Frequently Asked Questions

Birthing Center Frequently Asked Questions

Should I have a birth plan?


This is a sample of a birth plan, Madigan Birth Plan , which you can use to guide you in creating your own individual birth plan. Problems in your medical condition prior to labor or problems that occur during labor may result in changes in your birth plan for your safety and that of your baby. The more prepared and knowledgeable you are regarding labor, delivery, and postpartum, the better chance you will have in achieving your birthing goals. A plan is a guideline; you can change your mind about any of the provisions. You and your delivery team will work together to make this the best possible event for you!

When should I come to labor and delivery?

If you are under 20 weeks gestational age and are having any bleeding, cramping, or concerns you think need to be assessed by a health care professional, you need to either be seen in the OB/GYN Clinic or the Emergency Department.

If you are over 20 weeks gestation, you should come in to the Birthing Center for assessment if you have any vaginal bleeding or vaginal gush of fluid (note the time and color and put on a peripad), decrease in fetal movements (you want the baby to move at least four times in an hour), or if you are having four or more contractions in one hour.

If you have a medical emergency, call 911.

My husband and I are free on Tuesday and my pregnancy has reached term. Can I get induced on Tuesday?

For the safety of the mother and the baby, inductions are only scheduled for medical indications and are planned by your physician.

I am scheduled for an induction, what should I do?

If you are scheduled for an induction, plan to call the Birthing Center around 5:00 a.m. the morning of your induction. This phone call is to ensure the plan is still to induce you and that there is room for you. You will want to arrive to the Birthing Center at 5:30 a.m. the morning of your induction. Also, you will want to take a shower/bath before coming and will not want to eat anything "heavy" after midnight ("heavy" meaning large portions of any kind of food, but could include large portions of meat, and meals such as casseroles, multiple course meals and spicy dishes).

I am scheduled for a cesarean section (C-section), what should I do?

If you are scheduled for a C-section, DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight. Plan to call the Birthing Center around 5 a.m. the morning of your operation. This phone call is to ensure the plan for you to have a C-section has not changed, and to make sure we have an operating room open. You will need to take a shower/bath as well as use the special antiseptic wipes provided before coming, and you will want to arrive at the Birthing Center at 5:30 a.m. on the morning of your C-section.

How many visitors can I have in my labor and delivery?

Each patient is encouraged to have supporters to stay with throughout the labor, delivery and immediate postpartum period while in the Birthing Center. Other family and friends are asked to wait in the family waiting room. All children remaining in the family waiting room must have an adult in attendance at all times.

What are the visiting hours on labor and delivery?

We do not have set visiting hours in the Birthing Center.

Can my children be present for the delivery?

Children are welcome to be present for the birth of their sibling but must always have an adult in attendance. It is suggested that they attend the Sibling Class, arrive in comfortable clothes and pack a bag with books, small toys, appropriate electronic devices and snacks. Staff reserve the right to request children be accompanied to the waiting area during emergencies or special circumstances.

What should I plan ahead of my pending labor and delivery time?

Remember to make child care arrangements for when your labor begins (back-up plans can be helpful). Also, remember to plan transportation available for trips to and from the hospital.

What are my options for pain management?

You will be provided a wide range of options for pain management. These include breathing techniques and positions changes, IV medication, and also epidural analgesia. What route you take for pain management will depend on your preparation for the labor, the baby, how far along you are in your labor, the mother's health, and the decision you and your health care team agree on.

Do I have to have and intravenous infusion (IV)?

An IV is generally used during the labor process as a way to give you hydration, medications, and provides a route to access your venous system in an emergency.

Can I walk around while I am in labor?

Many patients choose to walk and sit in a rocking chair while they are in labor. As long as your baby is doing well and you haven't received any medications that could interfere with walking, your physician may order for you to walk around if you desire. Many times, walking around can be very comfortable to women during the early part of labor.

What is Pitocin?

Pitocin is a medication which is a synthetic form of the hormone your body already produces to stimulate uterine contractions. Pitocin is sometimes ordered by your physician to induce or augment a labor. Your nurse and physician would discuss administration of Pitocin before starting it on you.

Do you have a nursery?

We are fortunate here to have the mothers and babies stay and room together. For infants who require more medical care than what can be provided in a room, Madigan Army Medical Center has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and an Intermediate Care Nursery.

Do you have water births?

We have a tub for hydrotherapy (comfort measure) during labor.

Can I have photos and video of my delivery?

Yes for vaginal delivery, providing there are not any objections by the staff providing care.

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