Welcome to the John R. Marchese Birthing Center, located inside Watauga Medical Center. We are so glad you’ve chosen to have your baby here, and we are proud of the excellent care we provide to mothers and babies. If it’s your first time having a baby, we encourage you to attend our Birthing Center Classesso you’ll be as prepared as possible.
Your Birthing Center Experience
Registration: When you arrive for your birthing experience, enter through Watauga Medical Center’s main entrance or the Emergency Entrance and check in at Patient Registration. Even if you are sent over from Harmony Center for Women, go first to Patient Registration and a member of the birthing center staff will come down and escort you. When you register, let our staff know if you would like a room with a labor tub.
Visitors/Companions: Up to three visitors may be in the room at a time during labor. However when pushing and delivery begins, only one visitor is allowed in the room. Any visitors who will not be in the room during the birth should wait in the Birthing Center Waiting Room. View full Birthing Center Visitor Guidelines.
Length of Stay: 24 hours is the typical length of stay for a routine birth with a full-term infant (37 weeks or later). If the baby is born at 36 weeks or earlier, or a C-Section is needed, the length of stay is at least 48 hours.
Infant/Mother Rooming: We encourage your baby to stay in the room with you as much as possible to facilitate bonding and breastfeeding success. As long as mother and baby are medically stable, you can be together at all times.
Onsite Pediatricians: Our Pediatric Hospitalists will examine your baby in your room, and be available for any care he/she needs while in the hospital.
Cesarean Section: Our Operating Room Suite is in the Birthing Center. Babies born by C-Section will be cared for in the infant nursery until the mother has recovered and then will be moved to the mother’s room.
Pink Staff Badges: Anyone who works in the Birthing Center will have a pink staff badge, including their photo, clearly displayed.
ID Bracelets: A newborns is immediately given an ID bracelet on his/het wrist that match the mother’s ID bracelet. She may also designate her significant other to receive a matching bracelet.
Infant Monitoring System: A monitor will be put on your baby’s ankle. If the monitor loses contact with the baby’s skin or gets too close to the Birthing Center exits, an alarm will sound.
Call the Birthing Center Education Office at (828) 262-4100 with any questions.
Few things in life are more unifying than a breast cancer diagnosis. Of course, the diagnosis itself is devastating, but it also has a way of bringing together family, friends and medical staff in unexpected and life-changing ways.
At Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) patients have come to expect and appreciate the family-first team approach used to diagnose and treat breast cancer in the High Country. Thanks to advanced technology, a collaborative medical community, innovative surgical techniques, and a first-class regional cancer center located right here in our backyard, patients are choosing now more than ever to stay in our community for their cancer treatment.
1993: Regional Cancer Center is established
Watauga Medical Center established the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center in Boone, bringing cancer care – previously unavailable in the High Country – close to home. Patients and their caregivers are seen as family by the highly-trained and compassionate staff. Since its founding, the Cancer Center has continually improved access and quality of care.
2002: Wilma Redmond Fund begins providing mammograms for local women
The Wilma Redmond Mammography Fund is dedicated to the memory of Wilma Redmond, who for more than 20 years managed Watauga Medical Center’s Imaging Department and courageously fought her own breast cancer. When she died in 2002, a fund was established by Watauga Medical Center Foundation (currently Appalachian Regional Healthcare Foundation). The fund provides free first-time mammograms for uninsured women 35 years and older.
2003: Stereotactic breast biopsy is introduced at Watauga Medical Center
A breast biopsy obtains a sample of breast tissue in order to test for signs of breast cancer or other disorders. Stereotactic is a clinical word for a technique using a mammography machine to precisely locate where the sample should be taken. In 2015, The Wilma Redmond Breast Center, located in the Outpatient Imaging and Lab Center, began performing stereotactic breast biopsy.
2008: The first digital mammogram is performed
Breast diagnostics advanced even further in the High Country with the addition of digital mammography. Instead of mammograms producing x-ray film, a digital image is created that can be manipulated in order to see more clearly.
2015: 3D Mammography comes to the Wilma Redmond Breast Center
With a traditional mammogram, radiologists were tasked with reading the complexities of the breast in a flat image. 3D Mammography builds images into very thin layers, or slices, making details more clear and unobstructed by overlapping tissue.
Because 3D Mammography allows the radiologist to better assess the size, location and shape of any abnormal tissue, more cancers are found at earlier, more treatable stages. The Hologic Three-D mammography technology accounts for 41% increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers and a 40% decrease in a callback rate for a false positive finding.
Even so, some insurance companies still only cover the standard mammogram. Because ARHS felt so strongly about making the latest diagnostic technology available to all of our community, the healthcare system decided to perform all mammograms with 3D technology and not to ask patients to pay out of pocket for any additional costs not covered by their insurance.
2015: Local genetic testing expanded to provide an extensive panel of genetic mutations to be checked
Cancer Genetics counseling and testing is available to our patients. At the no-cost initial visit, patients can meet with a genetic counselor who reviews the patient’s personal and family history, discusses the risks and benefits of genetic testing, and provides support in healthcare decision making. Further testing and evaluation are also available.
