Labor and Delivery
Welcome and Congratulations! We hope you know how excited we are to get to share in such a special occasion with you and your family! It is an absolute honor and privilege to assist you in this journey as we transition from your labor to the delivery of your baby. At Naval Medical Center Portsmouth we are committed to providing you with the resources and information needed in order for you to feel empowered to make decisions alongside your healthcare team. While we will strive to make this experience exactly what you’d like, our ultimate goal is to ensure that we have the best and healthiest outcomes possible.
If you think you are in labor or have question about labor, go to Am I in Labor?
Labor and Delivery has 6 triage rooms typically used for any patients 20 weeks gestation or greater. In triage, patients are evaluated to determine the appropriate level of care needed for their specific concerns. All patients less than 20 weeks are generally evaluated in the Emergency Room located on the 1st floor of Building 2. Keeping your safety and privacy in mind, we ask that only one guest accompany you at the bedside in triage. From triage, patients are admitted to the hospital, observed for an extended period of time by the healthcare team, sent back to duty/work, or sent home with instructions for home care and follow-up. Labor and Delivery is located in Building 2 on the 4th Floor, 4M, directly off the central elevators.
Labor & Delivery (L&D)
If a patient is admitted or will be observed for an extended period of time, they are brought onto the unit which is often referred to as the Labor Deck. The unit consists of 10 labor & delivery suites, 4 complicated antepartum/postpartum rooms, 3 surgical suites, and a 2 bed post-surgical recovery area. Naval Medical Center Portsmouth also has 24/7 in-house access to anesthesia, perinatology, and neonatology teams to meet any and all of your obstetric needs!
All of our labor rooms are fully equipped for both mom and baby! They are private and spacious, and have provision for one support person to spend the night. While there is not a specific number of guests allowed in the labor & delivery suite, we do ask that guests are limited, in order for us to provide the safest care possible. If any children under the age of 18 are present, we do require that an adult (not the patient) be with them at all times, as your stay can sometimes be full of surprises!
Uncomplicated labor patients are free to have clear liquid diets (jello, popsicles, water, ice chips, etc.) If your labor or antepartum course is complicated; however, we may ask you to restrict your diet further. Our providers have your best interest and safety at heart, so we ask that patients follow all dietary restrictions given by the healthcare team during your stay on Labor and Delivery.
In the event that a surgical delivery is indicated, only one individual may accompany the patient to the surgical suite for the delivery. Upon delivery, the accompanying individual will receive a baby band which will allow them access to the recovery area. This band is not interchangeable; therefore, we recommend giving it to the person most involved with you and your newborn’s care. Once a patient moves over to the postpartum unit (4KL), other guests may visit with the patient; assuming it is within the normal visiting hours, 0800-2000.
If general anesthesia is indicated or other complications present, no individuals may accompany the patient in the surgical suite. However, once the patient is stable and moved to the recovery area, the accompanying individual (who will be banded) can be reunited with the patient for the initial recovery period. All other guests are to remain in the waiting area until the patient is moved to the postpartum unit (4KL), which is a minimum of two hours from the time you enter the recovery room.
To protect the security and privacy of all our patients, we ask that guests remain in a patient’s room or in the waiting room at all times. The waiting room is located at the front of the unit where you first checked in. Loitering in the hallways of labor and delivery is strictly prohibited at all times.
Photography is allowed with staff awareness.
Your pain control options will be discussed with you in detail by the anesthesia team when you are first admitted to Labor and Delivery. Pain control options and desires can vary from patient to patient. Various factors, such as medical conditions, your preference, and the environment play a part in making this decision.
** For safety, only ONE individual, 18 years or older, may remain at the bedside during the epidural placement procedure. All other guests may stay in the waiting room and will be notified when the procedure is completed and they can return. **
After the Birth
Naval Medical Center Portsmouth supports evidence-based practices, and when medically possible, offers delayed cord-clamping, immediate initiation of skin-to-skin contact (golden hour), and immediate lactation support by obstetric nurses and/or certified lactation consultants. As long as you and your newborn are stable, you will room-in together for the duration of your stay.
Suggested items to Bring
- Hygiene items (ex: toothbrush/paste, soap, shampoo and conditioner, lotions, etc)
- Activities to pass the time (ex: books or playing cards)
- Birth Plan (not required)
- Brush/comb, hair ties
- Baby Book (for foot prints)
- Slippers & Socks (after delivery)
- Nightgowns (after delivery)
- Bathrobe (after delivery)
- Small pack of adult diapers (patients LOVE these for a day or two after delivery)
- Extra underwear
- Comfortable nursing bra & bra pads
- Clothing to go home in. Easy to put on and take off is best.
- Baby clothing (socks, mittens, hats, etc.)
- Pacifier (these are not provided by the hospital)
- Infant car seat (do not bring until day of discharge)
**Please bring ANY and ALL things that your support person might need during your stay. NMCP does not provide any items for our patient’s guests. The postpartum unit will supply ALL diapers, wipes, and formula (should you need) during your stay**
Patients should complete all pre-admission paperwork prior to going into labor. The admissions department is located on the first floor near the main entrance of the hospital. Pre-admission packets can be picked up at any time and should be dropped off by your 28th week of pregnancy.
Your completed packet is kept on file until you are admitted to the Labor and Delivery unit. If you are admitted for any reason other than delivery, you will need to complete a new packet prior to your delivery.