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Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women's Hospital Labor and Delivery

In Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women's Hospital


Prentice Women’s Hospital offers a variety of resources to help you prepare for the birth of your child.

The top 10 things to do before you deliver your baby at Prentice Women's Hospital:

  1. Pre-register for your delivery.
  2. Choose a pediatrician affiliated with Northwestern Medicine by calling our Physician Referral department at 312.926.1000.
  3. Review the Healthy Start pamphlet and learn about rooming in and breastfeeding.
  4. Inform your family and friends about Northwestern Medicine’s visitation policy and discuss your wishes, too.
  5. Keep your car gassed up and ready to go. Plot out directions and plan alternate routes to accommodate traffic or road closures due to construction or community events. You may want to take a practice run (or two).
  6. Pack your hospital bag and pack a bag for your partner, too. See "What to bring" below.
  7. Ensure you know when to call your physician or midwife, and that you know how to get in touch with them when the office is closed.
  8. Take prenatal classes. During the Great Expectations class, one of our certified childbirth educators provides a tour of Prentice Women’s Hospital.
  9. Discuss your birth expectations with your physician and/or midwife.
  10. Practice comfort techniques that will be helpful during labor.

View your prenatal visit schedule.

For more information about delivering your baby at Prentice Women’s Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, please call 312.926.2000.

Parking and Transportation

Parking is available at discounted rates for patients and visitors of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Download Parking Map

Parking Rates

Standard Parking

Up to 7 Hours: $12 7 to 24 Hours: $26


Up to 7 Hours: $25 7 to 24 Hours: $35

Parking Validation

Parking garage tickets must be validated each time a car is parked. Without validation, regular garage rates will apply. You can validate your ticket at the customer service desks on the first and second floors.


There are multiple transportation options to serve you. Find convenient transportation to and from Northwestern Memorial Hospital, including taxis, public transit and train transportation.


Northwestern Medicine is committed to providing a hospitable environment for all. We offer the following accessibility resources to accommodate your stay or visit:

  • Accessible parking
  • Accessible restrooms
  • Wheelchairs
  • Patient escorts
  • Language interpreters
  • Resources for the hard of hearing
  • Service animals

Learn more about our accessibility resources.

Patient and Visitor Information

Hours of Operation

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The Labor and Delivery entrance is the front door of Prentice, 250 E. Superior Street. The door is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We understand how eager friends and family will be to meet the new baby. Please review the following visitor guidelines for labor and delivery.
Labor and delivery unit visitor policies 

  • Your partner may be present 24 hours a day
  • Other visitors, including brothers or sisters of any age, are welcome 9:00 am–8:30 pm
  • Children under age 12, except baby's siblings, may not visit, due to Illinois Department of Public Health regulations.
  • A safe and secured environment is our highest priority. Our nurses will review our security and safety protocols.
Security reminders:
  • You should never leave your baby alone in the room. If the need to leave the room arises, our staff can care for the baby in the nursery.
  • You should never give your baby to anyone unless he or she is wearing a Northwestern Memorial Hospital employee ID badge.
Download our Services and Amenities Map.


Prentice Women’s Hospital recommends that you complete your delivery registration before your seventh month of pregnancy. To reserve your admission, complete your delivery registration online

Hospital tours

Take a tour of the labor and delivery and postpartum floors of Prentice Women's Hospital. Registration is required. Please call 312.926.8400 to register. Tours are offered on the following days:

  • Mondays: 6 pm
  • Wednesdays: 2 pm
  • The first and third Saturday of every month: 10 am and 11 am
Registration is required. PLEASE CALL 312.926.8400 TO REGISTER. Children under the age of 12 are not allowed. The Tike Hike Sunday workshop is designed for children ages 3-10 years old. Learn more about the Expectant Parent Tour at Prentice Women’s Hospital, and download this tour guide.


What to expect

Prenatal visit schedule:

The following is the expected routine visit schedule for normal prenatal care. Your visits will be tailored to meet your needs as ordered by your provider.

  • Visit 1: To welcome you to our practice, your first visit is usually with one of our doctors. We like to get you in within two weeks of your call, so it may not be with the doctor you have seen in the past. This is a 30 minute visit to verify your pregnancy, review your medical and surgical history, medications and discuss initial teaching and genetic testing options. Blood tests and a urine culture will be ordered that day and an ultrasound will be scheduled. The ultrasound should be done prior to your next visit, ideally in the same day. You will then be referred to the nurse practitioner for the next visit.
  • Visit 2: This visit is called the New OB visit and lasts approximately 45 minutes. We will review your lab tests, ultrasound and confirm your due date. We will do a full physical that day with a pap smear if it is needed. We also spend a significant amount of time with education and answering questions. Topics include:
    • Nutrition
    • Travel
    • Nausea issues
    • Work and home restrictions
    • Medication safety
    • Father’s role
    • Exercise
    • Class information
    • Visit schedule
    • Practice guidelines
    • Genetic testing review


Learn what will happen on delivery day, what to bring to the hospital, and what to have ready for your new baby.

What to bring

The following is a list of recommended items to bring with you to the hospital on delivery day:

  • Labor bag: You may pack music (CDs, tapes), extra pillows, socks, lotion and lip balm.
  • Cameras: Picture taking and videotaping are permitted before and after delivery only.
  • Map and directions: Pack the directions to Prentice, and note the routes you have found to be easiest. Drive to the front door of Prentice, 250 E. Superior St. The door is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Valet and self parking are available.
  • Hospital stay necessities: Pack a robe and slippers, toiletries and a nursing bra.
  • Mom's going home necessities: Bring a comfortable, loose fitting outfit for the ride home.
  • Baby's going home necessities: Baby will need an outfit (appropriate for the weather) 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 Administration*. 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.

