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Family BirthPlace New Britain General campus:
(860) 224-5566

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Labor and delivery



You will have a private, beautiful birthing room for your labor, delivery and recovery. Your personal birthing room has a homelike atmosphere, filled with soft colors, artwork, a comfortable rocking chair, and large, expansive windows with a beautiful view.

Your room also has a private bathroom with a shower (some rooms have whirlpool baths) and is fully equipped with everything you may need for delivery, including an advanced monitoring system that allows you the freedom to walk around during labor.

Epidural anesthesia also is available at the Family BirthPlace 24 hours a day by a board-certified anesthesiologist. And, if a Cesarean section is necessary, it can be performed in one of the large, new surgical rooms right on the unit.

A unique feature of the Family BirthPlace is our patient-controlled pain medication system. After a Cesarean delivery, if pain medication is required, you can control and dispense exactly what you need -- when you need it -- with a touch of a button.

Birth Options What When or Why necessary?

Labor Setting

Support Persons You may choose to have your partner, family members and/or close friends assist you during labor and delivery, limiting the number of support people to three. Support persons are encouraged to provide physical and emotional support. You should consider including individuals who are nurturing and will support your needs.
Care Providers Your care will be provided by your OB/GYN provider, OB/GYN residents and Labor and Delivery nurses. In case of an emergency, if your OB/GYN provider is unavailable, an attending OB/GYN physician is always available.

You may be asked to have medical and nursing students present to observe and assist in your care.
Sibling Involvement Older siblings (over age 4) may be present if you choose You may want to include your other children in the birth; however a separate person must be available to support each sibling. This should be planned in advance with your care provider and siblings should attend the sibling class.
Personal Items Items such as photos or other focal points, familiar music, pillows from home, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste or mouthwash. You may use these items for relaxation, comfort and mouth care.
Lighting Dim or low lighting during labor and delivery. Low lighting can be soothing and promote relaxation.
Birth Options What When or Why necessary?

Activity

Position Changes Walking, rocking, rhythmic movements, squatting, sitting-up or side-lying in bed. Frequent position changes improve over-all comfort and circulation. Walking may also speed up your labor.
Shower or Tub Taking a shower or bath during labor. Warm water may help relax and comfort you.
Emptying your Bladder Frequent trips to the bathroom are encouraged. When your bladder is empty, your contractions may feel less painful. In addition, it will allow your baby's head to drop lower into your pelvis
Birth Options What When or Why necessary?

Nutrition

Light Diet Easily digestible foods such as pasta, rice, crackers, toast or soup. While at home in early labor, this food will provide energy. Since your digestion will slow during active labor, avoid foods such as meat, dairy or protein.
Fluids During labor, you will be limited to ice pops and ice chips. After anesthesia, you may still have ice chips and ice pops at your doctor's discretion.
IV An intravenous site and/or fluids, typically a heparin lock, may be placed at the time of obtaining routine blood. An IV site will be necessary to administer pain medications or in an emergency. Intravenous fluids may be given to avoid dehydration during active labor and birth. Required before an epidural.
Birth Options What When or Why necessary?

Comfort Measures

Relaxation and Breathing Concentrated relaxation and patterned breathing methods. Relaxation and breathing techniques help you to concentrate and relax during contractions. These techniques may be learned through childbirth preparation and should be practiced with your partner regularly.
Massage Massage by your partner or self, counter pressure against lower back. Massaging your arms, legs, shoulders and back helps relax tense muscles. A technique of light, circular massage to your abdomen, called effleurage, may also be helpful.
Cold or Heat An ice pack or warm pack against back or lower abdomen. Hot or cold therapy may help relax muscles and alleviate pain or tension.
IV Narcotics Intravenous pain medications such as Nubain. These medications reduce or dull the pain of contractions and help you cope with labor. They may temporarily make you and your baby feel drowsy.
Birth Options What When or Why necessary?

Anesthesia

Epidural Epidural anesthesia is given through a small catheter (tube) threaded through a guiding needle. It is placed in your lower back by an anesthesiologist. Epidural anesthesia relieves pain from the waist down. It can be given throughout labor and adjusted for your needs. An epidural may slow your labor if given too early, or may interfere with your urge to push. You will remain in bed after the epidural is in place, and your bladder may need to be emptied using a catheter.
Paracervical Block A paracervical block is a local anesthetic administered by your physician. A paracervical block injected into the cervix may help alleviate pain during the active/transition stages of labor. It usually lasts about an hour. May cause changes in your baby's heart rate.
Pudenal Block A pudendal block is a local anesthetic given by your physician just before delivery. A pudendal block is injected through the vagina into the pudendal nerve. It may help to numb the vagina, rectum and the area between them.
Birth Options What When or Why necessary?

Monitoring

External Monitors A monitor, secured by belts, is placed on your abdomen to detect your baby's heartbeat and your contractions. Monitoring may be continuous or intermittent, determined by your wishes, activity and your baby's well-being. You may want to ask about a telemetry unit, which allows you to be monitored while out of bed or walking.
Internal Monitors A fetal monitor placed on your baby's scalp for continuous tracing of your baby's heartbeat.

A uterine monitor inserted through the vagina is placed inside your uterus for continuous tracing of your contractions.
Internal monitoring may be used after your water is broken for a more accurate monitor tracing. Babies who are difficult to monitor or show signs of distress may be monitored internally.

Internal uterine monitoring may be used after your water is broken for a more accurate measurement of contraction strength. It may be used if you have had a previous cesarean birth, or if labor is not progressing.
Birth Options What When or Why necessary?

Enhancing Labor

Walking/Out of Bed Walking in your birthing room or in the hallways may enhance your labor. Walking increases your body's circulation of the hormone oxytocin. This may help increase the strength and frequency of contractions. Being upright allows gravity to work with you in bringing your baby down into the birth canal.
Stress Reduction Controlling your environment to decrease stress and anxiety. Bringing items from home such as pictures or other focal points; listening to quiet music; and dim lighting may help you relax.
Rupture of Membranes Your provider may break your water Artificial rupture of membranes may be used to speed up or induce labor. May be necessary for internal monitoring.
Pitocin Pitocin is a synthetic form of the hormone oxytocin that causes uterine contractions, and is administered through an intravenous line. Pitocin may be used to induce your labor or give your natural labor a boost by increasing the strength and frequency of contractions if labor is not progressing.
Prostaglandins These substances may be placed in the form of a small tablet or gel to ready the body for induction of labor.  

After delivery

You will be moved to a nearby private postpartum room with a private bathroom and shower. You and your family can celebrate in your room or in one of the spacious family lounges. Throughout your stay, you will be well cared for by our experienced nurses, who will help you learn to care for your baby. New mothers have the option of rooming in with their newborn or getting some rest while our excellent nursery staff cares for the baby.

Rules for the family in the Operating Room (OR)

To ensure the safety of the patient and newborn your cooperation is Required in the Operating Room.
  • Only 1 person is allowed in the OR areas as directed by the nurse.
  • All other family members must wait in the Family BirthPlace waiting room.
  • Please, no cell phones, beepers, iPods, etc.
  • The support person may sit at the head of the patient only, or as directed by anesthesia or the nurse.
  • Please remain seated at all times.
  • No standing, touching drapes, leaning over drapes during surgery.
  • Pictures of the baby may be taken after delivery only. No video cameras.
  • In the event the patient needs general anesthesia you will be asked to leave and wait outside the room in the RR area.
Support persons who do not comply will be asked to leave the OR. Thank you.