Please see below for information regarding labor and what to expect after the birth of your baby.
Childbirth Education Classes:
Click here for our 2014 Childbirth Education Brochure
For more information or to schedule a class, please call The Birthing Suites at Sharon Hospital 860.364.4037. Thank you for choosing Sharon Hospital for your healthcare needs.
Sharon Hospital provides a childbirth experience based on a collaborative, team approach to family-centered maternity care. The doctors, midwives, and nurses at Sharon Hospital provide obstetrical care in an atmosphere that is personalized, caring, and respectful of individual needs and desires.
The Birthing Suites at Sharon Hospital welcomes the involvement of the entire family in the birth experience. After the birth, nurses care for the mother and baby as a couple, providing a supportive environment for the new family to get acquainted. The nurses assist with newborn care and breastfeeding. All nurses are trained as Neonatal Resuscitation Providers.
Other services offered by the Maternity Department are classes in Childbirth Preparation, Parenting, a Sibling class, and Breastfeeding. A board certified lactation consultant is available for consultation on breastfeeding issues. Collaboration and teamwork among the doctors, midwives, nurses, and most importantly, the new family, are the standard of care.
- Antepartum care
- Labor and delivery
- Mother and baby care
- Nursery care
- Childbirth classes
- Sibling preparedness classes
- Parenting classes
- Pregnancy Loss Support Counselor
- Outpatient testing
- Nurse case management (includes prenatal evaluation and postpartum return visit with full assessment of mother and baby)
- Infertility treatment
- Lactation (breast-feeding) consultation
For more information or to schedule a tour of The Birthing Suites, please call 860.364.4124
What To Expect in Labor
When Should I Come to the Hospital?
Statistics show that women admitted to the hospital in active labor (versus early labor) are less likely to have a c-section. Active labor is when your contractions last one minute, come three to five minutes apart and you are three to four centimeters dilated. If you are in active labor, do not eat a large meal. Take clear liquids only.
You’ve spent so much time waiting for this day! When you feel you are ready to come to the Hospital, call your doctor’s office first. Your doctor or midwife will give you specific instructions regarding your admission. If you will arrive at Sharon Hospital between 6am and 9pm, you can enter the hospital through the maternity entrance at the rear of the hospital. If you will arrive at Sharon Hospital between 9pm and 6am, you should enter the hospital through the emergency entrance and you will be directed to the maternity department.
What is Labor?
Toward the end of pregnancy, the uterus reaches maximum size, the placenta begins to age, and the level of the hormone progesterone begins to drop. Your body becomes more sensitive to the chemical oxytocin, which triggers labor contractions. Finally, the baby itself may release prostaglandins that trigger labor. Labor has three stages. Stage one is the dilation of the cervix (the bottom part of the uterus that leads into the vagina). Once the cervix has opened to 10 cm (about 4 inches), stage two begins and the baby is pushed out of the mother. Finally, the placenta is delivered during the third and final stage of labor.
Ideally, pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, during which time an embryo multiplies from two cells into literally millions of cells to form a baby who is ready to be born. Sometimes, for a number of reasons, babies are born much earlier – at 36 weeks, 32 weeks or even 28 weeks. Obviously, the longer a woman can carry a baby, the better the outcome will usually be.
Your health care provider and Sharon Hospital work together to delay the onset of early labor as long as possible. If your labor does start prematurely, you will be stabilized at Sharon Hospital and then transported to another hospital for continuing care. If at any point in your pregnancy you have unusual or persistent cramping, vaginal bleeding or a rush of fluids from the vagina, call your doctor or midwife right away.
Even though you are not considered overdue until two weeks past your due date, 10 minutes past the date feels like a long time. Your doctor or midwife will continue to monitor you and your baby closely if your due date passes and you have not delivered. If necessary, you may be scheduled to have labor induced. That’s when you will come to Sharon Hospital and receive medications that begin the process of labor. Sometimes, women then go into labor on their own; other women need continued medication throughout the labor and delivery.
Induction of Labor
If your healthcare provider decides that you should have labor induced, your doctor or midwife will schedule it with the hospital. You should arrive at the hospital between 6am-7am unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. You can park in the patient parking area and then enter through the Maternity entrance at the back of the hospital. You will then come upstairs and be admitted to a room. Your labor coach is encouraged to be with you. You will then receive medication to trigger labor.
