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The Family Birthplace | Forrest General Hospital | Hattiesburg, MS - Forrest Health
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    The Family Birthplace at Forrest General

    As a mother, you deserve your birthing experience to be positive and memorable. We know that where and how you have your baby is your choice, and it is one that you do not take lightly. From the moment you come in the door to the time you take your baby home, we want you to feel comfortable and confident in your choice of choosing Forrest General to be a part of your special life moments.

    The Family Birthplace Advantage

    The Family Birthplace was designed with the expectant mother and her family's priorities in mind. The Family Birthplace's entrance is conveniently located on the 4th floor of the parking garage for easy and stress-free access. You'll also experience the unique attentiveness and compassion from our specialized staff, who are solely dedicated to the care and well-being of you, your newborn, and your family.

    Forrest General was the first hospital in Mississippi to achieve Baby-Friendly designation, which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.

    What to Bring

    Labor Items:
    lip balm
    hard candy

    Personal Items:
    two nightgowns
    support bras
    your "going home" outfit

    Baby Items:
    baby blanket
    federally approved rear-facing car seat
    baby book
    baby outfit

    (Remember that nightgowns are difficult

    to manage in a car seat)

    Labor and Delivery Suites

    • Private labor and delivery rooms with birthing beds, surgical suites and a recovery room.
    • Labor, delivery and recovery occur in the same room for your comfort and ease of transition.
    • We welcome birthing coaches, and they may stay with you throughout labor and delivery.

    Mother-Baby Unit

    • These suites create a soothing atmosphere with all the comforts of home. The unit includes larger rooms to encourage family bonding, as well as allow the staff to continue providing family-centered patient care.
    • At the Family Birthplace, we care for infants and their mothers together. Mothers and newborns remain together for the entire hospital stay. This is "couplet" care, and it enhances bonding between the mother, baby, and the family.
    • Postpartum is the time when your family begins to bond, and it is a time for you and your newborn to stabilize after delivery. During postpartum, you may experience a range of emotions due to changes which occur following childbirth. Rest is important during the postpartum period, and our staff is here 24/7 to accommodate your needs during this time.
    • The Family Birthplace staff will also help you with breastfeeding techniques, and other aspects of your newborn's care such as holding, feeding, bathing, and dressing.

    Have questions about Natural Birth? We have your answers!

    What is considered a natural birth?

    The term "natural birth" is generally used to describe childbirth without medication or medical interventions.

    Does Forrest General Hospital support natural births?

    We support the mother's wishes in her birth plan. We want her to be successful in whatever she chooses.

    Can I have a birth plan? Do I need a birth plan? 

    Yes, you can have a birth plan. It is just a written guide of your wishes. If you don't have a written plan, it is ok.  We can discuss your wishes verbally during the admission process.

    Can I walk and move around during labor?

    Movement is encouraged during labor. It helps with pain control and also helps the baby get in a good position for birth.

    Can I choose what position to deliver in?

    Yes, you can choose whichever birthing position makes you feel the most comfortable during labor. However, we recommend discussing labor plans with your provider to make sure he or she is in agreement.

    Will nurses help me change positions to help deliver naturally? 

    Yes, nurses will want frequent position changes for both maternal and fetal well-being.

    Are nurses trained on natural birth techniques?

    Yes. Nurses are trained in the orientation process and annually, during skills training. Nurses are also trained as new, evidence-based information becomes available.

    What does Forrest General Hospital offer to support natural births during labor and delivery?

    Forrest General hospital offers a portable, wireless fetal monitor that lets staff monitor the fetal heart rate and contraction pattern while allowing mothers more mobility. We also offer a birthing ball. Like exercise balls, they are used to promote comfort and movement. You could also use the provided birthing bar. The bar attaches to the labor bed allowing different birth positions, like squatting, while still in the bed. The bar also promotes position changes and comfort.

    What methods help to prepare for and during a natural childbirth?

    Different methods used to help deliver naturally include relaxation, guided imagery, massage, distraction, hot/cold therapy, emotional support, and breathing techniques. Preparation is key!

    Is there anything I should do differently to prepare for natural childbirth?

    No matter your birth plan preferences, we recommend attending childbirth preparation classes to help prepare for labor and delivery. Discovering methods you like, and practicing them prior to delivery, is helpful. Being prepared encourages the success of a mother’s birth plan.

    Is postpartum healing more difficult or less difficult with natural childbirth?

    Recovery, after any type of childbirth, depends on the individual. Recovery from a natural childbirth is similar to other vaginal births. Mothers may experience perineal soreness/pain during their recovery period.


    • The Family Birthplace has a newborn transition nursery for stabilization after birth and a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for babies needing specialized care.
    • Under normal circumstances, we encourage babies to stay in the room with the mother. This "rooming in" concept allows for unlimited bonding time between you and your baby.

    Women and Children's Video Library

    Tour the Family Birthplace

    We'd be happy to show you around our Baby-Friendly Designated Family Birthplace! Call 601-288-4600 to schedule a tour appointment at a time that works best for you! 

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    Employment Policy: It is the policy of Forrest Health to recruit and select candidates for employment without regard to race, color, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity),
    religion, national origin, age, disability or other status protected by applicable federal or state statutes.

    A Board of Trustees appointed by the Forrest County Board of Supervisors is charged with the oversight of Forrest Health. The system is completely self supporting and does not operate on local taxes.
    Forrest Health facilities are approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for participation in Medicare and Medicaid Programs.