Hey there and welcome back to first breaths to first steps. This is Bev Garrison and I’m joining you today from Denver, Colorado. I thought I would put out a little bit of information on hospital stay expectations for delivering and pregnant moms. It definitely can be a exciting. Time full of anticipation, but it can also be a little scary. Just like your pregnancy is unique to you, your hospital stay and expectation will be just as unique from you and from your other friends. Yes, it’s good to get information from friends, especially if they’re delivering at the same hospital and gather information, pick their brain, but just realize that your experience may look slightly different.
In light of COVID and our pandemic situation, OB patients are usually tested just to ensure patient and care team safety. Your support person whoever’s going with, you may also be screened as well. So just being prepared for that.
Before we even get to hospital. Stay expectations. I do always like to throw in a little bit of information about postpartum planning. I know people are like, what the heck is she talking about? Postpartum planning. Don’t you mean a birth plan? No. I mean a plan for what are you going to do after this baby is home. So just as important as a birth plan, postpartum planning. And going through that process is so important when you have that time, the luxury of time with your birth partner, with your husband. Sit down. And answer these questions so that you know exactly who will physically help y’all. How you’re going to prepare your home. What things you and your partner are going to be responsible for after the baby is here. And what are the things that you can do for each other? To help during this transition. For example. It’s going to be a tiring time and probably a time where. Your patience may be on edge, so it’s nice to have already discussed. Hey. When I am losing it and I just can’t see straight anymore. And I’m really frustrated. I think it’s very helpful for you to do X, Y, and Z. For me. And same for your birth partner. Isn’t just about mom. It’s mostly about mom and baby, but birth partners are super important because they support both you and the baby. And so. We need to have that capacity beforehand to outline some things that might. Be helpful, but definitely time in this instance of making a postpartum plan is a luxury. And it just translates to being able to adjust plans on the fly. And as needed. And you know that you have other options.
So hospital expectations. First thing I’d like to talk about as a birthing class. It definitely sets the stage for labor and delivery and what happens after. Most hospitals settings will have some type of class, whether it’s online or in person. But they usually talk about the importance of making a birth plan as options. Not exactly what’s going to happen, but as options. That you would love to have happen if possible. The hospital’s protocol and procedures. Usually consists of some sort of checking in process. You may even do some paperwork beforehand.
They will identify, do I go through the ER, do I directly go up to the labor and delivery floor? When is a good time to call to come in. This is a great question to ask your OB GYN or midwife. Whoever’s helping to deliver you we’ll give you some parameters as to okay. You’ve had. Contractions consistently for X amount of time. This would be a time I would call. Your water has broken. This would be a time that I would call.
The other thing. And I think something that sits on our minds quite frequently is how are we going to manage that pain? Like, what is that going to look like? So, of course you’ve taken some time with your birth planning. But maybe even ask. What other options are out there. Do your labor and delivery rooms have a bath, a shower. Is there a possible ability for water delivery or sitting in a tub for relaxation? What other non-medication options do you have? Am I able to get up and walk around? Doing stretches. I be in different positions, maybe bounce on a birthing ball, all of these things.
The best time to take a birthing class is typically before 37 weeks. But you can do it as early as the second trimester. And this may vary from hospital to hospital and from OB to OB and midwife to midwife as to when they recommend that. You can, as I said before, participate in these classes either online or in person, they’re usually accompanied with a tour of the hospital. Even if it’s online, they will also do this. I’ve seen some really creative. Pieces where you’re virtually walking through the hospital, showing you exactly where to go and what it looks like.
Be ready to be an active student when you do this. So take notes. There might be some questions or things that you need to clarify. With the person who’s helping to deliver you. So just make sure, take yourself back to your good school days and write down the things that maybe you’re not sure about.
You should also ask in your class because it does vary. Again, depending upon COVID and policies at the hospital, how many support people can be present with you? And can they change throughout your labor? A lot of places right now. Typically designate one support person. They requested that person stays the whole time. In other words, you can’t be there for six hours. Go home and then come back. They just want less exposure to that. Mom, baby, and staff there at the hospital.