21% of deliveries by first-time mothers, deliver their babies by c-section. There will always be a need for some babies to be delivered by c-section. Sometimes, c-sections are planned in advance; other times doctors or midwives decide during labor that a c-section is necessary.
During a c-section, a woman usually receives a regional anesthetic that numbs her from the waist down. The physician makes an incision through the skin into the uterus and lifts the baby out, removes the placenta and closes the opening.
Because they are awake, women who have c-sections can still breastfeed their infant shortly after delivery. Since a c-section is surgery, the time spent in the hospital and the recovery afterward is longer than a vaginal delivery. Depending on the reason for the c-section, you may be able to try a vaginal birth on a subsequent pregnancy. Your healthcare provider will discuss these reasons and the possibility of a vaginal birth with you when you are ready.
Some reasons why c-sections are performed:
Baby’s position; if other than head down
Triplets or more babies
Concern that the baby is not tolerating labor well (fetal distress)
Failure of the cervix to dilate and the baby to descend through the birth canal despite good labor
What to Expect After Birth
At the time of birth:
Apgar: Your baby’s health is scored at birth, and again at five minutes after birth, using an apgar method of 1-10, 10 being the highest score. Registered nurses assess the baby’s heart rate, respiration rate, color, and other factors
Antibiotic Ointment: An ointment is placed in your baby’s eyes shortly after birth to treat any bacteria present in the eyes that could lead to blindness. This preventative step is required by law.
Vitamin K: Your baby will receive an injection of vitamin K shortly after birth. This is because infants aren’t born with enough clotting factor for blood to clot effectively.
Blood Type: Blood will be taken from the umbilical cord to check the baby’s blood type, if needed.
Identification bands: After your baby is born, identification bands with matching numbers are placed on mom, 2 on infant, and one other person of mom’s choice. ID bands are checked every time your baby goes to or from the nursery. Only authorized staff with special hospital IDs will transfer your baby.
Newborn Screening: This routine blood test, mandated by state law, is a screening tool for 14 genetic disorders, which could lead to mental retardation or death if not quickly addressed. This test will be completed between 24 and 48 hours of age.
Hepatitis B vaccine: Your baby may have his first of three hepatitis B vaccines while in the hospital. Discuss the need for all immunizations with your pediatrician.
Hearing Screening: Your baby will receive a screening test to determine if he or she has moderate to severe hearing loss. This test is painless. You and your pediatrician will receive formal reports of your baby’s hearing results. This process involves placing electrodes on the infant’s head, neck and shoulder stimulating the hearing through earphones and measuring the electrical activity generated by the ear in response to sound. If after 2 screenings, additional information is needed, you will be referred to a pediatric audiologist for follow-up.
Birth Certificate/Social Security Number: The birth certificate form and social security application will be given to you shortly after birth, as well as any other necessary forms. Staff will be inquiring as to your marital status so it can be determined if paternity papers are needed. If mom and dad are not legally married then paternity papers are required to include father’s information on the birth certificate. This is a state of Connecticut requirement and the father must have photo identification to complete the paternity papers. Later, you will be able to obtain a copy of your baby’s birth certificate from the Sharon Town Hall. You will be given information on how to get in touch with them.
After Your Baby is Born
Right after you’ve given birth, your nurse will show you how to hold your baby and help you with the first breastfeeding. This is a time to rest after birth and get to know your newborn. You and your baby will have matching identification bands that are checked every time you are given your baby. The nurse will check you frequently during the next few hours for any complications from the delivery. These checks will include blood pressure, pulse, temperature, respiration, uterine firmness and vaginal bleeding. Let your nurse help you get out of the bed the first time you get up.
Post-Op Care After C-Section
Your recovery will be slower than a vaginal delivery, so take your time and be patient with your body. Sometime within the first day, your nurse will get you up and out of bed. Once you are out of bed you will be encouraged to walk. You will have a catheter inserted to remove fluids from your bladder. This will also be removed in the first day to make it easier to walk. Because a catheter increases your chance of a urinary tract infection, you are encouraged to drink plenty of fluids (especially water and cranberry juice). You will have an IV until you are taking in adequate fluids. You can usually shower on the second day after your surgery.
