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Pregnancy & Childbirth

Having a Baby at Virginia Hospital Center

For moms who require a hospital stay prior to delivery or additional support after delivery, our new specially equipped rooms are spacious and offer amenities to make their stay more comfortable.

Having a Baby at Virginia Hospital Center is a very personal experience for you and your family. We know that this is one of the most important milestones in your life and our goal is to exceed your expectations during your Hospital stay. Our Women & Infant Health Center is based on a family-centered model of care. You can have as much family support during labor and delivery as you want. If you have a C-section, your baby is brought to your bedside in the recovery room. You can hold your baby right away and, if possible, even start nursing as you feel ready.

After delivery, you have a private room where your baby stays with you as much as possible. Most of your baby’s assessments, as well as a bath, will be done at the bedside. This provides you and your partner a chance to participate in your baby’s nursing care. Your nurse is there to educate you and answer any questions you may have about caring for your newborn.

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What to Expect During Your Stay (for Mom)

  • Your care team consists of physicians, nurses, patient care assistants, residents, and medical students. Members of your care team will check on you frequently to ensure that your needs are being met.
  • The communication board in your room gives details about your plan of care and is updated daily by your nurses. This allows you, your care team and your family members to stay well-informed about your Hospital stay.
  • Daily “quiet time” from 2:00 to 4:00 pm allows families to have time for rest and restorative sleep without disturbance.
  • Planning for your discharge begins upon admission. For moms who had a vaginal delivery, we prepare you to go home in one to two days. We prepare moms who had a C-section to go home in two to three days.

What to Expect During Your Stay (for Baby)

  • Your baby’s care team includes physicians, nurses and patient care assistants, and may also include residents and medical students.
  • Your baby can stay with you in your room during your entire stay.
  • Your baby will undergo some tests and treatments during your stay. Most routine newborn care is provided in your room.

Infant Security

  • Mom, baby, and partner must all wear a Hospital-provided ID bracelet on the wrist to identify you as a family.
  • Mom and baby also wear a security band that is directly connected to our state-of-the-art infant security system.

FREE Wi-Fi Internet Services

Wireless Network: vhcguest. No password required.

Lactation Support

  • Available 7 days/week as needed. Talk to your doctor or nurse to arrange for a lactation consult.
  • All postpartum nurses are Certified Inpatient Breastfeeding Specialists.

Your Room

  • All-private rooms are assigned based on the medical needs of each patient. For the safety of mom and baby, patients remain in the same room during their Hospital stay unless medically necessary to transfer to another room.
  • All rooms offer a sleeper chair or couch for your partner to stay overnight. Please bring additional pillows from home.
  • Please notify a member of your care team if you would like your room temperature adjusted. To keep your room cool on hot days, we recommend keeping the shade closed.
  • Housekeeping staff will clean your room daily.

Food & Nutrition Services

  • You may order each meal directly from Room Service by pressing the “Fork & Knife” button on the phone in your room. Meal orders may be placed daily between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm.
  • Menus can be found in your Discharge Folder along with one coupon for 25% off the Food Court during your entire Hospital stay. Additional guest meals through Room Service are $8.
  • Family Nourishment Areas with refrigerators are available to you where you can store food and non-alcoholic beverages brought from home for 24 hours. All items must be labeled with a name and date or will be discarded.

Getting Ready for Discharge

  • Preparation for discharge begins when your baby is born. We will prepare you for going home by teaching you about mom care, baby care, signs and symptoms that will require your physician’s immediate attention and resources for help when you go home.
  • Most patients are ready for discharge between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Your physicians and nurses will provide frequent updates on your discharge plan.
  • For your convenience prior to discharge, you may fill your prescriptions at the Hospital’s Outpatient Pharmacy, located next to the Food Court.

Birth Certificate & Social Security Number for My Baby

The Hospital’s Birth Registrar will bring the necessary Birth Certificate & Social Security Number paperwork to your room. You must complete this paperwork prior to discharge. The Birth Registrar will pick up the paperwork from your room and is available to answer any questions and to assist you in the process.

Why Your Hospital’s Cesarean Delivery Rate Matters

You’ve decided where you want to give birth, but do you know your hospital’s Cesarean delivery rate? You should.

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“The likelihood of first-time moms with low-risk pregnancies having a Cesarean section is most often determined by the hospital where they give birth.” — Michael Moxley, MD, OB/GYN, FACOG, Director of Obstetric Services.

In 2011, one in three women in the U.S. gave birth by Cesarean section, a 60% increase since 1996, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The rapid increase in Cesarean births raised concern that it was overused without clear evidence of improved maternal or newborn outcomes. New guidelines developed by ACOG and the Society for Maternal- Fetal Medicine in 2014 addressed how to safely reduce the rate of primary Cesarean births by allowing women to labor longer. (A primary Cesarean refers to moms giving birth for the first time for low-risk, uncomplicated deliveries.)

Over the past few years, Virginia Hospital Center has taken steps to significantly lower the number of primary Cesarean deliveries.

“Everybody came together, including OB/GYNs, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, midwives, our colleagues at Kaiser Permanente, hospital residents, labor & delivery nurses, and administrators and said we’re going to work hard at this. Their work included nurse and provider education focusing on first-time moms and allowing enough time for them to go into labor on their own.” — Mike Fernandez, MD, FACOG, Chair of OB/GYN.

And, that work has paid off. In 2014, Virginia Hospital Center’s primary Cesarean rate was 33%; currently, it’s 20.9% as of November 2016, compared to an average Cesarean rate of 32.7% at surrounding area hospitals.

“Our data shows that we were able to safely accomplish this without an increase in forceps, vacuum or episiotomies. There were no increases in birth injuries or admissions to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.” — Fran Williams, BSN, RN, RNC-OB, Patient Care Director, Labor & Delivery.

“This involved teamwork with administration, clinicians and staff working together with enormous determination to see results. The success of this effort was part of the reason the Hospital won the competitive Leapfrog Top Teaching Hospital award for 2016.” — Leah Binder, President & CEO of The Leapfrog Group, Forbes.com, December 2016.

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If you have any questions about Admissions and Registration, please call at 703.558.6114.


Our Patients Say

Virginia Hospital Center Is the Best Place to Have a Baby.

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