Labor and Delivery at Stamford Hospital
Providing support, encouragement, and comfort
Going into labor and having your baby delivered is a unique and emotional time. Here at Stamford Hospital, our labor and delivery doctors and nurses are dedicated to providing you with a meaningful, safe, and compassionate experience. Our team also works alongside of whomever you’ve chosen to be your labor coach whether a partner, friend, or family member.
Our team offers you
- 24/7 in-house attending OBGYNs and pediatric hospitalists for labor anesthesia, obstetrics, and pediatrics
- Two board-certified neonatologists who travel to your bedside to handle even the most complex deliveries
- Highly trained nurses in all aspects of childbirth, from natural childbirth to pain management and neonatal resuscitation
- Regular tours of our unit well before your stay
- 12 spacious, well-equipped birthing rooms where you can check in and have your baby in one comfortable, beautifully decorated space. Each room has a large shower and bathroom facilities, state-of-the-art medical equipment and technology to help make your experience as pleasant as possible. For the option of a unique stay with elevated comfort, learn more about our Premium Amenities program.
- In-house anesthesiology services around the clock to provide pain relief when needed and appropriate.
- Two operating theaters for cesarean section deliveries, also equipped for high-risk deliveries and multiple births.
- 32 private patient rooms for postpartum recovery, all spacious and decorated in natural, soothing tones.
- A 16-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), providing the most advanced level of care in lower Fairfield County for newborns and their families who need extra support.
- Access to board-certified lactation consultants to provide education and support for breastfeeding women.
- A perinatology center that specializes in management of pregnancy complications and provides comprehensive genetic counseling services along with an advanced fetal diagnostic center.
- A video monitoring and nursery security system as part of our intensive security services.
What to expect during your stay
We look forward to working with you and your family for a safe and joyful birth experience. We promise to provide up-to-date, evidence-based practice that also meets your emotional needs. Our team of nurses, OBGYNs, 24/7 pediatricians, attending MD’s, neonatologists, and anesthesiologists in the hospital, ready to give you the care you deserve during this life-changing day.
On the Day of Labor
When you arrive at Stamford Hospital, you’ll enter the C. Anthony and Jean Whittingham Pavilion on the ground floor. Rest assured, you’re welcome to bring a doula without any required special arrangements. Please note the following:
- Visitors may not wait in the hallways. If they are not in the labor room, they may wait in the labor and delivery lobby. We take this seriously for the safety and privacy of you and your birth partner.
- Visitors may be asked to leave the room for medical procedures such as insertion of epidural anesthesia.
- Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by another adult at all times
Types of Labor
Truth be told, labor can be unpredictable for some of us. Sometimes, there can be a change in plans. But you can feel comfortable knowing our dedicated labor and delivery nurses and doctors are equipped and ready to work with you every breath, every minute, to ensure a successful and healthy delivery for both you and your baby.
You may experience one of the following types of labor during your stay here:
When it’s time to push, your nurse will stay with you for the rest of your labor. The pushing phase can last anywhere from minutes to hours; every birth is different. In some cases, we augment labor by starting oxytocin or by rupturing the amniotic membranes. Overall, the hardest part is pushing your baby’s head through the vaginal opening. As soon as your baby is successfully delivered, your obstetrician will place him or her on your belly for skin-to-skin contact. If there’s any concern about your baby’s breathing or heart rate, we’ll examine the baby first on a special table in your room just for this purpose.
Cesarean Section Delivery
You’ll have already discussed your planned cesarean birth with your physician weeks or months before your due date. You and your physician may have the option to choose the day and time for you to come in for surgery. When you arrive, your nurse will take your vital signs, obtain blood work, and prepare your abdomen for surgery. Your anesthesiologist and physician will then come to your bedside to explain the procedure and address any questions you might have.
In the case of an unscheduled cesarean delivery, your cervix has likely stopped opening before reaching full dilation or the baby has not descended through the birth canal. While most women don’t expect their labor to end this way, it’s important to consider this as a possibility ahead of time.
Anesthesia for C-Sections
If you have a planned cesarean birth, we’ll most likely give you spinal anesthesia. If your cesarean birth is not planned, you’ll still receive the anesthesia if you don’t already have an epidural. We use Transversus Abdonimis Plane (TAP) blocks after your C-section to provide you with up to 18 hours of analgesia after your delivery. Then, your anesthesiologist will deposit local numbine medicine between the muscle layers of your abdominal wall. There are no side effects from this block and the amount of narcotics you’ll need will be reduced.
If you’re more than 41 weeks pregnant, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or low amniotic fluid, your physician may feel the need to induce labor. There are two types of medication we use which will be decided by your doctor.
Prostaglandin (Cervidil or Cytotec) is inserted vaginally by your physician to soften the cervix prior to administering oxytocin (Pitocin). Oxytocin is given through an IV line by your nurse to stimulate contractions. Regardless of the specific plan, you’ll be induced here at Stamford Hospital and kept on continuous fetal and contraction monitoring.
Pain Relief During Labor
We provide three methods to help alleviate your pain:
Breathing/Relaxation Techniques: This includes walking, rocking, swaying, changing position, showering, massage, guided breathing, listening to music and looking at imagery, and hot/cold therapy. These techniques are especially useful if you choose to have a non-medicated birth.
Narcotic Medications: Pain medications are given through an IV and take effect quickly by lessening discomfort and making you drowsy, therefore allowing your body to rest. The medication will last several hours and wear off toward the end. We also administer narcotics by injection into muscle. It’s important to note that narcotics travel to the baby through the placenta, so we generally don’t give them too close to your delivery time.
Epidural Anesthesia: This is a type of anesthesia is administered by an injection into your back to numb the lower part of the body. Your anesthesiologist will perform this once you have gone into active labor. Please note that you must be able to sit still for this procedure and it generally takes 15-20 minutes to achieve full effect. You’ll remain alert and the relief should last throughout labor. Since the epidural numbs the legs, you won’t be able to get out of bed during the procedure and your bladder may need to be emptied by a catheter.