At Union General Hospital, it is our mission to partner with women and their families to ensure a joyful birth experience. We’re an award winning facility that highly respects the wishes of mothers for the birth of their child while combining the highest standards of safety in a caring and nurturing environment.
Continuity of Care
The nurses here in our women’s health unit are highly qualified to provide care throughout all stages of labor, delivery, surgical delivery, recovery and postpartum. We ensure continuity of care and nurses who develop a relationship with you and your family during your stay. Our providers work in close association with maternal-fetal medicine and neonatal specialists at regional healthcare facilities in Chattanooga, Gainesville and Atlanta to ensure quality care of both normal and high-risk obstetrics and newborn patients.
The Union General staff of registered nurses and physicians are highly skilled and trained in the latest methods of labor, post-partum, and newborn care. We use state of the art central fetal monitoring surveillance systems while encouraging mobility and respecting each woman’s desire to control as much of her birth experience as possible.
Our women’s unit consists of four labor/delivery/recovery rooms which are designed to be as home-like as possible. Our mothers labor, deliver and recover in the same room and bed so that there is as little stress as possible on the mother and baby. One triage unit is reserved for patients requiring outpatient testing or observation to rule out labor. We also have a dedicated O.R. suite for cesarean sections and a dedicated post anesthesia care unit. To get a tour of our facilities or learn about birthing options, contact our women’s center today!
Security & Privacy
To provide a secure and private environment for our laboring patients, our Labor and Delivery unit is locked at all times. We allow 3 visitors at a time for each patient in labor (visitors may switch out with each other) and children under 12 are not allowed unless they are siblings of the newborn. We ask that you please use the buzzer on the wall at the unit’s entrance and obtain permission to enter before visiting. Please understand that this is a sensitive and private event and we must respect each woman’s desire for privacy and limitation of visitors. For further safety after delivery, each newborn is equipped with an alarm band that is continuously centrally monitored and recording the location of each newborn to protect against infant abduction.
Birthing Options FAQ's
When it comes to giving birth, there are many options to consider. Here at Union General Hospital, we want to make this an easy and exciting experience. Read below to learn about commonly asked questions associated with considering a Birth Plan.
Who can I have in the room with me during birth?
You’re able to have your support person (typically a significant other or friend) and two more people.
Am I able to have someone there to photograph or video the experience?
Any of the allowed visitors can video or take photos as long as the mother approves. The actual birth of the infant cannot be videotaped.
When it comes to feeling pain, would I rather have an un-medicated birth or have an epidural?
Some women prefer to have an un-medicated birth to avoid epidurals and all pain medication. Women who choose this option typically use other methods to relieve pain, such as breathing techniques.
Other women may decide to use IV pain medication or epidural as a method for pain management during labor.
What position do I want to give birth in? Partly sitting? Laying on my side? Squatting?
Our team of doctors at Union General Hospital are prepared to accommodate for any of these birthing positions and can discuss which option is best for you and your baby. It is important to discuss your preferred position prior to being in active labor.
What about an episiotomy? Would I rather have my perineum tear naturally, or would I rather have the cut administered by a doctor?
Oftentimes, especially for first pregnancies, the perineum (the tissue between the anus and the vulva) tears during pregnancy. This is common, and the body naturally heals itself after 2-3 weeks. If a baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal (shoulder dystocia) or the baby needs to be born immediately, an episiotomy may be necessary. A doctor would make a clean incision in the area.
Would I prefer to have a natural birth or a caesarean section? What are the differences?
A natural birth is when the baby travels out of the uterus, through the cervix, and out through the birth canal.
A caesarean section is a surgical operation that involves making an incision by cutting through the wall of the mother’s abdomen. According to the March of Dimes and the CDC, 32.1% of women have C-sections in the United States. Although this is typically not a first-choice on many birth plans, there are certain situations that make this option the best alternate. Your doctor can give you the information necessary to prepare you for either of these options.
Can my significant other cut the umbilical cord?
