At Meadville Medical Center (MMC), providers will focus on the specialty of Obstetrics, Gynecology, or in most cases a combination of the two. Obstetrics is the medical specialty focused on delivering babies while gynecology is the branch of medicine for maintaining women’s health, especially of the reproductive organs.
In order to streamline the admission procedure, we ask you to complete a pre-registration form and return it to the admitting office at Meadville Medical Center (Liberty Street) by your eighth month of pregnancy. You will receive this form during your prepared childbirth classes. When you return it to the hospital, please complete and sign any necessary insurance papers. That way when you come to the hospital in labor, you can be admitted directly to the New Life Unit. One telephone call from the nurses to the admitting office to confirm your arrival time and date is all that is necessary when it is time for the big event.
We also encourage you to make your business arrangements in advance to help ease your mind and ensure proper billing. If financial assistance is necessary, our patient accounts manager will assist you in developing a payment plan to meet your needs. Simply phone 814-333-5000 and ask for the patient accounts manager.
Onset of Labor
When you think you are in active labor, contact your physician and the New Life Unit at 814-333-LIFE. Questions you may be asked by the nurse at the time of your phone call are:
- Your name and date the baby is due
- Time your contractions began
- Frequency of contractions
- How contractions feel (i.e., cramping, backache)
- Whether or not you think your water has broken
- If you have a pink or bloody discharge
- What number baby it is for you (How many children you have previously had)
Coming to the Medical Center
You may enter the hospital and come directly to the New Life Unit on the third floor of the Liberty Street facility. If your labor seems to be progressing rapidly or it is between 8:00 pm – 7:00 am, please enter through the main entrance located near the Emergency Department. There will always be someone there to assist you and to escort you to the New Life Unit.
Your admitting nurse will assess your progress in labor and initiate the admission process. You should discuss your prenatal educational class background and any special choices you have made with your doctor as the nurse admits you.
Admission procedures such as intravenous therapy and electronic fetal monitoring are dependent upon your physician’s orders. You should discuss these things with your doctor during your pregnancy so you will know what to expect during your labor. Remember, once you are in active labor, solid foods are not permitted to be eaten. You may, however, take ice chips and clear liquids as desired during labor.
The following checklist may be useful in reminding you what to bring to the hospital:
- Toiletries (deodorant, shampoo, toothbrush & paste)
- Nightgowns & Robe
- Cases for eyeglasses or contact lenses and solution
- Bras (nursing bras if breastfeeding)
- Your clothing for the trip home
- Clothing for the baby’s trip home (appropriate for the weather)
Please do not bring large sums of money, jewelry or other valuables to the hospital. The hospital provides sanitary napkins and disposable panties for you as well as disposable diapers, wipes, baby bath, and lotion for your baby.
New Life Unit
We believe that the birth of a child is one of life’s most precious miracles. Our goal is to enhance this experience and make it a very memorable occasion. The New Life Unit at Meadville Medical Center brings new technology, safety, and comfort to growing families. Even before entering the New Life Unit for the birthing experience, area women are receiving excellent gynecological and prenatal care from an expanded staff of physician specialists. When the time arrives, patients and their families find a safe and comfortable environment in the New Life Unit with LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum) suites fully equipped with the latest birthing techniques including a central fetal monitoring system. Family-centered maternity care is basic to our philosophy, and because of this we offer programs to all family members in the hope of preparing everyone for the new arrival.
The New Life Unit is designed to provide a safe, homelike atmosphere where families can participate as little or as much as they like in the birth of their child. Our LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum) rooms enhance the birth experience, allowing for complete privacy and making it possible for Moms to stay in the same room throughout the entire birthing process.
Expectant mothers are admitted to private suites known as LDRP’s (labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum rooms) which are designed to provide a relaxing atmosphere so they can appreciate the birthing experience. Our birthing beds adjust to various labor and delivery positions for maximum comfort. Contemporary décor and furnishings add to the homelike environment.
Generally, mothers who are prepared and have close, personal support have a more positive experience in childbirth. Photographs and video recording by the support person after the birthing experience are permitted in the LDRP’s.
During active labor, you will be closely monitored by your coach/support person, your labor, delivery nurse, and your doctor. If your family desires to be close by for the birth of your baby, they may wait in a nearby visitors lounge. After the birth of your new little miracle, they can then be the first to see you and the new family addition. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Many mothers plan to avoid drugs during labor and delivery; however, should medication be desired, all forms of pain relief except general anesthesia may be accommodated in the LDRP’s, with your doctor’s orders. A cesarean delivery room is within our labor and delivery suite for emergency cesarean births. Each LDRP has the capacity for fetal monitoring and infant stabilization. Mobile radiant warmers are also available.
As soon as possible after your baby’s birth, you will be encouraged to place your baby skin to skin. Research has shown that babies do best when placed skin to skin immediately following delivery and remain skin to skin at least a few hours. Only two vital procedures will take priority over this: removing any mucus from the baby’s mouth and nose so it won’t interfere with breathing, and drying and covering the baby to prevent heat loss. Babies are unique individuals from the moment of birth. Studies have shown they can see, smell, feel, and recognize their mother’s and father’s voices.
