Are you considering or planning to deliver your baby at Conway Regional Medical Center? I interviewed Lisa Speer, a charge nurse in Labor & Delivery, at CRMC to help you be prepared for your birth and know their policies in advance. This will help you create a Birth Plan if you want one, and maybe even think about things you didn’t even know you needed to! The answers to these questions are the HOSPITAL answers provided in July 2018. Your doctor may have a different medical opinion so be sure to consult with them. Also, most of this information is very general and based on a healthy, low-risk pregnancy. Things may be different depending on your situation. These answers are mostly provided by Lisa/CRMC, with a few things by me thrown in (like my personal experiences or tips). Want to see photos of the rooms? Scroll to the bottom to see a what to expect!
Q: I’m in labor! Do I go straight to the Labor & Delivery department or do I go to the ER?
A: No need to go to the ER! You can pull under the awning of Building 2, Women’s Center entrance, and go from there to L&D to get checked in. Between 10pm to 5am, both sets of doors are locked but you can go to the left set of doors and look for a button (doorbell) on the wall. Push that and the OB staff will let you in! This is for the safety of staff and patients during the night hours.
Q: I’m ready to have this baby! What are the requirements to be admitted?
A: If your water is broken, you will definitely be admitted. If you are 37 + weeks and contractions are 5 to 7 minutes apart, they will put you in a room and check you out. If you are also making cervical change, they will keep you! If you show up and are less than 39 weeks, legally, they will not be able to give you medication to induce labor unless it is medically necessary. But if you go into labor on your own and are 36 to 39 weeks, your doctor won’t try to stop labor, but they won’t help it along either (like giving Pitocin) unless your water has broken.
Q: I’m less than 33 weeks and in labor. What do I do?
A: If you are less than 33 weeks and are for sure in labor, they will most likely send you to UAMS via Ambulance since they have a fully equipped NICU. CRMC uses UAMS L&D for any high-risk OB care or deliveries that may be needed and they have a fully equipped Level III NICU for baby in case delivery occurs while you are with them. If there isn’t enough time for you to be sent to UAMS, you will deliver at Conway Regional and have Children’s come for the baby if needed.
Q: Is there any paperwork I can do in advance so I don’t have to worry about it when it’s go time?
A: Yes. It is encouraged to pre-register if you know for sure you want to have your baby at Conway Regional. Some OB offices will even have this as a part of one of your office visits (I did it at my 27 week appointment when I had to do my glucose test. My OB is Dr. Amy Johnson at Conway Women’s Center.) You go to the first floor of Building 3. Once you enter, look to the left and you see a few desks there. You can pre-register Monday thru Friday from 8:30 to 4:00. You will need your ID and insurance card. If you are pre-registered, you just show up to Labor and Delivery on baby day and sign a few papers, which are consent forms basically allowing them to take care of you.
Q: How do I know if my water broke or if I just peed? Because we all know that happens sometimes when you are that far along!
A: Short answer, smell it! Amniotic fluid doesn’t have much of a smell. If anything, it is kind of sweet or like salt water, while urine has a more obvious smell. Amniotic fluid can also be clear, pink tinged, or even with greenish brown flecks if baby has already poo’d. It is often harder to tell if it wasn’t a large sudden gush of fluid; if unsure put a clean pad on and see if the leaking continues. If the leaking continues or if you’re just not sure it is always better to call your doctor or go to L&D Triage to get it checked out.
Q: Will I labor and deliver in the same room? Will I be moved to a different room after my baby is born?
A: You will labor and deliver in the same room! The suites are nice and large, which I personally love. There is a chance you will be moved to a postpartum room, depending on the busyness. If it’s Monday thru Thursday, there is a good chance you will be moved after delivery if rooms are needed for women in labor. They will have you stay in the room you delivered in though for at least TWO hours after your baby is born. The postpartum rooms are in a newer wing and really nice. Plus, they photograph really well ?
Q: About how many babies are born a day?
