Sunday, January 08, 2006

The Tour of Labor and Delivery

Ok, so Tom and I went on the L&D tour yesterday at 12:30. We were the first people to get there. It was a group of about 6 couples, and a few brought their kids as well as their support person. I had several questions written down, and strangely I was the only one. Guess I'm just weird like that. I took some notes, some answering my questions and some were extra information from the tour. Here they are, in no particular order:

Security- All babies have two wristbands. One is matched with a number to their mom, and then other has a sensor that sets off an alarm if they get too close to an exit door, stairwell or elevator. You also can't just walk onto the floor. You have to pick up a phone and tell the operator exactly who you are coming to see.

Visitor Policy- They have no set visiting hours, but we can set up our own. Visitors who are waiting have a waiting area on the third floor, right as you step off the elevator. That's the place to wait, not in the hallways. It's all really close together though, so you would be able to come in really fast when it's time. There are vending machines and a phone in the waiting area, and you can bring food with you to eat there, order delivery and meet the delivery guy there, or go to the first floor and there is a cafeteria down there.

Food/water during labor- Once I'm admitted I'm only allowed ice chips. Ugh! So that means I'll be laboring at home for as long as possible!! A tired pregnant woman in a lot of pain who is also being starved to death is going to be a bit cranky I'll just warn you now.

Anesthesia/epidural- I'll be signing paperwork with my doctor to cover this just in case I decide I want it at the last minute. But as soon as you have an epidural you are not allowed to get out of bed! I really want to be able to move around so I'm even more determined to avoid that if possible.

Where does the baby go- For a normal delivery, the baby stays in the room with me except to go to the nursery with all the babies in the morning to be weighed. Pretty much all other exams and procedures are done in the room with me. For a cesearean the baby will be separated from the mom for about the first hour after delivery until the mom is recovered enough. I don't want that!

How long do we stay in the hospital after the birth- For a normal vaginal delivery the stay is usually 24 hours unless your insurance company covers 48 hours. I'm not sure on mine yet. For a cesearean it's typically 3-4 days.

Shaving/enemas- They don't do that stuff anymore. Thank goodness!

Gowns- You can wear your own gowns after delivery. But they'll supply gowns and underwear you can use after if you want. They also have hospital toiletries that they'll bill you for, but it's better to bring your own stuff.

Fetal monitoring- If there are no issues it will usually be monitoring once an hour for about 20 minutes. If issues, or if you have an epidural you get continuous fetal monitoring. Another reason I don't want the epi!

Wheel chair vs walking- You can walk in to the L&D. If you choose to walk out, the nurse will carry the baby for you (from what we saw this really means they'll push the baby out in a bassinet) if you choose to go in the wheelchair you get to hold the baby.

Is there anytime the spouse must leave- Only if you're moved to OR for a cesearean or other operation like that. Then they're only separated while you're prepped and they're put into scrubs and scrubbed up. Otherwise they can stay the whole time. There is a sofabed in the birthing suite and linens are available to make it up. In the recovery room there is a chair that folds out flat for them to sleep on too.

Experience with moms using Doulas- they don't have it lots, but the nurses all like it when moms bring a doula since it's more comfort for the mom and makes their jobs easier.

Experienc with hypnosis or hypnobirthing- unknown.

What supplies to bring for the baby- They will supply everything you'll need for the baby, diapers, clothes, blankets, etc. Bring the outfit and blankets that you want to take them home in though. Also bring breastfeeding supplies with you and toiletries for mom.

IV vs Heplock- Since they don't allow moms any food or water until after the birth, you are hooked up to an IV always to keep you hydrated. Darn it!

Videotaping/pictures- No video allowed during delivery, pictures are ok. Might not be ok to take pics in the OR though, and since it would only be Tom in the OR that is fine. He's going to be busy with me, not playing with a camera!

Walking after the birth- You can walk the halls and take your baby with you, but in the halls the baby must be in a bassinet.

Jacuzzi tubs are in the delivery room bathrooms. Use them if your water isn't broken. Hand held shower and a seat in the tub for warm water pain relief also.

Refridgerator- There is a fridge on the floor where you can keep food and drinks for mom and her one support person. Be sure to label them. This is also the room where dads come to get ice chips for torturing the mom during labor. (Have I ever told you how much I HATE ice?? My teeth are too sensitive! GRRRR!)

Recovery rooms- The birthing suites are for labor and delivery, but about 3-4 hours after a normal vaginal delivery you're moved to a recovery room on the same floor. These are smaller, but still private. For cesearean it's longer, until you're stable, before the move.

I think that's about it. It's pretty exciting! The only things I'm not thrilled about are the mandatory IV and the ice chips. Sigh.


Anonymous said...

sounds good xxoo :)