Pregnancy and childbirth mark milestones in a family’s life. At WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital, expectant moms and fathers-to-be find a compassionate, caring staff that work as a team in the maternity unit to care for moms before, during and after delivery.
Your team consists of obstetrician/gynecologists, midwives, pediatricians, hospitalists and family-practice doctors to help meet your needs in a secured maternity unit.
- Visitors are required to provide photo identifcation prior to visiting a patient in Family Birthing or Level II NICU.
- All visitors will receive a visitor badge and will be required to wear the badge while visiting.
Download the Welcome to Family Birthing booklet (download Spanish version)
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If you are admitted to the hospital, you will be taken to your room where you can change into a gown. Monitors to track the patterns of your contractions and the baby’s heart rate will be placed on your abdomen using adjustable belts. If you already have the adjustable belts, please bring them with you.
We will also draw blood for lab tests and start an IV to deliver fluids and medications. If you are Group Beta Strep (GBS) positive, you will receive an antibiotic through your IV.
We will also ask you for the name of your baby’s doctor, a list of any medicines you take, including the amount and how many times you take the medicine each day.
Before you go home, there are videos you need to see and paperwork to be completed. We will give you a folder of important information that will be helpful when you get home. Your nurse will review the materials with you and answer any of your questions.
We encourage you to review the information and watch the optional videos listed in the packet because they provide valuable information.
If your doctor schedules your induction in the evening, a drug called Cervidil may be placed near your cervix by your doctor. You will not be allowed to urinate for the first hour after the Cervidil is placed. Cervidil helps the cervix soften and open your cervix so the doctor can break your water the next morning.
Pitocin (Oxytocin) may then be ordered by the doctor. This will be given to your through your IV. Pitocin is designed to progress your labor and dilate your cervix. During the night, limit your visitors to only your support person so you can rest.
If you arrive in the morning for induction, you will be admitted to your room and we will start an IV. The doctor may break your water and start Pitocin.
Some patients choose an epidural or an IV pain medication. The pain medication must be ordered by the doctor.
If you are considering an epidural, please tell your nurse. If you choose to receive an epidural, the nurse will attach devices that will safely monitor you and your baby during and after the procedure. Your blood pressure will be monitored often as well.
When the Anesthesiologist arrives to administer your epidural, all visitors (including your support person) will be asked to go to our waiting area. We will then explain the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form. After the procedure, you will not be able to walk to the bathroom, so a catheter may be placed in your bladder for urine to drain. Your nurse will tell you when your visitors and support person can return
When your cervix dilates to 10 centimeters, you will be allowed to start pushing. Pushing can last up to three hours. Following delivery, your baby will be taken to the warmer and examined by a nurse. Your nurse will regularly check your abdomen, bleeding, and vital signs. Your nurse will assist you to the bathroom the first two times following delivery. Your nurse will determine when your IV can be removed.
Cesarean section (C-Section)
If a C-section is needed, medicine will be given to you and a catheter will be placed in your bladder. Your nurse will prepare you for the procedure and will accompany you to the operating room. After delivery, your nurse will examine your baby and let you see your newborn before you go back to your room with the newborn and your support person.
Upon returning to your room, only your support person will be permitted in your room for about two hours to allow time for you to recover. Your vital signs, pain, bleeding, and incision site will be checked routinely during that time. To prevent vomiting or other complications, you will only be given clear liquids. Your diet may be increased slowly.
About 8-12 hours after your C-section, you will be helped out of bed. Later, your catheter will be removed and you will be taken to the bathroom. The nurse will assist you to the bathroom your first two times. Your surgical dressing will be removed by your doctor or nurse. You may then shower and wash the incision with warm, soapy water.
Once your baby is born, two identification bracelets will be placed on the newborn’s ankles. Similar bands will be placed on your wrist and on your support person’s wrist. Do not remove the bracelets from your newborn or yourselves until you return home.
Following delivery, your baby will be placed on the warmer, checked, given medications, and then weighed. Your baby will receive an injection of Vitamin K to help prevent bleeding. Antibiotic ointment will be placed in the baby’s eyes to help prevent infection.
Your baby should be fed within the first two hours after birth. If you are breastfeeding, your nurse can assist you with positioning your baby.
Before your baby arrives
We offer a breastfeeding class the first Tuesday of every month. For additional information please call the Lactation Consultant at (717) 267-6370.
During the next five hours, the baby will be bathed and dressed. After your baby is bathed, your nurse will show you how to take care of the umbilical cord by wiping at the base with alcohol. This should be done with each diaper change until the cord falls off (in about 2 weeks). The nurse will check on your baby every hour until you able to go home.
To help maintain temperature, encourage bonding, and assist with breastfeeding, the baby will be placed on you skin-to-skin. When not skin-to-skin, the infant should be kept wrapped with their hat on. You will be given a form to keep track of feedings and wet and soiled diapers. Please keep the form up to date because your nurse needs to check this information regularly.
For safety, please keep the sides of the crib up. You may carry your baby in your room. If you take your baby out of the room, however, the baby needs to be in the crib and a person wearing an identification bracelet must be present. For safety purposes, do not sleep with your baby and do not leave your baby alone anywhere. The baby should sleep on his/her back on a firm surface free from clutter. Putting extra blankets, rolls, and toys in the crib is not allowed.
Before leaving the hospital
Typically for a vaginal delivery you can go home 24 to 48 hours after delivery and 48 to 72 hours after a c-section delivery. An order must be given by your doctor and your baby’s doctor before you can be discharge by your nurse. Discharge instructions will be given and we will answer any questions you have before you go.
There are rules and regulations that must be followed according to the State of Pennsylvania. We must perform a hearing screening on your baby before you take him or her home. We must also screen the baby’s blood and give you information about the Hepatitis B immunization, including a form that you must sign prior to leaving the hospital. If you have any questions about any of these tests or information your nurse will be happy to answer them.
Also, prior to leaving the hospital, all paperwork and testing must be completed and turned in to your nurse. You will also need to sign a form acknowledging that you have read and understood the SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant), and Infant Safe Sleep brochures and have watched the Shaken Baby Syndrome video.
Newborn photos are optional and offered through Forever Memories. The photos can be viewed on the company's website.
This procedure is optional and the doctor must get your permission before the circumcision is performed. Your nurse will instruct you on how to care for the circumcision.
Before you come to the hospital, it is important to have your car seat and know how it works. Your nurse can check your car seat, but you must strap your newborn into the car seat. Car seats older than five years should not be used.
You should know how to properly install your car seat in your vehicle. If your car seat has a base, please have that installed in your vehicle prior to leaving the hospital. A car seat safety video is mandatory for viewing before discharge.
Your local fire, ambulance or police company may be certified to conduct a car seat check. The organizations listed below maintain a current list of child safety seat inspection stations and events:
Pennsylvania State Police child safety seat checks
Safe Kids USA
Learn morea bout child safety seats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Thank you for allowing WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital to be a part of your child birth experience!
WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital is a designated Safe Haven by the state of Pennsylvania.
Safe Haven is a primary prevention program specifically intended to prevent newborn death due to unsafe abandonment. The program allows a parent to leave their child in the care of a hospital anonymously if the child is less than 28 days old and is not a victim of abuse and neglect.
Need more information? Visit Secretsafe.org