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Arriving at the Hospital

If you think you are in labor, your physician or midwife may want you to call him or her before coming to the hospital. Clarify arrangements with him or her during your routine appointments.

Admission to the HospitalIf you experience a sudden onset of bright red vaginal bleeding or continuous, sharp abdominal pain that doesn't stop after two or three minutes, come to the Emergency Department immediately.

If you think you need immediate care, call the Labor and Delivery Triage area at:

  • St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor

In Triage, you will be seen by a nurse and a physician who will evaluate your labor and monitor your baby. We request that you and your partner do not bring additional friends or family members to Triage.

Each woman experiences contractions in her own way. You may feel them as either abdominal or lower back discomfort that comes and goes. You should time your contractions from the beginning of one contraction to the start of the next.

Before you come to the hospital, please call your doctor or midwife. Unless otherwise advised by your doctor or midwife, come to the hospital when you are having regular contractions 3 to 5 minutes apart or less and lasting from 45 to 90 seconds long.

You should call your doctor or midwife if your membranes (bag of water) break. This may be a gush or a trickle of fluid from your vagina. If you think your membranes have broken, don’t take a bath, have sexual intercourse, or put anything into your vagina.

Where to Come

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor
Use the Family Birth Center entrance. Take the elevator to the third floor and check in at the desk in the lobby. You will be escorted to the Labor and Delivery Triage area.

Admission for Cesarean Section

Admission to the hospital
When a Cesarean birth is a planned procedure, your doctor will schedule the date and time. You will be admitted to the Labor and Delivery unit on the day of your Cesarean birth.

It is of extreme importance that you follow your physician’s instructions, or your surgery may have to be rescheduled.

Do not eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery (unless your doctor tells you otherwise). You may have up to 16 ounces of water up until six hours before your surgery time. Please do not smoke the night before or the day of surgery. You may brush your teeth, but do not swallow water or toothpaste.

Items to Bring

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Slippers and bathrobe
  • Shower cap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Comb and brush
  • Full-size cotton panties
  • Sanitary pads with adhesive strips
  • Two well-fitted bras (nursing bras if planning to breastfeed)
  • Family Focused Care booklet
  • Pillow with non-white pillowcase
  • “Going home” clothing and blanket for baby
  • Infant car seat (leave in car)
  • Camera and film
  • Phone book (to call family and friends)