Home : Specialty Care : Birthing Center : Getting Ready for Childbirth

Getting Ready for Childbirth

The Birthing Center

Location: 4, 5 & 6 North
202 S. Park Street
Madison, WI 53715
Birthing Center Triage Line: (608) 417-6228
Breastfeeding Helpline: (608) 417-6547, 1-800-261-4449
Patient Room Information: (608) 417-6000
Perinatal Clinic: (608) 417-6667
Newborn Intensive Care Unit: (608) 417-6215

To schedule a tour of our Birthing Center, call (608) 417-8446 or register online.

Are You Going to Give Birth at Meriter? Save yourself time by clicking here to pre-register online.

The following suggestions for during your pregnancy will make your hospital stay and the first weeks after your baby is born easier, safer and more enjoyable.

Pre-Register for Your Hospital Stay

You can securely pre-register online for your hospital stay by filling out our Hospital Pre-registration Form. This convenient way to register eliminates the need to do so when you are admitted to the hospital.

Tour the Hospital

Schedule a tour of the Birthing Center. A caring staff of educators gives tours of our Birthing Center on various Sundays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Please call (608) 417-8446 or visit to register for your tour. Tours are free, and separate tours are available for adults and families.

Figure Out Your Health Insurance

Each health insurance policy can be different, so we recommend you contact your health insurance company and discuss your coverage before you are admitted. You'll be pleased to know Unity Health Plans and Physicians Plus Insurance Corporation both offer accessibility to Meriter Hospital.

Attend Birthing Classes

The more you know about birth and parenting, the better prepared you will feel for those wonderful life changes. That's why Meriter offers classes taught by professional nurses and educators to help ease you into your new role as a parent. Topics include preparing for childbirth, newborn care, breastfeeding, lifesaving, Mother Baby Hour and more. You can register online through the Meriter Classes and Events section, or call (608) 417-8446.

Prepare Breastfeeding Supplies and Support

Meriter provides many resources to help you have a successful breastfeeding experience:

  • Classes including "Basics of Breastfeeding". Register online through the Meriter Classes and Events section.
  • Nurses trained in lactation support are available for feeding assistance during your hospitalization.
  • The Breastfeeding Helpline with specially trained lactation consultants. (608) 417-6547 or 1-800-261-4449.

What to Pack for Your Stay at the Meriter Birthing Center

  • Camera
  • Robe or Nightgown
  • Slippers
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, brush and toiletry items
  • Underwear
  • Hair care products (shampoo, hair spray, etc.)
  • Nursing supplies
  • Baby book
  • Clothing for mom to wear home
  • Clothing, diapers, blanket for baby to wear home
  • Car seat

Test Your Water

Well Water - If you have well water, it is very important to have it tested to be sure it is safe for your baby. A high nitrate content will decrease the ability of a baby's blood to carry oxygen. Bacteria in the water can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Boiling well water may kill the bacteria, but it also increases the nitrate level.

City Water - If your home was built before 1985 have your water tested for lead. If your home is new, have your water tested for copper.

How to Test - The local agencies that test water are:

  • State Lab of Hygiene - 1-800-442-4618 or (608) 224-6202. Water testing kits for well and city water are available for a small fee.
  • Public Health for Madison and Dane County - (608) 266-4821. Water testing kits for well and city water are available for a small fee. Fees are waived for Dane County residents who meet income eligibility standards.

Use the Resources Within this Web Site

Also, use the resources within this website to: