Your Labor and Delivery
Northwest Hospital pioneered the concept of labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum care in a single birthing suite. Today, our suites are designed to support your entire birth experience and ensure that you are able to share it with family and friends in whatever way you choose. Each suite is equipped with:
- Specially designed beds for laboring, recovery and rest
- 24-hour access to Jacuzzi tubs and suites equipped with either a Jacuzzi or full-size shower
- Fold-out beds for your support person
- Free wi-fi internet access
- Flat-screen TV
Take a virtual tour of our facility or schedule a free, in-person tour of Northwest Hospital’s Childbirth Center to get a better idea of the services and amenities we provide our mothers, babies and families. The center is open for tours by appointment only. Please call 206.668.1784 for more information.
During your stay at the Childbirth Center, our caring and expert staff will encourage and support you in a way that helps you feel relaxed and comforted. We are proud to support a wide range of options, from natural childbirth to the use of anesthesia, depending on your individual preferences and labor situation. We also welcome families who choose to include a doula in their birth plan.
During labor, we monitor our mothers and babies with wireless, waterproof technology, so they have the freedom to walk around, use birth balls and enjoy some relief from the intensity of labor in one of our Jacuzzi whirlpool tubs.
Following your birth, your baby stays in your room with you to promote bonding and support lactation. Our Level 2 nursery is available to provide care for newborns that require additional monitoring and care.
To make the birthing process more comfortable, the Center offers 24-hour anesthesiology services so that mothers-to-be and their providers are able to manage labor anytime, day or night. We encourage all mothers to consult with their obstetricians or midwives about their preferences for epidurals or other pain-management options. Our anesthesiologists are board-certified and able to respond immediately to any needs a mother may have while she is laboring at the Childbirth Center.
If you are planning a cesarean section, it will comfort you to know that you will not have to be transferred to another location in the hospital for your birth. The Childbirth Center includes two dedicated surgical suites located just steps from your birthing suite. Whether planned or necessitated by emergency, mothers having cesarean procedures can give birth and recover right in the Childbirth Center.
A gentle cesarean enables you to share many of the same experiences as mothers who have non-cesarean births. Unlike a typical cesarean where a mother is unable to see her baby until after the delivery, we offer you the opportunity to witness the moment of your baby’s birth through a clear drape, and to have skin-to-skin contact following the birth while still in the operating room. You may request a gentle cesarean as part of your birth plan, whether you have a scheduled cesarean section or a cesarean becomes necessary during the course of labor.
In addition to other pain management options, we are pleased to offer nitrous oxide as another choice for pain relief during labor. More commonly known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a mixture of 50% oxygen and 50% nitrous oxide. During labor, you can administer the nitrous oxide yourself whenever you feel you need it, simply by breathing through a mask. The pain relieving effect of nitrous oxide is almost immediate and wears off as soon as you stop inhaling it, so you are free to experience your labor in whatever way you wish. If you choose to switch from nitrous oxide to an epidural or other pain management option during your labor, you may do so at any time.
Many mothers who have had previous cesarean births may want to have a vaginal delivery with their next child. The Northwest Hospital Childbirth Center is happy to support vaginal birth after cesarean, but we encourage you to speak with your provider to discuss the risks and benefits of this option, and to develop a birth plan that best meets your needs.
At the time of your baby’s birth, you have an option to collect and save the cord blood. Cord blood is rich in stem cells that can be lifesaving for your child and other family members. Today, the blood is used to treat 70 diseases including leukemia, other cancers and blood disorders. The blood is stored in a special, secure blood bank and later, can be used for lifesaving therapies at the time of your choosing. The most common use for cord blood stem cells is in between siblings, but any family member who is a suitable genetic match may use the cells if needed.
Northwest Hospital provides options for banking cord blood for yourself and your family or for donating cord blood to others in partnership with the Puget Sound Blood Center. Your provider can advise you on how to set up a cord blood banking account and the other options available to you and your partner.
Please review the following suggestions when packing for your stay with us. Many of the items listed here can make your stay more comfortable.
- Change of clothes to go home in
- Books and other entertainment
- If you prefer, pillow and blankets from home
- Chapstick for labor
- Hair ties and/or clips
- Cell phones, including charger and important phone numbers
- Fully charged camera
- Extra batteries
- Special snacks (refrigeration is available on site)
- Phone numbers to your favorite delivery or take-out food, if you would like to order in
- Cash for parking, the cafeteria, etc.
- Slippers, comfy clothes and toiletries
- Computer and cords to upload photos
- Clothing for first photos and car ride home
- Receiving blankets (at least two)
- Car seat (required)
- Lots of love