Delivering at NC Women’s Hospital at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The NC Women’s Hospital is a leading research hospital, with outstanding patient care. Clients love the personalized feel of the care they receive, while always knowing their medical team is up to date on all the current medical recommendations for outstanding patient care.
Pre-Registration is done through your primary care doctor or midwife. If you have any questions about you registration status, you can call the UNC Health Care Admitting Office at 919.843.0095.
The following practices deliver at NC Women’s Hospital
- UNC Midwives
- UNC General Obstetrics and Gynecology
- UNC Maternal-Fetal Medicine
- The Midwives at Women’s Birth and Wellness Center
When you first arrive to UNC, you have several options for parking. If you are having a medical emergency, you enter through the Emergency Room and receive a 56 hour ER parking pass. If you feel like you cannot walk and need to be dropped off at the door, there is valet (for $6 per day) and short term parking (free as long as you are parked in a designated “stork” parking spot). If you feel like you can walk, you may park in the Dogwood lot across the street from the hospital that is $1.50/hour. This is also the parking deck your visitors will want to use. There is a bridge connecting the parking deck to the hospital on level two. When you arrive to the Women’s Hospital between 7:30am and 7:30pm, you enter through the Stork Entrance into the Women’s Hospital. If you are arriving outside of those times, you will enter towards the Children’s Hospital entrance (when facing the hospital, it is on the left side of the Women’s Hospital entrance). Once inside the Children’s Hospital, you can walk to the Women’s Hospital and follow the “stork” signs. You will need to check into the visitors desk, and then be allowed to the 4th floor for Labor and Delivery, or the 5th floor for Mother Baby rooms. Visitors will need to obtain 24-hour visitor passes at this desk and use the phones outside of the locked units.
Once you are on the Labor and Delivery floor, but have not been admitted yet, you will be put into one of the five Triage Room. There is a limit of one person allowed in your triage room. In here, you will be required to receive 20-30 minutes of fetal monitoring and a start saline lock. You can decline medication at any time, but it is hospital policy to receive a saline lock. If you are admitted, you will be directly transferred to your Labor and Delivery Room. This is a great place to notify your medical team if you would like to save your placenta, do cord blood banking, or have any other specific birth preferences.
Labor and Delivery Rooms
Once you have been admitted, you will be moved to one of the 15 Labor and Delivery rooms on the fourth floor of the Women’s Hospital. The floor is secure, so in order for visitors to enter they must obtain a visitor pass (with valid photo ID) from the lobby as well receive permission to enter the locked doors. There is a limit to three visitors (including children), but your medical team may limit the amount of visitors at any time if medically necessary or if there is an active flu outbreak.
UNC does not ask what your pain level is, rather ask how you are coping with labor. If you are not coping well, they can provide various comfort measures, suggest a change in position, and/or provide pain medication. In each room, there is a shower, a birthing ball, peanut ball, birthing stool, birthing mirror, birthing bar, and most rooms have speakers or a boombox that can play your own music. Comfort measures that you can request from your nursing team include battery candles, heat packs, ice, nitrous, IV pain medication, and an epidural. Each room has wireless and waterproof fetal monitor to encourage movement. Normal protocol is for you to wear a hospital issued gown, but you are welcome to bring your own if you would like. If the need for a cesarean birth arrises, you will be required to wear only hospital issued items.
On the L&D Floor, there is a small kitchenette that your support person can use to get any snacks or drinks he or she may need. Once you are admitted, you may be on a clear liquid diet, depending on your provider.
Once your baby is born, breastfeeding and skin to skin will be encouraged as NC Women’s Hospital is a Baby Friendly and Five Star Breastfeeding Friendly Designated Hospital. Furthermore, delayed baths and delayed cord clamping are standard practice. After about 2 hours, you will be moved to your postpartum room.
Please note: hospital policy states that no filming or photos during the actual birth or any procedures done in the room is allowed.
