Preparing for Your Delivery

Hospital Bag Checklist

This "hospital bag" checklist includes items we recommend you pack about a month before your due date. Keep the bag in a handy spot  for when it's time to go to the hospital! It also includes items for when you go home with your baby.

When Labor Begins

  • If you go into labor or your water breaks, call your obstetric care provider right away. He or she will instruct you on when you should come to the NSMC Birthplace.
  • Please ask your obstetric care provider for details about what you may or may not eat prior to coming to the hospital for your induction.
  • Please do not bring jewelry because we cannot be responsible for your valuables. If you wear contact lenses, please bring a case and your glasses and label them with your name.
  • Before you leave home, please call 781.581.4955 or 978.354.3330 and ask to speak to the Nurse-in-Charge regarding your induction time. Since we cannot predict how many patients will be in labor on the day of your induction, there is a possibility that your induction may be delayed or rescheduled for another day.
  • Plan to arrive at the Birthplace approximately 15 to 30 minutes before your planned induction time so you can check in with the Birthplace Admitting Office.
  • Once you arrive at the Birthplace, a secretary at the main desk will greet you. A nurse will escort you to your birthing suite and help you to get settled.
  • The nurse will then review your medical and obstetrical histories, your allergies and medication uses. The nurse will also check your vital signs and the baby’s heart rate. Two support people may join you during your labor. Other family members and friends are invited to wait in our family waiting room.

If You Have a Scheduled Cesarean Birth

  • One support person may accompany you during your cesarean birth. This support person is the only one who will be allowed in the labor and delivery area and operating room.
  • Other family members and friends are invited to wait in our family waiting room.
  • The night before surgery, do not eat or drink anything (including water or hard candy) after midnight.
  • Do not wear nail polish, cosmetics or jewelry. The hospital cannot be responsible for any of your valuables.
  • Hard contact lenses should not be worn. If you wear glasses or soft contacts, ask your anesthesiologist if you can wear them during birth. If you wear contacts, please bring a case and your glasses.
  • You will receive a phone call the evening before your delivery from a Birthplace nurse to review the procedure. Please call the Nurse-in-Charge at 781.589.4454 or 978.354.3330 if you have any questions

Morning of Surgery

  • Plan to arrive at the Birthplace two hours prior to your scheduled cesarean birth.
  • Once you arrive at the Birthplace, a secretary at the main desk will greet you. A nurse will ask you questions about your medical and surgical histories, obstetric history, allergies and medications. The nurse will also check your vital signs and monitor your baby’s heart rate.

Anesthesia and Surgery

  • You will meet your anesthesiologist to discuss the various types of anesthesia and the advantages and disadvantages of each. An intravenous (IV) line will be started that will administer fluids and medication during and after your cesarean birth.
  • In the operating room you will receive oxygen from a mask placed over your nose and mouth (the plastic may have a strange odor). The majority of scheduled cesarean births are performed under spinal anesthesia.
  • You will be in the operating room for about one hour. A Foley catheter, which is used to drain urine from your bladder, will be inserted after you have anesthesia.
  • After your baby is born and has received preliminary care, your baby can stay with you in the operating room.


After your cesarean birth, you will be taken to the recovery room and monitored closely for at least one hour. If you had a spinal or epidural anesthetic, you will stay in the recovery room until you can move your legs (about one to two hours). Your vital signs, lochia (vaginal bleeding), fundus (uterus) and abdominal dressing will be checked. For your safety, only your baby and support person will be allowed with you in the recovery room until you are transferred to your post-partum room. No other visitors are allowed in the recovery area.

  • You will be encouraged to get out of bed as soon as you are able.
  • The Foley catheter will be removed the next morning, and the IV is usually removed 24 to 48 hours after giving birth.
  • Your physician will prescribe pain medication in one of two ways: on a “when needed” basis, (i.e. when you ask the nurses for it) or a “patient controlled analgesia” (PCA) pump that administers medicine through your IV when you need it.
  • On your first day, we recommend you take pain medication at regular intervals to control the pain. The discomfort from your incision should lessen with each day.

Visitors, Smoking, Cell Phones and Cameras

  • We know that you want to celebrate the birth of your new child with family and friends, but your time in the Birthplace is brief and your focus should be on rest, recovery and learning about your new baby. After the baby’s birth, you will be moved from your birthing suite to a post-partum room where family and friends may visit from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Fathers or your support person may stay overnight, and your baby’s grandparents and siblings may visit at any time.
  • Non-sibling children under the age of 12 are not permitted to visit.
  • For the health of the babies, all visitors should be in good health and be properly immunized before visiting
  • To maintain a restful environment, we request that no cell phones be used in your birthing suite. They may be used in the family waiting room. Cameras and video cameras are prohibited during the delivery process, but you may use them after the birth of your baby.
  • To protect your privacy, our staff cannot give out information to your waiting family or friends or those who call to check on your status. You will have a telephone in your labor room and after you are admitted you can provide that number to your family and friends. Be sure to let your nurse know if you do not want calls sent to your room.
  • For everyone’s health, NSMC prohibits smoking in all buildings, grounds and parking lots. If you are a smoker please talk to your nurse or obstetrical care provider about options during your hospital stay.