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Labor & Delivery

Your nurse will monitor your labor, vital signs and baby’s heart rate very closely. Vaginal exams will be done as needed to continue to assess your progress. The monitoring of the baby is done by an electronic fetal monitor. We will get a baseline that will take about 20 minutes. After that, we will monitor on an intermittent or continuous basis, depending on your labor status.

Usually labor starts on its own, however, sometimes it is necessary to induce labor. Your provider will discuss these options with you.

Near delivery time, your nurse and provider will help you find the most comfortable position. When the baby is born, your support person will be invited to cut the umbilical cord. Your baby will then be placed on your abdomen to begin the bonding process.

After delivery, the nurse will continue to monitor vital signs for both you and your baby. The nurse will frequently massage the uterus to ensure normal recovery. After two to three hours, you, your baby and your support person will be moved to a postpartum room for the duration of your stay.

We are required by state law to administer Erythromycin eye ointment in your baby’s eyes within an hour of birth and to administer a Vitamin K shot to promote proper blood clotting. All medications are “baby friendly” and will not impede breastfeeding.

We encourage you to breastfeed your baby. This can begin right after the delivery; let us know what your nutrition plans are for your baby so our lactation consultants can help you get started.

Eating & Drinking

Most women can have fluids in early labor. Clear liquids such as Jell-O, popsicles and ice water are popular. Sometimes an IV is needed. If an IV is needed, your provider and nurse will discuss this with you. 


Most providers perform circumcisions in their office at the first newborn check up appointment. Please discuss this option with your baby’s provider.

Baby Chimes

After each birth, a chime will echo throughout the hospital to signify the birth of a child. The chime was composed by Bellingham High School's music department and uses a combination of Happy Birthday and Brahm’s lullaby.