Pregnancy care in South Denver
At Sky Ridge Medical Center, we know how important it is to choose the right obstetrician to help you through every step of your pregnancy. Our network of board-certified OB/GYNs in South Denver—including the providers in our own OB/GYN Center—offer comprehensive, patient-centered maternity care.
To find the right physician for you, please call (720) 225-5DOC.
In addition to OB/GYNS, the Sky Ridge maternity team includes maternal-fetal medicine specialists and neonatologists. When you choose a Sky Ridge provider, you gain access to our state-of-the-art Birth Place for labor and delivery.
Our Birth Place offers all the amenities moms need for a healthy, comfortable childbirth experience. If complications arise or if your baby needs extra care after birth, rest assured neonatologists and neonatal nurses are standing by 24/7 in our Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
We encourage expecting families to take a tour of Sky Ridge’s Birth Place. Hospital tours give you and your partner the opportunity to learn more about our Birth Place and ask any questions you may have about our facility and services.
Please visit our classes and events page to register for a Birth Place tour.
Pregnancy and childbirth conditions we treat
At Sky Ridge, our pregnancy and childbirth experts in south Denver are able to handle all aspects of prenatal care, including any resulting conditions and/or complications, such as:
- Amniotic fluid abnormalities
- Congenital rubella syndrome
- Ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy)
- Gestational diabetes
- Multiple pregnancies
- Incompetent cervix
- Low-risk pregnancy
- HELLP syndrome (hemolytic anemia, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count)
- High-risk pregnancy
- Hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness)
- Placental conditions
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pregnancy after premature birth
- Rh incompatibility and isoimmunization
- Thyroid disorders in pregnancy
- Graves' disease (overactive thyroid)
- Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
Our commitment to delivering at 39 weeks
During the last few weeks of pregnancy, the baby is maturing rapidly, and significant brain development is taking place. Babies who deliver prior to 39 weeks are at a greater risk for respiratory distress and jaundice and often have more feeding difficulties in the first few days to weeks after birth. Some studies have also shown an increased risk of poor school performance in some areas for infants born just a few weeks early.
There are many medical reasons, however, why a mother may need to be delivered before 39 weeks, such as pre-eclampsia or placenta previa, where the placenta covers or partially covers the cervix. Also, if a mother goes into labor on her own before 39 weeks (but after 35 to 36 weeks), we do not try to stop that natural process. A reasonable national quality benchmark for elective early-term deliveries is five percent, and we consistently exceed that goal at Sky Ridge.
Despite the increased risk for some problems after birth, most babies born after 35 weeks do not need to go the NICU, but newborns between 35 and 37 weeks do need extra attention with feeding, temperature and watching for jaundice, even if they stay with parents in their room.
Your birth plan
At Sky Ridge, we want to help make your childbirth experience special and unique. We encourage you to consider your childbirth preferences in advance and share those ideas with your provider, so we can customize your stay to meet your needs and wishes.
To help you in creating your birth plan, here are the medical and natural pain relief options Sky Ridge offers.
Medical pain relief options
- Spinal anesthesia is used for scheduled C-sections, and anesthetic and painkillers are injected through the dura (membrane surrounding the spinal cord). Pros: Best anesthesia; does not transfer to the baby. Cons: Time limited.
- Local anesthesia is used for relieving pain during the pushing phase or tear repair. Anesthetic is injected directly into the affected region. Pros: Immediate, localized relief. Cons: Does not help with labor pain.
- Epidural is used for blocking labor pain. A tube provides anesthetic and pain killers around the dura via an IV drip. Pros: Provides continuous relief; can be patient-controlled for desired level of medicine; does not transfer to the baby. Cons: Can increase chance of C-section and affect recovery if administered too early.
- Narcotics are used for relieving anxiety and pain of contractions. The drugs are given via injection or IV. Pros: Provides short-acting pain relief; good for women in fast labor. Cons: Goes directly to baby; only partial relief; can affect cognition, which may interfere with performing natural pain-relieving methods.
Natural pain relief methods
- Acupressure uses gentle pressure applied by a trained specialist on certain points of the hands, feet and ears believed to correspond to specific organs or structures of the body; can relieve pain.
- Aromatherapy uses essential plant oils (such as lavender) to alleviate anxiety, decrease tension and improve mood.
- Audio uses music and sounds of nature to provide a distraction and point of focus, reducing pain perception.
- Hydrotherapy involves women themselves in a warm bath during the first stage of labor to reduce blood pressure and the pain of contractions.
- Massage provides a gentle touch to reduce blood pressure, create a distraction, release muscle tension and decrease pain.
- Guided imagery involves visualizing a pleasant experience or place. Women can relax and divert focus from pain. Support people can create visions with simple, soothing statements.
Preparing for the birth of your baby
There is a lot to do to prepare for the birth of your baby. To help with this process, here are some things we suggest you do before the big day:
- Review financial responsibilities: We encourage you to obtain "pre-certification" from your insurance carrier prior to your admission. Make sure you understand your specific coverage terms. Verify that Sky Ridge is an approved provider of obstetrical care under your plan. If you have minimal to no insurance coverage, the total hospital bill is your responsibility, however, we do offer a cost-reduced plan. Call our pricing hotline for further information at (888) 824-7655.
If you have any questions about payment or insurance issues, please do not hesitate to call our financial counselor at (720) 225-1505.
- Pre-register for delivery: We suggest that you pre-register for your hospital stay at least 48 hours in advance to allow the hospital to process your information. This also makes your check-in process more convenient.
- Education for Inductions Form
- Review “Five Wishes” advance directive: Federal law directs that any time you are admitted to any healthcare facility or served by certain organizations that receive Medicare or Medicaid funding, you must be told about Colorado's laws concerning your right to make healthcare decisions.
- As a patient, it is your right to formulate and provide advance directives concerning your wishes for life-prolonging or sustaining treatment in the event that you should become unable to make your own decisions. Completion of the pamphlet "Five Wishes" fulfills the need for an advance directive.
- You are not required to have an advance directive in order to receive medical treatment at Sky Ridge. If you would like a copy of the "Five Wishes" pamphlet sent to you, please call (720) 225-1511.
- Select a pediatrician for your baby
Need a pediatrician? Call (720) 225-5DOC for a physician referral.
Pregnancy and childbirth classes
Sky Ridge offers a variety of maternity classes to help you prepare for childbirth, newborn care, parenthood and beyond. Due to the popularity of our maternity classes, we recommend you register for all classes early in your pregnancy. Register online using the links below or call (720) 225-2229.
Some insurance companies will reimburse you for the cost of prenatal classes. Please call (720) 225-2229 to request an itemized receipt once you have completed all your class(es). You are responsible for submitting the receipt to your insurance company.
Please note that class dates and fees are subject to change. Cancellation of your scheduled class(es) must be made at least 24 hours prior to the start of the class in order to receive a full refund.
Childbirth Preparation Classes