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Birthing Information for Mothers & Partners

Where to Go

When you think you're going into labor, contact your doctor right away. He or she will help you decide when to come to the Hospital. When you arrive at Virginia Hospital Center, come directly to Women and Infant Health on the third floor. On your arrival you'll be examined; if you are beginning labor, you will be shown to a birthing suite. Once you're in your suite, one of our specially trained labor and delivery nurses will make you as comfortable as possible. The nurse will work with you through your labor, helping you during the entire process. Please communicate your preferences regarding the breathing techniques, position changes, massage, shower, medications to your nurses and your doctor so that they can better meet your needs.

Your support person and anyone else you would like to have with you can stay in your room throughout your labor and delivery. In order to protect your privacy, the Hospital will not give out information concerning your condition or your baby's. If family members and friends wish, they can wait in the Family Waiting Room outside the Labor and Delivery area, where your support person can keep them up to date. If you choose we can post your baby's first picture in our web nursery for your friends and family to view.

What to Bring

The arrival of your new son or daughter is a time of excitement and joy. It's often a hectic time as well, so it can be difficult to remember to pack everything that you need to bring to the Hospital.

Four weeks before the baby's due date, you should make sure you have the following items. Pack as many beforehand as you can. Use the following checklist as a guide to getting organized for the big event.

Items For Mom

  • Nightgown and bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Bra and nursing bra
  • Breast pads
  • Socks (several pair)
  • Underwear (several pair)
  • Sanitary napkins (plenty)
  • Hair ties, "scrunchies"
  • Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, lip balm, lotion, deodorant
  • Comfortable and loose fitting clothing to wear home

Items For Baby

  • Going home outfit for baby
  • Receiving blanket
  • Diapers
  • Warm clothing to wear home/heavy bunting or blanket (if cold weather)
  • Baby socks
  • Baby hat (especially for cold weather climates)
  • Baby car seat. (Call the Auto Safety Hotline at 1.888.DASH.2.DOT for more information on the safety rating of a particular model.) A car seat is required by law and should be properly installed in your car before you go to the Hospital.

Items For Labor Coach

  • Stopwatch, or watch with a second hand for timing contractions
  • Phone list of contacts to announce birth to friends and family; phone card, calling card, or change for calls
  • Massage rollers, massage oils to relieve back pain due to labor
  • The object you've chosen to use to focus your attention during labor (the "focal point")

Items For Hospital Staff

  • Health plan insurance card
  • Hospital admissions papers (you may have to be pre-admitted)
  • Pregnancy medical file; over-the-counter and prescription medication information
  • Birth plan

Other Important Items

  • Money for parking
  • Camera, still or video or both, film, batteries, videotapes
  • Books, magazines
  • Music (portable music player; favorite tapes, or CDs)
  • Inspirational items such as rocks, crystals, candles, lockets, photographs, etc.

Safety First

We take special measures to ensure that your baby is always safe and secure while at the Hospital. Women and Infant Health is equipped with an advanced infant security system. When your baby is born, you, your baby and one other person you designate will receive matching identification bracelets. These bracelets work with our advanced security system. Only a person with a band matching the baby's, or the nurses of Women and Infant Health, can take your baby out of your room or out of the nursery. We will also check these bands before you go home, so please leave them on until you are discharged.

For additional security you can identify the staff of Women and Infant Health by our distinctive teal-colored scrub suits and our pink Virginia Hospital Center picture identification cards.

Where to Find Us

1701 N. George Mason Drive | Arlington, VA 22205-3698 | tel 703.558.5000
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