2015: The Wilma Redmond Breast Center institutes a fast-track breast program and a breast navigation team
Patients with an abnormal breast screening are sent to a fast track for surgical consultation so doctors can diagnose cancer early and immediately begin to treat it. The breast navigator, Gloria Payne, RTRM, walks patients through the process of receiving abnormal results, scheduling additional imaging examinations, and sending patients for surgical consultation.
2018: The Together We Fight collaborative coordinates many local events for maximum impact
The Together We Fight collaborative includes community events and fundraisers such as Tanger Outlets PINK campaign, Doc’s Rocks Mining for a Purpose, Pink Day at ARHS, CrossFit event Kilograms for Mammograms, and the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation’s Walk/Run for Breast Cancer.
2018: Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery is introduced at Watauga Medical Center
Hidden Scar is an advanced surgical technique used to hide the scars of cancer surgery as best as possible with an oncoplastic approach. If surgery is recommended to remove breast cancer, patients can take comfort in the fact that Watauga Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in North Carolina to offer Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery. Both Dr. Anne-Corinne Beaver and Dr. Paul Dagher of Watauga Surgical Group have been recognized as Hidden Scar® Trained Surgeons for Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery.
2018: Progressive Anesthesia is performed for Breast Cancer Surgery at Watauga Medical Center
The Anesthesia team at Watauga Medical Center began routinely performing ultrasound-guided pectoralis muscle blocks for better pain control during and after surgery. This allows less inhalational agents and less opioid pain medicines to be used, which is believed to improve outcomes— especially for cancer patients.
2019: Breast MRI is used for advanced diagnostics
Breast MRI provides advanced diagnostics for detecting breast cancer, other breast abnormalities, or routine breast screening. This is another important tool in detecting breast cancer early and accurately.
2019: Paxman Scalp Cooling technology available
Thanks to generous donors, Paxman scalp cooling is available to qualifying patients receiving chemotherapy treatments for solid tumor cancer. It helps to prevent hair-loss caused by certain chemotherapy drugs. The goal is to help patients look and feel their best while fighting a difficult battle.
Dr. Anne-Corinne Beaver, a beloved physician and general/breast surgeon at Watauga Surgical Group, learned first-hand that cancer does not discriminate when she was diagnosed with the disease in November of 2017. With experience on both sides of the treatment, she has developed even more of a passion to see advanced breast cancer care in the High Country.
“I can testify as both a surgeon and as a survivor that this community is All In when it comes to fighting breast cancer,” said Dr. Beaver. “I chose to stay close to home for my breast cancer treatment because I know just how good the treatment services are right here in this community.”
Prepared Childbirth Class is a 6-week class. Topics include what to expect during labor & delivery, the hospital experience, and pain control strategies for labor. The class also includes a tour of the Marchese Birthing Center at Watauga Medical Center. In-person classes are at the Paul H. Broyhill Wellness Center in the upstairs classroom. Please bring two pillows to class with you, which will be used for relaxation practice.
We recommend that all expectant parents register before 20 weeks gestation and plan to finish your Prepared Childbirth classes about a month before your baby is due, if possible. This class is appropriate for all types of birth plans, including those planning to use an epidural for pain control.
This class is free for Medicaid recipients and for ARHS employees.
*a minimum of 4 participants are required for classes to be held and all in person classes are subject to cancellation due to Covid restrictions.
This free one-evening class will provide all the information you need to get breastfeeding off to a good start for you and your baby. Class is held in the Watauga Medical Center Auditorium. Topics also include returning to work and pumping.
** Free Prenatal Breastfeeding consultations are available with lactation consultant if you prefer an one-on one meeting.
Wellness Center Classes
Prenatal Aquatics Class: Currently not offered due to COVID-19
This class is offered at the Wellness Center led by their staff. The class is offered free to pregnant women (member and non-members) with Healthcare Provider’s referral. The class emphasizes maintaining cardiovascular and muscular fitness throughout pregnancy to improve circulation, digestion, posture, flexibility, increase energy and endurance as well as improve muscle tone to support joints, the lower back and muscles of the pelvic floor. Bring your swimwear and a bottle of water and join the fun! Call the Wellness Center at (828) 266-1060 to register for these classes.
Pre/Postnatal Fitness Class: Currently not offered due to COVID-19
This class is offered at the Wellness Center led by their staff. The class is free to new moms of babies from 6 weeks to 6 months of age (member and non-members), with Healthcare Provider’s referral. The class emphasizes both cardio and weight training to help you regain your strength and replenish yourself for the demanding role of motherhood. Bring your baby and enjoy some mommy time! Call the Wellness Center at (828) 266-1060 to register for these classes.
No visible reminder of your surgery, cancer or risk of cancer
If surgery is recommended to remove breast cancer, patients can take comfort in the fact that Watauga Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in North Carolina to offer Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery. Both Dr. Anne-Corinne Beaver and Dr. Paul Dagher of Watauga Surgical Group have been recognized as Hidden Scar® Trained Surgeons for Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery.