A breast-feeding mother is encouraged to put her baby to breast as soon as desired after delivery.
Erythromycin will be instilled into your baby’s eyes within the first hour after birth. This is required by the State Department of Health.
You are encouraged to walk and move as soon as you desire and feel able to do so. You should have assistance to the bathroom the first time. Cold packs and sitz baths will be provided to you according to your physician’s orders.
After birth, you will remain in the LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery, post-partum room). Your nurse will monitor your temperature, pulse, and blood pressure; the firmness and position of your uterus; and the amount of bleeding (lochia). Lochia is the vaginal discharge after delivery which lasts up to 6 weeks. It is bloody in color at first and gets lighter in color and amount over time.
Your baby’s vital signs will be closely monitored while he/she remains skin to skin with mom.
Remember, you are responsible for choosing your baby’s physician prior to your admission to the hospital.
At the New Life Unit, we believe in the “mother-baby” concept of family centered nursing. This means that we encourage you to keep your baby with you in your room.
Watching how your nurse cares for your baby in your room helps you gain experience in caring for your newborn. Your nurses will offer their expertise and guidance as you later care for your baby yourself. This Mother-Baby concept gives Mom time to gain confidence in her mothering skills before leaving the hospital.
For the safety of the baby, we ask you or your family to return the baby to the crib or cradle when not being held. Never leave the baby unattended on your bed or in your room. Notify your nurse if you need to leave your room and another family member is not present to stay with the baby.
A nursery is available for sick babies, babies needing extra care, or if you need to rest.
Visitors to the New Life Unit
Recommended visiting hours are from 11:00 am – 8:00 pm. Fathers are permitted to stay the night with mom and baby following guidelines provided by your nurse. We ask that siblings and any visitors be free from infections to protect you and your new baby from illness.
Also, please wash your hands and ask others to wash their hands before attending to the baby.
Breastfeeding support is available by calling the New Life Unit at 814-333-5433 to schedule an appointment with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Breastfeeding class, 7:00 pm on second Tuesday of the month
This class is held in the New Life Unit of Meadville Medical Center, Liberty Street. This class is taught by a certified lactation consultant. It is free of charge and open to all interested persons. Babies are welcome.
Home Visits for New Mothers
An avenue of support is a home visit by a registered nurse with expertise in maternity and lactation. This visit is for those early days after hospital discharge when questions arise. While in the hospital you will be asked if you would like a home visit. Most insurance companies will cover the cost.
Circumcision for male babies is a matter of parental choice. You should discuss your wishes with your physician as soon as possible. Generally, the procedure is done within two days of the baby’s birth.
Birth Certificates & Social Security Number
After your baby’s birth, your nurse will give you a birth certificate to fill out. We need you to complete this form as soon as possible and return it to one of the nurses so that it may be sent to the Bureau of Vital Statistics to be registered. The Bureau sends a notification of registration of your child’s birth and an official birth certificate to your home after you leave the hospital. You may also obtain a social security number using the information from the birth certificate and this will also be sent to your home. The New Life Unit will also give you a complimentary birth certificate with your baby’s footprints on it.
Discharge & Future Appointments
Prior to discharge from the New Life Unit, your nurse will give you printed discharge instructions for you and your baby, specific to your doctor’s orders. Your nurse will discuss these with you and answer any questions you may have. You will have a copy to take home with you for future reference.
You and your baby are usually discharged together. Identification bands will be checked and you will sign that you are taking your baby home on the discharge form. If you go home before your baby, keep your identification bracelet on.
In addition to experiencing the joy of being home, many new mothers have doubts, fatigue, and mixed feelings the first few weeks after giving birth. You may feel overwhelmed by housework and from caring for your new infant. A short period of depression is normal. Get plenty of rest; nap when baby naps; eat high-protein foods; drink plenty of liquids; and do not crash diet, especially if breast feeding. Take time to share your feelings with your mate or a close friend. Go out to dinner – you owe yourself a babysitter once in awhile.
Keep in mind that the father is also tired and overwhelmed with his adjustments to the new mother-baby relationship. These first few weeks will require all the closeness, sharing, and support you can give one another.
A child’s first step actually takes place long before birth – a healthy pregnancy is the “first step” to a happy baby. Let the New Life Unit help you plan the birth experience you’ve always wanted through our special services.
All children in Pennsylvania who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall are legally required to ride in an approved car seat. To ensure that your infant’s first ride is a safe one, please have an approved infant seat to use when you and your baby are discharged. Please read the specific instructions for your car seat. Have it installed in your car, and know how to use it by the day of discharge. On the day of discharge, please have your car seat brought to your room. The base may stay in the car.
Gifts for Baby and Mom
Gifts from our Gift Shop can be delivered directly to Mom and Baby.
A Prepaid One Day Stay Delivery package is available for those expecting couples who have no insurance or medical assistance coverage. Information regarding this program is available from your physician or by calling 814-333-5313.