

Above all, we want you to have the most rewarding and fulfilling birthing experience possible, and we want your baby to have the best possible start. We offer our free Growing Healthy Families program to all first-time parents, supporting them in raising their children from birth to age five.

Vaginal Labor, Delivery, and Recovery

Your room on the maternity floor is designed to meet all your needs during labor, delivery and recovery.

We want you to be informed about your options for pain management while in labor. Choices for pain control can be discussed with both your doctor and nurse. These may include use of a pain scale, relaxation techniques, unrestricted positioning, hot tub, IV pain medication, or spinal analgesia. You will be given a Personalized Birth Plan to fill out before delivery so we can meet and even exceed your expectations.

The baby warmer and all emergency equipment for baby and mother are present during delivery. A nurse and your physician or midwife will be attending you and your newborn at the time of delivery.

Your baby will be placed in your arms after delivery, unless his/her condition does not allow it.

Caesarean Delivery and Recovery

After delivery in the Operating Room you will go to the Recovery Room until you are ready to return to your room. Under normal circumstances, a nurse may accompany the father and baby to the Recovery Room where you will be able to be with your baby at all times.

Your physician will order pain medication for you to be given when you need it. When you feel the need for pain medication please inform your nurse. She will check your medication record and help you select the appropriate drug based on the pain scale you choose.

Named as a Best Maternity Care Hospital

In February Newsweek announced its 2021 list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals, which included Franklin Memorial Hospital. The distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing care to mothers, newborns, and their families, as verified by the 2020 Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Best Maternity Care Hospitals is part of Newsweek’s Best Health Care series, powered by data from The Leapfrog Group.

Hospitals named as a Best Maternity Care Hospital have fully met The Leapfrog Group’s standards for maternity care on evidence-based, nationally standardized metrics. This includes lower rates of early elective delivery, NTSV C-section, and episiotomy, as well as compliance with process measures including newborn bilirubin screening prior to discharge and blood clot prevention techniques for mothers delivering via C-section.

Pediatric Unit

Hospitalization of a child can be an emotional time for the family. Our dedicated staff are well trained to care for your child. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child at all times to be involved in their plan of care.

The pediatric hospitalist service at Franklin Memorial Hospital provides hospital care for general pediatric conditions and is designed to support office-based family practice physicians when their patients are hospitalized.

Families who use the pediatric hospitalist program are not giving up their regular doctor. While in the hospital, a child is seen by one of the pediatricians at least twice a day and the pediatrician keeps in close contact with the child’s doctor. Upon discharge from the hospital, the child’s primary care physician receives a complete report and will provide any necessary follow-up care.

The clinicians who staff the service are all board-certified pediatricians who practice at Franklin Health Pediatrics in Farmington. All have special skills in hospital-based pediatric care.

The most common illnesses associated with child hospitalizations are respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, and acute bronchitis. Dehydration and appendicitis are also common.;

Gain the knowledge and confidence you and your partner/support person need to have the birth experience you desire. This class is suitable for all first time parents as well as a refresher course. Come and prepare for your birth in a relaxed, friendly environment.

Class will cover evidence based information including:

  • Stages and phases of labor
  • How to prepare physically and mentally for your birth
  • Natural coping methods such as relaxation, massage, visualization, water therapy and many others
  • Cesarean births, and unexpected outcome
  • Questions and answers with an obstetric provider and a pediatrician
  • Medical pain management options, and making informed choices.
  • Plenty of time for questions and discussion

Class Instructor is Natasha Foster, BSN, CBE, a staff nurse on the Maternal/Child Health Unit who additionally teaches the organization’s childbirth education classes for expectant parents.Foster received her bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2007 from Husson University. She has more than 10 years of extensive nursing experience.

Cost of the class is $40 payable by cash or check (made out to FMH) the first night of the series.

Class Schedule 

2021 Class Calendar

  • Saturday, May 1, 9 am-1:30 pm & Tuesday, May 4, 6-8 pm
  • Saturday, July 10 9 am-1:30 pp & Tuesday, July 13, 6-8 pm
  • Saturday, September 11, 9 am-1:30 pm & Tuesday, September 14, 6-8 pm
  • Saturday, November 6, 9 am-1:30 pm & Tuesday, November 9, 6-8 pm

Preregistration is required. Sign up early and plan to start the classes when you are close to 30 weeks. To register for the classes, contact the family birthing unit at 207-779-2295.

