Labor and Delivery

Before Labor

  • Your cervical Exam
  • In the last weeks of pregnancy, your doctor will check your cervix each week. Checking your cervix tells your doctor if you are progressing. The cervical exam is composed of three things:
    dilation (how open is your cervix)
    effacement (how thin is your cervix)
    station (where is the head in relation to your pelvic spines)
    Each component is evaluated to give you a Bishop Score which tells your doctor if your cervix is favorable. A favorable cervix predicts a higher likelihood you will deliver vaginally.

  • Your birth plan
  • You do not need a Birth Plan. If there are specific desires you have for your delivery then a Birth Plan is the easiest way to communicate your wishes. There are several options online to use. Please review your plan with your doctor.

  • What to bring to the hospital
  • You should bring what you need for your personal comfort including cosmetics and comfortable clothes for you and your partner. As far as the baby, Boone Hospital provides diapers, wipes and a baby hat. If you want to bring some outfits for pictures then you are welcome to do so. You do not need a car seat until the day you leave the hospital.

    Labor Process

    The Labor Process can be scary for most patients. The most important things is to stay positive and open-minded. The wonderful staff at Boone Hospital is there to provide a memorable and beautiful experience for you and your family.

    Options for Pain

  • Epidural Anesthesia
  • An epidural is a local anesthetic that is placed in the space surrounding the spinal cord. It provides pain relief from the waist down. You will feel pressure but not pain.

    What are the benefits?
    continuous pain medication
    no affect to baby
    can relax and this can help with cervical dilation

    What are the risks?
    can lower your blood pressure that requires position changes
    less than 1% chance of spinal headache
    may take longer to push as you are comfortable

  • IV Narcotics
  • Narcotics can be given through IV route for labor pain. Typically they last between 1-2 hours. You can get them up until you are ready to push. It takes the edge off of pain but does not completely get rid of pain.

    What are benefits?
    fast onset
    no additional needle sticks

    What are risks?
    can cause nausea, vomiting, lower blood pressure

    What is the APGAR score?

    The APGAR score is a score assigned to all newborns at birth. Is based upon several categories worth 2 points each. A perfect score is 10.
    skin color
    heart rate
    body tone

    Medications/tests given to newborns at the hospital

    Once your baby is born, there are a few tests and medications your baby will receive.

  • Newborn Screen:
  • determines if your child has a disorder not seen in standard prenatal care. Some of these disorders can lead to death if they are not addressed quickly. These tests are typically done at 24 hours of age.

  • Hepatitis B shot:
  • prevents transmission of hepatitis B

  • Eye Ointment:
  • prevents infections of the eye that can lead to blindness

  • Vitamin K shot:
  • prevents bleeding if your child has a bleeding disorder

    Cord Blood Banking

    Cord blood is rich in newborn stem cells which are capable of treating a number of diseases because are they are clean, regenerative cells. They can be used to cure red blood cell diseases (such as Fanconi anemia), white blood diseases (such as SCID) and many blood borne cancers such as Leukemia. The difference between private and public cord donation is access. Private cord donations are only available to your family and therefore there is a cost associated with them. Public cord donations are available for anyone and are free. You can refer to the specific websites for additional information.

  • Public Cord Donation Information
  • Core 23 417-222-0323

    Carolinas Cord Blood Bank

    Duke University Medical Center
    Box 3850, DUMC

  • Private Cord Donation Information
  • Cord Blood Registry