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The Obstetrics Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is dedicated to providing women and babies expert, personalized prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. We believe every childbearing experience is unique, so we work in partnership with each woman and her family to design a care plan tailored to her particular needs and preferences. In addition, we view education as a cornerstone of our care and promote family involvement throughout the process.
Unlike many other hospitals, our program does not include private-practice physicians. This benefits our patients because:
Each year, our Obstetrics Program delivers more than 3,500 babies. And as part of Mass General, our patients have access to the highest level of care in virtually every medical subspecialty as well as psychology, genetics, genetic counseling, pediatrics and other areas, all in one convenient location. Every year since 1991, U.S. News and World Report has rated Mass General among the country's top women's health care providers.
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All of our physicians are active faculty members at Harvard Medical School. Many hold national leadership positions in organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Should complications arise during childbirth, Mass General surgeons and obstetrical anesthesiologists are immediately available to assist. Our facilities include four nurseries that offer all levels of care, depending on the needs of the baby. Additionally, our obstetricians collaborate with the neonatologists, pediatric surgeons and subspecialists at MassGeneral Hospital for Children if necessary to care for sick newborns.
Our overall goal is to allow each mother to have a birth that best meets her individual needs‚ whether that involves a natural childbirth, a medicated childbirth or an epidural. For patients interested in natural childbirth, Mass General now offers nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) as a tool to cope with anxiety and pain during labor and to help you feel more comfortable during procedures before and after labor. Nitrous oxide is administered through a breathing mask that you control, so you get just the right amount of gas. This option is safe for both moms and babies. Your doctor, midwife or nurse can help you decide what options are best for your birth.
In addition to our physicians, nurses and other staff members, another vital component of our team is the midwifery program. Early in pregnancy, women who are not considered to have a "high-risk" pregnancy may choose to have a nurse-midwife manage their prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. If a problem arises, the nurse-midwife can consult and collaborate with our obstetricians in caring for the mother and baby. More than one-third of the babies born each year at Mass General are delivered by nurse-midwives.
We encourage patients of the midwifery service who have an uncomplicated pregnancy at term to labor at home until contractions are strong and steady. A certified nurse-midwife will then attend the woman as she births her child at Mass General. If needed, an attending obstetrician can help with an assisted vaginal birth or an emergency Cesarean section.
Educated in the disciplines of nursing and midwifery on a master's level, all of our nurse-midwives are members of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and certified by the American Midwifery Certification Board. They see patients on our main campus and at our health centers.
Meet our nurse-midwives
Through our Maternal-Fetal Medicine Division, we are particularly well-equipped to handle high-risk pregnancies and childbirths. Some of the more common obstetric and medical complications we treat are:
Our subspecialist maternal-fetal physicians have in-depth expertise in all areas of high-risk obstetrics, as well as the skills and experience to treat critically ill women and perform the most complex childbirth-related procedures.
Accepting New Patients
The Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology offers information, resources and programs to patients who are pregnant.
Massachusetts General Hospital offers a variety of classes and other educational resources to help new and expectant parents prepare for childbirth and early parenthood.
Pregnant? Thinking about becoming pregnant? This web page by the March of Dimes provides lots of information about pre-pregnancy and pregnancy issues.
Massachusetts General Hospital is part of the international Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to support all new mothers in meeting their breastfeeding goals. We provide support, education and resources, along with new programs to increase rates of breastfeeding
The Ultrasound and Prenatal Diagnostics Center at Massachusetts General Hospital offers state-of-the-art ultrasound and prenatal diagnostic testing and care, providing a clear picture of your baby’s health before birth.
Lauren Hanley, MD, an obstetrician focused on breastfeeding medicine, discusses feeding cues, pacifier use, breastfeeding and other topics related to infant health and the postpartum experience.
Learn about why mothers and newborns "room in" after delivery at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Learn more about the role of anesthesia and options for pain management during your delivery from anesthesiologist Emily Naoum, MD.
Take a virtual tour of the Labor & Delivery Unit and the Postpartum Unit in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital. This tour is designed to help you prepare for the birth of your child and provide you with information about our units to help you plan your hospital stay at Mass General.
