Comprehensive pregnancy services in Northeast Florida
COVID-19 and pregnancy - an update for our patients
We would like to take this opportunity to update you about your maternity care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and assure you that our dedicated team of expert nurses, physicians and midwives are committed to providing safe and effective care to every patient who walks through our doors.
At Memorial Hospital Jacksonville, we know your baby's arrival is an exciting time for you and your family. That's why we are committed to creating a personalized birthing experience to meet your needs.
From private rooms to our compassionate staff, we want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible while you welcome your baby into the world. We also offer a wide range of pregnancy support services, such as childbirth preparation classes and breastfeeding consultations.
For more information about our labor and delivery services, please call (904) 702-1462.
Family-centered pregnancy care
At the Women’s Center, we are here to provide a birthing experience that involves your family in whatever way you choose. If you have other children, they are welcome to visit during labor and may be able to attend delivery at your request. In addition, we provide playrooms for siblings and sibling classes to help your children know what to expect when your new baby comes home.
What to expect during your pregnancy
During pregnancy, your body will experience many changes. We've outlined some of these changes you can anticipate during this time.
During the first trimester, you may experience fatigue, so try and rest when possible. You also may experience food aversions, cravings and nausea. Listen to your body. Often, the cravings are for foods your body needs (such as calcium-rich foods).
You may feel some frustration at not yet appearing to be pregnant. After all, you’re feeling lots of changes. You likely won’t gain much weight this trimester (although you’ll gain 25 to 35 pounds over the course of the pregnancy). Even so, your clothes may begin to feel tight.
During the second trimester, the fatigue and nausea have most likely passed. You will also start to show more physical signs of pregnancy as your breasts and waist expand. The middle of this trimester is when you typically feel your baby kick for the first time. At the end of the second trimester, you may experience fewer mood swings as you settle into your pregnancy.
By now, you should start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions (the uterus hardens and then relaxes). You may begin to feel excited about meeting your new baby as well as concerned over handling the stress of labor and delivery. Prepared childbirth classes (or refresher classes for experienced moms) can help with these fears. At the end of this trimester, you may experience surges of extra energy. This is what many people call the nesting instinct.
Getting ready for your baby’s arrival
Your baby’s birth and their first few moments of life are memories you will cherish forever. Take some time to think about what will make those memories even more special for you and your family. Now is the time to discuss these ideas with your healthcare provider. We’ll work with you to help plan your baby's arrival in a way that meets your needs and preferences.
We offer an easy one-step registration process. To register, print and fill out the Maternity Pre-Admission Form and mail it in or fax it to (904) 702-1463 before your 24th week of pregnancy.
When you come to the hospital, bring your insurance cards and any paperwork your insurance company requires. If you are on a CHAMPUS plan, please bring your non-availability and military ID cards, regardless of which plan you are on.
Choosing your baby's doctor
You should choose a physician for your baby about two months before your due date. We will ask for your physician’s name when you are admitted. If needed, we can help you find a conveniently located physician who participates in your insurance plan.
If you and your physician have special arrangements regarding the care or admission of your baby, the physician’s office must provide them to us in writing before your delivery. You and your partner should also discuss circumcision with your physician before your baby is born.
Your birthing experience
The labor and delivery rooms at the Women's Center are designed to give you flexibility and comfort during your stay. You will be in the same room for your delivery and immediate recovery. After your baby is born, we will bathe and weigh them right in your room, making your bonding experience more intimate.
Next, we will take you to the mother-baby unit for postpartum care. The mother-baby unit offers a comfortable sleeper sofa for your partner. If you had a cesarean delivery (C-section), we will bring your baby to you in the perinatal recovery room for bonding time. You will then be taken to the mother-baby unit, where you will stay until you are discharged.
Before you are discharged, you may be given a birth certificate information form to complete. If not, the birth certificate coordinator will contact you by telephone or mail after you are discharged.
Wireless monitoring technology
We are proud to offer wireless monitoring technology for mothers in labor. Bluetooth technology allows our moms to walk around while in labor. Benefits of wireless monitoring may include relief during contractions and less pain during delivery.
Florida law requires that all children younger than 4 years old 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.
Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for your baby. It is properly balanced and even changes to meet your baby’s needs. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding throughout the first year. However, any amount of breast milk you can give your baby is very beneficial.
We have a full-time certified lactation consultant to assist you and answer any questions you may have about breastfeeding. Our lactation consultant is available for consultation both during your stay and after you’ve been discharged from the hospital. For more information about our breastfeeding support services, call (904) 702-1538.
Nutrition during pregnancy
A healthy, well-balanced diet will help you better handle the physical stresses of pregnancy and ensure your baby receives the nutrients essential for development. Eat at least three meals a day, or consider eating four to six small meals a day (especially if you experience nausea).
