You may already know how you want your baby’s birth to happen. We work with you to achieve the birth you want, while keeping you comfortable and secure. We support family involvement in your birth, as part of our family-centered care philosophy. We know that babies thrive when their family is engaged in the birth.
When your labor begins, follow your physician’s or certified nurse midwife’s instructions on when to go to the hospital. In an emergency, please go to the Labor and Delivery entrance.
Pre-Register for Your Hospital Stay
Early planning and pre-registering for your hospital admission will help to ensure a smooth transition when it’s time to deliver your baby. You may complete the pre-registration process online at any time during your pregnancy, but the sooner the better. If you’ve reached the 4-month mark, it’s a great time to get this done and off your baby to-do list.
You will want to start by gathering relevant primary and secondary insurance information, the guarantor’s personal and employment specifics and emergency contact numbers.
If you have any questions about pre-registration or costs associated with your stay, you may reach out to our financial counselor at 817-250-3051.
Arriving for Your Birth
Where to Park
You will enter through the main hospital entrance off Henderson Avenue. Valet parking is available at the main entrance to the hospital or your support person can park the car in one of the garages.
Where to Enter the Building
Enter through the Main Hospital entrance on Henderson Avenue when you arrive. The doors are open 24 hours a day. Once inside the hospital, proceed to the Jones Tower and take the elevators to the first floor.
Where to Check In
For women who are in labor or have a scheduled birth, go straight to labor and delivery located on the first floor of the Jones Tower. Someone at the nurse’s station will greet you and show you to your room.
Breast Pump Rentals
The gift shop, Lori’s Gifts, has Medela™ breast pumps available to rent. Additionally, nursing supplies and pump parts are available for purchase. The gift shop is located on the ground floor of the Sid Richardson Pavilion near the main entrance. For more information, hours, and pricing, please call 817-250-3152.
Your Labor and Birth Room
Your Labor Room
Your birth process — labor, birth and recovery — takes place in one of our uniquely designed and soothing private maternity suites, located in the Helen McKee Ryan Birthing Center. The center features:
- Seventeen uniquely designed and comforting private maternity suites
- Three suites equipped with tubs for labor and/or birth
- Three cesarean birth suites.
What’s In Your Labor and Delivery Room
Each spacious labor and delivery suite comfortably accommodates a birthing family and includes:
- Flat-screen TV with a USB for your personal streaming devices
- Free internet access
- Couch that converts into a comfortable bed
- Individual, full-size bathroom with a shower or tub
- Temperature control for your room
Make Yourself at Home
This is your birth experience and we want you to be comfortable. Feel free to bring your own labor support tools, birth gown, music players, extra pillows, essential oils and diffusers for aromatherapy, etc.
If you have a birth plan, please share it with the nurse when you arrive at your labor room. You do not have to create a birth plan. We will try to follow your wishes as long as they do not interfere with the health and safety of you or the baby.
Visitors during Labor and Birth
Visitors during Labor
Our flexible visitation policy allows you to determine who visits and when. At Texas Health Fort Worth, our family-centered maternity care philosophy embraces the important role of your entire support system in the birth of your child. You may decide who you want to be present for the birth - this includes siblings - although we request that an adult other than your support person accompany any children.
Visitors during the Birth
Texas Health Fort Worth allows you to determine who is in the room during a vaginal delivery, as long as the medical staff and the nurses have room to care for the patients. Up to two visitors may be present in the operating room during a cesarean.
If You Want Visitors Limited
If you are concerned about having visitors in your room, notify your nurse.
Vending machines, comfortable seating and phone charging stations are available in the waiting room on the first floor, outside of Labor and Delivery.
Filming and Photography
Documenting this special occasion is important for many of our families. Cameras and video recorders are allowed with the following conditions:
- Your medical provider and any nurses or other providers in the room must consent to the photography.
- The individual must sign the hospital’s Photographer/Videographer Agreement.
- Photography/videography can begin only when instructed by the physician or hospital staff.
- The individual must obtain permission to photograph or videotape hospital staff before doing so.
- Only hand-held devices are allowed in Labor and Delivery (no tripods).
Please note that the physician or nurse may require an individual to stop photographing or videotaping at any time.
Pain Management Options
There is no medical best choice for managing pain during labor. Everyone has different pain thresholds. Instead, it’s a question of what makes the most sense for you and your partner.
Pain Management Options at Texas Health Fort Worth
If you find that you want additional pain management during labor, the options available at Texas Health Fort Worth include:
- Laboring in water
- IV medication
- Nitrous oxide
Labor Support Tools
Texas Health Fort Worth has birthing balls, labor bars and several bathtubs. We also invite you to bring other labor-support tools. When you arrive at Labor and Delivery, please notify your nurse if you would like to use one of our items.
