You may already know how you want your baby’s birth to happen. At Texas Health Southwest, 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.
Pre-Register for Your Hospital Stay
If you have scheduled a maternity stay, you can now complete the hospital pre-registration process online! Start by gathering relevant primary and secondary insurance information, the guarantor's personal and employment specifics, and emergency contact numbers.
After logging in, click Pre-Register > Pre-Register for My Delivery. Get started.
Arriving for Your Birth
Where to Park
For an evaluation of whether or not you are in labor, park and enter through the main hospital Emergency Room entrance.
For a scheduled induction or cesarean section (during the hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.), park near the main hospital’s entrance.
Where to Check-In
You should check in at the main hospital Emergency Room for an evaluation to see whether you are in labor.
If you are arriving for a scheduled induction or cesarean, please check in at Labor and Delivery, located on the second floor of Tower 1.
Paperwork at Check-In
Even if you have preregistered, you will have some paperwork to complete when you arrive.
What to Bring to Labor and Delivery
When packing a labor bag include your photo ID, insurance information and any items to occupy you and your partner during labor. You do not need to bring your luggage or car seat to the labor room.
Specific Types of Births
If you are hoping to have a natural birth or a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), tell your labor nurse. Labor and Delivery has birthing and peanut balls available to use during labor.
Your Labor and Delivery Room
We are here to help you have the birth experience that best fits your wishes and needs.
What’s In Your Labor and Delivery Room
Our spacious Labor and Delivery suites can comfortably accommodate you and your birthing family. Each suite includes:
- Flatscreen TV with a USB port for your streaming devices
- Free internet access
- Couch, recliner or rocking chair
- Full-size bathroom
- Temperature control for your suite.
Labor Support Tools
Texas Health Southwest has birthing balls, peanut balls and labor bars for use during labor. When you arrive at Labor and Delivery, please notify your nurse if you would like to use one of them.
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, essential oils and diffusers for aromatherapy, pillows, blankets, etc.
If you have a birth plan, please share it with the nurse when you arrive at your labor suite. 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
Texas Health Southwest takes a family-centered approach to childbirth in our birthing suites. We encourage the full participation of your designated support person.
Visitors During Labor
The entrance to Tower 1 is under constant video surveillance. For the security of patients and hospital personnel, we ask that families and guests observe the following rules:
- When arriving, visitors need to check in at the nurses’ station, located at the Labor and Delivery entrance.
- Visitors may be screened for fever or other signs of acute illness for the protection of the mom and new baby.
- Healthy children may visit Labor and Delivery.
- Visitors should stay in the waiting room when not in the birth suite with the new mom.
Visitors During Birth
- Visitors may be present in the delivery room during a vaginal delivery.
- Only one visitor may be present in the operating room during a cesarean.
If You Want Visitors Limited
Tell your nurse if you would like to limit visitors to your room.
Two waiting areas are located on the second floor, outside of Labor and Delivery. They are equipped with a coffee and water station and have comfortable seating. Phone charging stations are available in the atrium waiting area.
Filming and Photography
Documenting this special occasion is important for many of our families. Cameras are allowed with the following conditions:
- Your medical provider and any nurses or other providers in the room must consent to the video or photography.
- The individual recording the birth must sign the hospital’s Photographer/Videographer Agreement.
- Video or photography can begin only when allowed 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 the individual to stop photographing or videotaping at any time.
Pain Management and Labor Support
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 Southwest
If you find that you want additional pain management during labor, the options available at Texas Health Southwest include:
- Hydrotherapy in the labor room showers
- IV medication
- Nitrous oxide.
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.
Scheduled Cesarean Births
The Night Before Your Procedure
- Shower with the chlorhexidine gluconate (HCG) solution you received at your doctor’s office.
Before Your Cesarean Birth
If you are having a scheduled cesarean with Texas Health Southwest, please remember the following:
- Do not eat or drink at least eight hours before the procedure, or the procedure may be rescheduled, possibly to another day.
- Shower in the morning using the chlorhexidine gluconate (HCG) solution.
- Remove all jewelry and leave valuables at home.
Scheduled Cesarean Births
When you arrive, tell the Labor and Delivery staff you are there for a scheduled procedure. You will be taken to your room, where you will remain for approximately two hours. During this time the nurses will monitor the baby. The physician who administers your anesthesia will visit you to discuss your options. Before the surgery, your support partner will change into operating-room attire. A camera or phone may be taken into the operating room.
Typically, a physician, two nurses, an anesthesiologist and a certified surgery technician are in the operating room. One adult visitor may be in the operating room during the surgery, as long as there are no safety concerns.
Gentle Cesarean Birth
For expectant moms who need a cesarean birth, Texas Health Southwest offers a gentle cesarean. This type of cesarean aims to create a birth experience that is similar to a vaginal delivery. Your nurse can give more details if you are interested in this type of experience.