Due to COVID-19, this program is currently on hold.

Preparing for and taking care of a new baby is a challenging job. During your pregnancy, our nurses provide visits for all mothers who are planning to give birth at Franklin Memorial Hospital.

First Time Mothers:

Your first three visits will be at the Hospital, before you give birth. You will meet one of the home visiting nurses, who will introduce you to the program, give you a tour of the Family Birthing Unit, talk with you about your body's and your baby's changes in pregnancy, answer questions, and listen to your concerns.

At your second and third visit, you and your nurse will continue to discuss your pregnancy and how your baby is growing. You will learn about nutrition and exercise, a birthing plan, and possible complications. We will explain what to expect in the hospital and demonstrate baby care, including bathing, and discuss breast and bottle feeding.

All Mothers:

Post Partum visits will be in your home after delivery, usually within 1-3 days of your going home. Your nurse will check you and your baby, support you with breastfeeding, discuss birth control, and review self and infant care and any other concerns you may have.

For more information about Nurse Home Visits contact Franklin Memorial Hospital at (207) 779- 2340.

Maine Families Franklin

A free voluntary program of classes, playgroups, newsletters and/or home visits. A family support visitor will partner with you on this exciting and challenging new journey as a family, throughout the first five years of your baby's life.

* Practical tips on taking care of baby and yourself
* Learn more about your baby's healthy development, from birth to five years old
* Enjoy the up-to-date information from the nationally acclaimed parents as teachers curriculum
* Learn how nurturing your baby stimulates baby's brain development
* Have fun with your baby with games and activities to enjoy together
* Put you in touch with community resources for you and your family: child care, housing, job training, medical/dental care, baby furnishings
* Share with others the joys and challenges of parenting
* Join a play group with your baby -- meet other parents and develop your skills for observing your baby's growth and development
* Get linked to a medical home for your family to help you all stay healthy

For more information about Family Support Visitors contact Franklin County Children's Task Force at (207) 778-6960.

Our obstetricians and other health care providers offer skilled care to pregnant women and their unborn babies at risk of health problems. Prenatal care for high-risk pregnancies can include more doctor appointments, fetal heart rate monitoring, lab tests, and diabetes education. Our doctors and nurses can provide much of the special care close to home that you and your baby may need. We work together with specialists in high-risk obstetrics to help coordinate your care.

For women who we know will deliver prematurely or whose baby will be born with a serious medical problem, we refer to Maine Medical Center and the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland, which offers a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staffed by an extensive team of doctors and staff specially trained to care for the sickest newborns. The NICU is a Level III Unit, providing complete care for the most critically ill newborns with special medical needs.

Our family birthing center is committed to best practices and education on infant safe sleep. The cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is unknown, however there are things you can do to help prevent it.

  • Have regular prenatal care during your pregnancy
  • Avoid first and second hand smoke - babies with a mother who smokes are 3 times as likely to die of SIDS - and babies exposed to second-hand smoke are twice as likely
  • Breastfeed when possible

Practice Safe Sleep Habits:

  • Keep your baby on their back for both nighttime and naps
  • Provide supervised tummy-time to promote neck strengthening
  • Remove all bumpers, blankets, toys and stuffed animals from cribs and bassinets
  • Use a firm, infant-approved mattress in the crib or bassinet
  • Place your baby in a “sleep-sack” rather than wrapped in a blanket
  • Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for an adult in a t-shirt - a hot room allows the baby to go into a much deeper sleep, from which they may not wake
  • Use a pacifier after breastfeeding has been well-established - 3 to 4 weeks old is usually acceptable
  • Regularly check in on your baby in person rather than relying on a remote baby monitor

Call 207-779-2295 for more information on safe sleep for babies.

Visit for more information on practicing safe sleep habits.

Offering childbirth education classes

We offer childbirth education classes six times a year to accommodate all due dates. To register call 779-2295.

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