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EmailChildbirth Education team

Phone: 703.558.2468

Labor & Delivery

Count on the birth care team at Virginia Hospital Center to follow your birth plan as closely as possible while keeping you and your baby safe.

Preregister for Your Delivery

Save time when you come to the Hospital to have your baby. Complete preadmission forms a few weeks before your due date. You can complete the preregistration form online or print a paper preadmission questionnaire [PDF] to mail in.

Labor & Delivery Specialists

Rely on the experience and support of your prenatal care provider to help you through childbirth. A maternal fetal medicine specialist is available if complications occur during labor and delivery.

If you have a doula—a birth coach—she can be by your side during labor and delivery. Let our staff know if you plan to have a doula.

What to Expect During Labor

When you arrive at the birth center, a nurse will determine your stage of labor. Your nurse will monitor your health and your baby’s health until it’s time to deliver.

Whenever possible, your care team will allow your labor to progress naturally. Your care team has ways to induce or speed up labor to protect your health and your baby’s health if needed. You can walk the halls or use an exercise ball during the early stages of labor to help you stay comfortable.

Managing Labor Pain

Discuss your options for pain management with your doctor. Choose from a variety of methods, including:

  • Birthing balls – Large rubber balls you can sit on to lessen discomfort and open your hips for birth
  • Breathing techniques
  • Epidural anesthesia – An injection that numbs the body from the waist down
  • Intravenous (IV) pain medication
  • Massage therapy

Cesarean Birth

Your doctor may recommend a Cesarean delivery if you:
• Experience complications during labor
• Have a baby in the breech position (bottom-down instead of head-down)
• Have a high-risk pregnancy
• Have a history of gynecological surgery

Recovery After Cesarean Delivery

If you have a Cesarean delivery, you’ll stay a night or two longer in the Hospital. A Cesarean delivery is an abdominal surgery and requires six weeks to heal properly. When you go home, ask for help with:

  • Breastfeeding your baby
  • Going up and down stairs
  • Lifting your baby
  • Running errands

Visitors During Labor & Delivery

You are welcome to have visitors in your labor and delivery suite while you give birth. If you have a Cesarean delivery, you can have one support person in the surgical room with you.

Bella Baby Photography

Capture your baby’s first moments with professional photography. Bella Baby Photography has experience taking photos in the hospital with a natural and artistic style. Your photos can include the whole family to help you remember your special experience.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

If your baby needs special medical care following delivery, rest assured they’ll receive 24/7 attention in our NICU.

Access Mayo Clinic’s Expertise

As part of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, Virginia Hospital Center brings the world-renowned expertise and knowledge of Mayo Clinic to our community. How can I access the expertise of Mayo Clinic? It’s simple – all you need is to be under the care of a physician on Virginia Hospital’s Center medical Staff. 

Find a VHC Doctor Access the Mayo Clinic Health Library

Related Locations

  • Main Hospital
    Main Hospital

    703-558-5000

    1701 N George Mason Drive
    Arlington, VA 22205