A: On average, 150 a month, 7-10 per day. Monday thru Thursday are the busiest days due to scheduled deliveries. When I was there, she said 13 were born on that Monday and only 4 on Friday.
Q: Ok, worst case scenario. I get there, I’m in labor, and every delivery room is full. What happens?!
A: This is rare since there are 16 delivery rooms. As soon as possible, people who have had their babies will be moved to a postpartum room. BUT, if that’s not possible, they will set up the OR recovery area or L&D triage for them to care for you and even deliver there if there is still no room available.
Q: How many people are allowed in the room during labor and delivery?
A: This really depends on your pregnancy (high-risk or low-risk?) as well as your doctor. While your doctor may have a different opinion (so be sure to check with them), the hospital policy is 2-3. If your doctor feels it’s safe, they will allow you to have more in there. They are really trying to work with patients to give them the birth experience they want, which is great!
Q: What if I have a C-section? How many people can go with me?
A: This is a strict two max, usually your husband/partner and one other support person. That second person can be your mom, doula, or even photographer if your doctor is ok with it! This is as long as you are awake for your section. BUT, if you are under general anesthesia and asleep, no one is allowed back with you in the O.R. This is usually because it is an emergency situation and the doctors and nurses need to focus on keeping mom and baby safe.
Q: I have been laboring a long time and built a great relationship with my nurse. But now I have to have a C-section. Will my nurse stay with me back there?
A: Yes! All L&D nurses are trained to be circulators in the OR so they will be with you back there!
Q: What are my pain management options?
A: You can get an epidural at any time as long as you are having cervical change. There is usually not a cut off time, so you can get it even at an 8 or 9. IV medication is an option earlier in your labor to take the edge off. Keep in mind, anything you receive through an IV, also goes to your baby, which will make them really sleepy which can be unsafe if given to close to the time of delivery. This means they won’t let you have this as an option once you are approximately at a 6. If you are wanting to have an unmedicated birth, the best thing to do is prepare! Learn different techniques to help with pain like hip squeezes, counter pressure, moving around, massage, essential oils, birth balls or even looking into Hypnobabies.
Q: Ok, I want an epidural, like now! How soon until it gets here?
A: Lisa had a great line for this, which was “Let me know 30 minutes before tears.” Because usually when you decide you want one, you want one right then! There is usually a 30 minute window from the time it is asked for. Sometimes it’s shorter like 5-10 minutes, other times it can be longer if Anesthesia is tied up in the OR. The average though is about 30 minutes. Just a little tip, if you are there in the morning, doctors are making their rounds and breaking waters around 8:30 or 9… meaning several women are wanting their epidurals about the same time. So if you know for sure you will want an epidural, go ahead and ask for it so you aren’t on the bottom of the list when you are ready for it!
Q: Can I labor in the tub or shower?
A: Yes! There are only two rooms with tubs but you can labor in it as long as your water hasn’t broken. You can use the shower at any time though.
Q: Can we do intermittent monitoring? Is there a wireless/mobile monitor?
A: This is a question you really need to run by your doctor and make sure they have charted whatever you discussed with them so that the nurses can see it. You can even ask for it in writing. If there is no documentation for them to go by, you will have to continuously be on the monitor. BUT, if your doctor is ok with it, you can do intermittent monitoring like 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, as long as baby looks ok and they are getting good reads. Also, there is ONE wireless monitor and you have to request it if you want it. This is a great option if you are trying to have an unmedicated birth so that you can move around the room or even roam the halls.
Q: Can I have a saline lock instead of a continuous IV?
A: Again, this is something you need to ask your doctor and make sure they document. But yes, this is allowed if you are having an unmedicated birth and your doctor approves. Some people request to have no IV access, but a saline lock is required in case of an emergency or even if you decide to have an epidural later on. (And in case you don’t know, a saline lock is just a port that goes into your hand or arm but isn’t hooked up to anything. I know I didn’t know until I got involved with all this a few years ago.) ?
