Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center Receives Reaccreditation

April 10, 2024

Saint Peter’s University Hospital’s Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center Receives Reaccreditation
New Brunswick, N.J. – April 10, 2024 – The Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center at Saint Peter’s University Hospital has been reaccredited through 2026 by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC). The state-of-the-art Birth Center is New Jersey’s first birth center to be located on the grounds of a hospital and is also the location of Saint Peter’s midwifery practice, where prenatal office visits, birthing classes, and the actual birthing experience take place. The Birth Center has proudly delivered 228 babies since its opening in November 2019. Re-accreditation signifies that the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center’s services are in substantial compliance with the CABC alongside Maternity Center Standards and the Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative Criteria. Eligibility is assessed according to a variety of standards including Organization and Community, Model of Care Facility, Equipment and Supplies, Health Record and Continuous Quality Improvement.

The Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center at Saint Peter’s is designed for women who are looking for a more physiologic childbirth experience under the care of certified nurse-midwives. A variety of nonpharmaceutical pain management options are offered including hydrotherapy, aromatherapy and nerve stimulation. The Center is also equipped with various tools including birth balls, peanut balls, and birth stools to facilitate a variety of different position options in labor. Central to the experience is the mother’s birth plan. Throughout the pregnancy, expectant mothers document their personal preferences and wishes for how the labor should progress — everything from designating support individuals in attendance to labor expectations and preferences for medical intervention, should the need arise.

“We offer a home-like setting for patients and a focus on patient-centered care that is grounded in shared decision-making," said Katelyn Rasmus, CNM, MSN, RNC-OB, CEFM, midwifery clinical director at Saint Peter’s. “The reaccreditation of the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center is a testament to the high-quality care we provide through our midwifery practice.”

Women interested in establishing care with Saint Peter’s certified nurse-midwives should reach out to the Birth Center soon after they receive a positive pregnancy test. The 4,100 square foot Birth Center includes two birthing suites which look and feel more like a home than a delivery room. Each birthing suite has a queen bed, spa-size tub, and shower, plus space to accommodate family and other support individuals. The Birth Center also includes a reception area, exam rooms, a lounge, dining area, and kitchenette. Women also have access to a private garden if they want to walk outside during labor. Every expectant mother’s risk is evaluated during their prenatal appointments and communicated with them consistently throughout the duration of their pregnancy.

“Accreditation by the CABC offers expectant mothers and their families an added level of security and assurance that the services rendered meet national standards of excellence,” said Pamela Harmon, DNP, MSN, RNC-NIC, director of the Women and Children’s Division at Saint Peter’s University Hospital and administrative director of the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center. “At Saint Peter’s, we have long been the model of care when it comes to maternal health services and our Birth Center reaccreditation is confirmation of that. In addition, we recently launched TeamBirth, a series of protocols that prioritizes person-centered care, trusting relationships, transparency, and informed decision-making.”

TeamBirth is a structured method that fosters better communication between laboring mothers and the clinical care team caring for them, whether an individual is giving birth in Saint Peter’s Birth Center or its Labor and Delivery unit at the hospital. Its goal is for expectant mothers to feel heard and supported making their own right choices for themselves, their neonates, and their families. Having a conversation at every intervention offered throughout care and supporting the patient's informed consent or refusal ensures that everyone is on the same page about her wishes as well as the risks throughout the pregnancy and delivery. As a result, the program includes a discussion between the expectant mother and her birth team, reviewing the procedures to be followed throughout the birthing process — one that aligns with her hopes, desires and concerns.

To learn more or to make an appointment, visit or call 732.339.7879.

About Saint Peter’s University Hospital
Saint Peter’s University Hospital, a member of Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, is a 478-bed acute-care teaching hospital sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen. Saint Peter’s, which received its sixth consecutive designation as a Magnet® hospital for nursing excellence by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in 2020, is also state-designated children’s hospital and a regional perinatal center, and is a regional specialist in diabetes, gastroenterology, head and neck surgery, oncology, orthopedics, and women’s services. Saint Peter’s is the recipient of the Beacon Award for Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses for the adult intensive care unit, neonatal intensive care unit, cardiac progressive care unit and the pediatric intensive care unit. The Children’s Hospital at Saint Peter’s University Hospital provides families with access to a full range of pediatric specialties, including a nationally recognized Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, pediatric surgery and orthopedic surgery featuring innovative anterior scoliosis correction. The hospital has the state’s only hospital-based, midwifery-led birth center – the Mary V. O’Shea Birth Center, accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers. Saint Peter’s is a sponsor of residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine, and is a major clinical affiliate of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. Visit or call 732.745.8600.


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