Your Private Suite
You will enjoy the quiet atmosphere and beautiful view overlooking the hills of Northwest Connecticut offered in our 6 private LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum) suites. In your suite, you can enjoy a relaxing shower, watch the television or use the telephone locally at no charge. Long distance calls can be billed collect or by using a telephone card. Friends can get your telephone number by calling the main hospital number at 860.364.4000.
Before you go home, to celebrate the birth of your baby, Sharon Hospital will provide you with a “Stork Club Dinner” for you and your partner to share in celebration of your child’s birth. Gift bags are available and will be provided upon request to get you started on enjoying your newborn.
Birth is one of the most vigorous journeys your baby will ever make! During your stay, your nurse will care for you and your baby together, and make every effort to understand what your needs are. We encourage mothers to keep their baby in the room with them throughout their stay, but if your baby needs extra care to adjust to his new environment, our special care nursery is always available. Both moms and dads are encouraged to participate in the baby’s care. Your nurse will talk to you about caring for your baby, feeding, diapering, circumcision care, and any other questions you have. You are encouraged to:
Read educational booklets
Before you go home you can choose to have your baby’s photo professionally taken just before discharge. You will be given information on pricing and ordering after your baby’s birth.
When it is time to go home with your new infant you will want to remember a few basics. We’ll provide you with information you will need to know in order to care for yourself and your baby. You may call us at 860.364-4124, any time of day or night if you have any questions.
Going Home Check List
> Clothes for Mom, remember a comfortable pair of shoes as her feet may be a bit swollen
> Adorable outfit for baby
> Car Seat. We cannot let you leave without one
> Camera. You must have pictures of baby’s first ride in car
> Blankets, jackets in cooler weather
> Have everything ready at home
Bringing a new baby home is the moment you have been waiting for but you may feel a little anxious. You may wish to be alone with your new family when you first come home. Accept offers of help, but leave enough time to rest. Unfortunately, we cannot teach everything you need to know about parenting, but we do hope we can give you some good resources in addition to your physician to help answer questions.
Kidsource – www.kidsource.com/kidsource/pages/hewborns.html
BabyCenter – www.babycenter.com
Car Seat Safety
It is CT State law that when traveling in a car every infant is secured in a car seat. There are many models and types of seats and each one comes with specific instructions for installation and safe use. We recommend that you thoroughly review these instructions and install the car seat long before you come in to have the baby. Our staff is not qualified to install your car seat, so you should already have it installed before you are ready to leave. Call our Health & Wellness Concierge at 877.364.4202 or you may contact 1(866) SEAT-CHECK or www.seatcheck.org for more information about car seat safety checks near you.
Here are some normal things you may experience after you go home:
After pains: These slightly crampy pains in your uterus last a few days. Women who breastfeed may notice the pains coincide with feedings.
Episiotomy/Tear: If you had an episiotomy or tear, this area will be very sensitive when you first come home. Your doctor or midwife may recommend a cream or medication to ease the pain.
Hemorrhoids: Because of pushing during labor, hemorrhoids may now be a problem. Drink lots of fluids and eat enough fruits to keep your stools soft.
Breast Discomfort: Whether or not you are breastfeeding, your breasts will become tender and enlarged as your milk comes in a few days after delivery. Breastfeeding will relieve the discomfort. Even for women who are not breastfeeding, wearing a supportive bra will help.
If you and/or your nurses and physicians decide you could use some extra help after you get home, we will make a homecare referral. Our lactation consultant is always available on an outpatient basis with an appointment. To talk with her or make an appointment, call (860)364-4037 and leave her a message.
Call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience:
> Fever, over 100.4° F
> Increase in vaginal discharge, or passing large clots
> Intense pain or cramping
You will need to see your healthcare provider about 6 weeks after the delivery of your baby, or sooner if you had a c-section. During this visit, your doctor or midwife will check your weight, blood pressure, size of your uterus, any stitches or discharge you may have and your general health. It is a good time to ask questions. Your healthcare provider will also discuss contraception with you (Breastfeeding is NOT a form of contraception).
Do I have to move to another room after the birth?