Q: How do the nurses feel about Birth Plans?
A: Some may shy away from them because they feel there may be unrealistic expectations, like doing a water birth, which they don’t offer. The important thing is to go over your plans with your doctor at around your 36 week appointment and they can tell you what will work! If your doctor approves, the hospital should be good as well! Also, be sure to bring multiple copies. Give one to your nurse, have an extra in case of shift change, one to the nursery, and one to your doctor if they’d like. Regardless if you have a written birth plan, you should discuss with your nurse your desires and preferences during your labor and birth.
Q: How often do you do pelvic exams?
A: There is no certain amount of times, it’s more so at points. They will check before administering Pitocin, or when you are first admitted. They may also check you if you are in a lot of pain and more frequently as you get closer. Of course they will check if you ask for it, as well. Keep in mind, every time a vaginal exam occurs, there is a risk of introducing germs and increasing your risk of infection so don’t ask for it too much, even if you are super excited to see your baby. ? You can also ask for limited checks and they will only do it when they have to.
Q: What positions can I give birth in?
A: You can be on all fours, squatting with the birth bar, on your side, or on your back. Just be sure to ask your doctor what they are ok with.
Q: Am I allowed to play music? Or even have lights turned off?
A: Yes! You are welcome to bring a Bluetooth speaker and have music playing through labor, pushing, postpartum, whenever you want. You can also have lights turned off through the entire process if you wish. There will be the big main light to check after baby is born to make sure mom is ok and to sew things up if needed, though. You can even bring your own diffuser and use your essential oils! I had no idea about that and thought that was very cool.
Q: Will there be nursing students at my delivery?
A: Perhaps. When there happens to be students there, they do let students come (though they aren’t there all the time) but if you don’t want them in there, just let your nurse know.
Q: Can I have a birth photographer? Can they do video as well?
A: Yes! As long as your doctor is ok with it. There are some nurses who are not comfortable being recorded in any way, so if you are planning to have a photographer, be sure to request a nurse who is ok with this as soon as you get there. Otherwise, you may have problems later. Photos can be taken during labor, pushing, and delivery. The only thing that CANNOT be photographed, is an “intervention” or “procedure” being done on mom or baby. For example, this means if baby is stuck (emergency situation) or an episiotomy is being performed, no photos can be taken of that. Also, anything that can be photographed, can have video as well! (An extra tip, if you plan on hiring a birth photographer or Fresh 48 photographer, like Whitney D. Photography, request a room with BIG windows. This provides the best light for your photos.)
Q: Can I even have a photographer during my C-section?
A: As long as your doctor and anesthesiologist are ok with it, yes!
Q: Can I eat or drink during labor?
A: No food is recommended but clear liquids are now ok! They have progressed from just ice chips to now allowing, water, juice, tea, sprite, Gatorade, popsicles, even a slushie! As long as you can see through it, you can have it!
Q: If I want to come for a quick hospital tour, do I need to schedule that in advance or do I just show up?
A: Due to the unpredictability of deliveries, they say just to show up. There is usually someone available to show you around and answer some questions, whether that’s a nurse or PCT. It was also mentioned that if you take one of their childbirth or baby care classes, it may answer a lot of questions you have.
Q: Can I wear my own gown during labor?
A: Yes! While it is easier if it has snaps on the shoulders so it’s easy to remove after baby comes, it’s not necessary. Keep in mind, it is likely to get messy from your water or other fluids. I wore a gown from Latched Mama with my second labor and delivery and LOVED it. It has snaps on the shoulders so it can be undone for skin to skin. It also has snaps up the back for epidural access in case that is needed. Mine was also super soft and everything washed right out so I continued to use it as a nightgown which was great while breastfeeding.
Q: Right after my baby is born, will they go to me or be examined first?
