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Mopac & Parmer
gynecologic consultant to the
Common Birth Practices
Our Labor & Delivery Practices
When to call for possible labor:
2. If your water breaks, please call and we will discuss your specific situation. In general, if you are Group B Streptococcus negative and the water is clear, you can wait up to 12 hours at home for active labor to start. Only 10% of women have their water break prior to labor and 70% of these women will labor spontaneously during this time. If labor (regular contractions causing cervical change) does not begin during those 12 hours, then pitocin will be required to start labor and reduce the risk of infection to mom and baby.
When you arrive in labor:
2. A saline lock (base of an IV) will be started and your blood will be drawn.
3. If you and your baby are doing well and tolerating the labor, we will encourage you to be out of bed (walking, showering, sitting on birthball, standing…) and will intermittently monitor your baby for 5 minutes out of every 30 minutes. You are encouraged to bring a labor ball, music, essential oils/aromatherapy, dark colored night gown or whatever will make you more comfortable during your labor.
4. We want you to drink liberally because you will not have IV hydration. You may bring whatever drinks you would enjoy during your labor. You should drink both water and drinks with sugar to provide energy for your uterus to work well. Many women prefer not to eat during labor because they are either not hungry or are nauseated. If you are hungry during early labor, we encourage you to eat foods that are easily digested (toast, crackers, jello, etc).
5. We will likely not check your cervix again until you or your baby show us signs of labor progression. We try to avoid exams after your water is broken due to infection risk.
6. A nurse will assist you during labor and we will be in to check on you intermittently (about every 2 hours). We will always be available when you need us.
7. When you are ready to push, you will be free to try multiple positions to find what works best for you. We are very flexible on position for birth whether squatting, hands-knees, side-lying. We request that you not deliver on the floor but on the bed so that we can best help support your perineum and your baby’s birth. There are squat bars available if you would like to squat for your birth. We will usually be with you the entire time you are pushing.
8. We can use warm compresses and olive oil to assist the stretching of your tissue to help decrease tearing. We prefer not to cut episiotomies but to allow time for your perineum to stretch. Rarely episiotomies are necessary in emergency situations.
When you give birth:
2. Your baby will be placed on your abdomen and vigorously dried off and encouraged to cry to clear the lungs. We prefer to leave the umbilical cord attached until it stops pulsating. This usually occurs between 1 and 3 minutes of life. If you are collecting your baby’s stem cells for banking, we need to cut the cord within 1 minute after birth to obtain an adequate sample of cord blood. The benefits of delayed cord clamping are equivalent at 1 and 3 minutes of life.
3. Your baby will be assessed while resting on your chest or abdomen unless intervention is needed to help your baby make the transition to breathing for himself.
4. We frequently give pitocin through the IV after the placenta passes to help contract your uterus and decrease blood loss. We assess your individual situation to determine if pitocin would be beneficial. Minimizing blood loss is important for your recovery from childbirth and initiation of breastfeeding.
After your birth:
2. When you are ready to go to your postpartum room, the standard practice is for your partner and baby to go to the nursery for a bath and full physical exam. You may accompany your partner and baby to the nursery and can give the baby his first bath or delay the bath if you choose. Most women settle in their postpartum room and entrust their partner with these responsibilities. The vitamin K injection and erythromycin eye ointment are hospital and state mandated respectively, and must be given in the first 2 hours of life; they can be declined if you are strongly opposed. You can opt to give the Hepatitis B vaccine at this time as well, but this is easily declined or deferred until a later date. Because the placenta is an organ, Texas law requires the hospital to properly dispose of your placenta. If you want to keep your placenta, you must get a court order before you come to the hospital in labor. Please see our website for a detailed description of how this is accomplished.
3. The standard hospital stay is 2 days not including your day of delivery. If you want to leave earlier than 36 hours, you should make arrangements with your pediatrician in advance as it is the baby’s discharge that generally causes the delay.
4. Following an uncomplicated vaginal birth, we will see you in the office 6 weeks after your birth.