Newborn baby delivered at Covenant

Your Delivery at Covenant

There’s a lot to think about when you have a baby on the way. From prenatal care to delivery to after you leave the hospital, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. That’s why you can turn to Covenant HealthCare’s Birth Center, where you can get the expert care you need and the full range of obstetrical services you’re looking for.

Pre-Register for Your Delivery with MyChart

We want to make your admission to the hospital as simple as possible. You can register for your delivery before you come to the hospital to deliver your baby by logging into your MyChart account. From the Main Menu, go to Find Care > Register for My Delivery to preregister for your upcoming delivery.

You’ll be asked to enter your expected due date and select the Harrison location as the place where you’d like to give birth. There will be a short registration questionnaire to complete and then you will be registered for labor and delivery. You can see details of your upcoming delivery in the "Visits" section, add the expected due date to your calendar and get directions to the hospital.

Signup for a MyChart Account

Visit the MyChart Signup Page and fill out the information. MyChart will give you access to preregister for delivery, schedule childbirth classes and much more.

For support, contact the MyChart Patient Support Line at 989.583.0488.

Visiting Hours & Expectations

Covenant HealthCare is observing continued visitor precautions due to COVID-19. Some areas have different levels of precaution. For the complete list of visitor expectations, please visit

Covenant Birth Center/Obstetric Patients (OB)

The Birth Center is happy to welcome 2 designated healthy support persons per patient for their entire stay. Doulas are welcome in addition to the 2 designated support persons. Patients with outpatient appointments in the Birth Center may have 1 designated healthy support person. This applies to non-COVID-19 patients.

Our waiting room remains closed to the public and only open to designated support persons that are temporarily out of the patient room (such as admission intake). Visitors under the age of 16 are only allowed under extraordinary circumstances.

Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU)

Both parents/guardians may accompany the patient, however, only one parent/guardian will be allowed in the NICU at a time. Additional details will be provided by the unit.

About the Covenant Birth Center

Facts and Features About the Covenant Birth Center

  • Twelve labor and delivery rooms, complete with hydrotherapy and wireless monitoring.
  • Dedicated in-hospital, board-certified obstetric physicians available 24/7.
  • Together, Covenant Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (RNICU), MMR and LifeNet of Michigan helicopter transport teams provide care to families and hospitals within 17 counties throughout Michigan.
  • Clinical outcomes nurse specialists and perinatal safety specialists on staff.
  • Board-certified lactation specialists.
  • OB emergency triage care service staffed by OB-GYN physicians.
  • The only birth center in the region that has a Level III Certified Neonatal Intensive Care Unit just seconds away if needed.
  • Approximately 3,000 newborns delivered every year.
  • Board-certified physicians on staff who specialize in obstetrics and pediatrics. Some have additional certification in neonatology, infertility, high-risk obstetrics, newborn care, pediatric specialties and family practice.
  • A full range of services are offered including childbirth education, homelike maternity care, high-risk OB care, a regional neonatal intensive care unit, exceptional nursing care and a broad range of support services for you and your baby.
  • A special hospital entrance for women twenty or more weeks pregnant available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide expectant mothers with convenient, easy access to the Birth Center.

Schedule an In-person Tour

Birth Center Information

We are looking forward to assisting you as you welcome your new baby into the world. Our Birth Center offers compassionate nursing care, in addition to the most advanced medical technologies available.

When you go into labor:

  • Call your healthcare provider first
  • Park in the visitor lot
  • Come into the main entrance and use the elevators to get to the fourth floor.
  • You might be placed in a triage room while our nurses assess your labor status; while you are being admitted your support team will be asked to wait in the waiting room provided on the 4th floor.
  • You are allowed to have two labor support people if you wish. Visit to see a complete list of visitor expectations.

Our Labor Rooms

Our labor rooms are designed to make you feel at home, while also offering exceptional medical care.

Each room has the following features:

  • Shower
  • Rocking chair
  • Adjustable beds
  • Squat bar (available upon request)
  • Fitness ball (available upon request)
  • Television
  • Wireless Internet service

Your Postpartum Stay

Most parents stay in our mother-baby unit for 2-4 days following birth. The following information can help you plan your stay. Our postpartum unit offers the following features and services:

  • Postpartum rooms: Each room has an adjustable bed, a hideaway bed for your support person (1 can stay), newborn crib, phone, TV, dining table and wireless Internet service. We provide basic toiletries and self-care items for you and baby during your stay.
  • Security and safety: All visitors will need to check in and out. Your baby will wear an identification band that matches yours. No one else is allowed to take your baby.
  • Lactation services: Our certified lactation consultants may visit you during your stay to answer questions you might have and help with positioning. Our post-partum nursing staff are all trained in lactation support. Upon discharge, you will be given the number for our lactation hotline.
  • Visitors: We are currently restricting visitation to two support people. To see a full list of visitor expectations please visit Because newborns are so vulnerable to germs, people who are sick should not come to visit you.
  • Meal services: In-room meals are available to the new mother. You will receive a menu to order from each day. Family members can order meals for a nominal fee.
  • Discharge: Before you are discharged, your nurse will review essential medical information with you. She will also give you all the forms you need in order to fill out your baby’s birth certificate or register for any social services. You must take your baby home in a properly-installed car seat. Install the seat before you go into labor so it’s ready to transport your newborn!

