When the Time Arrives

Call Your Doctor If...duckie

  1. This is your first baby and your contractions are coming in a regular pattern about five minutes apart for one hour and getting progressively harder and lasting longer.
  2. This is your second baby (or more!) and your contractions are coming in a regular pattern about eight minutes apart for 45 minutes and getting progressively harder and lasting longer.
  3. Your "water" breaks. This could be a sudden gush of clear liquid or a steady, slow leaking.
  4. You have bleeding heavy enough to require protection. (A slight bloody mucus discharge may occur from pressure on the cervix and does not necessarily mean labor is impending.)

If any of the above occurs, call your doctor or their answering service. They will call you back and let us know you are on the way.

Arriving at Emory University Hospital Midtown

When advised to go to the hospital, you should go to the labor and delivery suite. Leave your suitcase in the car because you will not need it until after you have had your baby.

For family and friends who want to be with you at the hospital, there is a waiting room just outside the labor and delivery area on the third floor. In addition to comfortable sofas, this area has a TV, telephones and a soft drink machine. Vending machines, located in the conservatory, are available 24 hours a day. Visitors also may go to Seasonings cafeteria which is located on the first floor and is open during meal times. Seasonings cafeteria offers a full coffee bar of Starbuck's Coffee.

For Moms In Labor

You will be admitted first to the triage area in labor and delivery to be evaluated. Your nurse will take your temperature, pulse and blood pressure. She or he will ask you questions about your contractions and will usually perform a vaginal examination to check if your cervix has begun to dilate. The nurse also will use the fetal monitor to assess the frequency of your contractions, your baby's heart rate and how your baby is reacting to your contractions.

When you are in active labor, you will be admitted to a labor, delivery, recovery room (LDR). All of our LDR rooms are comfortable and spacious, private and has its own bathroom. Each room has a tub or shower to use during labor. The tub and shower help to alleviate pain and aid in relaxation during and between contractions. Think about how great a bubble bath at home feels when you have had a stressful day. The same effect is true with a bath or shower during labor.

The nursing and medical staff will want to know about your birth plan for you and your baby. This is the best time to discuss your plans for walking, pain relief, if you plan to breastfeed your baby, the name of your pediatrician and your plans for circumcision. The nurse also will need to know if you are allergic to anything, especially medications.

A fetal monitor is often used to obtain information about your baby. It may be indirect, direct or a combination of the two. Fetal monitoring may be intermittent or continuous. If your labor is progressing without complications and your baby is tolerating labor without problems, your nurse may agree to intermittent monitoring with your doctor's permission. This will allow you more freedom to move. Indirect monitoring also can be done by telemetry which allows you to walk throughout labor and your baby will still be monitored. We also can listen to your baby's heartbeat by using a fetoscope.

It's Time!

A sitting or squatting position aids in pushing the baby down through the birth canal. The labor bed will be adjusted to the birthing position when you are close to delivering. When yonewborn babyu are ready to have your baby, the necessary equipment is already in your LDR suite. If you require a cesarean delivery, you will be transported to an adjacent surgical suite.

The precise moment of your baby's delivery will be recorded. It's a time and date you will always remember. Immediately after being dried and initially checked, your baby can be placed skin to skin on your abdomen or chest. This is a time when baby is usually intensely alert and ready to get acquainted with you. Your baby recognizes your voice, is comforted by hearing your heartbeat when on your chest and may even be eager to try breastfeeding. This is the ideal time to begin, because babies usually are ready to suck and nuzzle the breast. Or, your baby may be placed in a temperature-controlled crib until you are ready to hold him or her.

Your baby will be properly identified, weighed, measured and footprinted. A four band system of identification is used to provide security and is part of our infant abduction prevention program. You, your support person, and your family will be able to enjoy your little one. Hold your baby, snuggle, cuddle, touch, admire and breastfeed. Your baby will be ready to suck and will be alert for learning.

Take A Rest

You will stay in your LDR room until your vital signs are stable. The stay will usually be one to three hours. You will then be moved together as a family to the mother-baby unit. You and your baby will most likely be cared for together as a couplet by the same nurse. You will enjoy precious moments together as you share the same room. Mother-baby care provides personal care for you both. It also increases the chance of breastfeeding success, adapts flexible feeding and sleeping schedules to your baby's needs and increases family bonding.

Upon transfer from the LDR, the mother-baby nurse will examine you and your baby thoroughly right at your bedside. There is no routine separation of mother and baby. In the first few hours after birth, both mother and baby will receive periodic physical assessments. Your baby will be placed in a bassinet under radiant heat until his or her body temperature stabilizes. The warmer can be brought close to your bed so you can see what the nurse is doing to care for your baby and ask any questions you may have. Your baby will have a complete examination, and you will also be able to see the baby's first bath and can even participate.