A: Assuming everything is perfectly fine and baby is healthy, baby goes straight to your chest. They recommend baby and mom do skin to skin for the first two hours. This helps regulate baby’s breathing, blood sugar, and you two will start to learn together feeding cues and nursing! The nursery nurse will come over and do an assessment right after baby is born, but baby will stay on your chest and they don’t have to take them. The nursery nurse will also ask to take the baby for a couple minutes to do weight, length, and a couple other measurements and give them right back. If you want your baby back right away, just ask the nurse to give baby back asap and they will come back later to get baby’s footprints.
Q: If at all possible, I don’t want baby to leave my chest for a couple hours. Can we do that?
A: Again, assuming baby is great, yes! The nursery nurse will just come to you and do the assessment and get vital signs to make sure baby is doing good. They can do weight and other measurements later. You just need to be sure this is communicated to the nursery nurse, and even in your Birth Plan if you have one.
Q: Can I do delayed cord clamping?
A: This is up to your doctor and your situation at birth. The average they are seeing is about 45-60 seconds before clamping. The hospital though doesn’t have a policy on this, so be sure to talk with your physician about it.
Q: What shots does my baby get? Is anything required?
A: Erythromycin is an antibiotic ointment put in baby’s eyes that helps prevent infection that baby could get during the birth process. Vitamin K is a shot given in the leg to assist the baby’s blood to clot, which helps to prevent brain hemorrhage, bleeding from the cord, and helps clotting during a circumcision. Also a hepatitis B vaccine, but that is something that can be skipped and done later at your pediatrician’s office if you choose. You have the right to decline everything though, you will just have to sign a declination form for the Erythromycin and Vitamin K since these are state recommended.
Q: If baby has to go to NICU, will they be transferred?
A: If baby only needs oxygen, or minimal medical support, they can stay in the NICU at CRMC. If they need to be on a ventilator, they will be transferred to Childrens. Bilirubin lights can also be done in Conway’s NICU. This really just depends on how early baby is and their condition at or after birth. In the event a baby needs to be transferred, they will go via ambulance or helicopter to ACH.
Q: If my baby is in the nursery/NICU, can I go in there to visit them?
A: Absolutely. The nursery nurses are great about letting parents go back to the nursery to sit with their baby, as well as grandparents. Any “visitor” just has to be accompanied with someone who has the hospital ID bracelet that goes with baby (typically mom and dad have this.) This is a safety precaution to prevent any Joe Schmo from having contact with the babies. If you are discharged but your baby has to remain in the hospital in the nursery, CRMC will usually allow you to remain in your room or a “boarder” room at no charge until your baby is discharged so that you can remain close to your baby during their stay.
Q: Can I send my baby to the nursery if I need a break?
A: Long periods of time separated from your baby are discouraged. It’s important for baby to stay in the room with mom as much as possible so when baby cries or shows signs of hunger or feeding cues, you will be aware of these and will learn to respond to your baby’s needs. Rooming in also helps with bonding. If you have a vaginal birth, you are usually only in the hospital for 24 hours after baby is born, and 48 hours with a c-section. So you will only have that short amount of time to learn how to take care of your baby with nursing staff before you are all on your own. BUT, if you really need a nap, they will be happy to watch your baby for a bit.
Q: I want my baby to stay with me as much as possible. Can any tests or procedures be performed in the room? And if not, can dad go with baby?
A: While some can, things like lab draws are usually done in the nursery due to lighting, space, and equipment. As for dad going with the baby, this is a case by case basis but can usually happen. It depends on the test and what is happening in the nursery at that time. Baths are typically ok, while a circumcision is not.
Q: How long until baby has their first bath? Can it be done in the room?
A: The policy is to wait at least 8 hours before baby has their first bath. This will help them to soak in all those great things from mom and the birth process, as well as helping regulate their body temperature. Baths can also be done in the room if requested.
Q: Will a lactation consultant come by to see me?
A: Yes, there are two lactation consultants and a few lactations assistants. Someone will come by to see you just to check in. You can also feel free to have them come by if you have any questions or issues.
