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It has been our pleasure to deliver babies in the Elmhurst area for over 60 years, and we recognize that every mother is unique. Therefore, it is our goal to provide not only a healthy delivery, but one that meets each mother’s personal birthing goals. A birth plan is a document that tells your healthcare provider and the hospital staff what kind of childbirth you would like and how you would like your baby cared for after you give birth.

Please find below some of our common delivery practices and birthing options. If you desire to include birthing options or practices not covered here, please feel free to discuss them with us in the office. We have included a birth plan form for your convenience. However, completing a birth plan is not required.

As with many things in life, unexpected circumstances sometimes arise that may require flexibility in your birthing plans. Above all, our goal is to ensure the safest, healthiest delivery possible for you and your baby. As partners in your birth, we will keep you informed and involved when considering changes in your delivery plan.

BIRTH SUPPORT PERSONS

  • We welcome partners, family members and friends in the delivery room. We are comfortable supporting both quiet, intimate deliveries and those involving several support people.
  • The hospital will provide a professional labor coach, your obstetrical nurse.
  • We are happy to work with a private doula, or labor coach, if you are planning to use one. Doulas are unlicensed and unregulated, but there are many different certifying organizations. Please click here for one of the websites dedicated to helping you find a doula.

INTRAVENOUS LINE (IV) & FOOD

  • We recommend every patient have an intravenous line (IV). An IV is a small, plastic tube placed into a vein to give direct and immediate access to your bloodstream quickly, in case an emergency happens. Precious time can be lost trying to establish IV access. If patients desire, we can cap off the IV with something called a saline lock, which frees you from the rest of the tubing.
  • In early labor, mothers are generally welcome to drink clear liquids if they desire.
  • Once labor becomes more active mothers are usually limited to ice chips for safety reasons.
  • We recommend avoiding solid foods or thicker liquids during labor. Having this type of food in your stomach during labor can lead to breathing complications for the mother.

LABOR

  • You are welcome to play music in your labor room.
  • Babies are monitored throughout the labor process, and intermittent monitoring is available to patients with a normal labor.
  • If your labor is progressing normally, you will have the freedom to walk around if you desire.
  • Oxytocin (Pitocin) is only used when needed for a medical reason.
  • We use amniotomy (breaking the bag of water) as a natural method of encouraging labor when appropriate.

PAIN CONTROL

  • Pain perception is different for everyone. Our basic philosophy is that we are comfortable with whatever makes you comfortable.
  • If you prefer no medication, we will fully support you. Breathing techniques and hypnosis, especially if practiced prior to labor, can be very helpful.
  • You will have a warm shower and (in some rooms) whirlpool tubs to labor in if your labor is normal.
  • If you desire medication for pain relief, we can provide medication through an IV or an epidural. There is also inhaled nitrous oxide that can help reduce contraction pain.
  • If you do not like or tire of one method of pain relief, you can try a different method in most circumstances.

DELIVERY

  • We do not give enemas.
  • We do not do routine episiotomies. We prefer to allow vaginal stretching and other techniques to reduce tears and have them occur naturally.
  • We prefer to not use vacuums or forceps, and we will use our expertise with these devices only when medically necessary.
  • We are happy to allow pushing in a variety of positions, including hands-and-knees, on your side, squatting or on your back.
  • There are no medical students or residents at Elmhurst Hospital, so your doctor will be the one personally delivering you.
  • Photos and videos are welcomed and encouraged once the baby is delivered and the immediate care of the baby is completed. Hospital policy prohibits photos or videos during the delivery and immediate care of the baby. Please see the hospital's photo and recording consent form.
  • You or your partner may be allowed to participate in the actual delivery of the baby.

AFTER DELIVERY

  • We perform delayed cord clamping if cord blood banking is not desired. We offer collection of private umbilical cord blood banking. Elmhurst Hospital is not designated to collect donated cord blood. If you are interested in private cord blood banking, please discuss it with your physician during one of your prenatal visits. 
  • If the delivery is uncomplicated, we will place your newborn immediately on your chest, if you desire.
  • You, your partner, or a family member is welcome to cut the umbilical cord.
  • You will be offered the opportunity to breastfeed in the delivery room, if you desire.
  • We apologize, but hospital policy prohibits photos or video during the actual delivery and initial care of the baby. Please see the hospital's photo and recording consent form.

IN CASE OF C-SECTION

  • Your partner or one support person can be with you during the surgery.
  • If healthy, we will bring the baby around the drape immediately after delivery for you to see. You also have the option of seeing the baby being born through a clear portion of the surgical drape.
  • We support the “Gentle C-Section approach” that allows you to bond with your baby in the operating room.

POSTPARTUM

  • Your baby will stay with you in your postpartum room.
  • There is a bed in your postpartum room for your partner or a family member to use.
  • If you have a boy and want him circumcised, we can perform the procedure usually on the day after birth.
  • Vitamin K injection for the baby is strongly recommended. Please see this link for information from the Centers for Disease Control. Ask your physician if you have any questions.