Labor & Delivery
Once you have contacted your obstetrician and been advised to come to the hospital, please park in the lot for the Emergency Department (map) and enter the hospital through the Emergency entrance.
If you preregistered earlier in your pregnancy, there will be no delay in admitting you to the Labor and Delivery Unit. From the Emergency Department, you will be brought to the Birthing Center, where you will be settled into a labor and delivery room. You will meet your nurse, who will assess and take vital signs for you and your baby.
For causes and symptoms of premature labor, see Patient Information Sheet for Premature Labor.
Labor and Delivery
The Labor and Delivery Unit at Greenwich Hospital includes the very latest in equipment and technology, assuring safety and comfort for both mother and baby. The hospital is staffed with a 24-hour obstetrician hospitalist, a neonatology hospitalist and an anesthesiology hospitalist. These physician specialists will provide continuous care if required.
Our private labor, delivery and recovery (LDR) rooms are equipped with color televisions, telephones, lavatories and comfortable birthing beds. Women who feel able are encouraged to walk during the early stages of labor to help them feel more comfortable. One partner or support person may be present during labor and delivery in either the LDR or the cesarean birth room, which is located in the delivery suite. View the online maternity tour. >>
After the birth, mother, partner and baby remain for a while in the same room where the baby was delivered. This can be a special moment for bonding, and new mothers are encouraged to initiate breastfeeding during this time.
Right after birth, your baby will be evaluated by the obstetrician, RN nurse practitioner and/or neonatologist. Blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs are checked, and an APGAR score given. The APGAR is an evaluation of the baby's activity, pulse, grimace, appearance and color. If your child is male, you will be asked about circumcision.
Babies are weighed and given treatment to prevent eye infection. They also receive an essential injection of vitamin K. Identification bands are placed on the baby and both parents, and the baby's footprints and mother's thumbprint are obtained to ensure proper identification.
While many women choose a nonmedicated labor and delivery, anesthesia can be provided, based on the woman's wishes and her physician's recommendation. Epidural anesthesia is most commonly used.
Anesthesia during childbirth will be administered by a specialist affiliated with Greenwich Anesthesiology Associates. This medical group is located within the hospital and provides coverage 24 hours a day. All members are board certified and experienced in obstetrical anesthesia for labor and delivery and cesarean section. An anesthesiologist is available to discuss pain management options before your admission to the hospital and while you are here.
There are many reasons why the decision may be made to perform a cesarean section (c-section). Sometimes, the cesarean is planned in advance due to a multiple birth (twins or more) or an existing medical condition. Other times, a c-section is performed after labor fails to progress and there is concern about the health of the baby or mother.
Anesthesia provided before and during a cesarean section allows women to remain comfortable during the procedure. Most remain awake during the birth. A partner or support person is invited to be present in the cesarean section room. After giving birth, mothers who have had a cesarean are encouraged to hold their baby, breastfeed and bond.
Recovery from a cesarean section will take longer than a vaginal birth. However, patients will generally be up and out of bed within 24 hours with the help of their nurse, and are encouraged to walk and move around. Cesarean section patients stay in the hospital a few extra days. In addition, new mothers who have had a c-section should plan on getting some extra help for when they go home.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
If you had a baby by cesarean section and are pregnant again, you might be a candidate for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). To find out, discuss the reasons for your previous cesarean section with your obstetrician and ask if VBAC might be possible.
An obstetrician is always available to care for patients in the Labor and Delivery Unit. This specialist, also called an OB hospitalist, is a private physician who covers the unit for a 24-hour shift. Your private obstetrician will be fully responsible for your care and delivery, but may ask for assistance from the OB hospitalist during your labor.