Birth Experience - Ascension Wisconsin

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Birth Experience

At Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, we believe the birth of a child should be one of the most memorable experiences of a lifetime. That’s why we take a family-centered approach to childbirth based on the belief that having a baby is a natural, healthy, joyful experience to be shared by the whole family.

Our experienced labor and delivery staff at all of our birth centers provide excellent care for mothers, their families and friends in a warm and welcoming environment equipped with state-of-the-art technology.

How We Welcome Babies

Here’s what you can expect when you choose Wheaton for your birth experience.

Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare - All Saints

The Women and Infant Unit in the Center for Women and Children is equipped to give you the birthing experience you desire, with:

  • 9 labor, delivery and recovery rooms
  • 31 spacious, all-private patient rooms in a beautiful, warm environment
  • Anesthesiologists on staff 24/7 providing a variety of pain relief options, including traditional epidural and anesthetic relief
  • Range of natural birthing options including a hydrotherapy, birthing balls and more
  • Complimentary hand or foot massages offered three days a week

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact us at 262-687-3159.

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Wheaton Franciscan – Elmbrook Memorial Campus

The Birth Day Suites at our Center for Women and Infants allow you the convenience of combining labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care all within one specially designed room.

During labor, we offer a variety of natural pain relief options including hydrotherapy and aromatherapy, as well as traditional epidural and anesthetic relief with in-house anesthesia coverage at all times.

This comfortable “bedroom-like” setting allows you and your new baby to bond and settle in. Your baby will stay in your suite with you in a specially-designed bassinet with continual nurse observation and assistance.

Each spacious Birth Day Suite has the latest technology for a healthy delivery along with amenities for guests, including a queen-size sleep sofa, a refrigerator and wireless Internet service, so that family and others may stay with you at all times.

Other suite amenities include:

  • iPod docks
  • Flat screen televisions
  • DVD player
  • “On demand” room service for every meal
  • Vending and beverages for your guests, as well as a large gathering/waiting area if you choose to have some privacy
  • Whirlpool tub available for use on the floor
  • Celebration meal served in your room

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact us at 262-785-2214.

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Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare – St. Francis

We offer a range of birthing options including hydrotherapy, birthing balls and aromatherapy, as well as traditional epidural and anesthetic relief with in-house anesthesia coverage at all times.

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact us at 414-647-5000.

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Wheaton Franciscan – St. Joseph Campus

Our Obstetrics Department includes:

  • 17-bed high-risk Obstetrics Unit
  • 16 labor, delivery and recovery rooms
  • 3 operation rooms

Our private birthing suites will make you feel right at home. Each suite is complete with a private bathroom and shower, personal sink and vanity, TV and DVD/CD player, wireless Internet access and sleeper sofas to accommodate partners who wish to stay overnight. Many are also equipped with whirlpool labor tubs. Room service, massage therapy and interpreter services are also offered.

During labor we offer a variety of natural pain relief options including hydrotherapy and aromatherapy, as well as traditional epidural and anesthetic relief with in-house anesthesia coverage at all times.

After delivery, you’ll enjoy a celebration meal served in your room – complete with thoughtfully prepared menu choices, linen table service and a chilled bottle of sparkling juice!

For more information or to schedule a tour, contact us at 414-447-2000.

Take a Virtual Tour >

Prepare for Your Birth Experience

At Wheaton, we partner with you to help get your family off to the best start possible, so you can enjoy the best years of your life — with a happy, healthy baby. To better prepare for labor and delivery, please review these lists.

Personalize Your Birthing Experience

Let us know your preferences for your birthing experience! Our My Birth Plan template lets you quickly and easily select options to make your experience uniquely yours.
Download My Birth Plan now. (PDF)

What to Bring to the Hospital

You should have a hospital bag packed and easily accessible at least four weeks before your due date. Here's a checklist of some of the most common essentials:

For the Mother

  • Lotion
  • Lip balm
  • Sour lollipops
  • Mints or gum
  • Tennis balls or other firm objects
  • Hair clips or bands
  • Nursing bras and nursing pad (if breastfeeding)
  • Nightgowns (with button down fronts for breastfeeding)
  • Loose fitting outfit for going home
  • Warm socks
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Hairbrush
  • Make-up
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Address book
  • Calling card or cell phone
  • Cell phone charger

For the Labor Partner

  • Pajamas, robe and slippers
  • Change of clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Snacks
  • Mints or gum
  • Extra pillow
  • Camera and camcorder
  • Calling card or cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • Address book
  • DVDs, Mp3 player, magazines, etc.

For Baby

  • Baby clothes
  • One undershirt
  • One receiving blanket
  • Outer blanket or snuggles with legs
  • Hat and pair of booties
  • Cloth diapers with pins or Velcro covers*
  • Car seat

*Note: Wheaton hospitals only use disposable diapers.

Download the What to Bring to the Hospital Checklist (PDF) to print and keep with you or bring to the hospital.

What to Expect When You Come for Labor & Delivery

Stop in Admitting to pick up your paperwork and check in at the Nurses Station.