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 about two hours. If there are no safety concerns, you will have skin-to-skin time with your new 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 in your birth room, which will allow your family to be part of the baby’s first exam and measurement. Medications given after birth include vitamin K and erythromycin opthalmic ointment.
Your Pediatrician is Notified
After the birth, we will notify your pediatrician that you have delivered your baby. If you do not have a preselected pediatrician or one with hospital privileges, your baby will be seen by the on-call pediatrician.
Mother and Baby Care
You and your baby will remain in Labor and Delivery for about two hours before transfer to the room where you will stay throughout your visit.
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Mom's Recovery: What to Expect
How Long You Will 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 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 Southwest. If you experience discomfort, please tell your nurse as soon as possible. Your nurse will discuss options for safely reducing your pain.
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. Following a cesarean birth, a nurse will offer liquids and within six hours, you 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 additional, 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 Southwest works to minimize the separation of moms and babies. We encourage moms to keep their babies in their hospital rooms (including nighttime), a practice called rooming-in. Even the babies’ evaluations and examinations may take place in the moms’ rooms. Moms also have an opportunity to learn their babies’ cues with hospital personnel nearby to answer questions and offer 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.
Visitors and Quiet Time
Outside of Quiet Time, visiting hours are not restricted.
Quiet Time is from 2 to 4 p.m.
Texas Health Southwest has Quiet Time daily from 2 to 4 p.m. Quiet Time allows parents to bond and rest with their newborns without outside visitor interactions. During this time, there will not be unnecessary interruptions by personnel; however, nurses and physicians will still enter as needed.
Your Hospital Room
All mother and baby rooms are located on the second floor of the Pease Tower (Tower 2). Parking is available near the front atrium entrance.
Your Mother and Baby Room
Mother and baby rooms are as inviting as the family and friends that surround you. Each spacious room comfortably accommodates families during their hospital stay and includes:
- Flat-screen TV with a USB port for your streaming devices
- Free internet access
- Rocking chair
- Couch that converts into a comfortable twin bed
- Temperature control for your suite
- Full-size bathroom
Meals and Dining
We offer complimentary room service dining for our moms and — for an additional charge — to a support person during hospital stays. On-campus dining is also available, until 2:30 p.m. The nurses station has a book of menus of nearby restaurants that deliver.
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.
During your hospital stay, your nurse will be the primary contact for breastfeeding education. Certified 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 817-433-6300.
Breast Pump Rentals
The Texas Health Southwest Breastfeeding Resource Center and Boutique has Medela™ breast pumps available for rent. Additionally, nursing supplies and pump parts are available for purchase. The Boutique is located on the second floor of the Pease Tower (Tower 2). For more information, hours and pricing, please call 817-433-6300.
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
- You have made a follow-up appointment for your newborn
- Your OB/GYN has visited and said you can go home
- The pediatrician has visited and said your baby can go home
- You rented a breast pump, if desired
- Your prescriptions have been ordered or sent to your pharmacy
- You have reviewed your medications with a nurse
- A nurse or technician has brought a wheelchair to take you to your car
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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
Open spaces and warm, inviting colors will welcome you and your baby to the expanded Texas Health Southwest NICU. We’ve doubled the size to 16-beds and three private rooms so that even our tiny patients can stay put to receive the additional care they need.
A NICU stay can be emotional. Texas Health Southwest places a priority on providing the resources you and your baby need for health and well-being during this time of transition. The three private rooms and rooming-in suite in the NICU overlook the Horchler Meditation Garden offering parents a comfortable place to stay just steps away from their baby. Another new convenience is the bedside breastmilk storage available to nursing mothers.
Please know this video was filmed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Each high-risk mom-to-be has a private room inside the Labor and Delivery department, where she receives specialized care from nurses trained in high-risk pregnancies.
What’s In Your Room
Our moms-to-be stay long-term in rooms with hotel-like surroundings and gourmet room service. While a guest, the following services are available:
- Childbirth education, offered bedside
- Visits from pet-therapy dogs
- Bedside baby showers
- Gourmet room-service dining
Visiting hours are open. However, visitors who arrive after 10 p.m. should enter the hospital through the Emergency Room entrance.
Care During Your Pregnancy
While staying at Texas Health Southwest, you will be cared for by an experienced multidisciplinary team that includes
- Board-certified maternal-fetal specialists
- Neonatologists and Neonatal Nurse Practitioners on the medical staff
- Transition care managers
- OB Laborists
- Occupational therapists
- Pastoral care
- Social services
The team will work closely with your obstetrician, if needed, to assist with managing your prenatal care.
Learn More about High-Risk CareIf 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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