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During & After Birth

Your Stay WPB Childrens

What to Expect Day One through Discharge

In this section you will learn about:

When you first arrive to our Women's Pavilion & Birthplace in Raleigh, please enter the hospital through our Adult Emergency Department and they can assist you. If you are 20 weeks gestation or greater, our ED team will transport you to the OB Emergency Department located in our Women’s Pavilion & Birthplace. While in the OB-ED, you will be evaluated by a provider who will determine if it is time for you to be admitted.

If you are scheduled for an induction, a regular appointment or a C-section, please come to directly the Patient Registration where a representative will assist you.

Once in a Labor & Delivery room, you will meet your Labor & Delivery (L&D) nurse, who may start you on an IV. Our traditional maternity care option allows you to labor, give birth and recover in a private labor suite. During labor and delivery, 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 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 inside your room.  Or, baby may be placed on mother's chest if he or she is doing well and there are no signs of complications.  Additionally, if there are no concerns about your newborn's health, 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 or father'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 start breastfeeding. 

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.

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.

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.

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, Café 3000; Panera Bread on the first floor; or the Gift Shop, also located on the first floor.

Additionally, a member of our Environmental Services team will empty your trash daily, while members of your 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 the care of your baby.

Other Things You Should Know
You are encouraged to bring to the hospital your infant car seat carrier so that staff can check it for safety. 

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 11 am 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
In a car seat is the safest way for your baby to travel. North Carolina law requires that your baby travel in an approved car seat. 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.  Before discharge from the Raleigh Campus, one of our car seat technicians will also inspect your car seat to ensure it meets all safety regulations and that your baby sits correctly in it.

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.

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 15 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.





Temporary Visitation Restrictions

Our top priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of our patients, their families and our staff who are working on the frontlines. While we recognize the important role that visits from loved ones play in the healing process, we must have visitation restrictions in order to protect lives.

Visit COVID-19 Information Page