The Obstetrics Program at Massachusetts General Hospital provides state-of-the-art, individualized care for women before, during and after childbirth.
Our physicians, nurse-midwives, nurses and other medical professionals work in partnership with each woman to design a care plan tailored to her particular needs and preferences.
The links below provide more information about conditions related to pregnancy.
Amenorrhea is a menstrual condition characterized by absent menstrual periods for more than three monthly menstrual cycles.
The most common type of breast infection is lactational mastitis, which causes a woman’s nipples to become cracked and sore when she is breastfeeding. Nonlactational mastitis is similar to lactational mastitis but occurs in nonlactating women.
Candidiasis, sometimes called moniliasis or a yeast infection, is an infection caused by yeast on the skin and/or mucous membranes.
Chronic pain is long-standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis.
Type 1 diabetes may also be known by a variety of other names, including the following: insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), juvenile diabetes, brittle diabetes, or sugar diabetes.
Dysmenorrhea is a menstrual condition characterized by severe and frequent menstrual cramps and pain associated with menstruation.
Cancer of the endometrium, the most common cancer of the female reproductive organs, is a disease in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the endometrium. Endometrioid cancer is a specific type of endometrial cancer.
Endometriosis is a common gynecological condition involving abnormal buildup of tissue, often causing pain or infertility.
Generalized breast lumpiness is known by names such as "fibrocystic disease" and "fibroid breasts." Doctors now believe these are just part of the normal breast changes many women undergo throughout the various stages of their lives.
An effective breastfeeding baby usually has little trouble breastfeeding even if his/her mother's nipples appear to be flatter. A less effective breastfeeder may need some time to figure out how he/she can draw the nipple into the mouth with latch-on.
Gestational diabetes is a condition in which the glucose level is elevated and other diabetic symptoms appear during pregnancy in a woman who has not previously been diagnosed with diabetes.
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels, normally present in and around the anus and lower rectum, that have become swollen due to stretching under pressure.
Hyperthyroidism means overactivity of the thyroid gland, resulting in too much thyroid hormone in the bloodstream.
This condition occurs when a baby cannot effectively remove milk from the breast during breastfeeding, resulting in poor weight gain by the infant and reduced milk production by the mother.
Most mothers worry at some point that they do not have enough milk. A delay in the time when milk "comes in" sometimes occurs in mothers dealing with certain health conditions.
Mastalgia is breast pain and is generally classified as either cyclical (associated with menstrual periods) or noncyclic.
Mastitis is often used interchangeably with the term breast infection, but mastitis may also be due to an inflammation. Often a reddened area is noted on the breast.
Certain medical conditions may complicate a pregnancy. However, with proper medical care, most women can enjoy a healthy pregnancy, despite their medical challenges.
Multiple pregnancy is a pregnancy involving more than one fetus. Twins, triplets, quadruplets, and so on, are multiple pregnancies.
Nipple conditions are a common benign breast condition affecting many women. Some problems are related to lactation, while others are not. Like all breast conditions, any nipple problems should be reported to your physician for a prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Caused by a certain type of bacteria, pelvic inflammatory disease results in pelvic pain and the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy (a fertilized egg becoming implanted outside the uterus).
Pelvic pain may originate in genital or extragenital organs in and around the pelvis, or it may be psychological, which can make pain feel worse or actually cause a sensation of pain, when no physical problem is present.
A plugged duct feels like a tender lump in the breast.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome involves two of the following: lack of ovulation for an extended period of time, high levels of male hormones or small ovarian cysts.
One particular postpartum complication is postpartum thyroiditis, a condition characterized by an inflamed thyroid gland.
A pregnancy is divided into three phases, called trimesters. Each trimester has its own significant milestones.
Sore nipples are probably the most common difficulty mothers have when breastfeeding.
Symptoms of multiple pregnancy may include: uterus is larger than expected for the dates in pregnancy, increased morning sickness, increased appetite, excessive weight gain - especially in early pregnancy, or fetal movements felt in different parts of abdomen at same time.
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