I just found out I am pregnant! What is the first thing I should do?
First of all, congratulations on your wonderful news! This beautiful time in your life is certainly one to celebrate. Florida Hospital will be with you every step of the way to ensure a smooth experience and that all of your needs are being met. The most important thing to do first is to select an OB/GYN and go in to the office for an initial visit regarding your pregnancy. This first visit to your OB/GYN will include various tests and a review of your medical history. Your doctor will also provide lab orders for your prenatal lab work. An OB/GYN is here to oversee your pregnancy journey so you and your baby can be healthy, comfortable and safe.
I need a new OB/GYN. What are my options?
At Florida Hospital, our expert-level staff provides compassionate care from your prenatal and follow-up care to the arrival of your new bundle of joy at the BirthCare Center. Our Women’s Care OB/GYN practice is conveniently located on the fourth floor of the main hospital – the same floor as our BirthCare Center. Women’s Care OB/GYN provides obstetrical services, including prenatal care, education and consultation; pregnancy nutrition; gestational diabetes management; pregnancy monitoring; obstetrical ultrasound (including 3D and 4D ultrasound); delivery; and postpartum care. Oftentimes, same-day appointments are available. Should an OB emergency or any complications arise, moms can take comfort in knowing you will receive prompt, expert obstetrical care right down the hallway. OB/GYN physicians already located within the hospital means a safer experience for both mom and baby. Four local and highly-respected OB/GYN’s provide care at this practice, including Dr. Meetesh Desai, Dr. Ricardo Larrain, Dr. Ted Robertson, and Dr. Cecille Tapia-Santiago, who is also the Medical Director for the BirthCare Center. These four physicians at Women’s Care OB/GYN are the same doctors who will care for you throughout your pregnancy, in addition to delivering your baby and providing care within the hospital. We would be honored to care for you during this beautiful time in your life! Women’s Care OB/GYN is accepting new patients and most insurance plans. For any questions or to schedule an appointment, please call (386) 231-3580.
Should I pre-register for admission to the hospital, and how can I do this?
Pre-registration is encouraged, as this helps to make your hospital stay smoother, in addition to expediting your admission process upon arrival for the birth of your baby. Click here to access our online pre-registration form. For questions, call the BirthCare Center at (386) 231-1400.
When should I call to register for prenatal classes?
It is recommended that you complete your classes by 36-weeks gestation. Classes are offered on an ongoing basis, but do occasionally fill up. We recommend that you register for classes before you are 25-weeks pregnant. Classes are offered to accommodate a variety of schedules. For example, you can take a four-week prepared childbirth series which runs on a weeknight or our one day Sunday Birth Shop. For more information regarding classes or to register, click here.
What is covered in the Prepared Childbirth Classes, and is this the same as Lamaze Classes?
Prepared Childbirth Classes and Lamaze classes both cover anatomy, stages of labor, breathing and relaxation techniques, medical interventions, cesarean delivery, postpartum and recovery. Lamaze is a registered name for childbirth preparation classes. Click here to register or learn more about classes offered.
Do I need to choose a pediatrician before I come to the hospital?
Yes, prior to your delivery date, it is important to select a pediatrician (a specialized doctor to care for your baby). Choosing a pediatrician is an integral part of your maternity care. Contact your insurance provider to determine which pediatricians are covered by your insurance. If a pediatrician has not been selected, our neonatologists shall care for your baby during your hospital stay.
Will I have a private room?
Yes, all rooms at Florida Hospital are private rooms. Furthermore, each BirthCare Center room is designed to accommodate your entire stay, from labor and delivery to recovery.
Do you allow “rooming-in?”
Yes, to promote bonding with your newborn, we encourage all of our parents to room-in with their baby. This also gives you an opportunity to get to know your baby in an environment where you have plenty of support. Please feel free to ask your nurse any questions regarding the care of your baby.
Should complications arise after delivery, is the BirthCare Center equipped to care for my newborn?
Unfortunately, there are times when things don’t go as planned and the baby needs an extra level of care that only a skilled team of physicians can provide. Should these issues arise, our board certified neonatologists will be here for you. Because critical care situations don’t happen on a set schedule, our neonatologists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our experienced neonatal team performs newborn evaluations and utilizes state-of-the-art equipment to perform neonatal resuscitation and stabilization if necessary. Each room is equipped to handle unexpected emergencies, but if special medical needs arise, your baby may be transferred to our nursery, which is equipped for critical care and stabilization.
What security procedures are in place to protect my newborn?
