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Hospital Preparation

Preparing for delivery

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What to bring to the hospital

The hospital is prepared to meet the needs for both you and your baby, but we recognize that most women are more comfortable with familiar items. Below is a list of recommended items to have packed.

We recommend packing your hospital bag(s) about one month before your due date. Once they’re packed, keep them handy either in your car or near the door, so that you will be ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Please keep in mind that storage within rooms are limited and we must maintain a clear path to ensure safe care for both moms and babies. Most items should fit in 1-2 bags.

For mom:

  • A picture ID
  • Your insurance card
  • A birth plan (if you have one)
  • Your cell phone and charger
  • Contacts/contact solution and eye glasses
  • 1-2 comfortable outfits
  • Hairbrush/hair ties

Most moms want to pack their own of the following items, but we have them on hand in the event they are needed

  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Sanitary pads

For your support person:

  • A picture ID if you are not married (this will be needed to add baby’s father to the birth certificate)
  • Cell phone & charger
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Comfortable clothes
  • Any prescription medications
  • Snacks/drinks/money for food

For your baby:

  • The name of the pediatrician you will see at follow-up. If you don’t have one when you come to the hospital, we can provide you a list of local providers.
  • Infant car seat: Remember to have the base installed about 1 month prior to your due date. It is helpful to review your car seat guide prior to arrival at the hospital so you know how to operate it and adjust it as necessary.
  • 1-2 outfits: Remember to make sure that they have legs and are not a swaddle sack or gown so that the car seat strap can fit between them easily.

What NOT to pack:

  • Jewelry
  • Lots of cash
  • Valuables

The hospital supplies the following for all patients:

  • Medications for mom and baby including any home medications
  • Diapers and wipes
  • Pacifiers, bottles, nipples or formula (as needed/requested)
  • Pillows & blankets for comfort (if you desire to bring your own, we ask that you limit them to 1-2)

What to expect while in the hospital

Your hospital stay and what to expect will be determined by your care team (you, your provider, and your nursing staff) as well as your condition.

Women who deliver vaginally usually go home in 1-2 days; women who deliver via Cesarean delivery usually go home in 1-3 days.

Discharges for infants are based upon the pediatrician and parent’s discussion and care needed. Generally speaking, mothers and infants discharge the same day. In the event that your infant needs medical care beyond your stay, you will be offered a room to stay in so that you can continue to care for and bond with your baby.

As much as possible, the hospital promotes rooming in; this means that mom and baby should not be separated unless medically necessary. This helps promote bonding and the comfort of new parents to learn how to care for newborns.

During your hospital stay, you will be given information about your delivery and postpartum education as well as education on how to care for yourself and your baby.

We encourage you and your support person to practice caring for your infant while you are in the hospital so that we can answer questions and ensure you feel comfortable going home.

You will see many people throughout your stay:

  • An obstetrician or midwife and a pediatrician will visit you and your baby every day during your stay, answer questions, and provide updates on your progress towards going home. This is an exciting time for new and growing families, but we want to make sure that you are well-prepared for life at home before you leave.
  • All families are also seen by our hospital social worker at least once during their stay. Our social worker answers questions and ensures that families have everything they need at home prior to discharge. If there are items that you need assistance with or questions that you have, they are a great resource!
  • Our clinical coordinators or leadership team frequently visits to ensure that your needs are being met and you are having a great experience. Please feel free to reach out if you have feedback or need assistance during your stay with us.
  • We have a birth certificate registrar available Monday-Friday to assist in completion of your birth certificate. In the event that you deliver on the weekend, your nurse will help coordinate the needed paperwork so that it can be appropriately filed with the state. Our birth certificate specialist can be reached at 931-783-2750 during normal business hours; if you need assistance please leave a voicemail and she will call you back within 1-2 business days.
  • Nursing staff are available 24/7 to coordinate care and provide assistance to families. We also have lactation nurses available several days a week; however, all of our nurses are trained to support families in breastfeeding so that no matter when you deliver we can help you.