Frequently Asked Prenatal Questions

Prenatal Questions & Answers

  1. What is your attitude toward childbirth?
    • All of our patients are encouraged to attend prenatal childbirth classes. Each patient may have her personal preference between a non-medicated and a medicated labor and delivery. We are very supportive of each individual patient’s choice. 24 hour in house anesthesia is always available on labor and delivery.
  2. May the baby’s father be present during birth?
    • Fathers are encouraged to be present during the birth of a child unless an unforeseen emergency arises. Should that occur, he may be asked to step out of the room to allow emergency care for the mother and baby. These instances are rare and unlikely to occur.
  3. How soon can I breast-feed my baby after delivery?
    • You may breast feed immediately, provided you and your baby are doing well.
  4. How long can I have the baby after delivery before it is taken to the nursery?
    • The nursery will come to the labor and delivery room to perform their initial assessment of the baby, usually after about 45-60 minutes. This time varies depending on the baby’s condition. We strongly support rooming in for healthy full-term babies.
  5. How soon can I leave the hospital after the baby is born?
    • If you delivered vaginally without any complications, both you and your baby may leave on the first or second postpartum day. Cesarean section deliveries may leave the hospital on the second, third or fourth postoperative day after surgery depending on the patient and newborn status.
  6. Can I breast feed on demand?
    • Yes.
  7. Can my baby room in?
    • Yes.
  8. What are visiting hours for my family and friends?
    • Fathers may visit at any hour. They may spend the night in the patient’s room and sleeping arrangements will be provided.
    • General visiting hours are from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. Friends visiting during regularly posted hours will be allowed to do so at the mother’s discretion. Visitors may hold the infant while in the mother’s presence at her discretion.
  9. What happens in labor and delivery?
    • An IV is usually administered once you are in active labor.
    • Pain medication can be given in the IV if requested. If you wish to have an epidural, this will be administered once you are in active labor. If the patient wishes a non-medicated labor, local anesthesia may still be offered.
    • An episiotomy may be performed at time of delivery, but is usually not required.
    • Membranes may spontaneously rupture or be ruptured by the physician to encourage labor.
    • Operative vaginal delivery such as vacuum or forceps may be used, but only when necessary, at the time of delivery.
    • Pitocin is given after delivery of the infant to decrease postpartum blood loss. Pitocin helps return the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size.
    • A spontaneous vaginal delivery is usually the safest and preferred option for both the mother and baby.
    • Fetal heart monitors are used to monitor the fetus during labor and delivery.
  10. Does my pediatrician come to the hospital to see the baby?
    • If there is a complication anticipated with the delivery, a neonatologist will be summoned to be present during the delivery. Our level III NICU provides excellent neonatal care and is staffed 24 hours a day by board certified neonatologists. If no problems are anticipated, the pediatrician will come to the hospital to examine your infant daily. The hospital will notify your pediatrician of choice upon delivery.
  11. May I labor and deliver in the position most comfortable to me?
    • Yes.
  12. May we take pictures, film or record the labor and delivery?
    • Appropriate battery-powered, hand held cameras may be used in the delivery room. Video cameras may be used after the delivery is completed and the nurse has concluded their evaluation of your baby.
  13. May I deliver in the labor room or birthing room?
    • Labor and delivery occur in the same “LDR” (Labor/Delivery/Recovery) room with natural vaginal deliveries. Cesarean deliveries are performed in the L&D operating rooms.
  14. Can the baby’s father be present for a cesarean section?
    • Yes, the baby’s father is encouraged to be present for a cesarean section. If the patient has a scheduled cesarean section, there is a class to prepare both the patient and husband for the procedure. If a cesarean section is unanticipated, the husband may still be present as long as general anesthesia is not required.
  15. Can I be awake for the cesarean birth?
  16. May I drink liquids during labor?
    • Patients may have ice chips and popsicles during labor, but go easy because nausea and vomiting are not uncommon in labor.
  17. What kind of sibling visitation may occur?
    • As one of the mother’s options, immediate family, including supervised siblings, may visit any time until 8:00 pm.
  18. When should I come to the hospital?
    • Call us when contractions are five minutes apart for one hour, if your bag of water breaks (this may be a big gush or a small trickle of fluid which continues to flow), or if you experience any bleeding. You should notify us immediately and then proceed to the hospital. Call if you have a significant decrease in fetal movement as well.
  19. Where do I check into the hospital?
    • You will enter through the Labor and Delivery entrance of the Margot Perot Women’s Hospital and proceed to the admitting desk on the ground (G) floor.
  20. How do I pre-register?
  21. When does the doctor usually induce labor and how?
    • Labor is never induced for routine or minor indications. Medical reasons for labor and induction are numerous and vary. Spontaneous onset of labor is preferred for most patients. This will be discussed with you if induction of labor becomes necessary in your medical management.
  22. What type of incisions do you use for cesarean sections?
    • Usually, a Pfannenstiel or “bikini” incision is used. Occasionally a vertical incision may be required.
  23. How soon after a cesarean section may I hold the baby?
    • As long as you and the baby are doing well, your baby will be brought to you immediately after the nurse assesses your newborn.