Labor and Delivery

Whether you’re planning on a more natural approach to childbirth or you want a traditional childbirth experience, including pain medications, labor and delivery is a process. And even with medication, you will likely experience sensations that are new or uncomfortable. Even if you’ve had babies before, you may have a different experience or symptoms this time around. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make the most out of your labor and delivery.

Childbirth is one of the most natural events in the human experience. And though there are things women can do to make childbirth more comfortable, which of those things work vary from woman to woman. If you decide you don’t want to take medication, that’s fine. And if you do want to, that’s fine too. There’s no shame in either decision. You have to do what you believe is best for you and your baby. And with the help of your health care team and your partner, you should be able to come up with a plan to help you have the best labor and delivery you can.

There are many ways to help you stay comfortable and relaxed during labor.

Non-medicated ways to stay comfortable

There are many non-pharmacologic ways to stay comfortable during labor. They may help provide comfort and relieve stress both at home and in the hospital. They are great for both natural childbirth and traditional childbirth because they can help you feel confident, relaxed and in control of the process.

Breathing techniques - There are different types of breathing and breathing patterns that can help you direct your mind away from the discomforts of labor.

Visualization - helps you focus on an object or task, such as breathing, to help you through the pain and discomfort of labor and to encourage your body to relax and do what it’s supposed to do.

Guided imagery - is a technique used to help you form mental pictures and transport yourself mentally to another place. This can help you relax cope with the difficulties of labor.

Positioning and movement - Many women find changing positions and moving around during labor helps relieve discomfort and may help speed labor along. Rocking in a rocking chair, sitting on a "birthing ball," walking and swaying may be helpful to relieve discomfort. Your health care provider can help you find comfortable positions that are also safe for you and your baby.

Massage - This may include massage or light stroking to relieve tension. Effleurage is a type of self-massage that some women find very helpful.

Heat or cold therapy - This type of therapy uses the therapeutic benefits of heat and/or cold to help relax tensed or painful areas of the body. Many women find that a warmed towel or cold pack (or both intermittently) can be helpful.

Hydrotherapy - Some labor and delivery rooms have hydrotherapy tubs. Hydrotherapy can be helpful in easing pain and aiding in relaxation during labor. A shower during labor may also be effective.

Medications for Pain Relief

There are many pharmacologic ways to stay comfortable during labor. Some can be used with other comfort measures. Remember, there is no correct choice about what you use to cope with labor. You decide what options are right for you.

Analgesics are given either by a shot or through an intravenous (IV) line. These medications are often used in early labor to help you rest with less pain. Side effects include drowsiness, nausea, and trouble concentrating. If the medication is given too close to delivery, it may make your baby drowsy. Talk with your care team about timing of pain medication during labor.

Epidural or Intrathecal Anesthesia is a procedure done by a doctor who specializes in anesthesia or a certified nurse anesthetist. Pain medicine is injected into the small of the back. This medicine affects the nerves of the spinal cord to block the pain that comes with labor and delivery.

Epidural – A catheter is placed just outside of the spinal canal to allow for continuous medicine to be given throughout labor. Pain relief starts within 20 minutes. This is placed when the patient is in active labor, after her cervix has dilated 3-4 centimeters. A bag of pain medicine will be placed on a medicine pump and the medicine will continue to flow into the epidural space until delivery.

Intrathecal – The medicine is given by a smaller needle directly into the spinal canal. It works within five minutes. It will relieve your pain without affecting your ability to move your legs. Since this medicine is not given continuously, it will last 4-6 hours. Another injection is possible if you need further pain relief.

How the Epidural/Intrathecal Anesthetic Is Given

  • A nurse will help you sit in the right position. This is important for good placement.
  • The skin on your back will be cleansed with an anti-bacterial agent.
  • You will feel a stinging sensation as the skin is numbed.
  • You will feel pressure as the epidural needle is inserted.
  • A tiny tube called a catheter will be placed through the needle and the needle taken out (epidural).
  • The catheter is left in place and is used to give the medicine (epidural).

After You Receive the Epidural/Intrathecal Anesthetic, You Will

  • Need to stay in bed (epidural) or need assistance to ambulate (intrathecal).
  • Receive fluids to keep your blood pressure within the normal range.
  • Possibly need assistance to empty your bladder.
  • Be watched for an increase in temperature which can be mistaken for infection.
  • Have continual fetal monitoring.

