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What to Expect at the Hospital

Knowing what to expect before you arrive at the hospital can prepare the way for a positive birthing experience. At Norton Women's Care, our goal is to provide very good care for you and your family. We know that having a baby can be a very emotional time, and we will be supportive and attentive to your needs.

If Your Labor Is Uncertain

You may be monitored for a couple of hours in a special triage area. Only one adult visitor is permitted in the labor triage unit. No children, please.

If You Are in True Labor

You will be admitted for the delivery of your baby. Be sure to have your insurance card, photo ID and other important papers with you.

You will be asked to sign consent forms that spell out the procedure and the risks. Your signature shows that you understand your care and give permission for your caregivers to provide it.

When You Enter the Labor Area


You will be asked to change into a hospital gown and will be examined to determine how close you are to delivery.


Soon after you are admitted, a nurse will place an intravenous (IV) needle attached to a tube into your arm or wrist. This IV will be used as needed throughout labor, delivery and recovery to deliver fluids, medications or (in an emergency) blood.

Fetal Monitoring

An electronic fetal monitoring device will be used to monitor your baby during your labor. This equipment records the unborn baby's heart rate and movements. It also shows the contractions of the uterus.

Pain Management

Helping you manage your pain is important to us. We want to make sure your pain is limited while you are here. Let your nurse know if the medications are not controlling your pain.

Food and Drink

You may not be able to eat or drink, but you may be allowed ice chips or popsicles during labor. Once a diet has been ordered, we will provide food as necessary. We do have sodas and juice available for patients.


Depending on the status of your labor, your activity may be limited. We will do our very best to accommodate your needs. Please speak to your physician if you have questions about this.

Your Care Team at Norton Women's Care

Your doctor will check on your progress periodically throughout labor.  Your labor and delivery nurse will be in and out of the room frequently. The nurse will do assessments, check your heart rate and blood pressure, and give any medications. Your contractions will be timed, and your baby's well-being will be checked regularly.

At night, the nurses are very conscientious when they enter the room. However, if they need to do an assessment or tend to something immediately, they will wake you.

This team focuses on the physical and emotional needs of families during labor and delivery. They will guide and support you and your family throughout this special time. If you have any concerns or questions, don't hesitate to ask your nurse or request to speak to the charge nurse.

Examinations and Assessments

New mothers are checked frequently the first several hours after delivery. To maintain privacy, visitors will be asked to leave the room while care is being provided.

After your initial recovery, vital signs will be taken every four to eight hours, and your nurse will assess your condition each morning and evening. Blood is drawn around 4 a.m. to provide important information to your physician each day.

Pain Management

Helping you manage your pain is important to us. We want to make sure your pain is limited while you are here. Let your nurse know if the medications are not controlling your pain.

Bedside Nursing Reports

At the change of each shift, the nurses who are managing your care will meet in your room for bedside reporting. Nursing shift reports are intended to enhance the continuity and quality of nursing care delivered by providing results of nursing assessments, summarizing medical information and drawing attention to specific nursing interventions and goals anticipated during the upcoming shift.

Our team holds this meeting at your bedside to provide an opportunity for you and your caregivers to discuss and make decisions about your care. Most importantly, it enables you to communicate any medical or care issues that are important to you.


Care for Your Baby

Your pediatrician will assess your baby every day. The nurse will assess and bathe your baby every morning and assess and weigh your baby every evening.

All members of the nursing staff on the units are trained to provide post-delivery and newborn care and education, as well as to assist with breast-feeding. Lactation consultants are available when additional assistance is needed.

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