We provide you with a single-room maternity experience. That means that you will be in one private room for labor, delivery, recovery as well as the time after birth until discharge. In addition to the high-tech equipment that slides out of sight, each of our rooms are equipped for your comfort with items such as a private bathroom and shower, a pull-out couch for Dad, a refrigerator, and a television.
Can we make long distance calls from our room?
Long distance calls can be made from your room using a calling card or calling collect. Local calls can be made free of charge from your room.
Can we use cell phones within the hospital?
There are certain posted locations within the hospital where cell phones can be used. We ask that you do not use cell phones in the room as they can sometimes interfere with our monitoring system and patient care.
Will my baby “room-in” with me?
Yes, we encourage mothers to keep their baby in the room with them throughout their stay. If your baby needs extra care to get used to his new environment, our special care nursery is always available.
How do you keep my infant safe and secure while we are in the hospital?
After birth, the staff will place matched numbered identification bands on you, your baby and your significant other. Whenever your baby is returned to your room, your nurse will verify your bands with the baby’s bands. Shortly after birth, your baby will have an infant security alarm sensor attached to him. If your baby is taken off the unit, an alarm will sound, alerting all hospital staff and locking all doors on the unit. Newborn footprints are taken immediately after birth along with your fingerprint on the newborn identification record. All maternity staff at Sharon Hospital wears special hospital identification badges. Do not give your infant to anyone except the maternity staff, even if they have a hospital identification badge. We also encourage you to never leave your infant alone in your room and to question any unfamiliar person entering your room. Always check with your nurse if you are afraid someone doesn’t belong there.
What should I bring to the hospital?
We suggest that you bring items that will help you to feel more comfortable in the hospital. We have TVs, radios, refrigerators, and the ever-popular “Johnny,” which may serve as an incentive for Dad to remember his own pajamas! We encourage you to bring whatever items will help you stay focused and relaxed during labor. All electronic items must be check out by our maintenance department before use.
Suggested items for your hospital bag include:
> Bathrobe, night clothes, non-skid slippers
> Personal pillow (non-white pillowcase is best)
> Address book and phone list
> Make-up, comb, brush, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, soap and any other toiletries
> Going home clothes for mother and baby
> Infant car seat, installed in your car (You can’t go home without one)
What not to bring:
> Cash, except a small amount
> Diapers, the hospital provides these for you
What if I need to have a Cesarean delivery?
Sometimes a c-section delivery is necessary. If that’s the case we’ll move you to one of out fully-equipped surgical suites just outside the maternity area. All staff necessary for a c-section are available within a moment’s notice.
What if my baby needs special medical attention after birth?
If your baby has any special medical needs during and after birth, the Pediatricians and the specially trained Registered Nurses are standing by to offer your baby just the care it needs. Sometimes, depending on the severity of your baby’s condition it is necessary to transfer your infant to another hospital for continuing care. Your pediatrician will discuss this with you and together you will make the best decision for your baby.
Where do I park when I arrive?
If you are arriving between the hours of 6am and 9pm you may enter through the maternity lobby at the rear of the hospital. We recommend that you park in the hospital’s patient parking area. If you are arriving after 9pm, please use the emergency department entrance and parking area – the staff there will direct you.
What are the visiting hours for maternity?
During labor, you decide who will be with you to share your birth experience. We suggest that you limit visitors in labor to 2-3 at a time that will help you through your labor, more than this can be very overwhelming. After the baby is born, the most important thing for you to remember is your need for rest and time to learn about the care of your new infant. Friends and family who have a cold or are not feeling well are asked to refrain from visiting. Family and friends (ages 12+) may visit from 8am – 8pm. Your significant other, brothers and sisters of the new baby may visit at any time.
How do I get information about family and friends in maternity?
If you would like to contact a patient in maternity, please call 860.364.4000 and you will be connected directly to the patient’s room. Information about the patient, sex of the baby and any other “vital statistics” must be given out by the parents or family. The HIPPA privacy act prevents the staff from giving out any information about patients in maternity.
Who will take care of me in the hospital?
Our obstetrical team consists of highly-trained healthcare professionals, including:
> Registered Nurses
> Obstetrical Technicians/ OB Assistants
> Certified Nurse Midwives
> Social Workers
> Lactation Consultants