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Obstetrics

Our on-staff Family Physicians all promote the highest standards of care, and are qualified to do both vaginal and ceasarian section deliveries. Parents are encouraged to share their personal birth plans with their physician in order to have their needs fulfilled. 

SVMC Obstetrics Team:

Amy Tomlinson, M.D. OB/GYN
K. Paul Head, M.D. 
Christian Morgan, M.D. 
Ross Pieper, D.O.

Preparing for Childbirth

When you have a baby on the way, your mind is full of questions and concerns. The birthing department at Star Valley Medical Center offers a variety of classes to help expectant mothers and their families prepare for the experience of pregnancy and birth. Our classes are taught by nurses and are designed to help you feel positive and well-informed about this very special time in your life.

The Childbirth Education class helps ready you for labor and delivery. You should plan to begin the class six to eight weeks before your due date. Class sizes are limited, early registration is encouraged. Class topics include the physical aspects of labor, and techniques to help you through the birthing process such as relaxation, breathing patterns, distraction, positioning and massage. Other pain control options will also be discussed. We encourage fathers-to-be or other support persons to attend all the classes with you. Their support during this special time is very important. Since enrollment is limited, class placement cannot be guaranteed unless registration is completed by your sixth month. For more information, please visit our Community Calendar for class schedules throughout the year, or to register for any of the classes, please  307-885-5800.

 Childbirth Education Schedule

For Mothers delivering in October, November, December, January
Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24
Wednesdays
SVMC, Board Room; 7:00 - 9:00 pm.

CALL 307-885-5800 TO REGISTER


 Your Birth Experience

We are excited you have chosen to have your baby at Star Valley Medical Center. Our goal is to provide you and your family with exceptional care during your stay. We’re here to see that you have a wonderful birthing experience. We take pride in knowing that since the 1900's, our hospital has been the place where North Lincoln County families have been born. We’re here to serve you.

In our birthing department, babies are born into a warm and loving environment, supported by the reassurance of skilled nursing and medical staff and special care nurseries. In addition to providing superior medical care with state of-the-art equipment, our maternity staff has the sensitivity and training to assure that you and your family receives the individual attention you deserve.

You also have many anesthesia alternatives with our 24-hour anesthesia availability. We know this is important to you. Your options include different levels of medications, and, of course, natural childbirth. During normal deliveries, you may choose regional anesthesia such as an epidural or intrathecal which allows you to remain awake with comfort during the birth experience. Doses are limited during labor and delivery to avoid depression of the baby at birth. As soon as your newborn arrives, our admitting nurse assesses your baby’s health and determines any potential special needs. You will receive a complimentary birth certificate with footprints, gift pack with t-shirt, diapers, and diaper bag to start your trip home.

Happily, in today’s world, most babies are born without difficulties. Most of the over 100 babies born at Star Valley Medical Center each year arrive at home without complications. However, it is reassuring to know that if a problem does arise, our nurses and doctors are ready for the unexpected. We want you to know that by having your baby at Star Valley Medical Center, you’ll know you are giving your child the best possible start in life.

When you arrive at the hospital, we want to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Here are a few things you can expect during your stay.

During Your Stay

We understand this is a new experience for you and that you will most likely have many questions and concerns. We believe there’s no such thing as too many questions. While in the hospital, the nursing staff is available to you 24 hours a day to assist you and make you as comfortable as possible. Star Valley Medical Center also wants to assure you that our care does not stop when you leave the hospital. You can reach a nursing staff member at 307-885-5864 or through the Emergency department at 307-885-5821 24 hours a day, seven days per week.

Your Accommodations

All of our rooms are equipped with all of the comforts and conveniences to make labor and delivery and recovery more pleasant.

Patients’ rooms are cleaned daily or at your convenience. Bed linens are changed by the nursing staff, as needed. Rooms are equipped with a television, along with various educational videos for you to watch during your stay.

In addition, all rooms have a telephone allowing you to make local and long distance calls 24 hours a day. Incoming calls can be accepted from 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Your Breastfeeding Help

If you are planning to breast feed your baby there will be lactation support available during your hospital stay. After discharge, a nurse can be contacted by phone or you may contact them for assistance at 307-885-5864.

Birth Announcements

You may have your baby’s birth announcement listed in the Star Valley Independent. The nursing staff will provide you with a release. Please be sure to write your and your baby's name legibly.

Pain Option Controls

As you approach the birth of your baby, it’s normal to have questions and concerns about labor and delivery. We want to help you experience a safe and satisfying birth with as much comfort as possible. We offer a variety of pain control methods and encourage you to discuss with your doctor what option is best for you.

Administration of Medications - Whether delivered as an injection or through an existing IV line, these medications are standard for pain, providing sufficient pain relief for many women with minimal risk to both mother and baby. Doses are limited during labor and delivery to avoid depression of the baby at birth.

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) - By scrambling the electrical impulses which send pain messages to the brain, TENS can stop pain sensations and bring relief during labor. If you're interested in this option, please discuss it with your doctor. 

