Delivering at Providence

It's natural to have questions about childbirth. This is a very special time for you, and we want to make sure you have all the information you need.

When should I go to the hospital?
It's time to come to the hospital when:
  • Your bag of water breaks
  • You have a bloody discharge similar to starting your period
  • Your contractions occur every 4 to 5 minutes for over an hour, or
  • Your doctor or health care provider instructs you to do so
Please call your provider before you come to the hospital. He or she can help you decide whether it's time for you to come to the hospital. When you arrive, we will evaluate your progress and notify your provider.

If you and your baby are healthy, it is best to stay pregnant until at least 39 weeks. To support the best care for you and your baby, Providence wants to ensure that if patients or providers wish to schedule a delivery (cesarean section or induction) that does not have a medical reason, it is scheduled when you are at least 39 weeks along.

What can I expect when I arrive?
When you enter the hospital, we will pull your pre-admission records. Hospital staff will escort you to the maternity unit if you enter through an alternate entrance. For your safety, we ask that you ride in the wheelchair provided. Please use the Emergency Department entrance after hours or any time your situation is urgent.

What kind of room will I have?
You will have an attractive, private room in which to labor and give birth. All maternity centers have on site operating rooms for a cesarean birth, if needed.

What should I bring to the hospital?
A week or two before your due date, pack an overnight bag with items for your hospital stay:

  • Nightgown (front-opening styles are convenient for breastfeeding)
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Shower cap if you use one
  • Bra (nursing style if you plan to breastfeed your baby)
  • Clothes to wear home
    • For you: comfortable clothes that fit during mid-pregnancy
    • For baby: blankets, diaper, infant-size sleepers, gown, etc
  • Cosmetics, toiletries
  • Camera or video camera with extra film and batteries
  • Personal comfort items
  • Please leave all valuables, such as jewelry, credit cards and cash over $10, at home
Who can be with me during labor and delivery?
This is your choice. You may invite your husband or partner, a support person and/or family members to stay with you during labor and delivery. If it becomes necessary to deliver your baby by cesarean section, one support person may accompany you to surgery.

What about circumcision if I have a son?
If you have a baby boy and wish to have him circumcised, tell your care provider. Your provider will usually perform the procedure before you leave the hospital. There is a hospital charge for the procedure, and a professional fee will be added to your billing.

What about visitors and visiting hours?
To provide greater security for our maternity patients and their babies, all maternity visitors must sign in before visiting mothers and babies.

You may have visitors at any time, and you decide who may visit you and your baby. Please note that many of our hospitals have “quiet times” for brief periods during the day. We ask that you limit guests during this time to allow all families with time for peaceful rest and recovery. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact your nurse.

Children may participate in the hospital experience and hold the new baby if you wish. For privacy and safety of all our patients, we ask visitors to remain in the maternity center lobby when they are not visiting you in your suite.

After 9 p.m., visitors should be quiet and respectful of others’ need for rest. Please have no visitors who are ill or who have recently been exposed to a communicable disease. Everyone — including you — should wash their hands before touching the baby.

Visitors may bring or send small gifts, flowers and mylar balloons. All Providence facilities are smoke-free, and  latex-reduced environments.

What about meals?
While in the hospital, you may select your meals from daily menus. Juice, coffee, milk and fruit are available in our maternity units. Your husband or partner, family and visitors may purchase beverages, snacks or meals from the hospital coffee shops or cafeteria and bring those items back to the maternity unit.

What is your approach to caring for mother and baby?
We encourage you to touch and hold your baby as much as you desire at delivery and during recovery. Holding your baby skin-to-skin after birth will benefit both you and your baby. Our staff can help you learn to hold, feed, diaper, swaddle and dress your baby. We will, however, always try to respect your needs and wishes for privacy and rest.

What about paperwork?
Hospital staff will help you complete birth certificate forms according to state requirements. If you wish, they will also file an application for your baby's Social Security number.

If you are unmarried and want the baby's father's name to appear on the birth certificate, you and the father must sign a paternity affidavit in the presence of a notary public after the baby is born. The hospital will submit this affidavit to the state along with the birth certificate.

What is the hospital discharge procedure?
Your provider will decide when you are ready to go home. Your nurse will help you complete any remaining paperwork and review with you some instructions for caring for yourself and your baby.

Someone will need to drive you home since you should not drive a vehicle for several days after delivery.
Oregon state law requires that babies travel in approved infant restraint seats. Before your baby is born, be sure to have an approved car seat. Practice using it and securing it correctly in your car. This is extremely important to your baby's safety.

How long will I be in the hospital?
The answer varies for each patient. Generally it is very safe for new mothers to return to the comfort of their own homes shortly after giving birth. Before you go home, your provider will examine you. If you are not medically ready to go home, you will be encouraged to stay and continue to receive the care you need.

What should I know about my insurance?
Before your baby is born, learn what your insurance plan covers. Nurses cannot answer insurance questions. You will need to know:
  • If preauthorization is required for maternity services
  • If the plan covers both you and your baby
  • The authorized length of stay for vaginal and cesarean births
  • Whether a follow-up home visit is covered