Make it a habit to choose snacks high in vitamins, minerals and protein. Limit your intake of foods high in sugar or fat or with little nutritional value. Remember, anything you eat, your baby eats.
Milk and milk products provide calcium to build strong bones and teeth. Although the recommended allowance is usually two to three servings, you need three servings per day during the first two trimesters and four servings per day in the last trimester. If you are lactose intolerant, look for special lactose-free products in the dairy section and concentrate on non-dairy sources of calcium.
During pregnancy, it's important to consume extra fluids to help with amniotic fluid production. Extra fluid also reduces the risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), excessive swelling and constipation. You need at least eight cups of water, fruit juice or milk daily. You should also limit your intake of caffeine, which can interfere with your sleep and negatively affect your baby’s development.
Fruits provide vitamins that are needed for proper growth and development. You should eat two to four servings per day. Fresh fruits provide more nutrients than canned or frozen fruit. If you do choose canned or frozen fruit, select fruit packaged in its own juice instead of sugar or heavy syrup.
Grains provide you and your baby with energy as well as minerals and vitamins (especially Vitamin B). Starchy foods may also relieve morning sickness. To get the most nutritional value, use whole-grain products. Limit pastries, doughnuts and cookies. These are usually made with refined grains and are high in sugar and fat.
Vegetables provide a range of vitamins and minerals essential for cell growth and the development of healthy skin, bones and eyes. You need three to five servings per day. Like fruit, vegetables are best fresh. However, you can use frozen or canned vegetables if needed.
Meat and protein-rich foods
Protein builds strong muscles and blood. It is vital to the development of every cell in your baby’s body. While you are pregnant, you need four servings of protein-rich foods each day. Limit your intake of processed meats and meats high in fat, such as hot dogs, sausage and bacon. If you are a vegetarian, you can get your protein requirements from foods such as beans, tofu and nuts.
What to avoid during pregnancy
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause birth defects, learning disabilities and behavioral problems in your baby. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the medical term that describes the physical and mental problems that affect children born to mothers who drank during their pregnancies.
The adverse effects of drinking depend on the amount consumed, the stage of pregnancy and certain susceptibilities in the mother and her baby. The safest course to take while you’re pregnant is to not drink alcohol at all.
Medication and drugs
Do not take any medication until you have checked with your healthcare provider. This includes aspirin, allergy medication, large doses of vitamins, homeopathic remedies and prescription drugs. You should avoid all recreational drugs, including marijuana. Smoking while you’re pregnant can impair your baby’s growth. Once your child is born, a smoke-free house is a much safer and healthier environment.
Exercise during pregnancy
Physical fitness is another important factor in a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Our HEART Fitness Center offers a wide variety of exercise equipment, stretching and aerobics classes and general fitness instruction. For questions or to learn more about membership options at our fitness center, call (904) 858-7320.
Childbirth education and preparation classes
Preparing for your new baby is an exciting time for you and your growing family. We offer many different classes and tour options to help you prepare for your baby's arrival.
For additional information about our classes, please call (904) 702-6691.
Prepared Childbirth Class
This comprehensive five-week series will prepare you for labor and delivery, postpartum and the early parenting experience. We recommend scheduling your class so the series is completed by your 34th week of pregnancy. Topics covered include:
- Breathing techniques and coping skills for labor and delivery
- C-section birth
- Medication and anesthesia options
- Physical and emotional preparation for birth
- Postpartum experience
- Signs and symptoms of labor
This five-week series also includes the Breastfeeding Class, Baby Care Basics Class and a tour of the Women’s Center.
Prepared Childbirth Class Weekend Crash Course
We also offer a Prepared Childbirth Class Weekend Crash Course. This condenses the five-week Prepared Childbirth Class into a weekend. We cover all of the same topics to ensure you are ready to welcome your baby into the world.
Our Breastfeeding Class addresses topics such as proper positioning, how to tell if your baby is getting enough milk, pumping milk and returning to work. Fathers are encouraged to attend.
Baby Care Basics
Our Baby Care Basics class teaches newborn characteristics, diapering, feeding and bathing. We also discuss safe sleeping and common illnesses in newborns.
Cesarean Section Class
We recommend this class for first-time moms who are planning a scheduled C-section delivery. We cover what to expect before, during and after a C-section. The class also includes a Women’s Center tour.
Sibling Preparation Class
This class will help prepare big brothers and sisters (3 to 7 years old and older) for the new baby. The Sibling Preparation Class includes a Women’s Center tour.
Breastfeeding Support Group
We offer monthly support sessions for breastfeeding moms and babies. Topics discussed include growth spurts, siblings and weaning.
We offer daytime and evening tours of our Women’s Center and Special Beginnings at Memorial Hospital.