Side Effects and Risks

  • Minor side effects, such as itching or nausea, can be treated with IV medicine.
  • Your blood pressure may drop. This can affect the baby’s heart rate. IV fluids are given before the epidural is started to prevent this common side effect. If it happens, it is treated with extra IV fluids and IV medicines if necessary. Nausea usually happens with a drop in blood pressure.
  • Occasionally the numbness from the anesthetic may spread to your chest wall. The loss of this feeling may make you feel short of breath. We carefully monitor the oxygen level in your blood. If needed, we will give you extra oxygen to assist you with your breathing through a mask or tube.
  • Your labor may last longer, especially the “pushing” stage, but it will be more comfortable.
  • One in one hundred women develop a head- ache after a labor epidural. These headaches can vary from a very mild headache to the worst headache you can imagine. Often the headache goes away on its own. It may be necessary to do another procedure called a “blood patch” to stop the headache. During this procedure, we draw your blood and inject it into the epidural space to “patch” the cause of your headache.


  • Although your labor will not be entirely painless, it should be much more comfortable.
  • Induction of labor with the administration of IV Pitocin and other medicines can cause significant discomfort to the mother. A labor epidural is an effective means to assist with the discomfort associated with the induction of labor.
  • Epidural anesthesia is a very helpful method of pain relief during labor. Many mothers have expressed satisfaction with this technique. It is safe for both mother and baby.
  • An effective labor epidural often permits you to rest and gather energy necessary for delivery.

The Covenant HealthCare Anesthesia Department is proud of the service we provide. We are available to discuss with you any questions or concerns you may have with your decision regarding labor pain relief. Please ask your care team to assist you in contacting us. The ultimate decision concerning your choices for anesthesia/analgesia in labor and delivery are for you to make after thoroughly looking at your options and discussing them with your OB Provider.

Cord Blood Banking

What is Cord Blood Banking?

Cord blood banking is a procedure in which the blood left in your baby’s umbilical cord and placenta after birth is collected, frozen, and stored for future medical use.

Why is Cord Blood Banking Done?

Cord blood is a rich source of stem cells – the building blocks of the blood and immune system. Stem cells are able to change into new tissues, organs, and blood vessels and they can be used to treat a host of diseases. Stem cells have been used successfully to treat leukemia, sickle cell anemia, immune and blood problems, and cancer of the lymph system such as Hodgkin’s disease.

Will Cord Blood Collection Affect My Newborn?

Some parents worry that newborns need the blood and stem cells in their umbilical cords and that clamping the cord soon after delivery (a vital step for cord blood collection) will harm their babies Clamping the cord shortly after birth is perfectly safe for most babies. The only babies who can benefit from the extra blood in their cords are those who have lost blood – which can happen when the placenta separates too early from the uterus.

Donating Cord Blood

Donating your baby’s cord blood can be a life-saving gift for a patient waiting for a stem cell transplant. Chances that your family will need the blood are very low and ranges from 1 in 1,400 to 1 in 200,000.

If you are interested and would like more information about donating cord blood, go to:

You can sign up at any time, up to 4 weeks prior to your due date. You will need to download and complete the Preliminary Screening form at Return the screening form to Versiti in one of the following ways:

Mail: Versiti Cord Blood Bank, 1036 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Fax: 616-233-8559

  • The collection paperwork will be mailed to your home within 4 weeks of your due date.
  • Bring the completed paperwork with you to the hospital when it is time for you to deliver.
  • Let the nursing staff know you wish to donate your baby’s cord blood and give them the paperwork.
  • We will need to collect the required maternal labs upon arrival and then the cord blood with the delivery.
  • Covenant has the kits on hand to collect your baby’s cord blood after delivery.
  • The completed collection paperwork will be placed in the kit along with blood and sent to the lab.
  • Be sure to talk to your provider about Cord Blood banking.

Private Cord Blood Banking

Private Cord blood banking is when your baby’s cord blood is collected for future use. Private banks charge a yearly fee for storage. This can be important , especially if you have a family history of a disease that can be treated with cord blood, or your children belong to an ethnic minority group. Blood stored in a private bank must meet the same standards as blood stored in a public bank. Let the nursing staff know you will be collecting cord blood for private banking.

Keeping the Placenta for Cultural and/or Spiritual Use

The decision to keep your placenta is a personal choice. There are a few things that need to take place if you choose to keep it. We need to ensure that the hospital and staff meet your request and follow all regulatory guidelines. Your health care provider will need to authorize the release of the placenta to you, and that you have signed the release of placenta form. You will need to bring a rigid, plastic container with a secure lid to the hospital with you. We will place the placenta inside the container at the time of delivery. Your support person or a family member must remove the placenta from the hospital before we transfer you to your postpartum room as it is considered biohazard waste (due to the blood and body fluids) and needs to be handled appropriately.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or want more information, please call one of the following areas in the Birth Center:

Labor, Delivery & Recovery - 989.583.4496

Breastfeeding Warmline/Lactation Consultant - 989.583.4429 or toll-free 1.888.848.2229

Register for childbirth education classes - 989.583.4135 or 989.583.4503

Financial assistance for hospital bill - 989.583.6024

Customer Service/Patient Advocate - 989.583.4311

OB Managers - 989.583.7201