Labor and Delivery
Labor and delivery specialists1 throughout Northwestern Medicine offer the care and support you need at every stage of childbirth, and maternal–fetal specialists are standing by to handle any complications.
As your delivery draws near, consider your preferences for family participation in the birth, pain management and breastfeeding so your care team can help provide the experience that’s right for you.
Once labor begins, you will be transferred to your labor and delivery room. Your care team will orient you to the floor and discuss your expectations for your birthing experience. A fetal monitor will be connected to check the baby's condition, and most patients will require an IV to be placed. Depending on your plan of care and personal preferences, an IV can be used for pain medication and preparation for an epidural.
What to bring to the hospital
- Labor bag: You may pack music, extra pillows, socks, lotion and lip balm/lip gloss.
- Cameras/videos: Photography and videotaping are permitted before and after delivery only.
- Map and directions: Pack the directions to the hospital and note the routes you have found to be easiest.
- Announcement necessities: Bring phone numbers and a calling card for long distance calls. Cell phones can only be used in designated areas.
- Hospital stay necessities: You may want a robe, slippers, toiletries and a nursing bra.
- Mom's going home outfit: You'll want a comfortable, loose-fitting outfit for the ride home.
- Baby's going home outfit: Don't forget weather-appropriate clothes and a receiving blanket.
- Car seat: The Illinois Child Passenger Protection Law requires that every baby ride in a secure car seat. For information on selecting and installing a car seat, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration2. You can also take a class on proper car seat installation. Remember to assemble the car seat and secure it in your car before you pick up your baby. Hospital staff is not responsible for the installation or instruction of car seat usage.