newborn baby and mother

Birthing Center: What to expect and what to bring

Having a baby is an extraordinary experience.

At OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington, you will discover a warm, comfortable, home-like setting for labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum in the Birthing Center. Moms who have delivered at OSF St. Joseph have said the relaxing environment and compassionate care made them feel at home and it made their childbirth experience one of the most memorable moments of their lives.

“We want to ensure moms and their babies receive the most appropriate, evidence-based care,” said Renell Composto, DNP, RNC-OB, manager of the OSF St. Joseph Birthing Center. “Our nursing staff provides quality patient care and nursing excellence.”

Breastfeeding support

mother and child painting.

OSF St. Joseph is the Bloomington area’s only designated Baby-Friendly hospital – the gold standard of maternity care. This prestigious designation means OSF St. Joseph offers breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.

The Mission at OSF HealthCare is to serve persons with the greatest care and love in a community that celebrates the gift of life.

“At OSF St. Joseph, our Birthing Center staff lives this Mission every day by creating a personalized birthing experience for you and your family,” Renell said. “We believe the staff involved with the birth of your child are people you will never forget, so we want to make this important time in your life special for you – after all, it is a family experience.”

Advice for mom

Preparing for the big day can be a little overwhelming. Renell often gets asked by new moms – and experienced moms – about what to bring to the hospital for themselves and their baby. She offered the following advice on what to bring and what not to bring:

For mom

OSF HealthCare Birthing Center clothes

  • Bathrobe
  • List of current medications
  • Personal items such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, case and solution, phone, camera, laptop and chargers
  • Cash for your support person’s meals and snacks
  • Breastfeeding bra or quality bra if bottle feeding and nursing pads – whether you plan to nurse, you’ll appreciate the support and leak protection
  • Comfortable going-home clothes in six-month maternity size and flat shoes
  • Insurance information and driver’s license
  • Two to three pairs of warm, non-skid socks for walking before and after labor
  • Toiletries and personal items – hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, makeup, shampoo, conditioner, lotion and lip balm (remember, travel-sized products are your friends)
  • Headband or ponytail holder (avoid clips as they may not be comfortable)
  • Bag packed with a change of clothes and basic hygiene products for your support person

For baby

family with newborn at OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center

  • Car seat carrier (remember to familiarize yourself with your car seat before coming to the hospital)
  • Outfit for pictures and going home
  • We provide diapers, baby bath soap and lotion
  • Baby book – we will be glad to take your infant’s footprints for your book
  • Blankets and outdoor gear for the ride home as seasonally appropriate (remember, babies are extra sensitive to cold)
  • Nursing pillow

Leave it at home

HALO bassinet at OSF HealthCare

  • Medications, unless instructed by your health care provider to bring
  • We cannot be responsible for personal property; please do not bring large amounts of money, jewelry, or other valuables.
  • Stopwatch (your nurse or a monitor will take care of timing contractions)

To learn more about the Birthing Center at OSF St. Joseph, visit

About Author: Lisa Coon

Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016.  A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.

She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, “The beach is good for the soul.”

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Categories: Birth & Maternity