Q: Is there a breastpump I can use?
A: Yes, you can use one while you are there and you can also rent one for after you leave. It is recommended if you have one to bring it so they can show you how to properly use it and answer any questions you may have about it. Also, check your insurance! Most insurances now cover at least basic pumps, and most cover nice ones or at least a large portion of it.
Q: If I have to supplement and give my baby formula, do you have any on hand?
A: Yes. They also recommend giving formula via a syringe instead of a bottle to prevent any possible nipple confusion if you are breastfeeding.
Q: Are there set visiting hours? Can my other children come to see them?
A: While there are no set visiting hours, quiet time starts at 10pm. But baby’s come at all times so this is why there are no set hours. They do ask only one person stay the night with you after baby comes since that is all they have the space for. Children are welcome as well, even non siblings. But anyone (children or adults) that has been sneezing, coughing, had a fever, or any type of virus are asked not to come visit. There is a sign on the door the patient can have say “No Visitors” or “Visitors Welcome.” This is up to you to adjust!
Q: Will you be my bull dog with visitors? My mother-in-law can be overbearing…
A: It is recommended to have conversations in advance with parents, siblings, and other family members who you want to have in the room during labor and delivery. It can get awkward when your mother-in-law is expecting to be in the room and you don’t want her there. But if you are feeling overwhelmed and need space, let your nurse know and they will help kick those people out (in a nice way, of course) if you don’t want to do it yourself.
Q: What security measures are there to protect my baby?
A: In the first few minutes after baby is born, an ID band is put on baby’s arm and leg, as well as matching ones on mom and dad. Also, a security halo tag is put on baby. It is a sensor so nurses can see where baby is at all times. If the tag goes near the elevators or an exit, the elevator won’t go down, the exit won’t open, and if the baby goes near the elevator or stairwells, an alarm goes off. If the tag loses contact with baby’s skin, an alarm will go off as well. This does happen kind of often though when mom is changing baby’s diaper, so don’t be scared if you accidentally knock it loose and everyone comes running in your room. This is a great safety feature to protect your baby!
Q: What are the requirements to be discharged?
A: Baby has to be eating well, with wet and dirty diapers. They also have to maintain their body temperature. Mom has to show she can take care of baby and is comfortable doing so. Also, you have to put baby in the car seat. There are also a couple car seat technicians who work there who will be happy to help make sure your car seat is properly installed in your car, as well as baby is safe in their car seat.
Q: How do I get my baby’s birth certificate?
A: While you are in the hospital you will need to fill out a Birth Certificate worksheet about yourself, father of the baby and your pregnancy; this information will be shared with the Arkansas Office of Vital Statistics in Little Rock to assist them in making your baby’s birth certificate. You will also be given a birth certificate order form during your stay and will have to pay $12 and send this in to request a copy of your baby’s birth certificate from the state before they will mail it to you. If you’re not married to the baby’s father, he has to be present with an ID and must sign a paternity form with a notary in order for him to be listed as the baby’s father on the birth certificate; this can only be done 8am to 3pm, Monday thru Friday. If you happen to deliver on the weekend and miss that time, you have to come back on the following Monday to have the hospital to complete the paternity paperwork and file it for you. If you are married, but your baby’s father is not your husband, your husband has to come up there to sign a form acknowledging that he is not the baby’s father and then the biological father can complete the paternity paperwork if you want his name on the birth certificate. On the birth certificate worksheet, you can check a box to request that a Social Security number be issued for your baby when the birth certificate is processed. It can take several weeks after delivery and after you have mailed in the birth certificate order form before your baby’s certificate arrives.
Q: Is there Wifi?
A: Yes, just ask your nurse for the password. It is also posted in the waiting room.
Q: What do you recommend for moms to bring to the hospital?
- All bathing supplies! All they have is Dial soap and Johnson and Johnson head to toe. So bring your own shampoo and conditioner, soap, lotion, hair dryer, etc.
