When should I register at the hospital?
No need to pre-register at the hospital! Check-in is handled through our electronic health records system, Epic (also known as MyChart). If you don’t have a MyChart account, sign up today.
Sign up for MyChart
Will I have a private room?
Yes. You will have a private room during your labor, delivery and recovery. Our comfortable birthing suites, which also provide room for your spouse or partner to spend the night, feature warm, soothing interiors and large windows to let in natural light.
What should I pack?
Ideally, it is best to pack and have most items prepared to go by 36-37 weeks of your pregnancy, just in case you go into labor before your due date. If your pregnancy has complications, you may choose to get ready a little earlier. We want your stay to be as comfortable as possible.
Items for you:
- Hospital paperwork, identification card, insurance card
- Breast pump: you may need to use your breast pump prior to leaving the hospital. St. Charles has a skilled lactation team that can be consulted if feeding issues arise. This is an important item to remember, and can be obtained through your OB/midwife as you near the 36-week gestation mark.
- Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, tooth paste, hair brush and ties, glasses/contact lenses
- Pillows and soft bath towels are luxury items that will make your stay more comfortable, though we do have those if you don’t bring your own.
- Comfortable clothes: robe, nightgown, slippers, socks, nursing/pumping bras.
- Drinks: if you have favorite sports or electrolyte replacement drinks, juices or water flavoring packets, please feel free to bring them. There are kitchen services and room services available as well.
- Reusable water bottle.
- Snacks: high protein snacks are always a great go-to in labor, as are protein shakes, bars or comfort foods. Consider snacks that are mild in flavor in case you aren’t feeling very hungry as well.
- Comfort items: items that make your birthing experience more like a spa can go a long way toward making your experience more relaxing. Portable essential oil diffusers for aroma therapy with your favorite oils, sound machines, or portable speakers to play your personal music are popular choices. If you want the ambiance of candles, please only bring battery operated or plug-in options, as we cannot allow flames in the hospital for safety reasons.
- Eye mask or ear plugs to help with sleep
- Phone charger
Items for baby:
- Car seat: infant car seats are required to take your new baby home
- Going home outfit (or a few!). Baby is swaddled and in a diaper for most of their time in the hospital, but having a go-home outfit (and a backup) is great.
- Light swaddle blanket, for going home with as well.
- Nail clippers or file, babies are often born with long nails.
- Diapers and wipes will be provided by the hospital.
- Feeding items:
- If you intend to breastfeed, bring your electric breast pump, nipple butter or cream, and other lactation-related items.
- If you intend to formula feed, bring formula of choice, bottles, and cleaning items.
- If unsure, please come with questions and allow your medical team assist you to make the best choice for your family.
- Pediatrician: Do your research prior to having your baby and select a pediatrician who will take care of your baby after you discharge home. It is best to have a doctor or nurse practitioner picked out ahead of time, and call ahead to ensure they are accepting new patients. Most providers like to schedule a newborn visit 2-5 days after delivery so having a clinic picked out prior to your delivery will make scheduling appointments easier.
Support Person/Intended Parent Items:
- Reusable water bottle
- Comfortable clothes, activity books, crosswords, movies, etc. Babies come into the world on their own schedule, so some entertainment is a good idea.
What are my options for labor and delivery?
Many of our delivery and recovery rooms are equipped with deep Jacuzzi tubs for laboring mothers. We offer many options to help you cope with the progression of labor.
Will my baby stay in my room?
Yes. We want mother and child to spend as much time together as possible to help develop a strong bond. Your baby will stay with you in your birthing suite.
What are the visiting hours at the Family Birthing Center?
We have special visitor restrictions in place due to the pandemic. Please visit our Visitor Guidelines page for our current policy.
How safe is my baby in the Family Birthing Center?
We provide the highest level of security to ensure your baby's safety. All Family Birthing Center doors are camera-equipped to monitor people entering and exiting. Babies are never left alone, and we regularly check identification bands for mothers and babies.
May I have my birth videotaped?
For safety and legal reasons, St. Charles Health System does not allow video cameras in delivery or operating rooms. You are welcome to take other types of pictures.
How do I get my baby's birth announcement published in the newspaper?
You'll receive a form authorizing us to release your birth information to local newspapers.