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Childbirth options at Summa Health System

Expectant moms have choices on how they want to labor and deliver. At Summa Health System, we offer the most comprehensive maternal/newborn services in the area. Whether you are a first-time mom or adding another member to your family, as an expectant mom you can take comfort in knowing you and your baby will be receiving the highest level of medical expertise and care possible, supported by the most advanced technology for ensuring the well-being of you and your baby.

Whether it is a low- or high-risk pregnancy, the healthcare professionals at Summa work with you to ensure your labor and delivery is safe and comfortable. From natural childbirth to an epidural for pain management, C-sections or hydrotherapy, Summa offers the following services to ease your labor and increase your level of comfort during the birthing process:

Labor and Child Birth Options Available

  • Birthing Ball:

    A large inflatable ball is used to help reduce pain and pressure throughout pregnancy and during labor. When using a birthing ball, your weight is shifted for greater comfort and assistance with the descent of the baby through the birth canal.
  • Doula (Midwifery) Referral:

    A doula is a woman specially trained to provide emotional and physical support during and after delivery. Use of a doula can reduce labor pain and labor times as well maximize comfort during labor and delivery.
  • Hydrotherapy:

    Available at Summa Akron City and Summa Barberton Hospitals, this type of water therapy helps reduce labor pains, relaxes pelvic floor muscles and promotes the progression of labor. The warm water provides greater comfort and mobility while the baby's heart rate and contractions are monitored.
  • Intermittent Auscultation:

    You’ll walk and move about while in labor instead of being connected to a fetal monitor. Instead, a Doppler , will be used to check the baby's heart rate at regular intervals to monitor the progress of your baby.
  • Kangaroo Care:

    Cuddling skin-to-skin with your newborn is an effective way to strengthen the bond between you and your baby as well as help regulate the baby’s vital body functions. This technique can help regulate a baby's breathing, heart rate, temperature and blood sugar, as well as enhance the baby's immune system, make breastfeeding easier and reduce the risk of complications.
  • Lactation (Breastfeeding Services):

    In addition to being the most natural way to feed your baby, breastfeeding further enhances the bonding experience and provides the best nutrition for your new baby. Our nursing staff is specially trained to provide breastfeeding support during your hospital stay, and lactation consultants are available to provide additional support. 
  • Relaxbirth Birth Chair

    (Clinical Trial): Designed  to help women change positions during labor, the device can be used for standing, sitting, and side-lying during the first stage of labor (before pushing) and/or second stage of labor (pushing) to help women achieve upright positioning (sitting, standing) during the labor process.
  • Water Birthing:

    Available at Summa Akron City Hospital, this technique is used during labor. A special underwater Doppler device will be used to monitor the baby's heartbeat during labor. If necessary, you can receive medications through an IV during the water birthing process. Only those women with a healthy pregnancy free of complications should consider a water birth. For the actual delivery, you may be moved out of the water. It is important to discuss with your doctor the risk and the benefits of this option, and if it is suitable based on your pregnancy experience.

To communicate your wishes during labor and delivery of your baby, we encourage you to complete Summa's birth preferences form.

For more information about Summa's childbirth options, contact

Summa's Women’s Resource Center (330) 375-3493