What to Expect

When you’re expecting, it’s normal to have a lot of questions.

When do I go to the hospital? 
What do I need to pack? 
How long will I be in labor?
What happens if my water breaks?

When you know what to expect, you feel more relaxed and better prepared. Banner Health can help.

What Do I Need to Know About My Upcoming Delivery?

There are many things you need to keep in mind as you plan for your new baby, including:

Due dates are rarely the same as actual delivery dates. It’s a good idea to pack your hospital bag in the final weeks of your pregnancy. Consider packing these items:

  • A watch or clock with a second hand
  • Insurance card and photo identification
  • Nursing bra and maternity underwear
  • Toiletries
  • Camera or video camera
  • Things to do – books, laptop computers, etc.
  • Socks, slippers and robe
  • Important phone numbers or email addresses
  • Clothes for you and your baby to wear home

In addition to your bag, be sure to bring a car seat for bringing your new baby home.

Before the big day arrives, preregister at the hospital for labor and delivery so you have one less thing to worry about.

As your due date approaches, your obstetric (OB) provider will tell you how to judge when to go to the hospital. Typically, this is about after an hour of labor, when contractions are 3 to 5 minutes apart.

What Should I Do When I Arrive at the Hospital?

  • Look for the convenient parking spaces especially for expectant mothers
  • Check in at the registration desk (even if you’re preregistered)
  • An OB nurse will contact your OB provider and examine you to determine if you’re in labor
  • You’ll be admitted for labor and delivery
  • You’ll change into a hospital gown and we’ll connect you to a monitor to check your contractions and your baby’s heartbeat
  • You’ll deliver your baby in a labor and delivery or birthing room, or go to an operating room for cesarean delivery

It’s normal to feel anxious about labor and delivery. Our experienced OB nurses help make sure your experience follows your wishes as much as possible. If you’ve decided on a completely natural delivery, we’ll work with you to try to make that happen. If there’s an emergency, we’ll keep you informed and involve you in decision-making.

Throughout your labor, we monitor you and the baby. We provide peanut balls to make labor easier. Don’t worry — we’ll show you how to use them.

Banner Health respects your labor and delivery preferences, including pain control and the people in your room, within reasonable limits. Talk to your OB provider to make a birth plan in advance.

After you deliver, you’ll get to have your baby with you as soon as you’re able.

Your room has a TV with on-demand movies, Internet access, a private bathroom, and a sofa bed or recliner for a guest. We also offer flexible visiting hours.

If your baby is in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), you can spend as much time there as possible. A NICU nurse will help you decide which activities you can do with your baby, such as changing diapers and feeding.

After your baby is born, you’ll each get a tamper-proof security band. You’ll both wear the bands until you leave the hospital. This part of our security system makes sure the right baby is with the right mother, and no one else can leave the hospital with your baby.

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