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During & After Birth

Your Stay WPB Childrens

At WakeMed, we provide a flexible, family-centered environment with modern, tasteful décor aimed at making you feel comfortable and relaxed. Most importantly, we have the latest technology necessary support you and your baby.

What to Expect Day One through Discharge

In this section you will learn about:


If you are 20 weeks along or more, you should enter through the Women’s Pavilion entrance and let someone at the security desk know you need to be seen. It is not required that you enter through main emergency department.

If you are an expectant mother with a scheduled procedure, you should enter through the Women’s Pavilion and go to patient registration. A representative will collect your information. Once your information is complete, a representative will escort you to an inpatient room.

Private, Home-Like Suites

Our private suites for labor, delivery and recovery feature a shower and tub with whirlpool jets for hydrotherapy during labor. There is also a sleep couch, rocking chair and bistro table. Each room includes a mini-refrigerator, video player/TV and WiFi for Internet access. Just down the hall, you’ll have access to an ice machine, microwave and vending options. 


Once in a Labor & Delivery room, you will meet your Labor & Delivery nurse, who may start you on an IV. During this time, you will be cared for by an experienced L&D nurse, who will assist you in having the most positive birth experience possible.

Your L&D nurse will ask you several questions regarding your personal health and birth plan (see WakeMed Birth Day Wish List for more guidance), for instance, do you wish to have a natural birth or an epidural?  Your nurse will continue to work closely with you throughout the entire labor and delivery process to ensure we meet your preferences as best we can. 

At this point, based on your wishes, you may or may not receive certain medications, such as an epidural. Meanwhile, up to four people (unless otherwise noted) are allowed to be in the room with you as you labor and give birth. If you are in active labor when you arrive to the hospital, you may not see your obstetrician until it is time for the delivery of your baby. If you are here for a scheduled induction, you will see and speak with your obstetrician prior to delivery.


Once your baby is born, he or she will be placed in a warmer located directly in your room. If there are no concerns about your newborn's health or well-being, he or she will be stabilized right there beside you, and we will encourage you to start skin-to-skin immediately. Skin-to-skin is when a naked baby is held against his or her mother's naked skin.

You and your baby will stay in your labor and delivery room for around two hours. During this time, your obstetrician will make any necessary repairs to your body, and your baby will be weighed and measured. This is an important time for you and your baby to bond and possibly breastfeed.

Cesarean Section 

If your baby's birth requires a Cesarean delivery, you will start off in a Labor & Delivery room and then go to a recovery room for about an hour after surgery. Your surgery will take place in an operating room (OR), and one person will be allowed in the OR with you. You will be cared for by the same nurse before and after your surgery, and while you are recovering, only one person will be allowed in the recovery room with you. You will typically have the chance to see your baby while you are still in the OR, barring any complications, and based on your stability during recovery, your baby will be brought to you in your room.

Your incision may be painful and require medication for pain control. Please don't hesitate to ask your nurse for pain medication as needed. Keep the incision clean and dry. If you are permitted to take a shower, dry the incision carefully after showering.

Call your nurse to assist you when you are ready to get out of bed. Walking is helpful to prevent complications, to stimulate your bowels and to relieve soreness from the incision. Do not lift objects heavier than your baby or do vigorous exercise until instructed to do so by your provider. Climb steps slowly and only when necessary. 

  • Examine your incision daily for any redness, swelling, open areas or drainage.
  • Staples are removed within seven days after surgery either: 
  • before you leave the hospital.
  • in the provider's office.
  • by a home health nurse.
  • If steri strips were applied to your incision, you may remove them in four to five days.
  • While it is fine to take showers, check with your provider before taking a bath in the tub.

Pain Management 

Patient comfort is extremely important to us. At WakeMed Raleigh Campus, we closely monitor our patients' comfort levels and discuss pain relief options with them. We ask our patients to please speak up if they feel pain during treatment, examination or while in bed. 

Post-Partum Care 

After delivery, you will be moved into a post-partum room, where you will stay for an average of two days.  However, if you've had a Caesarean section, you will stay for an average of three to four days. A nurse with expertise in caring for mothers and newborns will help you with the physical and emotional changes experienced with the birth of a baby. All necessary supplies for you and your baby are kept in your room or brought to you as needed.

As part of our family-centered approach, the Women's Pavilion & Birthplace encourages rooming-in, where your baby is kept in the room with you rather than in the nursery. This is a special time for you to get to know your newborn and learn how to care for him/her and for yourself, and it is especially helpful for those who are breastfeeding.  Studies show that moms rest better when their babies room-in with them, and babies do better with breastfeeding because mother can learn early feeding cues.

In the first 24 hours of your stay, both you and your baby will be examined every four hours.  You will be examined to ensure you are healing properly after birth and there are no post-birth complications, and baby will be assessed for temperature, heart rate and respiratory health.  In the second 24 hours of your stay, you and baby will be assessed every 12 hours.  Additionally, your obstetrician will visit you once a day.  Baby's pediatrician will visit him or her once a day as well.