Breast cancer can be surgically removed with a mastectomy procedure (your surgeon will remove all of your breast tissue) or a lumpectomy procedure (your surgeon will remove only part of your breast tissue). With a Hidden Scar procedure, your surgeon will place the incision in a location that is hard to see, so that the scar is not visible when your incision heals. As a result, you have little to no visible reminder of the surgery or your cancer.
Patients who undergo this approach experience optimal clinical and cosmetic outcomes, and are at no higher risk of recurrence than patients who undergo any other surgical technique.1 You may qualify for Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery based on the size and location of your tumor, your breast shape, and your breast size. Ask us if you are a candidate for a Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery by calling Watauga Surgical Group at(828) 264-2340 to schedule a consultation. Want more information on Hidden Scar Breast Cancer Surgery? Visit breastcancersurgery.com to learn more.
“Survivors tend to worry about how their body will look [post-surgery] and how that might affect their confidence moving forward,” said Dr. Beaver. “Fortunately, thanks to this advanced surgical technique, we are able in most cases to hide the scar and with it remove the reminder of breast cancer for our patients.”
COVID-19 visitor guidelines for the Birthing Center:
Laboring patients may have two (2) designated visitors. After the birth of the baby, only one (1) designated overnight visitor may stay. The second visitor may return at 7:00 am and must leave by 7:00 pm. A doula will be considered the second visitor. These COVID-19 precautions will overrule normal procedures.
The birth of a baby is an important event for all members of a family. The visitation guidelines are developed to provide time for new parents to interact and bond with their newborn with as much privacy as they wish, to allow sufficient time for necessary nursing care, and to provide necessary access to the patient and newborn in an emergency. Please share these guidelines with family and friends who may wish to visit.
During labor, until the pushing stage, family and friends may visit at any time, with the approval of the patient. If a patient desires privacy and limited visitation, her requests will be respected and enforced.
During the pushing and delivery stages, up to three support people of the patient’s choice may remain in the room. Support people must be age 13 or older. Siblings may remain in the room with adult supervision. (The adult should be someone other than the patient’s primary support person.)
During the first hour after birth, only the father or significant other may visit. This is to allow time for new parents to take in and bond with their new baby. For the remainder of the recovery period, up to three support people may visit, as during labor and delivery.
Only one support person may be present in the operating room during a Cesarean Section. This is necessary to protect the sterile field and ensure that all necessary care providers will have room to work in an emergency.
Emergencies may arise at any time. For this reason, hallways must be kept clear to allow needed staff quick access to mothers and babies. Visitors may not wait in the hallway outside the patient’s room or the C-section room. They may wait in the waiting area near the elevators, or by the nursery windows. Staff members will be happy to convey information to visitors in the waiting area at the request of the patient.
During the period after recovery until discharge, family and friends may visit with the parent’s approval. Visitors must wash their hands thoroughly before touching the mother or baby.
Quiet Time: After delivery, the hours of 2-4pm are designated as a rest time for new parents. No visitors are permitted unless specifically requested by the new mother.
Newborn babies do not have a fully developed immune system, and may become quite sick from routine infections. For this reason, visits from children under 13 who are not siblings are discouraged. Anyone who has a cold or other possibly contagious illness or who has recently been exposed to a contagious illness should not visit.
Visitors may be asked to step out of the room at any time if doctors and nurses need to provide care to the patient, or if a medical emergency arises.
The Breast Center of ARHS houses all breast diagnostic services under one roof, resulting in a quicker diagnosis and treatment process. The Hologic 3D Mammography technology (added in 2015) accounts for a 41 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers and a 29 percent increase in the detection of all types of breast cancer. Through this technology, we also report fewer false positives and we can detect smaller malignancies that might otherwise be missed.
Women 40 years and older should get a mammogram every 1 to 2 years.
Women who have had breast cancer or other breast problems or who have a family history of breast cancer might need to start getting mammograms before age 40, or they might need to get them more often.
Talk to your doctor about when to start and how often you should have a mammogram.
What are the benefits of 3D?
Because 3D Mammography allows the radiologist to better assess the size, location and shape of any abnormal tissue, more cancers are found at earlier, more treatable stages. It also reduces the chance of a false positive resulting in further imaging.
Outpatient Imaging & Lab Center and Wilma Redmond Breast Center
At Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) patients have come to expect and appreciate the family-first team approach used to diagnose and treat breast cancer in the High Country. Thanks to advanced technology, a collaborative medical community, innovative surgical techniques, and a first-class regional cancer center located right here in our backyard, patients are choosing now more than ever to stay in our community for their cancer treatment. Read More: Then and Now: Breast cancer detection and treatment in the High Country [Infographic]
No visible reminder of your surgery, cancer or risk of cancer If surgery is recommended to remove breast cancer, patients can take comfort in the fact that Watauga Medical Center is one of only a few hospitals in North Carolina to offer Hidden Scar® Breast Cancer Surgery. Both Dr. Anne-Corinne…