Step-by-Step Process

Step-by-Step Process

At Memorial Family Care Birthing Centers, we want you to be as comfortable as possible when it is time for you to have your baby.

Every birth is different, but they follow a general process:

Labor Symptoms

There are certain things you may notice before you go into labor.

Lightening

​Lightening is the term used when the baby drops down to your pelvis. This can happen just weeks or even hours before labor starts.

Mucus Plug Passed

As the cervix widens to prepare for delivery, the mucus plug is passed. This is a clear or pink discharge that you may notice a week or two before labor begins. Depending on the amount of discharge you've been experiencing, you may not notice the passing of the mucus plug.

Contractions

​When your abdomen gets very hard then relaxes, you may be having a contraction. Once they start to come at regular three-to-four-minute intervals, you should call your obstetrician or go to a Memorial Family Care Birthing Center.

Water Breaks

When your water breaks, if it breaks, it may come slowly or all at once. If your water breaks, make a note of the fluid color and odor, then call your obstetrician.

Arrival at a Memorial Family Care Birthing Center

Upon arrival to a Memorial Family Care Birthing Center, you will be escorted to a room. You will be asked to change into a hospital gown (unless you prefer your own clothing). We will ask for a urine sample and place two monitors on your belly to monitor your baby’s heartbeat and your uterine contractions. 

​Admission Assessment

An admission assessment will be completed at this time. This assessment includes many personal questions. We will ask your family members to step out during this time, unless you request they stay at your side during the interview. During this assessment, we encourage you to express your desires for your childbirth experience. Following this assessment, we will be in contact with your healthcare provider to establish a plan for your care during hospitalization. 

Labor Process

A specially trained nurse, along with the obstetrician or nurse midwife, will manage your care throughout the labor process.

​Our labor and delivery nurses know that it is important for you to have a support system and what seems ordinary to them may be an extraordinary day for you. Ask them if options like using a birthing ball, warm shower for comfort, or a squat bar for pushing are right for you.

Choose a labor support team (up to three people) who will be available and helpful to you. Most often the labor coach is the baby's father or a relative or close friend who is interested and caring. Your labor coach should be someone who encourages you if labor is difficult and celebrates with you on a job well done—the baby's birth.

Your support system may be present as long as you need them unless there are medical indications.

Pain Management

We offer a wide variety of pain control methods to help you stay as comfortable as possible during the labor process.

Options

  • Walking
  • Rocking
  • Birthing bar
  • Squat bar
  • Massage
  • Effleurage (massage with oils)
  • Imagery
  • Changing positions
  • Music therapy
  • Slow dancing
  • Pain medication
  • Epidural anesthesia
  • Natural birth with epidural anesthesia

Your birth partner(s) are encouraged to be active participants in the labor process and throughout hospitalization.

Birth

Our goal in family-centered care is for you to be surrounded by your chosen support team.

During a vaginal birth, this may include the your baby's father and two additional support people to share in the birth process. Another goal of family-centered care is to not separate you and your baby unless medically necessary. You, your baby, and the support team will remain in the birthing room for recovery after birth, bonding, and breastfeeding if desired; obtaining the weight and length of the baby; and giving the first bath.

If you are having a Cesarean section, you can have one support person with you.

We encourage siblings, grandparents, and other family members to visit according to parents' wishes. Memorial Family Care Birthing Centers provide waiting areas for family to wait for the arrival of the newest family member.

Post Birth

Once your baby is here, our goal is not to separate you and your baby unless medically indicated.

The nurses will assist you with bonding, feeding, and Baby Care, as well as your own healthcare needs and recovery.

Memorial Family Care Birthing Centers provide help with your needs for rest, nutrition, bonding time, and information so that you will feel prepared to take your baby home.

If you have questions about postpartum depression or would like postpartum tips, please talk to your nurses or doctor.

Hospital Discharge

You and your baby will have to be discharged from the hospital by your doctors before you go home.

Memorial Family Care Birthing Centers provide continued assessment after discharge from the hospital. You will receive a phone call from a registered nurse to inquire about general post-discharge care. They are calling to ensure your successful transition home. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, know that your obstetrician and your newborn's physician are your first resource.