You do not need to check in; you can go directly to the Birthing Center on the second floor of the hospital.
When you arrive on the birthing unit a nurse will greet you and take you to the birthing rooms.
You will be asked if you want to change into either a gown or your own comfortable clothes and asked to give a urine specimen.The nurse or provider may then do a vaginal exam to check how far your cervix is dilated. Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be checked.
After this the nurse will want to check the baby and your contractions by using the fetal monitor. This monitor consists of two belts that are placed around your abdomen. The belts hold transducers similar to the Doppler in the office. These transducers transmit a signal to the monitor, which provides us with a printed record that shows the baby’s heartbeat as well as the timing of your contractions. By looking at this record we can determine how your baby is doing. The average time for us to watch the baby is about 20 minutes.
If everything looks okay you may then get up to walk. You will be encouraged to drink fluids and eat lightly if you feel like it. The nurses will have a copy of your birth plan, and if everything is going smoothly, they may discuss how you want to proceed based on the labor choices you have made. Make sure your partner is familiar with your choices, and if you have a doula, she will be on hand to assist you, too.