Local Lodging 

Overnight visitors are allowed to stay in the patient’s room with the supervising nurse’s approval. A limited number of roll-away beds are available. See a list of hotels and motels near WakeMed Raleigh Campus.

Breastfeeding Support

If you are breastfeeding, a certified lactation specialist will be notified and will assist with any needs you may have.  Important to note — all of our nurses are trained to give lactation support and are instrumental in helping our moms be successful with breastfeeding.  Some of our bedside nurses also have lactation certifications and can help with more complex issues.

Level III and IV Nurseries 

In the event you encounter any problems with your baby's birth, or if your baby requires special attention, you can rest assured that your baby is in good hands.

WakeMed Raleigh has a Level IV neonatal intensive care that is a world leader in developmentally supportive care for babies. 

WakeMed Cary Hospital has a Special Care Nursery providing care for babies needing short-term intensive care.

WakeMed North is also a Level III Special Care Nursery equipped with incubators, ventilators and the specialists trained to care for newborns requiring intensive medical care after birth.

Photos and Birth Certificate

Also during your two-day stay, you will have an opportunity to have your baby photographed by a professional photographer - please feel free to bring any special outfits or props.  And you will also receive the information and paperwork necessary to send away for a birth certificate for your little one. 

Use of Video and Still Photography

Videotaping is permitted after the baby is delivered. Photos and video are not permitted during delivery or during any procedures involving mom or baby at any time during the hospital stay. Taking photos or videotaping staff or providers is not permitted without their prior approval. Photos and video must not include other patients, their babies or visitors.

Important Treatments and Testing for Baby

You can expect that your baby will receive several treatments and tests while you are in the hospital.  Many can be performed in your room if you wish. They include:

  • Vitamin K & Erythromycin Ointment — Within the first two hours of birth, your baby will receive a shot (in the thigh) of Vitamin K to help with blood clotting and erythromycin ointment on his or her eyes to protect him or her from any bacteria picked up in the birth canal.
  • Metabolic Screening — This test is mandated by the federal government and will be given to your baby at least 24 hours after birth. It screens for several illnesses.
  • Hearing Screening — The National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that a hearing screening be done on every baby shortly after birth. WakeMed will perform a hearing screening on every baby born at this hospital before they leave. Your baby's hearing will be screened using a simple, non-invasive method called Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR). Trained hospital staff will conduct the screening.
  • Bilirubin Check — At 12 hours and 24 hours post birth, your baby's bilirubin level (a pigment created by the normal breakdown of red blood cells) will be checked to ensure the liver is functioning properly. This is a non-invasive procedure that is done via a light on the forehead. Preferably, your baby will be sleeping during this test.
  • Hepatitis B Shot — We recommend that all babies receive their first Hepatitis B shot in the hospital but require parent consent first.
  • Circumcision — If you desire, your baby boy will be circumcised the day after birth or prior to discharge. This procedure will not be performed in your room, but your baby will typically return to you within two hours. Generally, this procedure is performed by your obstetrician; however, some pediatricians perform the procedure as well.
  • Bath — Your baby will receive his or her first bath in your room, from your nurse, at least 6 hours after birth. Your nurse will also take this opportunity to teach you about bathing your baby.

Meals & Room Supplies

Each day during your stay, you will make your meal and beverage selections. Meals will be delivered to you in your room by our Food & Nutrition Services staff or a member of your nursing team. Your partner, or anyone staying with you in your room, can purchase meals and/or snacks in our hospital cafeteria

A member of our Environmental Services team will empty your trash daily.

Additionally, members of our nursing team will keep your room stocked with fresh bath towels if you need them, as well as diapers, wipes, burp cloths and blankets for your baby. We also provide formula to parents who choose not to breastfeed during their stay with us. Please note that we will not provide you with pacifiers for your baby during your stay.

Videotaping and Photos

Videotaping is permitted after the baby is delivered. Photos and video are not permitted during delivery or during any procedures involving mom or baby at any time during the hospital stay. Taking photos or videotaping staff or providers is not permitted without their prior approval. Photos and video must not include other patients, their babies or visitors.


A nurse will come to your room to give you discharge instructions and education.  It is our goal to discharge all families by 12 pm each day. During this process, the nurse will verify your hospital band next to your baby's band one last time.  You will be allowed to keep one of your baby's hospital bands.

Car Seat Safety

Your baby's car seat is the safest way for him/her to travel. North Carolina law requires that your baby travel in an approved car seat. 

At WakeMed, we are dedicated to the safety of your baby. We recommend that you read the car seat safety booklet, install the seat in your vehicle and become familiar with the car seat prior to your baby's birth. Many local fire, EMS and law enforcement personnel are certified in car seat installation and safety. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration is a great place to learn more about keeping your precious new baby safe on the road.

Hand Washing

Preventing the spread of disease and infection can be as simple as washing your hands. In a hospital setting, you should wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds and turn off the faucet with a paper towel before and after visiting with a patient. Antibacterial hand gel is acceptable if hands are not visibly soiled.