What to expect during labor and delivery at The Woman's Hospital of Texas
We are dedicated to making sure your baby’s birth is an amazing beginning for you and your family. While every patient’s delivery experience is unique, our top priority for each patient is to ensure she and her baby have a healthy delivery.
We encourage patients to register before their 28th week of pregnancy, this can be done through our online preregistration or in person. Our registration office is on the first floor of the West Tower. When you think you are in labor, call your physician and follow instructions. If you think it is an emergency situation call 911. Your doctor will call the hospital to let us know that you are on your way. Please use our complimentary valet service at the West Tower main entrance.
Most patients arrive through our West Tower, with labor and delivery located on the third floor – whether it is a scheduled induction, Cesarean delivery or active labor. From that moment forward, we will make sure your birth experience is as individual as you and your baby. A receptionist will greet you, assess the immediacy of your condition, and then escort you to the necessary location to treat your needs. Once you arrive in the appropriate locations, you will be under the constant care of a medical professional, all the way until you leave the hospital with your new bundle of joy.
Support for Your Birthing Plan Preferences
Our goal is to customize your care to meet your needs and desires and make your baby’s delivery as natural, happy, and memorable as possible. In most cases, you will labor, give birth and then recover for about two hours in the same room.
Natural and Vaginal Births
We strive to create the most natural environment of care between the mother and baby. We want your labor and delivery process to be one that fits you. If you prefer natural birth instead of an epidural, we support that decision. If you are interested in trying alternative labor techniques like birthing balls, various birthing positions, or massage strategies, we support that decision as well. Doulas are welcome, even though our labor and delivery nurses are trained in many of the same techniques. We also provide wireless fetal monitoring making it possible for you to easily move around the room while laboring.
Our hospital has six operating rooms used for Cesarean deliveries as well as a 9-bed Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for mothers recovering from C-sections. One support person may attend, as long as you are awake for the delivery. The same person may join you in the recovery area. We offer mother-baby bonding in the PACU immediately following Cesarean deliveries so that mothers can stay with their babies directly after surgery. Mothers and babies enjoy this early connection while the mother recovers with her baby in her arms.
Continuous Expert Care for a Safe Delivery
Most deliveries are problem-free, but if routine labor develops into an emergency, there’s no safer place to deliver than The Woman's Hospital of Texas. We offer the most qualified obstetrical experts in the region, with board-certified OB/GYNs, neonatologists and anesthesiologists on-site 24-hours a day. In addition, our nurses stay abreast of developments, and are some of the most thoroughly trained in the country. Our expert nursing staff will provide you and your baby with dedicated support, expertise and compassion throughout labor and delivery.
- Patients receive continuous electronic fetal monitoring using GE Centricity systems in all labor and delivery rooms, with feeds also monitored at a central station by the Charge Nurse.
- Our entire nursing staff is certified in fetal monitoring and neonatal resuscitation. Our nurses are also certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).
- All high-risk deliveries are attended by a board-certified neonatologist and neonatal nurse practitioners who are on-site 24/7.
- Maternal fetal medicine specialists expertly resolve the most serious complications, such as preterm labor, pre-eclampsia and placenta problems.
- 24/7 emergency maternal transport care for mothers who have high-risk pregnancies or develop unforeseen complications.
- Maternal Assessment Center where nursing specialists work with each patient and her personal physician to manage specific conditions, such as the onset of labor. If necessary, the center will provide the patient with direct admission to the hospital’s labor & delivery unit.
Highest Level of Newborn Intensive Care
- Level IV NICU allows us to offer the highest level of care available for newborns who are premature, critically ill or have a life-threatening health condition.
- Our team of highly specialized and experienced staff cares for babies, including an in-house, board-certified Neonatologist (physician specializing in the care of newborns) and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners who are on-site 24/7.
Bonding After Delivery
In most cases, you will labor, give birth and then recover for a short period in the same room. After a vaginal birth, you will spend about two hours in your labor and delivery with your newborn. If you have a C-section, your baby will spend a short time with you and then will be waiting for you in the recovery area when your surgery is completed.
After a healthy delivery, initial bonding time is always given to the baby and family. The hospital strives to limit separation between mothers and newborns, even for women undergoing a cesarean delivery. The golden hour immediately after birth is critical for family bonding, even if you delivered by cesarean delivery. We encourage skin-to-skin contact within the first hour of delivery for both the mother and her partner. We also encourage the mother to initiate breastfeeding during the Golden Hour.
You may choose to have up to three visitors at a time, including your primary support person and any children age 2 and older. Babies in arms are not counted. All children must be cared for by an adult other than the patient during the visit. The Woman’s Hospital of Texas can limit visitation based on the healthcare needs of the public and our patients.
You will transition from the labor and delivery unit to our mother baby unit (MBU) paired with couplet care. Here, healthy babies and their mothers stay together day and night for bonding and care while they recover. New mothers generally stay in the mother baby unit for 48-hours after a vaginal delivery and 72-hours after a cesarean delivery.
During this time, we do all that we can to support breastfeeding success. Our policies and care practices meet the gold standard for mother baby care practices related to breastfeeding. All of our mother baby nurses have completed several hours of breastfeeding education. Lactation consultants are also available 24/7 to discuss beneficial techniques and to help you through those first few breastfeeding sessions.