What Happens When You Arrive at the Hospital in Labor

by sinitta bajaj

Giving birth is the most exciting and overwhelming part of having a baby. In this blog, you will read all about what you should do when labor begins at home, to what happens in the hospital before, during and after birth along with all the documentation and everything you need to get back home with your baby. So lets dive in.

Labour at home

When labour begins:

 It's important to follow these steps:

  1. Timing contractions: Start timing your contractions as soon as you notice them. This will help you determine when it's time to head to the hospital.

  2. Contacting your healthcare provider: Call your healthcare provider or midwife to let them know that you are in labor. They will advise you on what to do next and when to come in.

  3. Gathering necessary items: Pack a bag with items you may need during labor, such as comfortable clothes, a change of clothes, toiletries, and any medication you may need.

  4. Arranging transportation: Make arrangements for transportation to the hospital, whether it be a family member, friend, or a ride-sharing service.

  5. Staying relaxed: Try to stay relaxed and breathe through contractions. This can help you manage pain and stay calm during labor.

  6. Eating and drinking: Eat a light meal and drink plenty of fluids, as you may not be able to eat once you arrive at the hospital.

It's important to trust your instincts and listen to the advice of your healthcare provider during labor. Remember that every birth experience is unique, and the most important thing is to have a healthy mother and baby.

Arriving at the hospital:

giving birth

When you arrive at the hospital to give birth, you will typically go through the following steps:

  1. Admission: You will be admitted to the labor and delivery unit, and your medical history and current condition will be assessed.

  2. Monitoring: Your vital signs, such as blood pressure and heart rate, will be monitored, and your baby's heart rate will be monitored continuously.

  3. Labor: During labor, you will be offered various methods to manage pain, such as breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, or pain medication. You will also be monitored for any signs of complications.

  4. Delivery: When you are fully dilated, you will begin to push, and the baby will be delivered. The baby will be checked for any health issues and cleared for breathing. Or if you have elected for a C section or need to have a C section (as decided by you and healthcare provider) you will be taken to OR.

  5. After delivery: The baby will be placed on your chest for skin-to-skin contact, and the umbilical cord will be cut. The delivery team will check for any postpartum complications and provide care for you and your baby.

These steps can vary depending on the specific hospital and your individual needs, but the goal is always to ensure a safe and healthy delivery for both you and your baby.

After giving birth:

After giving birth in a hospital, the mother and baby will typically go through several stages of care, including:

  1. Recovery: The mother will be monitored for any postpartum complications and will receive care for physical and emotional recovery.

  2. Bonding with baby: The mother will be encouraged to hold and breastfeed the baby as soon as possible after delivery.

  3. Monitoring the baby: The baby will be checked for any health issues, including weight, breathing, and heart rate.

  4. Discharge planning: The mother and baby will be provided with instructions for caring for the baby at home, and a discharge plan will be established.

These stages of care can vary depending on the specific hospital and the mother's and baby's health conditions. The length of the hospital stay can also vary, but typically ranges from 24-48 hours for a healthy mother and baby.

Length of hospital stay:

The length of time a woman stays in the hospital after giving birth varies and can depend on several factors, including:

  1. Type of delivery: A vaginal delivery typically requires a shorter hospital stay than a cesarean section (C-section).

  2. Health of mother and baby: A healthy mother and baby can usually go home within 24 to 48 hours after a vaginal delivery, while a mother who has had a C-section or other complications may need to stay longer.

  3. Hospital policies: Some hospitals have a standard policy for how long women stay after giving birth, regardless of their individual circumstances.

  4. Insurance coverage: The length of hospital stay may also be influenced by insurance coverage and the type of insurance you have.

It's important to discuss the expected length of stay with your doctor or midwife before giving birth, so that you can plan accordingly and make arrangements for care once you are home.

Getting discharged:

To be discharged from the hospital after giving birth, you will typically need to meet certain criteria and complete certain tasks, which can include:

  1. Stabilization of mother and baby: Your health and the health of your baby will be evaluated to ensure that both of you are stable and ready to go home.

  2. Baby care instructions: You will receive instructions on how to care for your baby, including feeding, changing diapers, and general hygiene.

  3. Medication: If you or your baby need medication, you will receive instructions on how to take it at home.

  4. Discharge paperwork: You will need to sign discharge papers and complete any necessary forms, such as insurance forms or birth certificates.

  5. Arrangements for follow-up care: You will receive information on when and where to schedule follow-up appointments for both you and your baby.

  6. Transportation: You will need to arrange transportation to get home, either with a family member or a ride-sharing service.

It's important to carefully review all the information you receive before leaving the hospital, so that you can be confident in your ability to care for your baby once you are home.

Documentation needed for discharge:

To be discharged from the hospital after giving birth, you may need to provide or complete the following documents:

  1. Discharge papers: You will be required to sign a document indicating that you are aware of the discharge procedures and that you agree to leave the hospital.

  2. Insurance forms: You may need to complete insurance forms related to your hospital stay and the birth of your baby.

  3. Birth certificate: You will need to provide information for your baby's birth certificate, which will be used to obtain a social security number and a passport.

  4. Follow-up care instructions: You may receive instructions for follow-up care, including appointments with a pediatrician and/or gynecologist.

  5. Medication instructions: If you or your baby are prescribed medication, you will receive instructions for how to take it and any possible side effects.

  6. Feeding instructions: If you plan to breastfeed, you may receive instructions on how to do so effectively, as well as tips for avoiding common issues.

It's important to gather all the necessary documents before leaving the hospital, as some forms may need to be completed before you are allowed to leave. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to ask your healthcare provider for clarification.

Taking the baby home:

Taking baby home after birth

When taking your baby home from the hospital after birth, you will need to make sure you have the following items:

  1. Car seat: A car seat is required for all infants, as it is the safest way to transport your baby in a vehicle.

  2. Clothing: Pack several outfits for your baby, including onesies, sleepers, and a warm blanket.

  3. Diapers and wipes: You will need to bring diapers and wipes for changing your baby's diapers.

  4. Feeding supplies: If you plan to breastfeed, you may want to bring a nursing pillow, a breast pump, and nursing pads. If you plan to formula-feed, you will need to bring formula and bottles.

  5. Healthcare supplies: You may want to pack a thermometer, baby nail clippers, and other basic healthcare supplies for your baby.

  6. Personal items: You may also want to pack your own personal items, such as a change of clothes, a toiletries bag, and a camera to capture your baby's first moments at home.

It's important to consult with your healthcare provider before leaving the hospital, to make sure you have everything you need to care for your baby once you are home.