Here’s some information we’ve gleaned while working at Princeton as doulas. We hope these tips will help make your birthing experience as wonderful as possible:
- It’s always important to talk to your care provider about your plans for birth. This provides an opportunity for you to discuss different options and discover what protocols are routine for your care provider. You might be surprised to discover that the things that are important to you are routine for normal, uncomplicated births at Princeton. It is always a good idea to create a birth plan. Your care provider will add this to your chart so the nurses can pull it out when you arrive at the birthing suites. This will let them know your preferences, and that you have already discussed them with your care provider. (You may also want to print a copy and bring it with you, just in case.) And share your birth plan with your doula.
Not sure what you want in your birth plan? Attending our childbirth classes will help you learn about all your options and when/why they are important.
- Preregistration: during your pregnancy, you can get the registration paperwork done, so you don’t have to do it during labor. This is not required, but can save you dealing with it between contractions. Go to the front desk near the North Entrance (this used to be the Main Entrance before the renovations, and is right near the gift shop.) You can walk across the street from Simon Williamson Clinic after a regular visit to take care of it. Tell them you want to preregister for Labor and Delivery. You will need your insurance information and driver’s license, and to provide an emergency contact.
Then, when you arrive in labor, you will just have to look over this info to make sure it’s correct.
- When you think you may be in labor: Call your doula and let her know. Please DON’T TEXT if you want to be sure she got your message!
- When you are sure you are in labor, or when you are on your way, (especially if it’s night time,) call Simon Williamson Clinic to let your care provider know. At night, you will get their answering service. Because many times families arrive in advanced stages of labor, it’s important that care providers have a heads up so they can get there on time for your birth. Although the nurses can handle everything if need be, it’s best if there is an OB or CNM at the hospital when you give birth.
- When you are on your way to the hospital, if things are moving fast, call Labor and Delivery to let them know you are coming 205-783-3270.
- Parking: you can always park in the deck. At night you can park near the Emergency Room
- Day time The closest entrance to the parking deck is opposite the Hanes Building which is next to the deck. This entrance is between the East Entrance and the Emergency Room Entrance. It is open 6am-8pm. When you go in this door, turn right and go up to the 4th floor in first elevator you see. On exiting the elevator you will be at the back entrance to the birthing suites.
- Night time If you park in the lot in front of the Emergency Room entrance, you’d better move it after the birth. When you come into the Emergency Room, go to the triage desk and let them know you are in labor. They will call Labor and Delivery to send a nurse down to get you. If you call Labor and Delivery when you are on your way, the nurse might already be there. 205-783-3270
- Admission Assessment: there is a list of questions the nurses will ask you when you arrive. If labor is progressing fast, they know how to cut to the critical questions and save the rest for later.
- Birth Tub. There are tubs in every birth suite. If your labor is normal, your nurse can get permission from your care provider for you to use it.
- Intermittent monitoring is available for normal labors, just ask. VBAC labors require continuous monitoring, and some inductions may as well. Wireless monitors are available and make it easy for you to walk around the room and into the bathroom and shower if you want. Everyone needs a good 20-30 minute baseline monitoring strip to make sure everything is OK. Then you can ask for intermittent monitoring.
- Moving around during labor want to walk around? Princeton nurses encourage ambulation and changing positions.
Food for family there is a Subway in the building that is open 7 days a week from 6:30am – 9pm.
- There is a cafeteria open Monday-Friday from 6:30am – 6:30pm
- There is a coffee shop open Monday-Friday from 6:30am-2pm. If you need coffee at other times, ask a nurse, she will usually be able to find some.
Food for you during labor the nurses will always bring you ice, and they have snacks too. For a normal, un-medicated labor, the nurses will encourage you to eat light snacks. If you are having a VBAC or Induction, you can often get a “clear liquid tray”. You can bring your own snacks and clear liquids. Honey sticks are a great clear liquid option!
After birth at Princeton, you stay in your birth suite for two hours after your placenta is born and any repair is complete. So you have plenty of uninterrupted time for skin to skin bonding and breastfeeding. When you are ready, you will transfer to a postpartum room, also on the 4th floor.
Baby's first Bath the routine is to wait for 24 hours, and then to help you give your baby his/her first bath.
We hope you have a beautiful birth AND a healthy parent and baby! Let us know if we can help
~ BirthWise in Birmingham