Childbirth at Duke University Hospital

Childbirth at Duke University Hospital

Labor and Delivery

For More Information

Having a baby is one of the most important milestones in your family’s life. Choosing where you give birth is an equally important decision. The obstetrics team at Duke University Hospital delivers more than 3,000 babies each year. We provide compassionate, family-centered care to mothers, newborns, and their families throughout pregnancy, delivery, and the postpartum period. Our skilled staff is dedicated to ensuring your birth experience takes place in a safe, comfortable environment that is tailored to the needs of you and your baby.

Our Doctors

Duke obstetricians provide prenatal care to women who may choose to deliver their babies at Duke University Hospital in Durham. View our doctors' profiles and select the one that’s right for you.
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Preparing for Your Baby’s Birth

Classes to Prepare for Your Child's Birth
Our classes help you get ready for childbirth and cover what to expect afterward. We help you prepare for labor, delivery, and Cesarean births. We also offer an understanding of epidurals. We prepare you for life as a new parent with classes on breastfeeding, baby care and more. Our class offerings include:

  • Preparing for Labor
  • Preparing for Labor in Spanish (Clase de Parto)
  • Preparing for Cesarean Birth
  • Preparing for Baby: Partner Boot Camp
  • Preparing for Baby: Sibling Class and Duke Birthing Center Tour
  • Postpartum and Newborn Care
  • Preparing for Breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

Tour the Birthing Center

Sign up online or call 919-403-4374 to register for a guided tour of our unit as you prepare for your baby's delivery.

Having Your Baby

Expert Care, 24/7
We know every woman’s childbirth experience is different. Our team includes general obstetricians, gynecologists, obstetric anesthesiologists, board-certified perinatologists, pediatricians, neonatologists, and highly experienced nurse practitioners. We are prepared day and night to handle every situation, from low-risk deliveries and Cesarean sections to high-risk pregnancies and emergency situations.

Midwifery Services
Our certified nurse midwives and nurse practitioners are experts in normal labor and birth. They support you, your baby, and your family during your labor, birth, and postpartum care.

High-Risk Pregnancy Care
As a regional referral center, Duke University Hospital offers a level of specialized experience not found at community hospitals. Our perinatologists provide comprehensive care to women with high-risk pregnancies, including care for women who are carrying multiples, who have a history of pregnancy complications (miscarriage, preterm delivery, or cervical incompetence), or who have a pre-existing medical condition (i.e. heart disease, lupus, or seizure disorders).

OB Anesthesiologists and Nurses
Our obstetric-trained anesthesiologists and nurses work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Many of our nurses are certified in obstetrics, maternal, and newborn care.

Our Locations

Duke Health offers ob-gyn clinics throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.

Gentle Cesarean Sections
We maintain three dedicated operating rooms for Cesarean sections. We offer gentle Cesarean sections by providing clear drapes for the moment of birth and initiating skin-to-skin and breastfeeding in the operating room. Your healthy baby stays with you in the operating room and through your recovery. 

Complex Cesarean Sections
We are also a referral center for challenging cases involving women who require a Cesarean delivery for medical reasons that may pose a risk to you or your baby during delivery. We have decades of experience working with high-risk pregnancies and performing routine and complex Cesarean sections. Our team is equipped to handle any childbirth situation.

Expert Care for Babies in the Newborn Nursery
A team of in-house, board-certified pediatricians provides care for healthy babies.  You and your new baby will stay together, which allows for special skin-to-skin time and bonding.   Before your baby goes home, we will make sure you get help with feeding your baby and answer any infant care questions you might have.  Our experienced pediatricians work closely with obstetricians and neonatal specialists if your baby needs more specialized care.

Specialty Care for Babies with Serious Conditions
If your baby needs complex medical care, our Level IV nursery is staffed by board-certified neonatologists and nurses who care for low-birth-weight infants, preemies, and infants with serious conditions such as heart defects. This breadth of expertise ensures you experience the highest quality care and the best possible outcome from the minute you become pregnant through the delivery and care of your baby.

In-House Neonatologists
We work closely with a team of neonatologists who are ready at a moment’s notice to manage any complications with critically ill or premature newborns. We have several nurseries, including a Level IV NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), a transitional “step-down” nursery that helps infants transition from the NICU to home, and a special infant-care nursery that provides follow-up care for infants who need special medical services after birth.

Your Postpartum Recovery

24-Hour Rooming-In
We give you the support you need to start bonding with your baby right away and keep your baby with you at all times. The Duke Birthing Center has 20 labor rooms. These rooms include whirlpool baths, TV/DVDs, and couches or chairs to make you and your loved ones as comfortable as possible during your labor and delivery. Our unit also has 16 mother/baby postpartum rooms with private showers, recliners or couches, and TV/DVDs.

Our board-certified lactation consultants and specially trained nursing staff give you the support you need to begin breastfeeding.  A lactation consultant is available to see you within one day of your newborn's birth. Nursing staff is available 24/7 to educate and assist you with your breastfeeding goals.

Postpartum Support
Our trained nurses offer feeding, bathing, and bonding support to aid in the transition of both mom and baby in the immediate postpartum period. Our clinical social workers specialize in postpartum depression and are available to help you and your family locate community resources and adapt to the many changes that accompany the arrival of a newborn.

Strict Infant Security System
We enforce strict infant security measures to protect your baby from unlikely harmful events, including abduction.

Consistently Ranked Among the Nation’s Best Hospitals

In addition to being one of the best in the country, Duke University Hospital is proud to be nationally ranked in 11 adult and nine pediatric specialties.
Reviewed: 12/04/2018