What to Expect

Arriving For Your Delivery

All expectant mothers – including those in active labor or scheduled for induction or a C-section – should enter Bay Medical-Sacred Heart through the Bonita Avenue entrance. Parking is available across Bonita Avenue in Lots M, N, and O. If Mom is in active labor, please phone ahead. Upon your arrival, park in the stork parking just to the right of the Women’s & Children’s Pavilion entrance. After entering the building, pass through the lobby and take Elevator A on the right to the Family Birth Center on the third floor. When arriving during labor, please ensure that a support person remains available and in contact with the Family Birth Center should the birth of your baby be delayed, and you are sent home.

If you have pre-registered for a ceasarean section, you will be scheduled for a pre-operative assessment several days prior to your delivery date. This includes lab work and arrangements for anesthesia. If you have not pre-registered, you may take care of those arrangements when entering the Family Birth Center.

You will be taken to your labor, delivery and recovery (LDR) suite, where you will put on a gown and have a fetal monitor applied. Your doctor will be called and a registered nurse will assess you and start an IV. Your nurse will use many techniques to assist you with the discomfort of labor, including medications and epidural anesthesia.


Labor & Delivery

The Labor & Delivery suite can accommodate up to three family members or friends during labor in addition to your primary support person. Others can be rotated in, but only three visitors are allowed in the suite at one time. A recliner is available for Dad or other support person. During delivery, however, only two people in addition to the primary support person may remain in the room.

Following the birth of your baby, you will remain in the suite for recovery, which takes at least two hours, and you will be allowed visitors once you and your baby are stabilized. The nursery will take measurements, complete an assessment and give your child a bath.

Following recovery, you will be taken to your private room for the remainder of your stay, usually from one to three days.


Scheduled C-Sections

Please arrive at Bay Medical-Sacred Heart’s Family Birth Center at your scheduled time to ensure there is ample time for the necessary preparations. We recommend that you leave jewelry, including body piercings, at home. Please do not chew gum, eat or drink anything after midnight before your day of surgery.

You will be taken to a labor, delivery and recovery suite, where you will change into a gown and have a fetal monitor applied. A registered nurse will assess you, start an IV, shave your groin area (if needed) and insert a urinary catheter to keep your bladder empty.

You will be wheeled into the operating room for the C-section and anesthesia will be administered. One support person is allowed in the OR, provided your anesthesia allows you to remain awake.

Typical C-sections take about an hour, from delivery to closing up your uterus and abdomen. You will be returned to your suite for recovery, which takes two hours. Visitors will be allowed once both you and your baby are stabilized.

Following recovery, you will be taken to your private room on the floor near the LDR suite area for the remainder of your stay, usually from two to three days.


Post-Partum Care

Following the birth of your new baby, you will spend between one to three days in your private room at the Family Birth Center before you go home.

This is the perfect time to begin bonding with your baby, and you are encouraged to spend as much time with her or him as possible. But, considering the tiring ordeal of labor and delivery, you will need your rest and your personal nurse will attend to your needs as necessary. This is the perfect opportunity to learn basic baby care techniques to prepare you and your family for your transition to home. Your nurses will have educational materials for you to review for your own personal care as well as for your baby at home.



The security of mother and baby are of the utmost importance at Bay Medical-Sacred Heart where we use the latest measures to ensure your safety and comfort. Our Women’s & Children’s Pavilion is a secure unit. No one may enter or exit the floor without staff clearance. Additionally, a security sensor secured to your baby will lock down doors, elevators and set off alarms should your baby come within range of the detector. Another security measure is for you and your baby to have matching identification bands. All Family Birth Center staff members will be wearing pink identification badges with photographs; do not give your infant to anyone who does not display the appropriate badge. If you are unsure about a staff person, contact your nurse immediately.

You can also assist us in providing the safest environment possible by following these few guidelines:

  • Compare your bracelet with your infant’s every time your baby is brought to you.
  • Do not attempt to remove your baby’s bracelet and other security devices.
  • Do not ever leave your baby unattended, even when going to the bathroom or taking a shower.
  • Make sure you hand off your baby only to those wearing the pink ID badges.
  • Report all suspicious activity to your nurse immediately.
  • Question any unfamiliar person entering your room, even those wearing hospital uniforms.
  • Encourage your family and visitors to follow Bay Medical-Sacred Heart’s policies and guidelines.


Preparing To Go Home

You will be discharged by your physician, and your baby will be discharged by the pediatrician. In rare cases, some babies need to stay longer for antibiotics, other medical treatment or tests to ensure they are healthy. If this is the case, it will be fully explained to you.

When you both have been discharged by your physicians, your nurse will complete final arrangements and have the baby’s security sensor removed. A member of our staff will escort you to the lobby and wait with you while Dad or another support person pulls your automobile up to the front door. Your baby must be placed in a properly-installed infant carrier/car seat, so please become familiar with their use. We recommend that you visit your local police or fire department to learn how to safely install the carrier/car seat in the car and how to safely place your baby in the seat.