The classes and waiting are behind you ... the contractions have begun. Anticipation mixed with a little anxiety overwhelms you, and it's off to the hospital.
We encourage you and your husband or support person to develop a birthing plan and review it with your physician so that all of us can help you have the type of birth experience you desire. Things to consider include whether you wish to have a natural childbirth or utilize anesthesia such as an epidural.
The hospital's state-of-the-art intensive care nursery, the Henry Zarrow Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
, is only a few steps away from the birthing rooms ... just in case your baby needs extra medical care.
An external fetal monitor may be placed around your abdomen to time your contractions and evaluate your baby's heartbeat. This information is used to determine how your baby is doing throughout labor and delivery and to track your progress through labor. Sometimes an internal monitor is used to gauge the baby's response throughout labor. Information from both the internal and external monitors can be accessed by nurses in your room or at the central monitoring station.
Also, you will have an intravenous line (IV) put into your arm. This is to provide you with fluids and medications for pain and nausea upon your request or as ordered by your doctor. Our staff will help you with any additional preparations necessary to prepare you for delivery.
You may find it more comfortable to stay in your hospital bed throughout labor or may prefer walking in the halls part of the time. Your doctor can advise you about acceptable activities during labor. While lying in bed, you may be asked to rest on your side, which helps to increase the blood flow to your baby.
Your doctor and nursing staff will monitor your condition as you progress through labor. If pain relief or nausea medication is needed or requested, it can be administered during labor, under the direction of your doctor. If you choose to have an epidural, an anesthesiologist may start it on your doctor's orders.
As your labor progresses, our nurses can guide you through your breathing techniques or other comfort measures that may help you manage the various stages of labor. During the final stages of labor, nurses will help you with positioning and pushing techniques that will help your baby make its way through the birth canal.
We are honored to be sharing in one of the most exciting times in your life. That is why your comfort and convenience are a priority for us from the moment you reach the hospital until after you return home. Our staff is dedicated to providing a family-centered birthing atmosphere where you and your partner and/or support person will feel as "at home" as possible during your stay with us. After all, having a baby at Saint Francis Hospital is about choices, family and caring.
A Reminder about Epidurals
If you are planning to have an epidural, remember to register by your 28th week if your pregnancy is considered high risk and by 34 weeks if your pregnancy is considered normal.
You may be required to watch an epidural educational video upon signing up for the epidural. Watch the video now.
When you arrive at the hospital, go to the South entrance, take the elevator to the second floor and follow signs to Labor and Delivery. We know that many expectant moms want to share their birth experience with family members. That's why we encourage you to attend our Expectant Family Program classes with your partner and/or support person. Should you wish to have additional labor support, we can provide a referral to a certified doula.
· Associated Anesthesiologists, Inc. - 918-494-0612