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Frequently Asked Questions

Before Baby
  1. What should I bring to the hospital?
  2. If I have a birth plan do I need to send it in before labor and delivery?
  3. Where can I learn basic baby-care skills like infant CPR or even how to change a diaper?
  4. What is circumcision and is it something we should investigate for our son?
Labor and Delivery
  1. Does Akron General have birth balls available to use during labor?
  2. Can I listen to music during my labor and birth?
  3. How will I know when it is time to come to the hospital?
  4. Will I be able to walk and move about during my labor?
  5. How soon can I have an epidural?
  6. Can I eat when I am in labor?
  7. Where do I come when it's time to come to the hospital?
  8. How many people can be in the labor suite with me?
  9. Can we take pictures?
  10. Can I have a walking epidural?
  11. Does AGMC have a labor tub?
  12. What is the typical length of stay for vaginal/cesarean delivery?
  13. My partner gets squeamish at the sight of blood. Does he have to cut the umbilical cord? Can my mother (or someone else) serve as my coach instead?
After Delivery
  1. How soon after delivery will I be able to breastfeed?
  2. When do I need to select a pediatrician for my baby?
  3. When can I start breastfeeding?
  4. Can my husband/coach stay with me after delivery?
  5. How do I get a Social Security number for my baby?
  6. Will my dog/cat be jealous of the new baby?

