Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring to the hospital? Because you’re never sure when you’ll go into labor, having a bag packed and ready to go ahead of time is always a good idea.  Regardless of when you pack, however,  suggest planning on including the following items:

  • A photo ID, as well as any insurance cards and/or paperwork
  • Eyeglasses, if you need them
  • A robe, nightgown and/or slippers if you prefer to use your own instead of those we provide
  • Basic toiletries, including your makeup bag, toothbrush and hair brush (you may also wish to include a headband or elastic bands to keep your hair back)
  • Books, magazines or a journal
  • Your favorite pillow, if you think it will help you relax better
  • Comfortable clothing to wear home
  • A nursing bra, if you will be breastfeeding
  • Snacks for your significant other or family members
  • A camera/video camera, memory cards, power cords, etc.
  • An mp3 player loaded with your favorite music

When should I come to the hospital? If you believe that you are in labor, contact your obstetrician or family practitioner to discuss your symptoms.  If you are scheduled for a c-section or an induction, you will be provided the information by your care provider.

Where can my family/friends wait? Your family and friends may wait with you in your room during labor if you’d like, or they may stay in one of our two comfortable waiting areas.

Can we take photos and videos? You and your birthing partner are welcome to take photos and videos documenting your experience and capturing your baby’s first moments. We do restrict photography and videography during certain procedures, including c-sections and deliveries requiring the use of forceps or other equipment.

How many people can be with me during my baby’s birth? Provided there is adequate room for our physicians and staff to tend to you and your baby, you may invite anyone to be in the delivery room with you during a vaginal delivery.  If you deliver via c-section, one member of your family may accompany you to the surgery suite.

When can my family visit me? Your family can come to visit you at any time during your labor and delivery, provided they have your consent to be in the room with you.  With very limited exceptions, you have the right to include or exclude anyone from being part of birth experience.

Can my children visit me during labor? Yes, unless they have a cold, flu or other illness which may pose a risk to the health of you or your newborn.

Is food provided for my support person? Although we do not provide meals for family members or your significant other, we do have an area stocked with snacks and beverages for your support person.

What security measures are in place to keep my baby safe? The safety of the newborns in our care is one of our top priorities.  When your baby arrives, he or she will be banded with an identification band and security sensor. Additional measures are in place to prevent your child from leaving the mother and newborn area.

Are meals provided for me while I’m in the hospital? While you are in the hospital, you may order delicious meals through room service. Your partner, family and visitors may purchase meals in our cafeteria for themselves, and they may bring in food from local restaurants for themselves or for you.

What will my insurance cover after I deliver my baby? Every plan differs in the coverage they provide you and your child, so you’ll want to check with your insurance provider.  You may want to check whether preauthorization is required, the authorized length of stay and any testing or procedures which are or are not covered.

Is lactation support available through St. Vincent Healthcare? Yes. We have certificated lactation specialists on staff to help you learn how to breastfeed your baby, and our nurses are also trained to provide you with assistance during your stay. You may wish to consider participating in our prenatal classes, which discuss the benefits of breastfeeding your baby.

What if I choose not to breastfeed? Is formula available? Yes. At St. Vincent Healthcare babies never go hungry. If you choose not to breastfeed or if you wish to supplement with formula, we have it available for your baby while you are in the hospital.

What if there is a person I don’t want to visit me or my baby? We respect your right to limit access to yourself and your newborn, and will make every effort to enforce your wishes.

I am concerned about the financial aspects of having a baby.  Can you help? Our care manager can work with you to discuss the options available to you through St. Vincent Healthcare, as well as community programs and resources which may be able to assist you.