New Horizons Women&039s Care | Women&039s Health Arizona
information about labor and delivery
general information about pregnancy
Whether it’s your first baby or your third, new horizons women’s care is here for you. If you have questions about pregnancy care at New Horizons Women’s Care, please see our pregnancy fact sheet and list of safe medications here.
Your due date is approaching and it’s time to pack for the hospital. here’s what you’ll need to pack for labor and afterward in your hospital bag.
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- comfortable clothes to wear at home, nursing bra/sports bra, flip flops/slippers, toiletries, special pillow, lotion/massage tools, lip balm, and music/speaker
- two suits, blanket, baby book and car seat (installed) chandler fire department offers free child safety seat inspections. To schedule an appointment, email chandler fire or call 480-782-2120 (approximately 20 minutes per car seat). you do not need to be a chandler resident.
- change of clothes, sweatshirt (it is cold in the hospital), toiletries, camera, chargers, cell phone, cash for vending machines, snacks (there is a refrigerator in each delivery room)
- reception of blankets, diapers, wipes and bath items for babies. new moms receive sanitary napkins and disposable mesh underwear to facilitate postpartum care.
- classes, community support groups, and the baby your baby app
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arriving at the hospital
Once you arrive at the hospital, you will first be evaluated in OB triage, which is like the emergency department but for pregnant patients. here, you can have the same visitor with you during this time. Your background information regarding your pregnancy and health history, including an updated cervical exam, will be collected. the nurses will assess your cervix, vital signs, monitor the baby and contractions, and your pain level. you may also have an ultrasound, blood test, or urine test during this time. the nurses will then contact a new horizons women’s care (nhwc) doctor regarding your care. it is the obstetric triage that will determine if you are admitted to the hospital in active labor, if you need more tests, or if you are stable for discharge.
active labor is defined by painful contractions and cervical changes. Active labor begins when you are 3 to 6 centimeters dilated, this will be determined by your specialized hospital team with serial cervical exams. once you are actively increasing cervical change, you will be admitted. the hospital team contacts an nhwc doctor.
ripening is a normal process of softening and opening of the cervix before labor begins. During labor, cervical dilation allows your baby to pass through your birth canal. cervical ripening often occurs on its own, naturally. however, some women may benefit from assisted cervical ripening. usually, the drug used for the ripening of the cervix is misoprostol. this can be taken orally or inserted vaginally. during this time, your baby’s heart rate and her contractions will be monitored. the drug can be administered twice, four hours apart. two hours after your second dose, you may qualify to be discharged if you have not gone into active labor and there are no other signs of concern. if your cervix continues to progress or if there are concerns with you or your baby, you will be admitted to the hospital.
physician office will coordinate with the hospital to schedule a cervical ripening/induction medical appointment when ordered by your nhwc provider. you will be asked to call two hours before your scheduled appointment. appointments are based on the availability and safety of staff at the hospital. in some cases, your appointment may be delayed and the hospital will call you to come in when they can best accommodate you.
Your nhwc provider may order elective
elective cervical ripening/induction at 39 weeks at your and his discretion. cervical induction/ripening appointments take priority over elective appointments. elective cervical ripening does not have appointments. therefore, you will be called in when there is free and personal space in the hospital.
management of labor pain
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breathingwhen labor comes, you may want to try certain pain control methods to help ease the pain of labor. breathing is an important handling technique. this allows your body and baby to keep oxygenated blood circulating throughout your system during and between contractions. Slow, steady breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth can help you stay focused and relaxed. this helps regulate your pain during early, active labor. It can also be beneficial during your breathing exercises to focus on each muscle group to focus and relax during a contraction. starting from the head and going down the body, acknowledging each muscle and relaxing it, allowing the body to do the heavy labor of delivery.
intravenous pain medicationsintravenous pain relievers are narcotic medications that have been shown to be safe during pregnancy. these medications usually also relieve pain rather than eliminate it completely and allow you to progress through labor. The drug can be given through an IV or an injection, which is usually placed in the leg. IV administration usually works faster for pain relief, lasting about one to two hours. medicine given as an injection will take longer to work but will last longer, closer to three to four hours. the narcotics enter your bloodstream so that both you and your baby can become drowsy during the period of time it is working. this means you are limited in the doses you can take during labor, nor can they be given close to delivery, allowing both you and the baby to stay alert and deliver safely.
Nitrous Oxide GasNitrous Oxide Gas is the newest option at dignity health centers. this medicine is self-administered, allowing you to control pain relief. it does not delay labor or cause significant risk to your baby. this medication sets in quickly after you inhale it and leaves your system quickly once you stop. this option doesn’t take away all the pain, but it does relieve it, allowing you to progress through labor.
epiduralepidural anesthesia is a procedure with medication that is given through an IV tube in the back. Before the procedure, you will need an IV for fluids and a blood draw. an anesthesiologist will place your epidural. Before an epidural, your hospital team will evaluate you to ensure your safety. once in place, you will usually have pain relief from your abdomen to your toes and it will set in within 20 minutes. This option should lessen contraction pain in your abdomen, but should not hinder your ability to feel pressure and push once it’s time. once positioned, your movement will be limited to the delivery bed. epidurals are highly effective options for pain management for 12 to 15 hours. It is important to be in active labor with cervical change before receiving an epidural, so that you have the best chance of having adequate pain control during labor. epidurals can also provide anesthesia for a surgical delivery or cesarean section.
breastfeedingbreastfeeding can be an intimidating process, but rest assured, there are plenty of resources and in-person education to help you reach your goals. this will start very soon after delivery!
follow-up appointmentspediatricians will see your baby in the hospital most likely the day after delivery. you are responsible for scheduling outpatient appointments with the pediatrician of your choice for your newborn. your hospital nhwc provider will recommend postpartum follow-up appointments.
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