Delivering at WakeMed North Family & Women's Hospital
Continuing with our commitment to help individuals and families learn about the various birthing places in Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, we will be outlining the various policies and procedures at WakeMed North Family & Women’s Hospital.
WakeMed North is the one and only women’s hospital, located in Wake County on Falls of Neuse in North Raleigh. With the key theme of personal comfort, and goal to provide a tranquil luxury atmosphere, the hospital can be appealing for those who are looking for a bit more of personalized birth, while still being in a hospital setting. The core of this new hospital is obstetric services and promoting family-centered care. This hospital is unique in that it is associated with WakeMed Physician Practices – North and Brier Creek, Blue Ridge OB/GYN Associates as well as six Obstetrics and Gynecology hospitalists. When choosing WakeMed North as your birthing center, you are agreeing to have one of the six hospitalists deliver your baby, or the physicians at WakeMed North and Brier Creek if you are a patient there.
When you first arrive to have your baby at WakeMed North, you can park in the main visitor lot or the covered parking behind the hospital (either option is free!), and enter through the Family and Maternal Entrance, not the Emergency Room, any time of day. The support person can park the car in the entrance circle and come inside for a wheelchair for the birthing person. The Labor and Delivery floor, is locked, the birthing person and support person must check-in for passes. Please note: registration at WakeMed North can be done ahead of time to make the check-in process faster.
Once you arrive on the labor and delivery floor, you will be taken to one of the triage rooms for the an initial assessment prior to being admitted. Once in the room, you will be instructed to change into a hospital gown or a personal gown, to provide a urine sample, and the nurse will then proceed with 20-30 minutes of fetal monitoring, while also administering an IV port. You can decline pain medication, but it is hospital policy to require the port. Once you are admitted, you will be on a clear liquids diet.
Labor and Delivery Rooms
The six labor and delivery rooms at WakeMed North are well equipped for you to have the type of birth you desire. The Maternity floor is a secure floor, thus visitors must obtain a visitors pass and must know your first and last name, along with your room number to be admitted.
All of the rooms are private, and equipped with two TVs, a couch to bed, recliner, private bathrooms and showers, labor balls, mirrors, and tablets. Upon request, labor bars and a birth tub for rent are available. They only allow labor in the tubs, and require you to deliver your baby on the bed. Wireless and waterproof fetal monitoring is available to encourage movement during labor.
WakeMed North is working towards becoming Baby-Friendly certified, therefore they encourage skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, a delayed bath of six hours minimum, and breastfeeding immediately, they have seven lactation consultants on staff. WakeMed North does allow the woman to request her placenta by telling the nurses prior to birth. A consent form has to be completed and extra lab work done prior to the placenta being released. WakeMed North always runs Pitocin after the birth of your baby to help the placenta out and reduce bleeding.
You will stay in your L&D room for 1-2 hours, and will be moved to your Mother Baby Room for your postpartum recovery, also on the same floor.
Please note: it is hospital policy that there will be no photography during the actual delivery or any procedures that occur in your room. Although, Skype/FaceTime are allowed during the birth.
There are two dedicated operating rooms on the Maternity Floor if you are having an emergency cesarean birth, with an attached recovery room for mom. For scheduled cesareans, an operating room in the main OR department is used with the labor and delivery staff. Only one support person is allowed in the OR with you. At this time, immediate skin to skin and breastfeeding occur sometimes, and only when it is medically safe to do so.
Mother Baby Room
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.
There are 21 rooms for postpartum, the rooms have the same layout as the L&D rooms- couch, recliner, two TVS. The hospital grade breast pump is provided to use along with diapers, wipes, blankets, and simple shirts for your baby while in the hospital. However, they do recommend you bring your own toiletries, comfortable shoes to walk during labor, a robe, a going home outfit for yourself and for your baby, and any bedding you feel like you need. Normal protocol is for you to wear hospital issued gowns, but you are allowed to bring your own laboring gown if you wish.
At WakeMed North, there is no healthy baby nursery, so your baby will room in with you during your entire time at the hospital. The only time your baby will leave is for the hearing test and circumcision if you choose to do so. There is a Level III NICU in case your baby needs extra attention.
There is room service for patients any time of day, the support person and children receive 1 free meal per day. The hospital also provides sparkling juice and cake immediately after birth. There is also a coach’s corner with a microwave, coffee, tea, and water. The hospital does allow patients and guests to bring food and snacks from outside the hospital.
Your support person is welcome to stay the entire length of your visit, and will be provided all of the sheets and pillows he or she needs. Each room has a small recliner and couch that goes into a bed for him or her to sleep on.
Lactation support, newborn photography, cord blood banking, and birth certificate services are all available to you during your stay as well.
When both your doctor, and your baby’s pediatrician decide you and your baby can safely be discharged, your nurses will assist you to make the final preparations. You will be required to have a properly installed car seat for your baby, as well as the birth certificate information completely filled out. The staff encourages you to have your pediatrician appointment made prior to leaving the hospital as well.
We hope this helped you get a feel for what it would be like to delivery at WakeMed North Family and Women Hospital! We recommend you take a tour of this hospital if you are interested in delivering your baby at WakeMed North. We always recommend that you speak with your provider regarding all protocols and procedures that may have changed or may be unique to your situation. As always, our doulas are here to help you talk through your wishes and desires for your birthing location.