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Labor & Delivery at Firelands Regional Medical Center

Whether a new mom-to-be or a seasoned mom-to-be, you probably want to know all you can about what to expect from labor and delivery. At Firelands Regional Medical Center, we have combined the intimate atmosphere of a home birth with the reassurance of our full range of medical services. Our spacious, private birthing suites have been designed to accommodate all phases of childbirth — labor, delivery and immediate postpartum recovery. Tastefully decorated with an emphasis on comfort, each suite has its own private bath, fully equipped birthing bed, newborn warming bed, TV, Wi-fi and sleeper sofa for dad or a guest.

Of course, you’d like to give birth at one of the best labor and delivery hospitals near you. With its warm and soft lighting, you’ll feel more like you’re at home than at a hospital when you’re here. If you choose, grandparents, friends or other family members are welcome to visit you during your labor and delivery as well.

Preparing for Childbirth

Planning Ahead

A new baby brings countless joys and many changes to your life. Some you’re probably expecting. Some you may not. That’s why at Firelands, we want the transition to motherhood to be as easy and memorable as possible, and we want you to know what to expect from labor and delivery.

As your due date draws near, you and your partner will need to discuss and decide on several important aspects of your birth plans. You will need to plan transportation arrangements, childcare if you have other children, and choose a physician for your new baby. We can help you with many of these questions.

If you don’t already have a family physician or pediatrician, we can provide you with a free copy of our Physician Directory or directing you to our physician directory online. Many of your other questions can be answered with a single phone call to our helpful staff in the Center for Women & Newborns. Just call 419-557-7596.

What to Pack

A few weeks before your due date, it’s a good idea to prepare and pack any items you’ll need to bring to the hospital for yourself and your baby. You’ll want to pack a labor bag and a suitcase with things to use after your delivery. A labor bag includes those items that you will need only while you are in labor.

For Mom

  • Comfortable pajamas, robe and rubber-soled slippers (breastfeeding gowns are provided)
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Cosmetics and deodorant
  • Lip balm
  • Comfortable, loose clothing to wear home

For Labor Partner

  • Favorite music and player to help you relax
  • Camera, video camera
  • Baby’s book for footprints
  • Favorite pictures to use as a focal point
  • Change to use at the vending machines
  • List of phone numbers of people to call after delivery
  • Copy of your current medical insurance card

For Baby

  • Undershirt and sleeper
  • Outfit to wear home
  • Socks or booties
  • Receiving blankets
  • Outerwear and blanket (depending on the weather)
  • Approved infant car seat

Childbirth Classes

A huge part of feeling confident in what to expect from labor and delivery is understanding childbirth. Our classes will help give you confidence and reassurance to make this transition from being pregnant to dealing with the physical and emotional demands of childbirth and the challenges of motherhood.

Although we offer a variety of classes, we suggest you register early as they fill quickly. To register, visit our online events calendar. The following are the women and children classes offered:

  • Childbirth Preparation
  • Childbirth Refresher
  • New Futures Teen Childbirth
  • Red Cross Babysitting
  • Infant & Child CPR
  • The Happiest Baby on the Block™
  • Prenatal Breastfeeding
  • Sibling Preparation
  • Stork Express

Center for Women & Newborn Tours

We want to make sure you’re comfortable delivering your baby at Firelands. One of the best ways to increase your comfort level is to give you a personal tour. Grandparents and friends are always welcome to join you.
Tours can be arranged by calling: 419-557-7485 or 800-342-1177, ext. 7485.

Labor & Delivery: What to Expect

When it’s time to have your baby, take a breath and remember that you will have a whole team of labor and delivery staff standing by your side, ready to guide you through every step. You are about to experience one of life’s true miracles, and we’re happy to be a part of it.

Fetal Monitoring

When you are admitted for a scheduled Cesarean birth, spontaneous labor, or labor induction, your contractions and your baby’s response to them will be monitored. This helps the staff determine how your baby is responding to labor. Firelands uses a state-of-the-art central monitor system, which enables your nurse and physician to see your baby’s monitor at all times.

While this cannot prevent difficulties from occurring, it can alert your health care team to certain potential problems.

Pain Management Options

Because the experience of childbirth is different for every woman, Firelands offers a variety of options for managing pain during childbirth. Laboring mothers are offered a range of options for pain relief. We are proud to have the only in-house 24/7 nurse anesthetist service in the area.

Prior to labor and delivery, some women may intend to deliver “naturally”, while others may prefer medications. It is important to be flexible about your options, since each woman’s labor is unique. For some, it’s quick and easy, while for others it’s exhausting with more discomfort. It’s also a good idea to discuss the options with your doctor prior to delivery.

Coping Techniques

Breathing techniques, relaxation, visualization, massage, effleurage (delicate massage), birthing ball, aromatherapy, music therapy, positioning, showers and encouragement and support from your labor partner are all very useful ways to deal with the discomforts of labor. Even if you plan on taking medications, these techniques will help you cope with the early stages of labor.

For many women, these techniques are all they need for pain management in childbirth.


A common medication used during childbirth is a narcotic given through an I.V. The narcotic will help you relax and rest between the contractions, and will reduce the discomfort of the contractions. It is usually given during the active stage, when labor is reaching its peak.

Local Anesthesia

This is a series of injections into the perineal area (the skin area around the birth canal opening) which can help numb this area and make you more comfortable during delivery. It is also used if an episiotomy is needed.


This type of pain management eliminates the sensation of pain from your uterus down. You should not feel the pain of contractions, but will continue to feel the sensation of pressure. Medication is delivered through a tiny catheter (tube) inserted into your lower back by a nurse anesthetist. Epidurals are not appropriate for everyone, so please discuss this option with your physician, childbirth educator or anesthetist.

Please note: We are pleased to provide 24-hour, seven days-a-week anesthesia coverage for our maternity patients.


Usually, a regional anesthesia such as a spinal or epidural is given for pain management during the surgery. This will allow you to be awake during your baby’s birth. You will not feel pain, but you will feel sensations of pressure. If complications arise and an unplanned Cesarean is required immediately, general anesthesia may be given. It is administered by giving medications through an I.V. and having the patient breathe anesthetic gasses that enable them to “sleep” through the surgery.

After Delivery: What to Expect

Firelands’ Postpartum Unit

After a short rest period following your delivery, you and your baby will move to our beautiful postpartum unit for the rest of your stay. These private, spacious rooms look more like luxury hotel rooms than hospital rooms.

what to expect from labor and delivery at Firelands

As supporters of family-centered care, we welcome family and friends in sharing this special occasion with you. Our visitation policy allows friends, siblings and other family members to visit at your convenience until 8:30 pm. Dad, or your designated support person, is welcome to spend the night in your room if you choose, using the sleeper couches available in each of the rooms.

Remember, you and your baby are with us for only a short time. Please allow time for our staff to assist and teach you to care for both yourself and your baby so you will be better prepared when you go home.

Feeding Your Baby

Firelands Regional Medical Center is proud to support breastfeeding during your stay, as well as after you leave, through ongoing breastfeeding support.

Learn more about our breastfeeding support services.

Reviewed by Linda Ricci, Director of Women & Children's Services on April 11, 2017

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