If approved by the mother and physician, a significant other may cut the cord.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding? What’s a lactation specialist?
The American Academy of Pediatrics, along with most doctors, advocate breast feeding for at least the first 12 months. Breast milk is the best food for your baby, as it has all the most important nutrients for newborns. Studies suggest breast feeding may prevent sickness in the baby’s future as well as lower risks of breast cancer and diabetes. We have lactation specialists ready to assist you in learning more about breast feeding as well as assisting you with how to do it.
It’s important to remember that breast feeding is a personal choice. Whatever you decide, please inform your doctor so we can do everything we can to assist you with either option.
Do I want the baby on my skin immediately? Or would I rather the little one be washed off and placed in a warm towel?
This is a personal preference for each mother. We will gladly accommodate either option.
Breast health is an extremely important aspect to womens’ overall health. The Center for Disease Control tells us that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. About 1 in 8 develop breast cancer over the course of their life. However, if breast cancer is detected early, the 5-year survival rate is remarkably high at 98%.1 That’s why, at Union General Hospital, we feel it’s extremely important for women to maintain breast health.
A Normal Change
Breasts, along with the rest of the body, begin to change as women entire their 30s, 40s and 50s. This change is completely normal. However, it’s necessary to understand that each woman’s breasts are different. Sagging is natural, as is having lumpy breasts around the time of menstruation. In order for women to detect change that isn’t normal, routine breast exams are key. In fact, the John Hopkins School of Medicine finds…
“Forty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast exam is very important.”
If you happen to feel a lump that’s painful and persistent, please call us. We have the most up-to-date technology available for examining breast tissue. We’re able to use 3D and 4D Ultrasounds to take a closer, non-invasive and pain free look at the lesion.
Mammograms are something many women wonder about. Women who are in their 30s have a 1 in 229 risk of developing breast cancer. That’s why the typical age to begin having mammograms is at age 40.3 For women who have a history of breast cancer in their family, they are encouraged to begin 10 years early, at age 30.4
Many women are also concerned with how breastfeeding affects their breasts. While sagging is a common concern, it’s imperative to know that according to the National Cancer Institute, breastfeeding has been shown to decrease a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Doctors encourage breastfeeding for at least the first 12 months.
Keeping Breasts Healthy
If you’re wondering what you can do to keep your breasts healthy, here’s a few helpful tips:
- Perform regular monthly self breast exams (SBEs)
- Know your family history
- Exercise regularly
- Drink less alcohol, eat more vegetables
- Begin having mammograms at the appropriate age (30 for those with a family history, 40 for those without)
Here’s a simple breast health guide from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help you stay on top of your breast health.
We Care About You
At Union General Hospital, our goal is to do everything we can to help maintain healthy and fruitful lives among all our patients. If you have any questions about the services we offer or would like to schedule an appointment in our women’s health department call now.
When it’s time to bring new life into the world, our award-winning team of doctors and nurses in the women’s health department are prepared to make the birthing experience as comfortable and simple as possible. In order to do so, we offer a variety of birth planning options. Every mother has different preferences when it comes to giving birth, so we find joy in catering the birth experience for each individual mother.
Your Delivery, Your Plan
There’s a lot that goes into planning for a baby. A birth plan is a document that is shared with the doctors and nurses who will be taking care of the mother. It shares birth preferences for things like managing the pain associated with delivery, the position you’d like to give birth in and even lists who you would like to be in the room with you.
It’s crucial to understand that flexibility is a key attribute to developing a birth plan. Sometimes, there are certain unforeseen circumstances that require alterations to the original plan.
Giving birth in a hospital is the safest option when it comes time to have a baby. Here at Union General Hospital, we have the most up-to-date technology and the most qualified and caring physicians who are prepared for any unplanned situations. We use the latest 3D Ultrasound equipment to take a non-invasive look at the baby while it’s still in the womb. This helps us detect any potential issues. We are also readily available to assist with the pain associated with childbirth, if that’s a requirement of your birth plan.
