New mom holding her baby at a birthing center

Get personalized pregnancy care in Tennessee

Maternity care teams at Ascension Saint Thomas are here for you. From OB-GYN care and pregnancy, to birthing and beyond.

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to having a baby. And no one knows your body better than you do. Your preferences are important. That’s why the conversation between you and your OB-GYN, midwife, birth designer and nurse navigator matters. Your care team at Ascension Saint Thomas, in Middle Tennessee, starts by listening to you. As you share your questions, concerns and expectations, we listen to understand you. We take this partnership seriously. And we want you to feel comfortable.

From the very beginning, we talk through the choices that are right for you and your baby. You’ll be supported by a team that will provide the care you need — from childbirth classes to breastfeeding support and more. Ascension Saint Thomas is designated as the 2022 Best Place to Have a Baby by the Nashville Scene, the Nashville Parent, and the Rutherford Parent.


Pregnancy and birthing care for expecting families

Pregnancy is a special time for you and your family. Your care team works together to provide specialized care before, during and after your delivery. And, if you need advanced care for a high-risk pregnancy, we’ll help connect you to the right specialists. Get all the care you need, including:

  • Breastfeeding support
  • Labor, delivery and postpartum care
  • Maternal-fetal medicine and neonatal specialty care
  • OB-GYN care

Ascension Saint Thomas midwifery care

If you prefer to choose a midwife for your care, our certified nurse midwives work alongside your care team to provide:

  • Annual well-woman exams
  • Care during labor and delivery
  • Emotional and mental health support
  • Postpartum care
  • Prenatal care and classes on pregnancy, birthing and breastfeeding

After your delivery, we can connect you and your baby with additional care, if needed.

Talk with a birth designer about your delivery options

Having a care team that understands you is important. Your birth designer at Ascension Saint Thomas helps you understand your choices and decide on your preferences to personalize your birth experience. Support services are provided at no cost to you and include:

  • Classes and support for first-time parents
  • Coordinated care and appointments for high-risk pregnancy
  • Follow-up communication after delivery to make sure the family is connected to the care they need
  • Individual tours of our birthing center
  • Support for couples seeking adoption services or surrogacy

Advanced care for high-risk pregnancy

Not everyone will need more care during their pregnancy, labor or delivery. But if you do, we are ready to provide you and your baby with extra care. Our maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialists work with your OB-GYN to deliver care for high-risk pregnancies and other health concerns, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems and genetic disorders. Your care team will also work with you to help manage your condition after delivery.

Heart conditions during pregnancy

If you are diagnosed with a heart condition before, during or after pregnancy, heart and MFM specialists at Ascension Saint Thomas Perinatal Cardiac Clinic deliver the specialized heart care you need. Your MFM specialist and cardiologist work together with you and your OB-GYN to help manage your symptoms, including shortness of breath and irregular heartbeat. We also closely monitor your heart health throughout your pregnancy. Your care team is also here to address any concerns after your delivery. To schedule an appointment, call 615-284-8636.

Connection to NICU care

Your care team is ready for the unexpected. We provide high-quality neonatal nursery care with access to a network of pediatric specialists. If you have a newborn who is premature or needs extra care, we can connect you to our Level III NICU at Ascension Saint Thomas Midtown or our Level II NICU at Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford.;

Attend a childbirth class

At Ascension Saint Thomas, we’re here to answer your questions and provide support throughout and after your pregnancy. During your first prenatal check-up, your OB-GYN or certified nurse midwife will tell you about support services and childbirth classes that are available to you. By taking childbirth classes, you can learn more about your birthing options and what to expect. Classes include:

  • Breastfeeding and Baby Basics
  • Childbirth (weekday and weekend classes)
  • Comprehensive breastfeeding
  • Infant CPR
  • Just About the Baby
  • Labor in a day
  • The Birthing Center Orientation
  • Planning for a Cesarean Section

Certified safe sleep hospital

Your child's safety is our priority. Ascension Saint Thomas Midtown and Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford are certified as a National Safe Sleep Hospital by Cribs for Kids®, meaning we follow the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines for safe sleep.

Frequently asked questions about obstetrics

  • How do I find an OB-GYN that's right for me?

    Choosing an OB-GYN is personal. You want a doctorwho is experienced and who you feel comfortable talking with. Our OB-GYNs listen to understand your preferences and are always ready to answer your questions, no matter how big or small. Find an OB-GYN.

  • What weeks do you get an ultrasound while pregnant?

    When you get ultrasounds and how many you have while pregnant depends on many factors. Your doctor will work with you to determine when you need to come in for ultrasounds. Typically, the first fetal ultrasound (sometimes called a sonogram, or the image made by the ultrasound) is done in the first trimester to confirm the pregnancy and estimate how long you have been pregnant. During most pregnancies, the second ultrasound is typically done in the second trimester (around 18 to 20 weeks). During this ultrasound, your doctor looks for any concerns and may be able to confirm your baby’s sex. In some situations, such as during high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may recommend ultrasounds during the third trimester to monitor your baby's health. These ultrasounds may be every other week, weekly or more often.

  • What if I have vaginal bleeding during my pregnancy?

    Light bleeding or spotting are common during early pregnancy and don’t always mean there is a problem. But you should contact your doctor as soon as you notice spotting, bleeding or other symptoms to determine if you should be concerned or if your doctor needs to see you.