Expectant parents often find it helpful to have the support of a doula. Doulas are trained in providing emotional and physical support and helping women to carry out their birth plans. Doulas can be hired sometime during the pregnancy.
Cesareans and Inductions
Before Your Birth
If you are having a scheduled induction or cesarean at Texas Health Fort Worth, please remember the following:
- Follow your providers instructions on eating and drinking prior to the procedure
- After check in, you will be prepared approximately two hours prior to the procedure. Visitors are allowed, however, you will be occupied with tests during this time.
- Up to two adults may be present in the operating room for the surgery, unless there are any safety concerns.
Scheduled Cesarean Births
When you arrive, notify the admissions staff that you are there for a scheduled procedure. You will be taken to a cesarean prep room, where you will remain for approximately two hours while the nurses monitor the baby and check your vitals. Before the surgery, your support partner will be asked to change into scrubs. They may take a camera or phone into the operating room. You will be wheeled to the operating room, where you will receive your anesthesia. Your partner will then join you in the operating room.
One physician and a few nurses and anesthesia providers will be in the operating room with you and your support person(s).
Gentle Cesarean Birth
For those who need a cesarean birth, Texas Health Fort Worth offers a type of cesarean that aims to create a birth experience similar to a vaginal delivery, called a gentle cesarean. If you are interested in this type of experience, please discuss it with your nurse.
What to Expect During and After
Typically, you will be in the operating room for about one hour. After the surgery you will be moved back to your Labor and Delivery room with your baby and support person. You will remain in recovery for approximately two hours and barring any safety concerns, will have skin-to-skin time with your baby to establish the first feeding.
After Your Birth
The Golden Hour
The first hour after birth is called the golden hour, when we allow only mom, baby and one support person in the room to promote rest and relaxation.
Skin to Skin
As soon as possible after birth, nurses will place your baby skin to skin for at least an hour to allow time for the first feeding. Skin-to-skin time helps your newborn stay warm, stabilizes blood-sugar levels and is considered good for all babies.
Baby’s First Examination
After the first hour, your newborn will be examined by a nurse in your birth room, which will allow your family to be part of the baby’s first exam and measurement.
Your Pediatrician is Notified
Your pediatrician will be notified about your birth. If you do not have a preselected pediatrician or one with privileges at the hospital, your baby will be seen by the on-call pediatrician.
Transition to Your Hospital Room
You and your baby will remain in Labor and Delivery for approximately one to two hours before being moved to the room where you will stay throughout your visit.
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Mom's Recovery: What to Expect
How Long You Will You Stay
Typically, you will be discharged between 24 and 48 hours after a vaginal delivery. For a cesarean, you can be discharged between 48 and 72 hours after surgery Exceptions exist for shorter and longer hospital stays, if desired or needed. Talk with your nurse about when you hope to be discharged.
Get Up and Walk
Within six hours of your birth, your nurse will help you to get out of bed to walk around. Walking will improve your circulation and prevent blood clots.
Pain Management during Your Stay
We encourage you to be proactive about your pain management while you are at Texas Health Fort Worth. If you experience discomfort, please let your nurse know as soon as possible so she can discuss your pain options with you.
You Will be Visited Hourly
Your nurses or the patient care assistants will check on you about every hour. If you would like less frequent visitations, just let the nurse know.
When Mom Can Eat
After an uncomplicated vaginal delivery, a mom can eat as soon as she desires. After a cesarean birth, a nurse will offer liquids and within six hours will be eating regular food.
Baby’s Hospital Stay: What to Expect
Baby’s Screenings and Procedures
During your hospital stay, your baby will be examined by a pediatrician every day. If your pediatrician has privileges at the hospital, they or someone from their practice, will visit you daily. If your pediatrician is not on the medical staff, you will be visited by an on-call pediatrician. In addition, your newborn will have several tests that may include:
- Blood screen (age 24 hours)
- Hearing screen
- Heart screen (age 24 hours)
- Car-seat screen (when applicable)
Circumcision for a boy infant may be completed during the hospital stay, if desired. Your baby is returned to you typically within an hour of the procedure.
Where Baby Will Stay
Texas Health Fort Worth works to minimize separation of moms and babies. We encourage moms to keep their babies in their hospital rooms (including nighttime), a practice called rooming-in. Even your baby's evaluations and examinations may take place in your room. Moms also have an opportunity to learn their baby's cues with personnel nearby to answer questions and provide education. With support and guidance from experienced nurses, parents gain the skills needed to confidently care for their babies, in the comfort of their hospital rooms.
