Photos courtesy of UF Health Shands Hospital & Indigo & Co. Photography
While the birth of your child, whether your first or your fifth, is an exciting time, it can also be very nerve-wracking for moms. If you are giving birth in one of our local hospitals, you may not know what to expect before going in. While both hospitals offer tours of their maternity units, sometimes those nine months just go way quicker than expected, and with nurseries to be designed, parties to be held, and doctors appointments to be attended, we may not make it to those tours before baby comes. So, we decided to bring the tour to you!
University of Florida Health Shands Hospital
Whether you are in a triage room or a labor and delivery suite, each room accommodates mom and baby, with areas for birth partners and family to be present during the labor and delivery process. Rooms are located on the third floor of the hospital, close to the neonatal intensive care unit and mother/baby suite. Each room is private, has an adjustable bed, private restroom, a nitrous oxide machine, wireless fetal monitoring devices, infant warmers and birthing balls, as well as all the smaller items, like shampoo, blankets and pillows.
UF Health Shands promotes skin-to- skin contact at birth for healthy term babies, however newborns that require additional support or temperature regulation at birth may be placed in an infant warmer close by mom’s bedside.
The rooms also come with Hugs® tags, which are small security devices that will sound an alarm if taken off or tampered with, as well as barcoded tags for mom and baby. Barcoded Medication Administration, or BCMA, is an inventory control system that uses barcodes to prevent errors in the distribution of prescription medications at hospitals. The goal of BCMA is to make sure that moms and babies are receiving the correct medications at the correct time by electronically validating and documenting medications. The information encoded in barcodes allows for the comparison of the medication being administered with what was ordered for the mom and baby.
Moms may choose to have an epidural to help ease their labor pains. This positioning device helps keep mom in a stable and safe position to receive the epidural.
UF Health Shands also offers wireless fetal monitors for mom and baby. This device allows moms increased mobility, which means they can sit on birthing balls, walk around and move comfortably around their rooms. The wireless fetal monitoring device provides visual information of baby’s heart rate and contraction patterns during labor, allowing doctors and nurses to monitor baby. This device is a single patch, which is gently adhered to a mom’s belly.
*UF Health Shands Hospital is one of seven hospitals in the state of Florida to receive the Baby-Friendly designation, a special program that provides breastfeeding support for new moms sponsored by UNICEF.
North Florida Regional Medical Center
North Florida Regional Medical Center’s labor and delivery unit features 18 private rooms with plenty of room for family to stay with mom as she labors. Peanut balls and birthing balls are also available upon request to help moms through the labor process. All of the medication given to mom and baby is barcoded and scanned through NFRMC’s Meditech inventory system to ensure that it is correct. Typically, moms stay in this room for about two hours after delivery, depending on their condition. Then mom and baby are moved to a postpartum room.
Right next to mom’s bedside is a Pandaâ warmer. Although NFRMC promotes skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible for mom and baby, in the event that the baby requires assistance after birth, he or she would be placed in the warmer. It can be used to get the baby’s APGAR score as well as monitor oxygen.
The tocolytic monitor is used to continuously track contractions, baby’s heart rate and mom’s vital signs. The information from tocolytic monitor screens to the nurse’s station as well so that multiple people can keep track of mom and baby’s health, even if there is not a nurse in the room. North Florida Regional also offers wireless fetal monitors to allow mom more mobility during labor.
NFRMC currently features 20 postpartum rooms, which will increase to 30 beds after the construction of three new floors at the Women’s Center, starting November 2018. All postpartum rooms come equipped with breast pumps, and NFRMC offers lactation services seven days a week to offer support to moms learning to breastfeed.
There is no newborn nursery at NFRMC. Baby stays with mom in the postpartum room, which also features a sofa bed so that dad can stay close by, too! To ensure the safety of mom and baby, the unit stays locked, with visitors calling in to the desk before being allowed in. NFRMC uses the Hugsâ infant security system to prevent babies from being taken out of the unit.
*North Florida Regional Medical Center offers a new moms luncheon for all moms who recently delivered their baby at the hospital. This free luncheon is held every Tuesday and is available to moms with babies from 2 to 12 weeks old.
Classes and Tours
UF Health Shands
Among other maternity classes, like newborn care and breastfeeding, UF Health Shands offers a childbirth education class, which includes a tour of the triage, labor and delivery, and mother baby unit. Classes are held from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. one Saturday a month. Upcoming dates include June 9, July 14, Aug. 11 and Sept. 8.
North Florida Regional Medical Center
North Florida Regional Medical Center offers free, one-hour maternity unit tours most Mondays and Wednesdays. Just be sure to pre-register online to ensure a spot! NFRMC also offers a number of other parent education classes several times per month, including infant massage, breastfeeding and pumping, newborn care and prepared childbirth, among others.