Labor & Delivery

For Women in Labor

  • Your labor process will be monitored in a birthing suite. Your physician and nurses will check on you periodically.
  • If you decide you want pain relief for labor, and your physician agrees, the anesthesiologist will be happy to assist you. For more information, please see the Pain Management section below.
  • You are allowed 2 visitors in your suite at a time. Other visitors are welcome to wait in the waiting area.
  • After delivery, you will be taken to the recovery area where you will be closely watched for any signs of problems. Then an hour or two later you will be moved to the Postpartum Unit where you will stay with your baby until discharge.
  • In the unlikely event that your baby requires additional care after birth, he or she will be taken immediately to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and receive around-the-clock care from specially trained neonatologists and nurses. While your baby is in the NICU, we will keep you informed of his or her progress.

Pain Management

The intensity of discomfort during labor and delivery varies from person to person. Some women may manage well with relaxation and breathing techniques. However, most women choose some type of pain relief. The majority of women receive analgesia (relief from pain without losing consciousness) from an anesthesiologist. There is at least one attending obstetric anesthesiologist available whose sole responsibility is the Labor and Delivery Unit.

The most effective methods for relief of labor pain are regional anesthetics in which medications are placed near the nerves that carry the painful impulses from the uterus and cervix, lessening pain and facilitating your participation in your delivery. Our anesthesiologists commonly use an epidural, spinal or combined spinal-epidural to minimize pain. Patients may be offered patient-controlled epidural analgesia, which gives partial control over how much medication is received via the epidural catheter using a computer-controlled pump.

For Scheduled Cesarean Sections

  • Various factors influence the choice of anesthesia for a Cesarean section, but they are usually done under epidural or spinal anesthesia, which means you will feel numb from the waist down. You will be awake for the delivery of your baby, and your birth partner can stay with you.
  • If you require general anesthesia, your birth partner will be taken to the recovery room to wait for you and your baby.
  • You will be monitored in the recovery room until the effects of anesthesia wear off. When you are ready, you will be transported to the Postpartum Unit.
  • In the unlikely event that your baby requires additional care after birth, he or she will be taken immediately to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and receive around-the-clock care from specially trained neonatologists and nurses.