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.
The Labor and Delivery team at Saint Francis Hospital South is 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 will feel as "at home" as possible during your stay with us. After all, having a baby at Saint Francis Hospital South is about choices, family and caring.
Register for an epidural by your 28th week if your pregnancy is considered high risk and by your 34th week if your pregnancy is considered normal. We know 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.
Directions to South’s Labor and Delivery Department
When you arrive at Saint Francis Hospital South, go to the south main entrance, take the lobby elevator to the third floor and turn to the right to enter Labor and Delivery.
During the late evening and overnight hours, you should enter the hospital via the Emergency Department entrance. You can check in with the person at the desk for directions or you may be escorted to Labor and Delivery on the third floor.
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.
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.
If complications should arise for you or your baby during labor or delivery, a surgical suite in the unit is available for Cesarean delivery.
Once your baby is born, there will be time for bonding in the birthing room before you are moved to a postpartum room. We encourage you to keep your baby in your room as much as you wish. We provide a newborn nursery that is available upon request should you wish to get some rest, shower, etc. Since the majority of our new mothers choose to breastfeed, we have certified lactation nurses available to help with feeding techniques and answer questions.
You're a Mom! (again or for the first time…it's still exciting!)
Your baby has arrived! Immediately following your delivery, an initial assessment of the baby's condition is performed. You and your baby will remain in the labor-delivery room for about an hour after delivery. This is a very special time of bonding and getting to know your new baby - you may even want to take advantage of this time and begin breastfeeding.
The Saint Francis Hospital South Internet Nursery
is a service which allows parents to put a picture of their latest addition on the Internet so friends and family can view them online. If you would like to be a part of our Internet Nursery, First Foto will take a digital picture of your baby and it will be added to our Internet Nursery.
If you and your partner would like to have other visitors in the labor and delivery room, check with your doctor concerning requests for visitors in the labor and delivery area.
Once you have moved to your postpartum room, your baby will be given a complete newborn assessment either in the newborn nursery or at your bedside.
Friends and family members are welcome in the postpartum unit at Saint Francis Hospital South. We encourage you to keep your baby in the room as often as you like. For that matter, if you would like to have your baby remain in your room during your entire stay, arrangements can be made to do so.
Among the special services we offer our new families is the "Newborn Channel," which highlights issues in breastfeeding, baby basics, safety concerns, dads and babies, post partum care and much more. Lactation consultants are available to give new mothers plenty of tips on successful breastfeeding.
We know every mom and every baby is unique. That's why the Saint Francis Hospital South staff is dedicated to providing you with personalized care in order to achieve the birthing experience you desire.