NewLife Center tours now available in person and virtually | Ascension

NewLife Center tours now available in person and virtually

Shortly after the first Kansas case of COVID-19 was diagnosed, in-person tours of the NewLife Center at Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph were replaced with virtual ones to help protect expectant moms and their babies.

Now, in response to the improved community condition, in-person tours for expectant parents have resumed at Ascension Via Christi NewLife Center.

"The in-person tour won't be replacing our free online virtual classes,” says Toni Howard, RN and certified lactation specialist who coordinates childbirth and new parent education at St. Joseph. “They are simply another option for expecting families to get the support they need in the time and manner that works best for them.”

The childbirth and new parent education classes, offered at no cost to participants thanks to a grant from Children's Miracle Network Hospitals at Ascension Via Christi, will continue to be offered virtually.

"We may be adding some in-person options at a later date," says Howard, who worked with the childbirth education team to quickly convert the NewLife Center's full complement of classes and groups to a virtual format at the onset of the pandemic. But for now, those classes, to which Advanced Labor Support and Limber for Labor were added during the pandemic, as well as a virtual post-delivery support group will continue in their present format.

Those classes and groups are all taught or led by a registered nurse with special training in labor and delivery, breastfeeding and newborn care, providing participants the opportunity to have real-time interaction with their instructor and each other.

"Because they are interactive, our virtual classes are extremely popular because families can participate from the comfort of their own home, wherever that may be," says Howard. "As a result, expectant parents from throughout Kansas and our Ascension hospitals across the United States are benefiting from our classes."

Breastfeeding support is offered both virtually and in one-on-one in-person visits to the Breastfeeding Clinic.

Howard says that new and expectant parents quickly embraced the virtual format, making it clear the important role childbirth education plays in relieving the expectant parents' anxiety and helping improve birth outcomes.

"Whether they deliver at one of our hospitals or elsewhere, it is important that they have the tools they need to get off to a good start," says Howard. "We feel blessed to be able to help them do that whether online or face-to-face."


To find the Ascension Via Christi virtual class offerings, go to

To find out more about maternity care at our delivering hospitals in Wichita, Manhattan and Pittsburg, go to