I do commonly get a question. What’s the difference between a midwife and a doula. Midwife is trained in obstetrics and they can make recommendations on labor. Or recommend a C-section. Doulas are emotional and physical support for mom throughout pregnancy. You’ll also see them used during delivery. Although now with more constraint placed on support people in the room. Unfortunately, I think we’re seeing less and less of them. And sometimes you will also see postpartum doulas that will help parents for a short period of time. After baby is born. Doulas are not specifically medically trained, but their focus is on mom. They do not replace your midwife OB or primary care provider.
Labor and delivery rooms. Like we talked about initially through those birth classes, usually you’ll get to see one. They tend to be larger rooms in the hospital just because you’re going to be spending a lot of time there. These rooms allow you to walk, sit on the birthing ball, or you can usually control lighting, temperature, music, whatnot. Some offer tubs for comfort or even water births. The length of labor obviously can change depending on you, depending on which pregnancy this is. And obviously changes from mom to mom, but just realize that usually subsequent pregnancies, second babies, things like that tend to come faster.
It’s not uncommon after delivery to be moved from that labor and delivery room to more of what we call a family room. And out of the labor in. Delivery department. The postpartum rooms tend to be staffed with water term, mom, baby nurses. And so they provide specialized care for both. Mom and the baby after delivery. Baby, maybe able to room in. Which means stays with you in their little. Bassinet. Or a lot of times there’s times where they can go to the nursery. If you’re tired, you want to take a nap? Whatnot. Baby’s been fed. Well there’s many programs where they will take the babies.
It’s also not uncommon for babies to be electronically monitored in the hospital, sometimes a little alarm system or device. Just to notify if baby is taken away from designated areas in the hospital. It seems kind of crazy, but stranger things have happened. So don’t be alarmed if you see. Some little ankle bracelet that’s on your baby.
I have talked in the past a lot about hospital bags, things that. You may want to include, and I actually have some podcasts out there about that, that you could listen to again, but the hospital doesn’t provide everything. They provide a lot of things, but things you may want to consider packing. Your own toiletries. If you have specific items you like to use and some peri care items, I also have a podcast on that, but period care items, especially if you’re going to have a vaginal delivery. Or just items that help to kind of treat that paraniem that area down there. Because it can be sore and or uncomfortable. And so you just want to have all of those. Easily at your access, will the hospital has some of those? Yes, but I think it is worthwhile taking some time to discuss with someone. These things would be pretty imperative and pretty comfortable.
Comfortable clothing. Arose. Nice. Just so you can open it. It’s easy to breastfeed if you’re choosing to do so. A gown, that’s comfortable sometimes after you’ve been through labor and delivery, you don’t necessarily want to wear a hospital gown. So it’s nice to have one of your own. Flip flops or slippers. Especially if you’re going to be getting in and out of a tub, it’s kind of nice not to have to walk barefoot. And nursing bras. If you plan to breastfeed. A lot of people will include baby’s outfit to go home, possibly a photo outfit and little photo props.
It’s important to think about snacks. For your birth partner. There’s not a lot of eating for you during labor and delivery. But realize your partner may be there. Sometimes upwards of 10, 12 hours. So it’s kind of nice. You don’t know exactly what’s available at the hospital at what time, if the cafeteria is closed, if there’s vending machines, but this way, if you have some of your own healthy snacks, for your birth partner, dad. That’ll be super nice. Also don’t forget phone chargers. Cords that you want to plug in.
So when do you go into the hospital? Most pregnant women can spend the early part of their labor at home. Unless there’s kind of some predisposing conditions that your OB has outlined for you. Painful contractions, typically every five minutes for one to two hours. Is a rule of thumb. Pain for everyone looks different. So I always tell moms. Think about the discomfort, it makes you stop and you have to try and breathe through it. If your water has broken, it’s also a good time to give a holler. And see whether or not you should go in.
In summary, this is a very general, general outline depending on parts of the country, delivering providers and mom’s particular health at the time of. Delivery. This may vary greatly, but I hope it kind of gives you an outline super important to do postpartum planning. What are the two of you actually going to do after your baby is here.
Take a birthing class, even if they only offered online, it will offer just a wealth of knowledge. About your specific location and where you are delivering. Definitely asked about labor and delivery rooms. And do you transition to family rooms? Think about, what’s gonna go into your hospital bag and have a clear definition of when is it time to go in?
Hopefully you found this information helpful. And if you’re interested in working with me from first breaths until first steps and guiding you in your family to confident parenting. You can click on the link below. Until next time 📍 be well.