After months of pregnancy and planning, the day has finally come – you’re ready to meet your baby. You’re probably filled with a variety of emotions – excitement, joy, anticipation, anxiety – which is all completely normal, whether this is your first or fourth baby. Take a deep breath and know that the doctors and nurses at Alton Memorial Hospital are here for you.
If You Suspect You’re in Labor
If you suspect you’re in labor, call your Ob/Gyn first to discuss your symptoms and begin timing your contractions. If your doctor suspects you’re in labor, they will recommend that you have someone bring you to Alton Memorial Hospital with your hospital bag. Your partner or support person will want to bring a bag as well.
Scheduled Inductions or C-Sections
For scheduled inductions or C-sections, you and your provider will determine a date and time to come to Alton Memorial Hospital for delivery. Before both, your care team will provide you with any important instructions to follow.
An induction is where you will be given medication to start your labor. On the day of your induction, you are admitted to a birth suite, where your doctor and nurses will administer an IV and connect you to a fetal heart monitor. Then, they will add Pitocin – a labor-inducing hormone – into your IV. Your contractions will begin shortly thereafter, increasing gradually until you are in active labor.
It's important to remember, a C-section delivery is a surgery. In addition to all the regular preparations for bringing home your new baby/babies, it’s also important you prepare for the surgery and your own recovery. For C-sections it is important to follow the instructions provided for the night before and morning of to make sure your skin is as clean as possible to prevent an infection.
Pre-registration is not required. Upon entry we will ask for your ID and insurance card to validate your identity.
Labor Progression Evaluation
You may begin your journey in one of our evaluation rooms where we check your vitals and determine how far along you are into labor. Depending on the progress of your early labor, the medical team may give you the option of going home. Early labor is unpredictable. It can last for hours or even days, especially for first-time moms. If it’s determined you should stay, we will continue to keep a watchful eye on you and baby until you are ready to be moved into a labor room.
Active Labor and Monitoring
If you’re in active labor, you’ll be admitted to one of our birth suites, where a team of doctors and nurses will examine and monitor you and your baby in preparation for delivery.
Your nurse will connect you to a fetal heart monitor, tracking your contraction pattern and fetal heart rate constantly. Our childbirth center uses a wireless fetal monitoring system that works with Bluetooth technology. The wireless feature means you’re free to move around, walk in the hallway, go to the restroom, etc. without the monitor being interrupted. You may also use other items to help you during your labor, such as a birth ball or taking a shower.
If you decide to have an epidural, you will speak to one of our certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs), who will insert the epidural and administer the medication. Once the epidural has taken effect, your pain should be considerably lessened. You’ll have very little feeling from the middle of your back down. Your nurse will help you change positions as needed throughout your labor.
We encourage your partner or support person to be by your side and an active participant in your childbirth experience.
Recovery and Postpartum
After delivery, we continue to monitor and care for you and baby. As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, we are committed to ensuring you feel connected with your baby and confident in your ability to care for your new addition after discharge. You will have access to breastfeeding counselors and support that can help you both during and after your stay so you can be successful, if breastfeeding is your goal.
Learn more about breastfeeding and lactation support
Learn more about postpartum care
At Alton Memorial Hospital, we’ve created a warm, comforting environment for expectant moms, to further enhance your experience, promote a sense of calm, and give you peace of mind. We have a number of amenities available for our childbirth patients in our labor and delivery rooms, mother-baby rooms, and labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum (LDRP) rooms.
- Comfort Menu – Therapeutic options to relieve common discomfort during labor such as birthing balls or peanuts, stress balls, tennis balls, sleep masks, aromatherapy, and music players.
- Wireless Fetal Monitoring – The wireless feature means you’re free to move around, walk in the hallway, go to the restroom, etc. without the monitor being interrupted.
- Doula-Friendly Environment – We gladly welcome doulas who’ve been selected by our patients to assist them with their labor.
- In-Room Dining Service – We offer an extensive menu with various options, including special dietary and vegetarian requests. Everything is fresh, made-to-order and delivered to your room.
- Comforts of home – We want to make your stay as comfortable as possible. Your partner or support person is welcome to stay the night on convertible couches with linens provided. All rooms are fitted with private bathrooms, televisions and seating for visitors.
We promise to make your childbirth as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. If there’s anything we can do to better accommodate your needs during your stay, just let us know. We’re here for you.
Take a virtual Childbirth Center tour
For more information about the Women's Health & Childbirth Center, call 618.463.7455.