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birthing center visitationWelcome 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 Classes so 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: COVID-19 Visitation Restrictions are in place. Learn more >

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.


Safety Precautions:


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. 

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