Providing you and your baby with the best beginning is our utmost priority. Our board-certified obstetrician/gynecologists deliver the most current medical expertise with old-fashioned, personalized attention. They provide optimal care with respect, compassion and responsiveness to you. These physicians listen to any concerns you have and take time to answer your questions. Your obstetrician will partner with you to plan and achieve the birth experience you want.
Lake Forest Hospital features state-of-the-art resources for testing and treatment throughout pregnancy and childbirth. Our sophisticated diagnostic capabilities and advanced monitoring identify unexpected issues as early as possible. Lake Forest Hospital was one of the first hospitals in Lake County with onsite maternal fetal medicine specialists (obstetricians with advanced training for higher-risk pregnancies). These physicians provide care for maternal complications, such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes.
Neonatologists (physicians who specialize in the treatment of premature infants) from Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago are onsite seven days a week. They are available to step in if we detect an issue during your baby’s prenatal development or for medically managing babies born prematurely in our Level II+ Special Care Nursery.
Additionally, a pediatric hospitalist from Lurie Children’s Hospital is onsite 24/7 to assist the obstetricians with high-risk births. If your newborn requires surgery, intensive care, diagnostic imaging or other special services, the pediatric hospitalist will coordinate services and assist as needed.
Your birth plan
Childbirth is an experience unique to each woman and family, and we understand that you may have certain requests regarding the birth of your child. Discussing and creating a birth plan with your physician in advance will help us ensure that your wishes are considered. Topics to discuss include the use of safe pain management medications, natural childbirth, the option to bank your child’s cord blood and the administration of routine vaccinations.
Our nurses are passionate about their role. Their blend of competence and compassion can make a real difference in your childbirth experience and your first moments with your new baby. They’ll encourage you, hold your hand and help ease you through the childbirth process. All of our labor and delivery nurses have advanced certification in fetal heart monitoring—a vital asset during delivery—as well as advanced cardiac life support.
Our nurses are helpful well before your delivery. While you’re pregnant, they offer instruction on prenatal care and childbirth expectations to prepare you for a healthy birthing experience. Afterward, your nurse can provide personalized guidance on infant care right in your room, such as tips for holding, bathing and soothing your baby. If you choose to breastfeed, they will also provide lactation support and education.
To provide exceptional care during your stay, our nurses conduct hourly rounding. This means they will check on you regularly, but they won’t wake you unless it’s necessary to monitor your clinical condition. Your nurses will keep you informed about procedures and tests, and they will discuss your pain management and mobility needs to help ensure your comfort. And when it’s time for a shift change, the outgoing nurse and incoming nurse will conduct a bedside report in your room so that you know your needs are accurately communicated.
After baby arrives
Taking your baby home is exciting—but sometimes a bit overwhelming. For the first six weeks of your baby’s life, you can reach a Lake Forest Hospital maternity nurse 24 hours a day, any day of the week for extra support. Call our Newborn Hotline at 847.535.6161 with any question, any time.
Level II+ Special Care Nursery
Our Level II+ Special Care Nursery is certified for extended capabilities to address the needs of infants who require more specialized attention in their first few days, including infants born prematurely and/or stable ventilated babies.
We encourage you to “room in” with your baby. Keeping your baby nearby promotes bonding. Cuddling your baby, especially with skin-to-skin contact, nurtures the child’s emotional comfort, brain development, breathing and heart rate. Studies have shown that babies who are with their mothers cry less, soothe more quickly and get more rest. They also take in more breast milk, gain more weight per day and are less likely to develop jaundice.
We recognize the importance of newborn bonding to parents as well as other family members. Beginning soon after the delivery of your baby, we advocate skin-to-skin contact with your newborn. All new parents and grandparents are encouraged to hold the newborn baby this way for a minimum of 30 minutes, three times a day.
At Lake Forest Hospital, we provide the opportunity for you to create a timeless treasure of your baby’s first days with a keepsake photograph, captured in your private room surroundings, taken by professional photographers.
Fine dining at your bedside
Commemorate your baby’s birth with a delicious celebration dinner for two ordered through Bedside Bistro, our room service program. You will enjoy treasured time together with a restaurant-quality meal of your choice, including champagne, if you’d like.
The arrival of a new baby is a blessed event, and often a stressful time, in the life of a family. The Pastoral Care department of Lake Forest Hospital provides blessings for babies and families, support for new moms and help for couples and families.
Should you need it, we also provide grief counseling and support. For your convenience, Lake Forest Hospital has a chapel that you can visit, or we are happy to call on you in the privacy of your room.
Doing what’s best for you and your baby sometimes takes guidance from others who have experience. With a full array of classes and supportive programs, Lake Forest Hospital helps families prepare for childbirth and the changes that your baby will bring.
We encourage you to take as many classes as you’d like. Choose from programs such as:
- Understanding Birth
- Comfort Measures
- Understanding Breastfeeding
- Understanding Your Newborn
- CPR: Infant and Child
- Tike Hike
You also can take advantage of support programs after your baby arrives.
Support for breastfeeding
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breast milk as the healthiest option for babies’ nutrition and overall health. Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital's nurses are trained to help you initiate breastfeeding with your newborn.
New mothers and their babies are invited to the New Moms Support Group to share and learn coping strategies. Topics include infant feedings, sleep patterns, changing family relationships and other areas of concern.
The New Moms Support Group is for mothers of babies two weeks to one year.
Register after the birth of your baby. This free class is for any mother of a new baby looking for support or wishing to network with other mothers. For more information or to join this group, please call 312.926.8400.
From infancy through adolescence
Great Beginnings at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital is just a start. Your child needs quality care from infancy through adolescence. Even before giving birth, it is important to select a pediatrician or family practitioner. When you deliver your baby, we notify your newborn’s physician, as your infant’s first pediatric exam occurs during your hospital stay.
Lake Forest Hospital can help refer you to the physician who is right for your family. Additionally, through a unique partnership with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, we provide an even broader range of neonatology and pediatric specialty services for children of all ages.
Pediatric hospitalists from Lurie Children’s Hospital are onsite 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at Lake Forest Hospital. These Lurie Children’s Hospital physicians are board-certified in pediatrics, with extended training in the management of neonatal and pediatric inpatients. They assist the child’s primary care physician by providing consultation, admission and care during the child’s entire hospitalization, and are available for Emergency Department consultations as well. Hospitalists can assess your child’s needs and determine whether more intensive, long-term care at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago is necessary.
Also onsite are board-certified neonatologists from Lurie Children’s Hospital, providing care and support to our Special Care Nursery patients with extended capabilities. Through the collaboration of these physicians, the best in high-acuity care is provided for our newborns.
Military families have the opportunity to use the services of pediatric hospitalists at Lake Forest Hospital during their stay.
Learn more about the maternity services offered at Lake Forest Hospital.