What to Expect at the Hospital When You’re Expecting

New-Parents-with-baby-and-doctorYou’ve made it! Nine long months, and now it’s almost time for your baby to make his or her debut. The excitement that comes with being a new parent shouldn’t be dulled by nerves about what to expect when you deliver. We talked to the experts at Memorial Medical Center’s Family Maternity Suites about what happens when you come to the hospital to have your baby.  Why? Because you have much more important things to think about. First of all, when do I go to the hospital?

1. First of all, when do I go to the hospital?

The usual rule of thumb is when your water breaks or your contractions are five minutes apart, but your doctor will help you determine the right moment for you to head to the hospital. Of course, you may need to come in apart from your delivery. Our FMS experts recommend coming in anytime your doctor sends you or recommends you come to the hospital, and anytime you have concerns. Don’t feel embarrassed or like you’re being a nervous mom–this is your health and the health of your baby.  It’s OK to be on the safe side.

2. Will my doctor be there?

You and your doctor should discuss your plan for your delivery and what you can expect in terms of his or her presence.

If you are under the care of an OB physician in the community, the OB hospitalists at Memorial Medical Center will provide backup support should a need arise and your OB physician is unavailable. They will communicate with your OB physician and work in partnership with him or her to take care of you.

The OB hospitalists at MMC are a highly experienced, board-certified team of obstetricians who are on-site and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on our Family Maternity Suites unit. They provide comprehensive support and coverage for emergency, labor-and-delivery and postpartum services.

One thing to expect if you’re delivering at Memorial: MMC is a teaching hospital and is affiliated with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. So you may receive treatment from a medical student or a resident who is under the direct supervision of a physician. If you do not wish to be examined or have treatment provided by a medical student or resident, please talk to your doctor about this and tell the person who admits you to the hospital.

3. Can my baby stay in my room with me? And, if I need some rest, can my baby stay in the nursery?

You can have your baby in the room as much as you would like. The nursery is always staffed with nurses who can care for your newborn if you want some rest.

4. How long will I be in the hospital?

For a vaginal delivery, you’ll be in the hospital approximately 24-48 hours. For a c-section, you’ll be in the hospital approximately 48-96 hours, or two to four days. The decision is ultimately up to your doctor.

5. Do I have to bring diapers?

At MMC, diapers are provided.  Everything you need for your newborn during your stay in the hospital will be provided for you.

Here’s what you need to bring:

    • Insurance cards and any forms provided by your insurance company
    • Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, face wash, shampoo, etc.)
    • Sleepwear (optional)
    • Clothes for you, if you don’t want to wear a hospital gown, and clothes to take your baby home in

6. This breastfeeding thing–can someone help me figure out how to do that?

Breastfeeding can be tricky, especially when you’ve never done it before. At Memorial, we have lactation nurses who are available throughout the day during the week. Our nurses are trained to assist with breastfeeding as well.

7. I’ve practiced on teddy bears, but will someone help make sure the baby’s in the car seat correctly?

You will be given both verbal and written education. Staff will check your straps, fit and tightness once your baby is in the car seat. We encourage you to get the base of your car seat checked at an approved car seat check point. You can find nearby locations at SaferCar.gov.

8. What happens after we go home?

Before you go home, you will have been given lots of information on labor, postpartum and newborn care.  We will also give you a time frame to make follow-up appointments and phone numbers for resources should you have any questions or complications once you are at home.

Don’t be too nervous. You’ve got this! Welcome to parenthood. You’ll nail it—and we’re here to help.