Immediately after the birth of your baby, our staff takes a footprint of your baby, which is uploaded into our security system and checked upon discharge. Furthermore, each infant has a security band with an electronic device so that – if someone carrying your baby gets too close to an entrance or exit – alarms on the unit will sound. This tracking device can be monitored by nurses on our unit, who can see on a computer where your baby currently is compared to where they are supposed to be. Additional bands for identification shall be applied around your baby’s wrist and ankle. Identification bands will also be given to the new mom and her support person. This identification band must be shown to our front desk nurse in order to enter or exit the unit.
What is the visitor policy during labor and delivery?
As a family-centered facility, we welcome visitation with family and friends. While we do not limit visiting hours, we encourage regular visitation during the hours of 9 am to 9 pm, as rest and relaxation is also important for our new moms and babies. To avoid any risk for infection, visitors experiencing any symptoms of a possible infectious illness – such as, but not limited to cough, cold, fever, rash, vomiting or diarrhea – are not permitted to visit. Visitation is limited at physician discretion. We encourage you to discuss any particular delivery plans with your obstetrician prior to admission. The BirthCare Center will not restrict, limit or otherwise deny visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, relationship, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.
All visitors are required to sign-in at the front-desk located at the entrance to the unit. Adult visitors are required to show ID. Patients are able to provide our staff with a “hold” for guests they wish not to be admitted into their room. After checking against this list, our staff gives each visitor a name tag, which is color coded to ensure name tags aren’t distributed to unauthorized guests. Name tags indicate the patient’s room number and are good for the rest of the day.
How many support people are allowed to be with me during my delivery?
There are no limitations on the number of support people who can be with you during delivery, unless a medical indication arises, in which case, limitations would be at the discretion of the physician. We recommend discussing with your physician any specific plans for the number of support people to be with you during delivery.
Will my baby’s siblings be allowed to attend the birth?
Yes, there are no limitations unless your baby’s sibling is showing symptoms of illness (flu, fever, cough, cold, vomiting, etc.). In this instance, to assure the safety of your baby and minimize your newborn’s risk for infection, the sibling would not be permitted.
Can my partner stay with me in the room? What accommodations do you have for partners?
Yes, the BirthCare Center has equipped each room with a pull-out sofa bed.
What happens if I struggle with breastfeeding my newborn?
The BirthCare Center offers certified lactation counselors on staff to assist mothers and babies in learning the art of breastfeeding. Additionally, all of our nurses have received training in breastfeeding and are able to provide individualized care to mother and baby during your hospital stay. If you have issues with breastfeeding post-discharge, please call our Parent Educators at (386) 231-3152 so they may assist.
How many women in labor does each nurse typically care for?
The BirthCare Center follows the industry-recognized standard of care for staffing. Each of our labor and delivery nurses serves only two patients.
What are the hospital’s policies about continuous electronic fetal monitoring and routine intravenous hydration?
The BirthCare Center provides continuous and intermittent monitoring pending the health status of the mother and/or the fetal heart rate. We recommend discussing your specific plans with your physician.
May my family and I use our cell phones?
We encourage you to use your cell phones only in specified areas: family waiting rooms, the café and any sidewalk areas outside of the hospital.
May I eat while I am in labor?
Typically we do not allow you to have solid foods while you are in labor. Mom may have what we refer to as clear liquids: ice chips, pop¬sicles, etc. on a limited basis. Following the birth of your baby, the BirthCare Center offers a complimentary celebratory meal for two to welcome your newborn. Click here for a menu of options available for your celebratory meal.
Do you allow smoking?
Please note that all Florida Hospital campuses are smoke-free. For your safety, you shall not be permitted to leave the BirthCare Center until medically cleared for discharge by your physician.
Are we allowed to take pictures and video the birth of my newborn?
Video and still photography may be used after delivery. Your nurse will tell you when you may begin to photograph your newborn.
The BirthCare Center works with Mom365 – the largest professional newborn photographer in the U.S. – to provide parents with a fun, free and fast way to share the news of their baby’s birth. Following the birth of your baby, a photographer will be available to capture images of your little one, without having to leave the comfort and privacy of your room. From there, each baby is given his or her very own password-protected web page. Friends and family can join in the celebration by signing the online guest book. Since the baby’s page will only be visible to those with the ID number and password, this feature allows parents to control who has access to their baby’s information. For your family’s security, last names are never used. Your baby will be identified by first name and last initial. Mom and Dad are also identified by first name only. There is no obligation to purchase photos.
When will I receive my baby’s birth certificate?
The BirthCare Center provides an Electronic Birth Certificate program which provides you with prompt access to birth certificates. The Birth Registrar will complete the electronic birth record with you in the privacy of your room.
Who can I talk to for questions about anesthesia and pain management?
Florida Hospital utilizes HealthCare Partners Anesthesia Group for anesthesia services, including labor, epidural and C-sections. Patients are able to prepay for services in advance when pre-registering for admission to the hospital. For questions or to meet with an anesthesiologist prior to delivery, please call (386) 231-3147.