High Risk Obstetrics & Pregnancy Care - St. Joseph Hospital - Ascension Wisconsin

Skip to Content

What Better Place to Have Your Baby than at the "Baby Hospital"

You'll make a lot of important decisions for your baby. But none as important as where to deliver her, which is why it's comforting to know that there's no safer place to deliver than Wheaton Franciscan - St. Joseph Campus.

As the "Baby Hospital," we continue to be the destination for women who want an expert, experienced partner to provide comprehensive care throughout their pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care.

Already decided on St. Joseph as your birth hospital? Pre-register online.

Experience & Expertise

130 Years of Experience & Counting

Why choose St. Joseph as your pregnancy and delivery hospital of choice?

  • We follow evidence-based practices and pathways designed to safeguard your health and encourage full development of your baby before delivery.
  • We are proactive in reducing the number of lower risk, first C-section births. Our rate is below the national standard and near the American College of Obstetrics/Gynecology target benchmark.
  • Our total C-section rate compares favorably in our region and better than state and national trends.
  • If you already had a C-section and want to try a vaginal birth after Caesarean, our team encourages you to do so if all conditions are appropriate. At St. Joseph most women who already had a C-section and want a vaginal birth for their next child are successful delivering vaginally.
  • We are well below the national target for early elective deliveries [those without a medical necessity]. St. Joseph OB/GYNs, Certified Nurse Midwives and staff are committed to keeping your baby in their natural environment for as long as possible.
  • We offer expert care for women with high blood pressure, diabetes, bariatric issues and other underlying conditions that may occur prior to or during pregnancy. Approximately 25 percent of the women who delivery here have high risk factor(s) prior to pregnancy.

High Risk Pregnancy?

From preconception through birth, we're equipped to handle risks and complications that can happen due to underlying medical conditions and health histories.

And if your baby arrives earlier than expected, we're experts at providing neonatal care for even the smallest, frailest of lives. Our 54-bed, Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is rated among the best in the country.

Our Hospital

We've delivered more than 300,000 babies in nearly 140 years – more than any other Wisconsin hospital. We specialize in mother/baby care from pregnancy to delivery to postpartum and newborn care, with features and services that include:

  • 16 labor and delivery/recovery rooms
  • 17-bed Women's Care Center (bed rest) - If conditions develop that need hospital care before you deliver, this unit is designed to provide the best care possible and is the best environment to preserve your pregnancy and nurture your baby.
  • 3 full operating rooms dedicated for OB patients
  • 22 postpartum mother/baby rooms
  • 54-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Prenatal Assessment Center - Comprehensive care for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of high-risk pregnancies.
  • Center for Fetal Diagnostics - The latest technologies, including high-resolution 3D/4D ultrasound and assessment of fetal well-being.
  • Childbirth education classes - On site pregnancy, birth and parenting education classes led by expert, compassionate childbirth nurse educators.
  • Women's Outpatient Center - A wide variety of OB/GYN services, including dedicated, innovative programs dedicated to prenatal health, such as CenteringPregnancy™ and Stork's Nest. Both encourage and support prenatal health and childbirth education incentives for high-risk populations. 
  • Gestational Diabetes Program - Group discussion, individualized care plans, connectivity with your physician, and ongoing support to address this form of diabetes that impacts approximately 18 percent of all pregnancies.
  • Family Birth Center Tours - Familiarize yourself with our convenient location, parking, entrances and amenities.

Our Team

Our Experts are Available Around the Clock

With one of the largest and most experienced medical staffs in the region, St. Joseph's team is prepared for all types of high- and low-risk pregnancies, prenatal care, deliveries and postpartum care. We're here whenever you and your baby need us. Highly skilled staff and specialists are on site or available 24/7, including:

  • Obstetrician/Gynecologists (OB/GYNs)
  • Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists
  • Obstetrical Anesthesiologists
  • Obstetrical Nurses
  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs)
  • Neonatologists
  • Lactation (Breastfeeding) Consultants (Video)
  • Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Dietitians
  • Spiritual Services
  • Childbirth Nurse Educators
  • Pharmacists



If St. Joseph is your hospital of choice, make sure that your OB/GYN delivers here.

Many of our OB/GYNs have devoted their entire careers - including their residencies - as part of our medical team. They have the relationships, understand our protocols, and contribute to a patient care experience that benefits you and your baby. They believe that there is no better place for you and your baby than at St. Joseph.

