It's Time for Delivery

Childbirth is one of the greatest miracles you'll ever experience. And it should be shared with the special people you love in whatever way you want. To ensure that you have the flexibility to personalize your baby's birth, and to give you plenty of family time, we offer more private rooms than any other facility in the area. Our liberal visitation policy means you can usually have visitors anytime you wish. Plus, we've created cozy lounges for your family and friends and playrooms for your children.

Birthing Options

At the Women's Center, our single room maternity suites give you more flexibility, choice and comfort. We've designed each room to offer a homey, relaxing atmosphere with the necessary medical equipment, conveniently stored out of sight. Best of all, barring medical complications, you'll be in one room - where your full-size bed simply converts to a birthing bed - from the time you check in through discharge, usually within 24 to 48 hours after your baby is born. Rather than being taken to the nursery after delivery, your baby will stay with you and be bathed and weighed right in your room, making your bonding experience more intimate. Best of all, there's a comfortable sleeper sofa for your partner.

If you choose an LDR (labor, delivery, recovery) room or have a high-risk pregnancy, you'll stay in the same room through delivery and immediate recovery. Then you'll move to our Mother-Baby unit for special post-partum care until discharge. Following a C-section delivery, when you and your baby are ready, we'll bring the baby to you in the Perinatal Recovery Room for some bonding time. You'll then be taken to the Mother-Baby unit, where you'll stay until discharge - about two days later.

Arriving At The Hospital

When you go into labor, follow your healthcare provider's instructions about contacting them. BE SURE TO CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER BEFORE COMING TO THE HOSPITAL.

You may want to plan your route to the hospital ahead of time. Come to the entrance in front of the Women's Center, which is located next to the main entrance of Memorial Hospital Jacksonville at 3625 University Boulevard South. If the admitting area is unattended, take the elevator to the second floor where someone will be available to assist you. If it is after hours and the door is locked, pick up the security phone. A Women's Center staff member will assist you.

Ideas About Personalizing Childbirth

  • Who would you like to have present during labor?
  • Who will be your main support person?
  • How would you like to manage pain?
  • What positions would you like to try during labor and delivery?
  • Who would you like present during birth?
  • How do you envision the moments immediately after birth?
  • Hold baby skin to skin
  • Wrap baby in blanket before holding
  • Breast feed
  • Give first bath
  • Have pictures taken
  • Have baby in my room
  • Have baby in the nursery

The Signs Of Labor

If you're unsure whether your labor has truly begun, here some helpful hints to help you identify the "real thing":

False Labor

  • You experience no "bloody show"
  • Contractions are irregular and not progressively closer together. 
  • Walking or changing activity or position relieves or stops the contractions. 

Real Labor

  • A "bloody show" may appear and may be accompanied by cramp-like pains.
  • Your "bag of water" may rupture.
  • Contractions get stronger, occur more frequently and last longer in spite of walking or changing activity.

What To Bring

You will need to bring a few personal items with you - toiletries, night gown, robe, slippers, nursing bra and any items you want for labor. You may also decide to bring a change of clothes to wear home. When packing, remember you will probably not fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes. If you are planning to breast feed and know you will be in the hospital for a few days following your baby's birth, you may want to include nursing pads.

When You're Ready To Go Home

While your baby is in the hospital, we will provide clothing. Please bring a receiving blanket and clothes for your baby to wear home. If you'd like, we'll take a picture of your baby upon discharge.

Birth Certificate

Before you are discharged, you may be given a birth certificate information form to complete. If not, you will be contacted by the birth certificate coordinator by telephone or mail after you are discharged. This information is required by HRS for the official registration of your child.

Car Seat

Florida law requires that all children under the age of four be secured in an approved child passenger safety seat while riding in a motor vehicle. This law includes the newborn's first ride home from the hospital. YOU MUST BRING A BABY CAR SEAT WITH YOU.

Dad: What You Need to Know

It is important to experience pregnancy and childbirth together. That means accompanying your partner to pre-natal visits, helping to decorate the nursery, shopping for baby supplies, discussing baby names, parenting styles, labor and delivery options and attending prepared childbirth or new baby classes. You may even choose to join your partner in avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking and eating well.

Now is the time to establish a relationship with your baby - talk and sing to your baby in utero so your child will recognize your voice after birth.

The birth of your child is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling moments of your life. The more time you spend now learning about what to expect, the more you'll be able to relax and enjoy that special time.