You’ve been pregnant for months and uncomfortable for at least the last month, you’re finally in labor, and you head to the hospital to have your baby! But first you have to be admitted. This process can take a long time, especially if your hospital doesn’t have pre-registration or you didn’t get around to pre-registering.
If you have pre-registered, you will arrive to the Labor and Delivery desk and give them your ID and insurance card and then they will typically buzz you in and take you to a triage room. If they are busy and you don’t look to be in active labor then you may have to wait in the waiting room for a triage bed to open up. Once a triage bed is available you will be taken back and examined. They will typically hook you up to the External Fetal Monitor (EFM) and contraction monitor to see how Baby is doing and what your contractions look like. Most hospitals these days will only admit you if you are at least 4 cm dilated or your water has broken. This is a great time to ask what your Bishop score is. If they determine you are in active labor, you will then be admitted and moved into a labor and delivery room. If you haven’t preregistered the process will be the same, it will just be preceded by a large amount of paperwork.
Even if you have preregistered, you aren’t done with paperwork! If you are admitted there will be a few more forms you will have to sign, specifically with anesthesiology if you plan on getting an epidural. The nurses then have a few questions they need answered before you can finally get back to focusing on having a baby.
If you arrive to the hospital already with the urge to push you will likely bypass all of this, but don’t worry, you get to fill out all the paperwork once your baby is born.
The admission process varies slightly depending on what hospital you choose to deliver at, and will be much less involved at a birth center or home birth. A great way to learn about your specific hospital’s admission policy is to take the hospital tour.
How easy is your hospital’s admission process? Have you pre-registered?
Next week I will be blogging on the letter B… B is for Bishop Score. In the meantime check out the other blog series “ABCs of Pregnancy”, and over the next few days I will be posting the initial blog for “ABCs of Babies” and “ABCs of Postpartum”.