What to expect when having a baby at St. Charles Bend Oregon
So you're getting ready for the birth of your baby. As you begin to refine your preferences and decide what's important to you, you may be wondering what is the routine at St. Charles Medical Center Bend.
Upon admission you can expect to be presented with these procedures but you have the right to decline or ask for more information as to why they are being suggested. It's not being high maintenance, it's being an informed and active participant in your care. (Informed consent is my jam)
It is recommended that laboring women receive a saline lock for IV fluids or narcotics. This is typically in your non dominant hand or wrist. IV fluids are usually started but there is compelling evidence to hold off on fluids if you are drinking on your own. If your hopes are for an epidural, IV fluids are needed to increase your blood pressure as it tends to drop when the medication is administered. If you are GBS positive, it is recommended that you receive IV antibiotics every 4 hours until your baby arrives.
Vaginal exams upon admission and every four hours until baby is born. For some these exams are beneficial, but for others it can be defeating, especially if you feel you were farther along than the nurse says you are. Vaginal exams only can tell you the information for that point in time. They do not tell us when baby will be born, can vary from person to person performing them and can be inaccurate.
You will receive a blood draw so the hospital can test your blood for any issues that could complicate your labor.
The hospital provides you with a gown but you are not required to wear it; Some do and some don't. It is really up to you and what feels good. I suggest comfy pants or a skirt and a tank top for easy skin to skin after baby is born.
You can eat and drink during your labor and it's important to do so! The hospital will provide you with large water cups and that awesome "snowball" ice. I recommend buying electrolyte packets to add to your water to help keep hydration up and bringing snacks. Room service is available but does shut down late in the evening. If you are being induced, depending on the method, or if you receive an epidural, you may be put on a clear liquid diet because the possibility of cesarean goes up.
You can labor in the tubs but water birth is not supported at the hospital. If this is a desire of yours, I encourage you to look into birthing with any of the wonderful midwives in the Central Oregon area.
Moving around and birthing in positions that feel good to you are encouraged. The hospital has birth balls and peanut balls for you to use. Contrary to what is seen in media, laying on your back in the semi-sitting position is not the only way to have a baby. In fact, it's probably one of the least favorable for the birthing mother. I suggest looking up alternative pushing positions so that you have some ideas for when you have your baby. But ultimately, it's what feels best to you.
During the pushing stage, pitocin is administered to do what is called "managed third stage" of the placenta. It is assumed that providing synthetic oxytocin will help aid the uterus in contracting down and lower the risk of postpartum hemorrhage. There are differing views to this practice and pitocin has been linked to risk of postpartum depression. It is worth a discussion with your care staff about how you want your third stage managed.
Yes! You can keep your placenta! Encapsulate it, bury it, donate it to search and rescue, or just let the hospital dispose of it for you.
Three medications will be suggested for baby after birth: Hepatits B, Erythromyacin, and Vitamin K. You have the right to decline all, some or none. Do your research and decide what is best for your baby.
Baby will not be weighed, measured or bathed right away (unless there is a concern and perceived need to). They will also stay with you. St. Charles does not have a nursery but practices what is called "rooming in". So unless baby needs to stay in the NICU, the room that you labor and birth in will be the room that you recover in as a family.
If all is well, you will be going home 24 hours after baby's birth, 48 hours for a cesarean. You can sign yourself out sooner, but for many, that 24 hours is needed to help recoup and rest.
I hope you find this helpful as you look at all your options for birthing at St. Charles Bend. If you have any other questions, feel free to post them in the comments or shoot me an email.