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Before Baby
  1. What should I bring to the hospital?
    A: Though your childbirth educator will provide you a list, you can print our electronic Hospital Checklist by clicking here.
  2. If I have a birth plan do I need to send it in before labor and delivery?
    A: Yes. Your birth plan should be sent in advance to the Woman's Center so that we can address special requests and needs prior to your arrival for delivery.
  3. Where can I learn basic baby-care skills like infant CPR or even how to change a diaper?
    A: Basic infant care is introduced and taught during the postpartum stay. The Women's Center also offers a Baby Basics class and Infant & Child CPR and Safety class.
  4. What is circumcision and is it something we should investigate for our son?
    A: Circumcision surgically removes the skin that covers the end of a male's penis, called the foreskin. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, "Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision." Parents may want their son circumcised for religious, social, or cultural reasons. Anyone considering circumcision should discuss the potential benefits and risks with their physician. There are pain medicines available that are safe and effective and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends their use to reduce pain from circumcision.
Labor and Delivery
  1. Does Akron General have birth balls available to use during labor?
    A: Yes, the New Life Center has birth balls and encourages their use whenever possible. A birth ball is a large round physical therapy ball that aid in progress during labor. Leaning forward over a birth ball can help relieve back pain from labor. If you're interested in using a birth ball just let your nurse know.
  2. Can I listen to music during my labor and birth?
    A: Yes, and we highly recommend that you do. Many parents find music helps to relax or energize them during labor. Each of the labor, delivery, recovery (LDR) rooms at Akron General has a stereo located right inside the entertainment center for playing the CDs or cassettes of your choice.
  3. How will I know when it is time to come to the hospital?
    A: Unless otherwise noted by your physician, we usually follow the 5-1-1 rule. When your contractions are 5 minutes apart, last 1 minute in length and have been like this for about an hour it is generally a good time to call your practitioner and then head into the hospital.
  4. Will I be able to walk and move about during my labor?
    A: Yes. The best way to assist you with your labor is to have you remain active during that time. We encourage many position changes, massage techniques, walking, rocking in the rocking chair, utilizing the birthing ball and even showering in your private Labor, Delivery, Recovery bathroom as a means for movement and for relaxation to aid you in your labor. For medical reasons, it may become necessary for you or for the baby to remain in bed. We will still assist you and your coach to change your positions often though to aid the baby during your labor.
  5. How soon can I have an epidural?
    A: The decision of when to have an epidural will be made by the physician, dependent upon your labor. Generally speaking, the optimal time to receive this type of pain relief is when your cervix is dilated to 4 centimeters and you are in a good labor pattern, which is defined as contractions that are lasting for 60-90 seconds in length and are 2-3 minutes apart.
  6. Can I eat when I am in labor?
    A: When you are in early labor and are still at home with your coach, we do encourage you to eat something light like cereal and toast, fruits or vegetables. We don't encourage heavy meals due to the fact that some women may become nauseated during their course of labor. Upon admission to the hospital, we will provide you with ice chips and Popsicles during your labor. We also will be administering hydration to you via an intravenous solution. After delivery of your baby, you will be offered a meal in your Labor, Delivery, Recovery suite during the recovery period.
  7. Where do I come when it's time to come to the hospital?
    A: From 6:00 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. you can come in the main entrance and walk straight back to Labor and Delivery. From 11:45 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. you should go to the Emergency Department. They will take you to Labor and Delivery in a wheelchair while your coach parks the car, then they will send your coach up when he/she arrives.
  8. How many people can be in the labor suite with me?
    A: Labor and Delivery visiting guidelines state that two people can be in the labor suite with you at a time. Your visitors can take turns, though children under sixteen should not visit.
  9. Can we take pictures?
    A: AGMC policy states that pictures and video of Mom, baby, and family can be taken, but the actual birth or surgery cannot be photographed or videoed.
  10. Can I have a walking epidural?
    A: A walking epidural is a combination of a spinal and an epidural. The anesthesia department at AGMC believes that this procedure has not been researched long enough, has increased risk for the patient due to the dual procedure, and has not been proven superior to just an epidural for controlling labor pain and discomfort. It is also important to note that few patients having a walking epidural actually get to walk due to lowered blood pressure, a common effect of epidural and spinal medications.
  11. Does Akron General have a labor tub?
    A: Akron General does have a labor tub for your convenience. While the tub is not jetted, you can be sumbmerged in warm water until you are completely dilated but still mobile. You will not deliver in the tub.
  12. What is the typical length of stay for vaginal/cesarean delivery?
    A: The average length of stay for a vaginal delivery is two days and three days for a c-section.
  13. My partner gets squeamish at the sight of blood. Does he have to cut the umbilical cord? Can my mother (or someone else) serve as my coach instead?
    A: Cutting the cord by the partner is only done if the couple requests it. Anyone the patient feels comfortable with may be a support person or coach during labor.
After Delivery
  1. How soon after delivery will I be able to breastfeed?
    A: We encourage breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery. This will generally occur at the beginning of your recovery period. Breastfeeding your baby within that first hour or two will assist you in learning and bonding with your baby. Our Labor and Delivery nurses will assist you with breastfeeding positions and help you to recognize your baby's latch at the breast to make this a great experience for you. We do encourage our couples to take advantage of our prenatal breastfeeding classes and use of our breastfeeding support that is offered after the arrival. Learn more about our Lactation Support.
  2. When do I need to select a pediatrician for my baby?
    A: As soon as possible, and definitely by around a month before your due date because a baby can always come sooner than expected. Your pediatrician will want to complete an examination while your baby is here in the hospital. To avoid any excess costs, be sure to verify that the physician you select has privileges at Akron General and is covered under your health insurance plan.
  3. When can I start breastfeeding?
    A: You can start breastfeeding in the labor room after delivery.
  4. Can my husband/coach stay with me after delivery?
    A: Yes. Because all of our postpartum rooms are private rooms, your husband/coach may stay with you in your room.
  5. How do I get a Social Security number for my baby?
    A: Social Security numbers can be requested and automatically received by checking a box on the birth certificate worksheet. The state office in Columbus will automatically forward the request to the Social Security office when the birth certificate is registered in Columbus. The parent may also opt to personally apply at the Social Security office. The parent must have a notarized copy of the birth certificate to do so. Most parents apply for the card when they are completing the birth certificate information.
  6. Will my dog/cat be jealous of the new baby?
    A: Pets, like other family members, will need to make adjustments for the new baby. Never allow your pet to have unsupervised access to your infant. Use whatever techniques have been used in the past that have been successful in introducing your pet to new people with whom the family is close and to whom the family demonstrates caring and affectionate behavior.


    Date Updated: 19-NOV-2012



    Akron General Medical Center • 1 Akron General Avenue (Formerly 400 Wabash Avenue) • Akron, OH 44307 • 330-344-6000 • 1-800-221-4601    © 2014 Akron General Health System
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