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Before Labor and Delivery

When should I sign up for childbirth classes? 

We recommend attending childbirth classes during the 7th month of pregnancy. Due to limited class sizes, we encourage you to register early before classes fill up. Learn more about our childbirth prep classes or call (217) 223-8400, ext. 5901 to register.

If I think I am in labor, when should I go to the hospital? 

Because each woman experiences labor in a different way, you should call your medical provider if you think you are in labor. When your provider tells you it’s time to go to the hospital, use Blessing’s Emergency Center entrance. Women who planned a scheduled cesarean section or induction should check in at Patient Registration.

During Labor and Delivery

How many visitors can I have with me during labor?

We allow 3 visitors to support each mom during labor, 2 at delivery. If you need to have a C-section, 1 support person can be with you.

Can I bring my other children to my new baby’s birth?

Yes, we encourage siblings to attend labor and delivery, if a parent wishes. If a family chooses to have any siblings present during delivery, we ask that you make arrangements ahead of time. Please call (217) 223-8400, ext. 8400 for assistance in this planning.

How long does labor usually last?

Labor takes time, and babies come when they are ready. Not even our expert specialists can predict precisely how long your labor will last. Our care team supports you through this process – no matter how long it takes. Learn more about Blessing’s maternity care.

When can I get an epidural?

As long as mom and baby are doing well, our anesthesiology team can perform an epidural at any point before delivery.

Can I video my baby’s birth?

Your visitors are welcome to take video during labor. Although we do not allow video of the birth itself, your support partners can document your baby’s birth with photos.

After Labor and Delivery

What happens after my baby is born? 

Immediately after your baby’s birth, the labor nurse will:

  • Suction the baby’s nose and mouth to clear the airway

  • Perform a complete physical assessment to check weight, length and head size

  • Put antibiotic ointment on the baby’s eyes

  • Give a vitamin K shot in the baby’s thigh

  • Place identification bands on the baby’s wrist and foot

  • Encourage skin-to-skin time to promote bonding and help ease baby’s transition into a brand-new world

  • Help establish breastfeeding, if that is how a parent chooses to feed baby

If you have a special page for footprints in your baby album, bring it along and the nurse can put the footprints in it for you.

How many visitors are allowed after my baby arrives? 

We encourage family and friends to visit and place no limits on the number of visitors, except during our special “snuggle and snooze” mom-and-baby bonding hours. From 2 to 4 p.m. daily, we limit visitors to 1 primary support person, so mom and baby have a chance to rest and bond. One adult can stay with you overnight. 

What safety precautions are taken to protect babies from abduction?

When your baby is born, the nurse places identification bands on the baby’s wrist and ankle. Mom and her partner (or one other adult of her choice) also receive armbands. We release a baby only to a person who has an armband that matches the baby’s identification. Our alarm systems and video cameras also monitor activity on our maternity unit.

What is the level II nursery, and why would a baby go there? 

The level II nursery offers specialty care for babies who have difficulty breathing or need close observation because of special health concerns. In some cases, a baby may need to stay at the hospital after the mother gets discharged. If rooms are available, we can make arrangements for the mother to stay longer.

Will I receive any education about caring for my baby? 

If you have questions regarding your baby’s care after you leave the hospital, you can call the maternity unit anytime. After your baby is born, our nurses can give you 1-on-1 instruction and support in how to:

  • Give your baby a bath

  • Care for the umbilical cord area

  • Breastfeed or bottle feed

  • Care for your child, including what to expect from your new baby and signs to watch for that warrant a call to your pediatrician

  • Care for yourself as a new mom, including any changes in your body that you should expect after you go home

Contact Us

To learn more about Blessing’s maternity care services, please call (217) 223-8400, ext. 8400.