Labor and delivery process

After checking in with security on the first floor of Prentice Women's Hospital, you will be directed to the labor evaluation unit, where the delivery process begins. Labor and delivery is a unique experience for each woman, based on your delivery preferences review the following information to prepare for your childbirth.

Vaginal childbirth:

  • A nurse will gather basic information, start a labor status evaluation and contact the appropriate obstetrician/nurse-midwife.
  • Once true labor begins, you will be transferred to the labor and delivery room. If not in true labor, you will be sent home with instructions about when to return.
  • Once in the labor and delivery room, a fetal monitor is connected to check the baby's condition. A nurse might possibly start an IV.
  • The obstetrician/nurse-midwife will make labor checks to stay on top of the labor progress and explain the progress. As a safety precaution, an anesthesiologist visits every patient.
  • Mirrors and lights are available to help you see the birth of your baby.
  • You will stay in the labor and delivery room for one to two hours after giving birth. Unless there are medical complications, your baby may stay with you from the moment of birth. A nurse is present to monitor both you and your child.
  • Once stable, you and your baby will be transferred to the postpartum floor.


  • You should arrive at the hospital 30 minutes before your scheduled induction time.
  • Once checked in with security, you will be directed to the labor and delivery unit to meet a nurse to review the induction process, fit the fetal monitor, start an IV and administer the labor-starting medication.
  • Once labor begins, the childbirth process begins.

Cesarean section:

  • You should arrive at the hospital two hours before scheduled surgery time.
  • Once checked in with security, you will be directed to the surgery floor, where a nurse will begin surgery preparations.
  • An anesthesiologist will discuss anesthesia options. A spinal or epidural anesthesia will be given, allowing you to be alert and awake but numb from the waist down.
  • Partners may be present during surgery, which takes approximately one hour.
  • Once surgery is complete, you, your baby and partner will be taken to the recovery room and will stay until the anesthesia has cleared, usually after a few hours. Once cleared, you and your baby will be taken to the postpartum floor.

After baby arrives

Prentice Women’s Hospital provides a variety of amenities for you and baby, including:

  • Private rooms designed to allow you to recover after birth and to get acquainted with your newborn.
  • Postpartum nurses provide care for you and your baby and teach new mothers basic baby care, such as breastfeeding, diapering, bathing and care of the umbilical cord and circumcision. In addition to nursing guidance, you may view our baby care video, "You and Your New Baby," that provides information and demonstrations on practical baby care topics.
  • A Prentice staff member will visit you to complete the birth certificate and begin the process of obtaining the baby's social security number. After the application is complete, the social security number will be mailed to your home. The hospital does not provide a copy of the birth certificate. To get a copy, contact the Cook County Clerk’s Office at 312.744.3800.
  • Professional photos are available to capture precious first moments. Bella Baby®* photographers will photograph your baby and post photos to an online slideshow. Online viewing and ordering is available to anyone with whom you choose to share your password. The photographer will review the prices with you during the photoshoot.
    • Bella Baby®*: Talented photographers create beautiful baby pictures that you can cherish forever. You can access your Bella Baby® photos online for 14 days by using a protected password. Share your password with select friends and family members who wish to view or order photos of your baby by using a protected password.

Immunizations and screenings

While in the hospital, your baby will receive the following:

  • Newborn metabolic screening: The state of Illinois requires that all newborn babies be tested for certain rare diseases. These are all inherited diseases, and some can cause brain damage if not treated in the first few weeks of life. A pamphlet from the State will be given to you during your stay that will explain in detail the broad classes of metabolic diseases covered in the testing.
  • Newborn hearing screening: Effective January 1, 2003, the State requires that a hearing screening test be performed on all newborns prior to discharge. You will receive a pamphlet distributed by the State that explains this procedure. Results are sent to the State as well as your pediatrician.
  • Hepatitis B immunization series: This is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that pregnant women who have not been vaccinated with tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis, receive Tdap vaccination in the immediate postpartum period and before discharge from the hospital, if more than two years have elapsed since the most recent administration of Td vaccine. If you have not received the Td vaccine within the past two years, you will be asked if you'd like to receive it prior to discharge.

Discharge tips:

  • Have the car waiting in the front of Prentice Women's Hospital when you and your baby are ready to leave. You can leave your car with the valet for 20 minutes.
  • We recommend you bring your car seat to the room and secure the baby in the seat before leaving the room. You should be familiar with how to use the car seat before you leave the hospital.
  • Carts are available to transport your belongings to your car.

Renée Shine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Renée Schine Crown Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a secured level III care unit (level III is the highest possible designation) that provides state–of–the–art care for premature and seriously ill newborns. Our services and equipment are designed for the smallest patients. Learn more about the NICU

Why Choose Us

Northwestern Medicine facilities offer access to world-class patient care across the greater Chicagoland area and Northern Illinois. Anchored by Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the #1 hospital in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report, our clinical and administrative staff and medical and science faculty come together every day with a shared commitment to superior quality, academic excellence, scientific discovery and patient safety.

With Northwestern Memorial HealthCare, we’re dedicated to consistently providing high-quality, cost-effective, patient-focused care. We seek to improve the health of the communities, individuals, family and friends we serve by delivering a broad range of services with leading medicine and compassion. Because what makes us better, makes you better.

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