  • Can I exercise while pregnant

    About 30 minutes a day of light to moderate exercise is recommended for most women during pregnancy. These include exercises such as walking, swimming, yoga and strength training. But it is important to talk with your doctor about what activities are right for you during your pregnancy.

  • What should I do if I get a UTI while pregnant

    During pregnancy, changes in hormones can increase your risk of having a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you have symptoms of a UTI while pregnant, get care right away to avoid serious health concerns, such as kidney infection. Contact your doctor if you experience symptoms such as:

    • Pain or a burning feeling while urinating
    • Urinating more often
    • Feeling the urgent need to urinate
    • Blood in your urine
    • Pressure or cramping in lower back or abdomen
  • What happens if I get high blood pressure during pregnancy?

    Sometimes, high blood pressure develops during pregnancy. Having high blood pressure during pregnancy is a serious condition that can put you and your baby at risk. Untreated high blood pressure can lead to less blood flow to the placenta, injury to other organs, and premature delivery. If you have high blood pressure while pregnant, we will create a care plan that helps control your blood pressure. And we continue to closely monitor your health and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy.

  • How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

    Each woman and pregnancy is different. How much weight you gain during pregnancy depends on many factors, including how much you weighed before becoming pregnant and if you are having one or multiple babies. Typical weight gain for a woman of healthy weight, having one baby, is 25-35 pounds. If you have questions or concerns about weight gain during your pregnancy, talk with your doctor. 

  • Is there a way to take a tour of the birthing center

    Yes, we offer in-person tours and virtual tours that you can watch online for most of our birthing centers. You can schedule an in-person tour or click on the link below to take a virtual tour.

    You can also schedule an appointment with a birth designer. Your birth designer at Ascension Saint Thomas helps you understand your choices and decide on your preferences to personalize your birth experience. Request an appointment.

  • How do I register for parent birthing classes?

    Having a baby is an exciting time, but there is also a lot to learn. And the more you know, the better prepared you will be for these new experiences. At Ascension Saint Thomas, we offer many classes for expecting moms and parents – from birthing to breastfeeding classes. You can view available classes and sign up online here.

  • Who do I call if I get sick while pregnant?

    If you are feeling sick while pregnant, call your OB-GYN or certified nurse-midwife. Your provider will work with you to create a care plan that’s right for you and your baby. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, go directly to the ER or dial 911.

  • What over-the-counter medications can I take while pregnant?

    Talk with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications at any time during your pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Typically, there are over-the-counter medication options you can take for allergies, constipation, and colds.

  • What is postpartum depression? What are the signs and symptoms?

    Many women experience the “baby blues” after having a baby. Baby blues can begin a few days after birth. But some moms experience a more severe form of depression called postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is a mood disorder that occurs after having a baby. Feelings of postpartum depression are more intense and last longer than those of “baby blues.” Symptoms include:

    • Crying more than usual
    • Feelings of anger
    • Withdrawing from loved ones
    • Feeling distant from your baby
    • Worrying or feeling overly anxious
    • Thoughts about hurting yourself or your baby
    • Doubting your ability to care for your baby

    If you are feeling depressed after having a baby, talk to your doctor. You are not alone. Many new moms experience postpartum depression. When you feel depressed for more than a few days, start by talking with your doctor. There are many things we can do to help you – from relaxation techniques and support groups to therapy and medication. 

    If you are having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, get help right away. Call 911 so that you and your baby can get help as soon as possible.

  • What should I do to help prevent infections after C-section and vaginal delivery?

    Preventing bacterial infection after the delivery of your baby is important for your overall health. Postpartum infections are not common, but can occur in your perineum, uterus, and/or urinary tract. A few tips to help prevent infection after delivery include:

    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Don’t use a vaginal douche
    • Keep incision sites clean
    • Use sanitary pads instead of tampons during the first six weeks
    • Don’t have intercourse until you’ve been cleared by your doctor
    • Stay well hydrated
    • Urinate frequently

    Symptoms of an infection include: pain that gets worse over time, fever, chills, weakness, headache, foul-smelling discharge, as well as swelling, redness and/or discharge around the incision site (for C-section deliveries). If you are having symptoms of an infection, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 911 or go to the nearest ER. It’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.

  • What activities are safe to do in the first few days after delivering my baby? Which activities should I avoid?

    There are many benefits to being active after pregnancy. Physical activity can help relieve stress, boost energy levels, promote weight loss and reduce symptoms of postpartum depression. The amount and type of activity you can do depends on the type of delivery you had and your health. Typically, light activity is OK to start a few days after delivery. This includes walking and some gentle pelvic floor exercises. Talk with your doctor about what activities are safe for you after delivery before you start exercising. 

    And remember to listen to your body. Your body is healing and adjusting to a new lifestyle with a baby. So, if you’re feeling tired or you are in pain, you may need to let your body rest. 

    Some activities to avoid in the first few weeks after delivery include swimming, running, heavy lifting and high-intensity workouts. Talk to your doctor at your six-week post-delivery checkup or before about doing any of these or other more intense activities.

If you are experiencing new symptoms or have concerns about your health or the health of your baby, start by calling your doctor or pediatrician. If you or your baby is experiencing a life-threatening emergency, go directly to the ER or dial 911.