What You Need to Know about Having Your Baby in a Hospital (Part 1)

Your provider will not stay at your bedside.

This is how I feel when my patient is contracting every two minutes, and I'm asked to increase the Pitocin.

You’ll be lucky if your provider is there when you get to the hospital. They will not be there the entire time. They typically come in as close to the delivery as possible. Remember how many times you’ve gone to a prenatal appointment and impatiently sat in the waiting room? If your provider was running behind, it was probably because they were at the hospital, at a delivery 🙂 So don’t expect your provider to stay at your bedside, because they have patients they have to also see in their office!

You will be surrounded by people who know much more than you do.

But don’t let that intimidate you. Remember that you have patient rights. You have the right to ask questions, and you almost always have the right to say “no.” You don’t have to let anyone do anything to you that you don’t want them to do. But most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask why something is being done.

Your labor nurse has another patient.

Your baby is considered another patient. On top of this, your labor nurse might have another laboring patient (and her baby, too!).

Pack like you’re going to spend a few nights at a hotel.

You want to pack as if you’re going to be away for 2-4 days, but you’ll be going somewhere where you’ll only be wearing comfy clothes, like pajamas. Your hospital bag should include: socks, house slippers, a robe, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, panties that are on the bigger side (that you might not mind throwing away), and a hairbrush. Pack the normal things you use on a daily basis. You will also need your ID and insurance card. If you have a baby book, it’s a good idea to bring that along as well, because a lot of hospitals will stamp the baby’s foot prints in it for you at delivery. Don’t forget to bring your camera, and make sure the memory card has space. You will probably also need your cell phone charger…and don’t forget to take this back home with you!

But remember, you’re not really at a hotel. The hospital staff is not your maid service.


You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for something if you need it, but you should also not expect the hospital staff to be your personal servant. If you forgot toothpaste, please ask. Trust me, we want you to have that 🙂 But if you’re able to walk around your room, you should be walking to get yourself more water. Walking is part of your healthcare provider’s plan of care to get you feeling back to normal after delivery. If you don’t feel well enough to walk, ask your friends and family at your bedside to do simple things for you, like refilling your water pitcher. This is good practice for all your friends and family…you will want their help once you’re home 😉

Know it may take a few minutes to actually get to your room once you press your call bell.


Of course, if you press your call light and say that something is seriously wrong, someone will come in right away. If it’s not an emergency, be specific when you press your call light. “I would like more pain medication” or “I would like to talk to my nurse about going home.” That way your nurse will be prepared to immediately address your request. And you should always know where your call bell is in case there really is an emergency.

Don’t be shocked, but unless your linens are dirty, most hospitals don’t change your bed sheets every day.

triage 2 x

Most hospitals will change your linens after you deliver your baby. But just like you don’t change the sheets in your own bed every day, most hospitals don’t either, unless your linens are dirty.

Everyone at the hospital wants you to have an easy, safe delivery and a good hospital experience.

No nurse or provider takes care of a patient and thinks “I don’t really care about this one.”  We are all doing the best we can, but if you don’t feel like we’re doing enough, just talk to your nurse, your provider, or the charge nurse.  Just know that we all have your best interests at heart ❤

Until my next delivery ❤


Categories: After Delivery, Labor & Delivery, Random

Tags: , , , ,

2 replies

  1. I’m fortunate enough to work at a small, community hospital where most of the births are attended by midwives who are (usually) able to spend most of the time during active labor in the room with the patient. Thanks for posting these “truths” though. I wish more patients had this kind of info prior to admission, especially the first time moms who often aren’t sure what to expect or base their expectations on TV shows and movies.

    Liked by 1 person

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