A Step-by-Step Glimpse of Your Big Day
Preparing for the Big Day:
When the Big Day Arrives:
- If you are scheduled for an induction or cesarean section, or in early labor and comfortable, you may park in the designated patient parking area and enter through the hospital front entrance.
- You can check in at the Information Desk located on the main level and you will be directed to the Birthing Suites (located on the 4th floor at our Centralia Campus; the 5th Floor at our Mt. Vernon campus).
- If birth is imminent or you need assistance, present at the Emergency Department (no matter what time). Also, please use this entrance after 9:00 p.m. Someone from the Emergency Suite will direct you to the Birth Suites and if assistance is needed, someone from the ER will escort you. You may park in the ER parking area temporarily, but someone will need to move the car to the designated patient parking area as soon as possible.
- You and your partner may stay together as you proceed to the Birthing Suites.
What happens in the Birthing Suites?
- When you arrive at the Maternity Floor, a nurse will greet you and take you to your private suite.
- Your nurse will assess your labor, and record pertinent information about your pregnancy. Please share with her any preferences of specific plans you may have for your birthing experience. You should also discuss these preferences with your doctor ahead of time at an office visit.
- You may be admitted to our triage area. We use this area for scheduled procedures, to evaluate and assess labor and to rule out ROM (rupture of membranes). From this area we will move you to a birthing room or send you home.
- Your physician will be contacted. Unless your doctor has instructed you to call him/her before you come to the hospital, there is no need to do so because we will contact them, or whoever is on call for them, once you are here.
- During early labor many women feel better sitting or walking. Bring comfortable shoes or slippers.
- You may enjoy watching TV or reading or just spending quiet time together.
- You may have people of your choice to support you during labor. A nurse will also be with you to encourage relaxation, offer comfort, and assist you with breathing.
- She will time your contractions, check your blood pressure and listen to your baby's heart beat.
- Your physician may order intravenous fluid or a fetal monitor during your labor. The monitor will give a complete picture of your baby's heart beat.
- A monitor tracing has two lines. The uneven line on the top is the baby's heart rate. The curved line on the bottom represents uterine contractions.
- As labor progresses you might try different positions to help you be more comfortable.
- If you have back labor, a back rub or back pressure applied by your support person, as well as position changes, can be very helpful.
- A warm shower can also be very relaxing.
- Showers are available in every Birthing Suite.
- Epidurals and other pain management options are available on demand.
When the baby approaches:
- The physician is called.
- Your nurse will suggest and help you with a variety of pushing positions to assist you in this stage of labor.
- When it is time for your baby's birth, your nurse will prepare your room. All of our birthing suites are "LDRP" rooms -- meaning they are equipped to handle labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum care.
- The bed serves as both a labor and birthing bed, making it unnecessary, in most cases, for you to move at the time of birth. Your nurse will help you adjust the bed into a comfortable birthing position.
- You may watch your child come into the world and hear the first sounds of life. Together you can hold your baby and get to know him or her.
- If the need for a cesarean section arises, there is a cesarean section room within the birth suites. For those who are planning a repeat cesarean birth, you will be admitted to the triage area earlier on the in the day your cesarean is scheduled. You may request general or epidural anesthesia for your cesarean birth. You can discuss this with your physician and anesthesiologist. Following induction of anesthesia your partner may be at your side during your cesarean birth.
- For partners not in the cesarean birth room at the time of birth, your baby will be brought just outside the door within minutes of the delivery.
- If you've had a cesarean birth, you will spend one to three hours in the birth suite recovery room.
- Whichever setting is used, your nurse will remain with you to offer support and encouragement when your baby is born.
After the Baby Arrives:
- If you plan to breast feed your baby, your nurses will help you. During the first hour or so after birth your baby is in an alert phase, which makes this a perfect time to begin breast feeding.
- You'll spend 1.5 to 2 hours after the birth of your baby in the Birth Suite. During this recovery period you'll have a chance to eat and make phone calls.
- Your nurse will continue to check your vital signs and help you during your recovery time. She will also weigh and measure your baby and record vital signs.
- Footprints will be taken and identification and security bands will be placed on your baby. If you have a baby book, make sure to bring it. Your nurse will be glad to put your baby's footprints in it for you.
- Your baby will be admitted to the newborn nursery where identification is confirmed and information about the birth is shared with the nursing staff.
- It is very important to protect babies from chilling, so all newborns are placed in a warmer, like this one, until their temperatures are stable.
- There will be a nurse assigned to care for you and for your baby for the remainder of your hospital stay. Our nursing staff will help you become comfortable with feeding, bathing and other infant care tasks before going home. You may have your baby at your bedside while you are in the hospital. This is a great opportunity to establish breast feeding and get to know the new member of your family.
- Family and friends who are visiting, who wish to hold your baby, must first wash their hands.
Preparing to Go Home:
- A picture of your baby will be taken soon after birth. A pamphlet from the photography company will be given to you with ordering information. There is no obligation to purchase these pictures. You will also be given the option of putting your baby's photo and birth announcement on St. Mary's Good Samaritan's "Visit our Nursery" web site so that family and friends--no matter where they live-- can quickly see your new baby.
- Babies are fed on demand, depending on the needs of baby and mother. Your nurse will provide support and assistance with your infant feeding choice. We have lactation consultants available for breast feeding assistance and there are daily breast feeding classes held by our lactation consultants. Individual assistance is also available.
- Your nurse will review discharge instructions with you so that you will be more comfortable with your discharge plans.
- Check with your nurse for information on new parent educational videos. These tapes are available on request for viewing in your room. All patient rooms have video players in them.
- It is a state law that all infants and children travel in a car seat.
- You and your physician will discuss your plans to go home from the hospital. You may want to discuss discharge plans during one of your office visits prior to coming to the hospital. Your nurse will go over this discharge information with you.
- When you are ready to leave the hospital, a staff member will check the baby's identification with you. You will be asked to read and sign the newborn identification record.
- Your departure from the hospital ends one of the biggest adventures you and your baby will ever have, but it is the beginning of a journey that we hope will be filled with lifetime of love.
- Your nurse will arrange for someone to escort you and your newborn to your car.