Union General Hospital is proud to be supporting women in our community. Part of this includes providing the latest technology in ultrasounds, also called a sonogram. Because we work collaboratively with gynecologists, obstetricians and family physicians, we are able to provide any type of ultrasound service that a woman may need.
Ultrasounds we offer include:
- Transvaginal Ultrasound
- Transrectal Ultrasound
- Doppler Ultrasound
- Bone Sonography
- 3D Ultrasound
- 4D Ultrasound
While ultrasounds are most commonly known for monitoring the progression of a pregnancy, we also use ultrasound technology to identify and diagnose conditions affecting organs and soft tissues of the body. These devices use sonography, or high frequency sound waves, to display an image of the respective area.
To learn more about our screening services or diagnostic sonography, contact Union General Hospital today. We are dedicated to bettering the health of our community and surrounding areas in North Georgia.
What to Expect After Delivery
All rooms are private and your new baby will remain in the room with you around the clock. We encourage mom, dad, and baby to spend this time bonding together and becoming familiar with the newest family member. In some cases, we utilize our state of the art nursery for newborns that need monitoring or special care. Our nurses will work closely with you during this time to ensure that you are comfortable and confident in caring for your baby once you go home. If you are deciding to breastfeed, we are ready to help make breastfeeding as simple and enjoyable as possible.
Our award winning women’s unit at Union General Hospital is equipped with a Level 1 nursery. Typically called a “well newborn nursery,” we have capabilities to care for well newborns as well as moderately ill newborns. Our nursery staff and technology is prepared to provide:
- Neonatal resuscitation
- Evaluate & provide postnatal care to healthy newborns
- Stabilize & care for infants born at 35-37 weeks’ gestation who remain physiologically stable
- Stabilize newborn infants born less than 35 weeks’ gestation until transferred to a facility appropriated for neonatal intensive care
Our newborn nursery includes a staff of well trained and certified family physicians, nurse practitioners and other advance practice registered nurses.
If your baby is ill and must be monitored in the nursery, please be aware that only the parents of the infant may visit in the nursery. The viewing window may be opened for extended family to view your baby, but may be closed at the discretion of the healthcare team if procedures are being performed. For any infant requiring specialized neonatal ICU care, we will stabilize and arrange for transport by ground or air to one of our regional tertiary care facilities. Our goal is to keep mothers and babies together if at all possible, but recognize that sometimes a transfer may be in your baby’s best interest. In such cases, the tertiary care center will maintain open communication with you at all times regarding the care of your baby until you can be reunited.
For more information regarding the Union General Hospital Nursery, or any of our other women’s health departments, contact a member of our healthcare team. We are dedicated to the health and well-being of mothers and babies that are in our care.
Union General Women’s Health aims to provide the highest quality in healthcare for women. Our OBGYN doctors provide routine and specialized care within the full spectrum of the gynecology field, including inpatient and outpatient surgeries like hysterectomies and laparoscopies.
Our experienced OBGYNs provide services to women in every stage of life including post-menopausal, pre and post-adolescent girls as well as women that are in different dimensions of pregnancy. We strive to create a comfortable and relaxing environment for women to learn about their specific health needs and manage them accordingly. Women in their 20s and up typically need certain medical tests to encourage good health. To promote women’s wellness, our OBGYN doctors offer the following services:
- Breast & Pelvic Exams
- Pap Smears
- STS Screening
- Birth Control
- Preconception Counseling
- Menopause Treatment
With the combined experience of our qualified group of gynecologists, we are able to stay up to date with the latest in gynecological methods and techniques to keep you healthy.
Our gynecologists provide healthcare regarding the following conditions:
- Sexual Health
- Abnormal Menstrual Periods
- Breast and Cervical Cancer
- Abnormal Pap Tests
- Ovarian Cysts
- Pelvic pain
- Urinary tract infections
- Perineal descent
Our certified gynecologists are committed to helping you achieve your healthcare goals. We treat the full spectrum of conditions related to women’s healthcare and collaborate to provide each woman with the care appropriate for her.