  • A staff member will greet you, weigh you, then escort you and your partner to your room where you’ll change into a hospital gown and give a urine specimen. If you have a birth plan, please share it with the nurse who admits you.
  • You may be in bed or in a chair. If you are receiving Pitocin or have a high risk pregnancy (history of preterm labor, pre-eclampsia, fever, etc.), you may have continuous monitoring with a portable monitor. You will be able to walk in the hall or take a shower as long as you and your baby’s condition permits.
  • After placing you on the monitor and checking vital signs, your nurse will discuss with you your medical and surgical history, including previous deliveries and postpartum experiences.
  • Often we verify the information from your doctor’s office. We will also ask some non-medical questions regarding religious/cultural needs, advance directives, family support or any social issues, such as domestic abuse, because your safety is important to us.
  • A vaginal exam is usually performed to determine the progress of labor, what part of the baby is presenting and to check for ruptured membranes.
  • We will ask you to sign permits for: epidural, circumcision of your son if you choose, conditions of admission for your baby (similar to what you signed for yourself in Admitting), and videotaping. Either you or your partner will be asked to fill out a belongings checklist so that all of your belongings are accounted for when you are discharged.
  • If you are being induced, need antibiotics or want an epidural, you will need an IV started. Your nurse will numb the IV site with Lidocaine before starting the IV.
  • Eating solid food is usually not allowed while in labor, but you may drink clear fluids, eat popsicles or eat ice chips. It is okay to eat something light at home before coming in for induction.
  • As you progress in labor, you have various options for pain relief. Talk to your nurse about natural birthing options such as a birthing ball or aromatherapy, or a medical intervention.
  • If you prefer medical intervention, your doctor will order a narcotic or an epidural. If you are unsure, discuss it with your labor nurse. She can only provide what is ordered by your doctor. An anesthesiologist will administer the medicine within 30 minutes of the order being received. For this reason don’t wait until your pain is unbearable to ask for an epidural. You cannot walk after your epidural is started; you either use the bedpan or may need to have a catheter placed to keep your bladder empty.
  • If your doctor tells you that you tested positive for beta strep (a common vaginal bacteria) and will need an antibiotic in labor, it will be started as soon as possible after your admission. We prefer that you receive 2 doses before you deliver, usually 4 hours apart, in order to decrease the risk of infection in your baby. For this reason your labor could potentially be a little longer because your doctor may not break your bag of waters or start Pitocin until you are closer to receiving your 2nd dose.
  • You are free to decide who can visit both before and after delivery. We ask that medical personnel have enough space to keep you and your baby safe, especially during delivery. We can help with “crowd control” if you like, and tactfully ask people to leave and/or wait in another area.
  • Once you are fully dilated, you may not be asked to push right away, especially if you have an epidural. We often have our patients “labor down”, which means letting the baby move down the birth canal naturally, so they don’t become exhausted. This will probably be done for about an hour before active pushing is started.
  • For a vaginal delivery, your labor nurse will be caring for you. A nurse anesthetist or neonatal nurse practitioner will be caring for your baby. If needed, another staff member may come in to offer assistance. If your delivery develops into a Cesarean Section, whether an emergency or not, your labor nurse will most likely continue to care for you in the Operating Room and Recovery Room.
Download the What to Expect for Labor and Delivery List (PDF) to print and keep with you or bring to the hospital.

What to Expect After Delivery

  • We encourage the “skin-to-skin” method of warming your baby instead of wrapping him/her in a blanket right away. You and your partner can do this throughout your hospitalization.
  • We also encourage breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and will help you as needed. Babies are most alert at this time, often getting sleepy after that first hour. All of our nurses are specially trained to help you with breastfeeding. Our lactation consultant will visit you if this is your first baby or you’ve had problems in the past.
  • Your nurse will help you get up for your first trip to the bathroom after you deliver. While you are in the bathroom, your bed will be cleaned and a cushioned mattress cover placed over the labor mattress for added comfort.
  • Rooming-in for our families is encouraged. By rooming-in, we mean having the baby in your room for pediatrician’s examination, hearing screening, blood drawn, demonstrating the bath, having pictures taken, etc.
  • One of the advantages of rooming-in is you learn your baby’s feeding cues and can begin breastfeeding before the baby starts crying and it becomes frustrating for the baby and you. More frequent feeding helps your milk production and you get to know your baby better before you go home.
  • Your baby will have four (4) bands on. One band is used by lab for identification of blood draws. Two bands match the numbers on your band and your partner’s. The last band is the security band that is applied after the bath.
  • Siblings and other children may visit as long as their immunizations are up-to-date, and they have no signs of infection, cold or flu, and have not recently been exposed to chicken pox.
  • If you have any questions or concerns about caring for your newborn, ask your nurse. They will help you learn the ropes so you can feel confident about caring for your baby at home before you are discharged.
  • When the pediatrician examines your baby in your room, let it be an interactive experience. Ask questions or voice concerns if you have any.
  • If your baby is admitted to the Special Care Nursery or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and you were planning to breastfeed, you will be encouraged to breastfeed in the actual nursery. Help will be readily available and your privacy maintained. Your nurse will provide you with a breast pump, if needed, as well as the necessary supplies and instructions.
  • Some babies become jaundiced in the hospital. If this should happen to your baby, lab work will be done to determine the level of treatment. Your pediatrician will decide if your baby can be treated at home with a “bili blanket” and outpatient lab work, or if the baby needs to stay in the hospital under “bili lights.”
Download the What to Expect After Delivery List (PDF) to print and keep with you or bring to the hospital.

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