Upon your arrival, you will be assessed by a nurse who will share information with your provider. This assessment may include:
- Taking your vital signs, including temperature, pulse, respiration rate and blood pressure.
- Feeling your abdomen for strength of contractions.
- Performing a vaginal exam to check for cervical dilation.
- Placing you on an external fetal heart monitor to assess fetal heart rate and frequency of contractions.
- Drawing blood for laboratory tests.
- Asking questions about your current and past health.
Nurses will monitor your labor progress and communicate with your provider, as needed. You may remain on the fetal heart monitor throughout your labor or you may only use it intermittently, depending on the health and welfare of you and your baby. Some providers order an IV access to be started for their patients. Ice chips or clear liquids will be provided during labor, depending on your provider's orders.
Active labor can take many hours, and the nursing staff will support you during this time. As you near the time of delivery, staff will call your provider.
The birth center staff wants your entire experience to be positive for you and your family. Help the team by letting them know if you have special requests or concerns.