Find an OB/GYN on our team.

Family medicine physicians who include low-risk obstetrics as part of their practice are also part of our medical staff who deliver at St. Joseph.

Our Nurses

Our nurses love what they do, which translates to great care for you and your baby! Among the most experienced in the area, our OB nurses have been with St. Joseph an average of 18 years. Those in our Labor and Delivery area average 13 years with us. In our Family Birth Center - where postpartum care occurs - nurses average 20 years of experience.

Should your baby need additional care after delivery, our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurses average 21 years of nursing experience.

All of our Labor and Delivery nurses have received an added qualification in Electronic Fetal Monitoring from the National Certification Corporation.

Breastfeeding Resources

Breastfeeding is a natural process with great benefits for you and your baby, but it can be daunting at first. Christine, RN, shares how St. Joseph Campus lactation consultants are great coaches and resources, with clinical expertise and first-hand experience because they've been there themselves!

Our Amenities

We provide you with amenities and special touches to make your time with us a very special experience, including:

  • Private suites
  • Whirlpool labor tubs
  • Variety of labor comfort options, including hydrotherapy, aromatherapy and traditional medications
  • Reserved parking for maternity patients and families with a dedicated Labor and Delivery/Family Birth entrance. Just follow the stork signs.
  • Family-centered visiting hours
  • Massage therapy
  • Interpreter services
  • TV with DVD/CD player and local telephone service
  • Wireless Internet access
  • Rooming-in accommodations for partners who wish to stay overnight after the birth of a baby
  • Room service menus
  • Celebration meal

Nationally Recognized Care

Our Commitment to Excellence is Nationally Recognized

St. Joseph has been nationally recognized for our maternity care and commitment to clinical excellence for all services on our campus.

The same clinical outcomes that have led to these recognitions translate into a great care environment for you at a time when you need it most.

  • Named by Becker's Hospital Review as one of the nation's "100 Hospitals with Great Women’s Health Programs," St. Joseph is one of only two Wisconsin hospitals – and the only hospital in Southeast Wisconsin - to be included on the list. We were selected based on clinical excellence, quality care and the comprehensive scope of our women's health programs.
  • St. Joseph also received the 2013 IBCLC Hospital-Based Care Award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®) and the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®). The IBCLC recognizes St. Joseph for hiring International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) and having a dedicated lactation support program.

Find Out What Our Nurses Say About Our Care

Several St. Joseph Campus nurses share why they chose St. Joseph to deliver their own babies. And not just because they work here! Our compassionate, experienced nurses will be with you every step of the way during labor, delivery and post-partum care.

If you have a pre-existing or life-threatening condition caused by pregnancy or are over 35, there's no safer place to have your baby.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

World-Renowned Care You Can Trust

Our 54-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is among the largest in the state and uses the latest technology and equipment to provide your baby with comfort, care and monitoring. But it's our multidisciplinary staff that makes us the trusted place for the parents of our littlest newborns.

Babies are admitted to the NICU for any of the following reasons:

  • A low birth weight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces)
  • A premature birth (before 37 weeks)
  • Medical needs requiring more focused care (such as infections, heart disorders, birth defects or birthing difficulties)
  • Twins, triplets or other multiple births

Vermont-Oxford Network

According to Vermont Oxford Network, a nonprofit voluntary collaboration of national and international health organizations that tracks the care and outcomes of more than 826,000 newborns in nearly 1,000 from around the world, our NICU ranks among the best nationally and internationally in the following critical areas:

St. Joseph's NICU has a greater percentage of smaller babies as compared to other NICUs and consistently performs better than the average worldwide among key performance measures, including: mortality, pneumothorax, infection, intraventricular hemorrhage, cystic periventricular leukomalacia, necrotizing enterocolitis and extreme length of stay.

Our NICU also performs better than others in the network with a smaller percentage of babies impacted by Severe Intraventricular Hemorrhage and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) - which is an intestinal disease that occurs in the smallest, premature infants.

Neonatal Surgery

If your baby should need surgery, St. Joseph has specialists on staff trained to care for the tiniest of patients.

OB Nurses Share Their Personal Experiences

Find out why our own OB nurses have chosen to deliver their babies here, and why having a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and expert care available 24/7 is so important.

Expert Pregnancy Care

Find a Baby Expert



Baby on the Way?

Take a Tour of the Birthing Center at St. Joseph



St. Joseph Baby Experts