Visiting Hours and Quiet Time
The Mother-Baby area has Quiet Time daily from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to give parents a time to rest and bond with their babies. During this time, there will be no unnecessary interruptions by personnel, however, nurses and physicians will still enter as needed. Other than during Quiet Time, visiting hours are not restricted.
Your Hospital Room
The Mother and Baby unit is located on the second floor of the Jones Tower.
What’s In Your Room
The Mother and Baby unit has 25 spacious rooms for families to comfortably stay after the birth of the baby. Each room includes:
- Flat-screen TV with a USB outlet for streaming devices
- Free internet access
- Rocking chair
- Large private bathroom
- Comfortable Murphy bed for your support person
- Temperature control for your room
Celebration Meal and Dining
The arrival of a new baby is one of life’s most important milestones. To help celebrate this momentous occasion, Texas Health Fort Worth offers a celebratory meal for the new mom and a support person.
Meals and On-Campus Dining
Moms staying in the Maternal-Newborn area will receive meals three times a day. There are several on-campus dining options available for guests.
- Additional dining options on campus
Birth Certificate and Social Security
During your hospital stay, a coordinator will contact you to complete the necessary paperwork to record your baby’s birth. You will be given documentation that can be sent to your insurance company.
Texas Health does not keep a copy of the birth certificate or Social Security information. Get more information on requesting your child’s birth certificate or social security information.
During your hospital stay, your nurse will be the primary contact for breastfeeding education. Lactation consultants are also available seven days a week to provide one-on-one assistance in the privacy of your room. Speak to a lactation consultant by calling 817-250-2229.
Breast Pump Rentals
The gift shop, Lori’s Gifts, has Medela™ breast pumps available to rent. Additionally, nursing supplies and pump parts are available for purchase. The boutique is located on the ground floor of the Richardson Tower near the main entrance. For more information, hours and pricing, please call 817-250-3152.
Before You Go Home
Even if your doctor says you are ready to go home, there is still a process that needs to be completed for your safety and security.
Things to Discuss with Your Family and Nurse
Are you ready and do you have the things you need before going home? Discuss these questions with your family (If you have questions or concerns, please talk with your nurse):
- When do I think I will be going home (day and time)?
- How am I getting home?
- Who will help me at home?
- Do I have the supplies I need?
Steps that Happen on Discharge Day
Before you go home, the following must be completed:
- Your baby’s heart screening and newborn screening test were completed at age 24 hours
- Your OB/GYN visited and let you know you can go home
- The pediatrician visited and let you know the baby can go home
- You’ve brought the car seat to the room and the nurse checked that the baby is secure (do not bring the base)
- You rented a breast pump and it has been delivered to your room, if desired
- Your prescriptions have been delivered to your room or sent to your preferred pharmacy
- You have made a follow-up appointment for your newborn
- You reviewed your medications with the discharge nurse
- A nurse or technician has brought a wheelchair to take you to your car.
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High-Risk Pregnancy Support
Texas Health Fort Worth’s high-risk and antepartum program provides monitoring of women and their baby(s) with pre-existing medical conditions, women expecting multiples, and women with high-risk pregnancies. Throughout the pregnancy, expectant moms stay in our spacious rooms where they are cared for by their primary obstetrician and board-certified maternal-fetal specialist on the medical staff.
Women can be diagnosed with complications early in their pregnancy and others develop conditions late in their pregnancy. High risk pregnancies include those complicated by advanced maternal age, obesity, birth defects, and conditions including:
- Pregnancy induced hypertension (pre-eclampsia) and chronic hypertension
- Premature rupture of membranes
- Incompetent cervix
- Post-surgical complications
- Pre-term labor
- Multiples babies
- Bleeding disorders (placenta previa and placental abruption)
Location and Parking
The women’s unit is located on the second floor of the Jones Tower (campus map).
Mother-Baby rooms allow families to comfortable stay until the birth of their baby. Each room includes:
- Flat-screen TV with USB outlet for streaming devices
- Free internet access
- Private bathroom with a shower
- Temperature control for your individual room
- Additional dining options for patients with long-term stays
Amenities During Your Stay
For mothers facing longs stays during their pregnancy, Texas Health Fort Worth offers a number of classes, activities, educational opportunities to help pass the time, and provides support to prepare for the arrival of baby. Support programs include:
- Online childbirth classes
- NICU tours
- NICU Helping Hands family support
- Pastoral care and support
- Visits from pet therapy dogs
- Lactation support and services
- Rooms that can be reserved for baby showers, birthdays, etc.
Learn More About High-Risk Care
If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you or your baby might be at increased risk of health problems before, during or after delivery. Learn more about navigating a high-risk pregnancy and what it means for your care.
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