Congratulations on your upcoming delivery! We, the physicians at Lakeside, are happy you are having your baby with us and look forward to being a part of this exciting time for your family. Many of you have brought birth plans for us to review, and we want to give you some information to help you plan your birth experience. We encourage you to review this list and ask your doctor any specific questions you may have.
Visitors during labor
We allow visitors to be with you during labor based on your comfort level. We encourage you to try to rest as much as possible. We will ask your visitors to leave (except your spouse/partner) during exams or other procedures.
We encourage you to make your labor room comfortable for yourself. You are welcome to lower lights, play your own music, etc. You may wear your own gown in labor if you desire; however, it may become stained during delivery. We will need access to your arms for an IV and BP cuff.
We do require you to have IV access. We do not require that you have IV fluids running continuously. We simply place a small, exible catheter in your arm during labor. We can remove it shortly after an uncomplicated delivery.
We routinely monitor your baby continuously with external monitors. We reserve internal monitors for concerns of fetal wellbeing, and we will discuss this with you if required. By patient request, we offer intermittent fetal monitoring for appropriate, low-risk patients.
During uncomplicated labor, you are welcome to walk, sit on a birthing ball (you need to provide), rest in the shower, and use your preferred coaching methods. We will allow you clear liquids (water, Jello, popsicles, etc.). We do not typically allow eating during labor.
We will need to check your cervix to monitor labor progress. We make every attempt to limit these exams both for your comfort and safety. The frequency and necessity of these checks will be discussed with you during labor.
We recognize the decision to have a medicated or unmedicated birth is a very personal choice. We encourage you to discuss this with your doctor. Our nurses usually ask about a planned epidural when they admit you. If you decline, we will not pressure you. If you decide you desire an epidural, our anesthesiologists are available at your request. There is no specific time limit on this request. If you elect to have IV pain medicines (narcotics), we will ask that you stay in the bed on fetal monitoring for safety reasons. Your doctor is happy to answer other questions you may have about your options.
Rupture of membranes or “breaking water”
We can delay rupture of membranes in most cases if you desire. However, for women in active labor this can be an effective way to augment and expedite labor. Your doctor will discuss this with you during your labor as indicated. If your water breaks at home, we encourage you to come to the hospital quickly so we can assess you. If your water is broken before you are in active labor, you may require Pitocin to start labor, but we will certainly give you time to walk and await spontaneous labor.
When you are ready for delivery, we will ask your visitors to step out. You may have three friends/family members present for delivery. The staff in the room will include your labor nurse, your doctor, a surgical tech assisting the doctor, and two nursery nurses to assess baby. Immediately prior to delivery, you will have a gentle external prep with warm soapy water, but we do not shave or administer enemas. Most of our doctors require delivery in the bed on your back, and we do not offer water births. We do not ever plan on cutting an episiotomy or using forceps or a vacuum to deliver your baby. In an emergency, these methods may be utilized but only with your consent after counseling.
We encourage baby’s father to be involved in the delivery process as much as you and he desire. We routinely ask dad to help support you during pushing efforts and offer the cutting of the cord to him. We want this experience to be a good memory for your family so please let us
know if you have other specific requests.
We deliver babies directly to their mother’s chest and abdomen to immediately start the bonding process. We do not routinely delay cord clamping for healthy babies as studies don’t show it to be as helpful as it is for premature infants. However, if you desire delayed clamping, please remind your delivering doctor at the time of delivery, and we will be glad to delay it. Our nursery personnel will do their initial assessments and interventions on your chest so you and baby remain skin-to-skin. Occasionally, babies can require more than average resuscitation, and our nursery nurses may request to take baby to the warmer (in your line of sight) to better help baby transition. We are quick to return baby to your arms in those instances! We typically delay measurements and weights until you have had time to bond with baby.
Our hope for all of our patients is a vaginal delivery. In the event you do require a cesarean, the decision will always involve you. Unless it is an extreme emergency, we are able to keep our moms awake for delivery and comfortable with a spinal or epidural for anesthesia. We allow one person to be with you in the operating room for your delivery, and we make every effort to get baby skin-to-skin as in a vaginal delivery.
Immediately after birth, we encourage you and dad to spend time bonding as a family. We recommend limiting visitors until baby gets his or her first feeding, and you are ready for visitors. We leave the decision up to you on when to allow your family and friends in, and will ask all visitors to wait in the lobby until you are ready.
We provide certified lactation nurses to assist you with your breastfeeding needs. We recommend bringing your own breast pump to the hospital in case you require it, although you may not. We are a room-in facility, which means baby will stay in a bassinet in your room. However, we still offer a healthy baby nursery that you may send baby to at night if you desire. We do baby’s first bath several hours after delivery (once they have fed a few times and stabilized their temperature). Routinely, we do their bath in the nursery with dad’s help in view of your loved ones at the window. We try to coordinate this while you take your shower, have your bed linens changed, etc. Baby is returned to you smelling good and in a special outfit you provide (if desired). If requested, baby’s bath can be done in your room depending on nursery staff and warmer availability. Finally, recommendations are that all babies be given a Vitamin K injection by six hours of life and a hepatitis B vaccine by 12 hours of life. If you are considering delaying or declining those medications, we encourage you to discuss this with your pediatrician well in advance of your delivery.