There are three dedicated operating rooms on the Labor and Delivery Floor if you are having a scheduled or unscheduled cesarean birth, and two recovery rooms. NC Women’s Hospital is starting to allow cesareans to be more family centered, unless there is an emergency. They are allowing clear drapes during the procedure, and skin-to-skin and breastfeeding while still in the OR, if medically safe. Furthermore, some providers are allowing both a support person and your doula to be in the OR with you. If any of these interest you, you may speak with your medical team to see what options are available for you.
How long you stay in this room is dependent on your medical needs, but usually it is two nights for vaginal births and three for cesarean births. While there are no limits to the amount of visitors you can have while here, your nurse can always limit the number if you wish or if it becomes a problem for your recovery. Visitors are required to have proper photo ID and receive a visitor pass in the lobby of the Women’s Hospital and must use the phone outside of the secure unit to gain entry.
The hospital will provide you and your baby with everything you need, such as diapers, wipes, simple shirts for newborns, blankets, some toiletries, and a hospital gown for you. If you would like a specific personal hygiene product, you should bring that. You are also welcome to bring any bedding you would like, but please make it brightly colored so it does not get mixed in with the hospital bedding that is all white. The only item the hospital does not routinely supple is a pacifier for your baby.
Since UNC is a Baby Friendly Designated Hospital, your baby will room in with you and there is no healthy baby nursery. The only time your baby will leave your room is for the routine hearing test, and if you choose to have your new son circumcised.
If your baby does need some extra attention, there is 58-bed Newborn Critical Care Center (NCCU) on the fourth floor of the Children’s Hospital that connects to the L&D floor in the Women’s Hospital. Only two people are allowed at bedside, and at times the floor will restrict access to children 12 and under. The NCCU also hosts weekly family and support groups to encourage parents to become part of the hospital community. For more information about these groups, you can visit their website or call (984-974-3481).
If you decide to breastfeed your baby, your nursing team will be there to support you the entire time. If you request one, the hospital provides hospital grade Medella pumps for you if you need some extra help feeding your baby. You may be able to keep the parts upon discharge. Donor milk is also available if your choose to supplement feeding your newborn. If you decide to formula feed your baby, your nursing team will educate you about how to do so and will provide formula, bottles and nipples.
With the size of the UNC Hospital System, there are many food options and choices for all diets. First, there is a room service available for patients. Directly from your room, you can order meals and have them delivered to you. A full menu is available from 7am to 8pm, and a late night menu is available 8pm-7am. Guest trays area also available for delivery for $7.53. There are also four cafeterias/cafes throughout the hospital that you or your visitors may visit. Hours vary depending on location. There is also a Starbucks that is open 24/7 in the lobby of the Cancer Hospital. And lastly, many local restaurants delivery to the hospital if you are craving something in particular.
Your support person is welcome to stay the entire duration of your stay. In each room, there is a small couch that converts to a bed. They will be provided all necessary bedding. Children are generally not allowed to spend the night.
Lactation support is available immediately upon delivery, both from nurses and Lactation Consultants. You will be given a direct number to your lactation team while in the hospital. After you are discharged, you can always call the Warmline for more support at 919-966-4148. Newborn photography is available through Bella Baby and a representative will come by your postpartum room to see if you are interested. For your baby’s birth certificate, someone will come by your room to conduct a short interview to get all the required information to process your baby’s birth certificate
Your new baby will be seen by a pediatrician from UNC while in the hospital, unless you have a local pediatrician that visits patients while in the hospital. You are recommended to make your baby’s first pediatrician’s appointment while still in the hospital, but not required. Your nursing team can help you make that appointment.
Your medical team will try to have you discharged by 11:30am. Both mother and baby will be transported by wheelchair by a member of your medical team to the front entrance of the Women’s Hospital where your support person can pick you up. You must have your car seat installed prior to discharge.
Important Phone Numbers
- Nurse Manager of Labor & Delivery 984-974-9344
- Nurse Manager of Maternity Care Center 984-974-9252
- Director of Lactation Services 984-974-9298
- Nurse Manager for Ambulatory Services 984-974-8931
- Ambulatory Services Clinic Administrator 984-974-8966
- Clinical Director of the Women’s Hospital 984-974-9094