- 2 or 3 comfy outfits to wear after baby is born would be great as well. Keep in mind, you will still look about 6 months pregnant so make sure they are roomy clothes. My favorite were black lounge pants, because they were loose and hid the fact you are basically wearing a diaper.
- They will provide mesh panties for you to wear, but be sure to have some LARGE, granny panties to wear for when you get home. Trust me.
- Also, bring a toothbrush, toothpaste, flip flops, socks that you don’t mind getting fluid on (in case it runs down your leg), a comfy blanket, nursing bras with no wire, nursing pillow, hair ties, phone charger, extension cord, chapstick.
- For dad, a hoody, pillow, sleeping bag (because the couch could use the extra cushion), shower supplies for him if you don’t want him to leave, snacks. He will also get a meal ticket, 1 for each meal that you are there. This will allow him to run to the cafeteria for a free meal.
- For baby, 3-4 sleepers or gowns and a special outfit to have their picture made in if you choose to do that. Huggies Diapers and generic wipes are provided so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own!
- Bring vaseline or coconut oil to put on baby’s bottom. Those first few dirty diapers are like tar and hard to wipe off. If the oil or vaseline is on there first, it’s easy peasy!
- Planning on hiring Whitney D. Photography to photograph your birth or a Fresh 48 session? When you first arrive, ask for a room with BIG windows. Some rooms have only one small window in a corner while others have a wall of windows. This will result in the best light for your story!
All this is possible after you visit the user-friendly website of a reputable e-pharmacy of your choice, select the product and quantity that you want to buy and make use of the opportunity for pursuing new cialis cheap uk forms of sites, Web 1.0 did not die. To know more about them, viagra samples free appalachianmagazine.com you can even purchase Kamagra online. Health perils like immense cholesterol level, heart attack or irregular best viagra price heartbeat in the past 6 months, heart failure, chest pain/angina, aortic stenosis, idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis), kidney disease, liver. The company will cater your needs, whether you want single or viagra from usa multiple merchant accounts.
Q: Any tips to help with recovery?
- Be sure to ask for a sitz bath. It’s a thing you put on top of the toilet with warm water running through it and then you sit on it so that you’re soaking your lady parts. It feels funny at first but is very soothing after a vaginal delivery.
- Also, make padsicles ahead of time. They are made with witch hazel and aloe and you stick them in the freezer. They are woooonderful.
- Tucks pads and dermoplast are given to you at the hospital but you may want to buy more later. Tucks pads help your perineum and if you have hemorrhoids and dermoplast helps everything be kind of numb down there for a bit.
- Also, use ice on your bottom for the first 12 hours and then heat (sitz bath). They will provide these ice packs you break and then they get cold. If you are super sore though, ask for a glove with ice water in it. It’s magical. Also, ice and/or heat should be only left on for short periods of time, like 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. This is to avoid risk of tissue damage.
- If you have bad hemorrhoids, ask your doctor for a prescription of a Rectal Rocket. I know, it sounds scary. But it really helps! Google it. ? You can only have them made at US Compounding in Conway, I’m not sure what other pharmacies outside of Conway can make them.
- Some women are bringing Depends underwear because they like it better than a giant pad that slides around the mesh panties.
- If you aren’t holding baby, put a pillow between your legs and turn so you’re laying on your side. This helps with swelling. Donut pillows are not recommended by the nurses because these can decrease blood flow in the “circle” which will increase your swelling even more!
You may notice while you are there, a lullaby plays over the speakers throughout the whole hospital a few times during your stay. They play this music every time a baby is born! I thought that was so sweet. ?
I hope everyone has found this helpful and you feel more prepared and confident leading up to your birth. I know it makes such a big difference when you know what your options are! Also, I have included a few photos of the rooms so you can see what they are like.
Whitney D. Photography is a photographer in Conway, Arkansas specializing in newborn, maternity, and birth photography.