Epidurals and Intrathecals - With an epidural, a local anesthetic is administered through a catheter placed in the epidural space in your lower back, just next to your spine. It's different from a spinal block, which is injected directly into your spine. An epidural provides significant pain relief while allowing you to remain awake and able to participate in the delivery process. A fairly common side effect is low blood pressure, often accompanied by nausea and dizziness, which is usually averted by giving intravenous fluids before the epidural.

A second option is an intrathecal, in which a local anesthetic is injected into the spinal fluid through your back. Some patients experience a brief "funny bone" sensation in one leg as the needle touches a nerve root. Pain relief is substantial during early labor but may not be as effective as labor progresses. Side effects include itching, nausea, and difficulty in urinating. In both cases, our nurses will monitor you closely and treat you appropriately should you experience any side effects.

Medication Free "Healing Touch" energy therapy - a compassionate energy therapy in which our practitioner uses her hands in a heart-centered and intentional way to support and facilitate your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and self-healing. It uses gentle, light or near-body touch to clear, balance, energize and support the human energy system in an effort to promote healing for the whole person: mind, body, spirit. The goal is to restore harmony and balance.

During What to Bring From Home

The supplies listed below are items you can bring from home to make your stay more comfortable and help reduce the cost of your health care bill. Star Valley Medical Center is not responsible for any of these items brought in by patients.

Packing for the hospital

For Mom…
__ Two bed pillows with favorite cases
__ Warm socks
__ Nightgown(s) that open in the front for nursing, robes, slippers
__ Panties, nursing bras, nursing pads
__ Hair care items, cosmetics
__ Deodorant
__ Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
__ Back massager
__ Lotion/oil for massages
__ Warm pack
__ Paper fan
__ Focal point picture
__ Comfortable, loose fitting clothes to wear home

For Partner...
__ Insurance information
__ Swimsuit to wear in shower
__ Phone numbers of friends/relatives
__ Snacks for labor
__ Change of clothes/toiletries

For Baby…
__ Undershirt/sleeper
__ Outfit for pictures/going home clothes/receiving blanket
__ Sweater/cap/extra blanket, if needed for cold weather
__ Infant car seat, correctly installed. If you don’t have a car seat, contact the hospitals nursing staff

Your Items to be left at home

__ All jewelry, including watches, rings, earrings and chains
__ Any item of great value
__ Credit cards
__ Money
__ All medications unless directed by your physician

Items provided by Star Valley Medical Center at your delivery

__ Sanitary pads
__ Disposable underwear
__ Nursing gowns for use while in hospital
__ Medications as ordered per physician

Important Reminders

Your Birth Certificate and Social Security Number

According to State law, birth certificates must be processed within the first few days of your baby’s life. Star Valley Medical Center will provide you with a birth certificate form to complete while you are in the hospital and will process the information. You will be given a form to request a copy of your baby’s birth certificate. By marking the appropriate box in the form, you can request a Social Security number for your baby. This will be sent to you by the Social Security office. If you have not named your child, the birth certificate information will be processed with the last name of your child only. You will then have to contact the State Office with the first name of your baby to receive an official birth certificate and the Social Security office to get a Social Security number for your child.

Paternity Affidavits

Paternity ruling now allows the Mother to give the baby the last name of the Mother’s choosing. Mom’s last name, Dad’s last name, etc. Parents are directed to give the child a surname that the child will use throughout life. If it is necessary to change a child’s name within the first year of birth, a court order is required to change the surname.

By completing paternity papers the father has the opportunity of having his name printed on the child’s birth certificate. Paternity papers need to be notarized. A notary is available on the hospital premises.

Lactation Support Services

If you have chosen to breast-feed you may have many questions. The nurses with Lactation Support Services are available to provide you with the assistance you may need. They will visit with you and provide you with whatever help you may need after discharge. This may be with a follow-up phone call or an office visit. Please call 307-885-5864 for more information or assistance.


Tiny Hearts
Prevention is the best form of protection, and parents and grandparents of infants under one year of age are encouraged to enroll in the Heartsaver CPR/AED/Infant and Pediatric course. The course teaches you how to recognize and react to an infant experiencing cardiac arrest as well as how to treat a choking infant. This class is offered once a month. Participants must pass a performance demonstration to receive a certificate of completion. To learn more, please visit our community calendar by accessing the "community" link on the homepage and submit your application.

Visiting Guidelines-Post Partum

Star Valley Medical Center's goal is to provide the best possible birth experience for our patients and families. Recognizing that sharing the birth of a new baby is important, the following visitation guidelines have been developed.

Parents are encouraged to discuss with and follow the advice of their physician as it relates to visitation of their new baby. Nursing staff will support parents' decisions regarding visitation that fall within the following guidelines.

We do not want our newborns and families to be exposed to a contagious illness. Contraction of what may be a simple cold in one child could be a very serious illness to a newborn. Anyone who visits must be free from signs of infection or illness such as nasal drainage, cough, fever, diarrhea etc. Family members and other visitors who may have a contagious illness may be asked to refrain from visiting.

Visitors should wash their hands prior to holding or touching the baby or the baby's crib.

We ask that visits be made during the day or early evening to allow time for mom to get some rest. Please also be aware that mom may choose to restrict visitors at any time in order to have a nap or quiet time with her newborn.

Children that visit need to be supervised.

Please talk with the nursing staff if you have any concerns regarding visitation.