Madigan Labor & Delivery
From 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
From I-5, take exit 122 and continue onto Base along Jackson Avenue and turn right onto Madigan and continue to the Hospital Tower (only entrance with a flag pole) and take the elevator to the third floor where Madigan’s Labor & Delivery is located.
From 9:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
Because the main hospital entrances are locked from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., follow the Emergency signs by taking a right onto Gardner Loop and turn into the Emergency Department entrance which is always open. Either follow the signs to Madigan’s Labor & Delivery or ask someone in the Emergency Room to assist you.
Madigan’s Labor & Delivery provides normal and high risk newborn patient care consisting of 18 adult beds and eight bassinets. There are seven birthing suites, two operating rooms, a six bed Triage/Monitoring area, four antepartum beds and a tub room for labor support. On average, we deliver 180 babies a month. We have a friendly staff of physicians and nurses who are committed to bringing you and your family current, safe and state-of-the-art medical care. Discover the unique features of Madigan's Labor & Delivery by taking this virtual video tour below.
About your stay at Labor & Delivery (Madigan Birthing Center)
After 20 weeks gestation, you may report to the Birthing Center for evaluation, treatment or monitoring. For safety and security there must be an adult other than the patient to care for any children present. Your physician will discuss and review with you a plan of care at the time of admission so you and your family understand why you are being admitted.
Your stay in the Birthing Center will vary in length based on you and your baby’s specific health care needs. Mothers in labor will remain in the Birthing Center for delivery of your new born and for an immediate postpartum period. Later, you and your baby will be transferred to the Mother-Baby Unit.
While in the Birthing Center, a nurse will be assigned and dedicated to you and your needs throughout your entire delivery as your primary nurse. Your nurse will assist with providing your medical care, support you in your labor and delivery, answer your questions and work providing you comfort, encouragement and act as your advocate.
We do not have restricted visiting hours at the Madigan Birthing Center, however providing a supportive, low stress environment, with decreased stimulation, facilitates the birthing process.
We highly encourage you to have supporters with you during your labor and delivery including of course the father of the baby. Children are allowed to be a supporters and should attend the Sibling Class if there are plans for them to be present during the birth. Also, it is mandatory that an additional adult be present to care for other children present.
Family and friends who are ill should discuss their presence with the nurse to determine if it is safe for them to be present on the unit.
What to bring to the Birthing Center
We provide most everything you will need during your stay at the Birthing Center.
Some suggested comfort items you may want to bring include:
- Smart phone, Tablet, Laptop
- Favorite pillow
- Lollipops/hard candy
- Lip balm
- Personal hygiene items and other personal comfort items you desire to bring
We encourage family and friends who will be providing support to dress for comfort and to pack a lunch with snacks.
Listed below are the additional items you may desire to bring after you have delivered and are transferred to the Mother-Baby Unit:
- Personal hygiene items
- Extra panties
- Supportive bras (if desired) or Nursing bras (Nursing Pads)
On the day of discharge you will need:
- Infant car seat
- Clothes/shoes for mom (most likely, you will still have a tummy, so bring your pregnancy clothes)
- Outfit for baby (hat and blankets dependent upon the weather)
If you have any concerns during your stay or are not fully satisfied with your experience, please contact the Birthing Center Head Nurse at (253) 968-0711.
Labor & Delivery Frequently Asked Questions
Should I have a birth plan?
Its a plan which you can use to guide you in creating your own individual birth plan. Problems in your medical condition prior to labor or problems that occur during labor may result in changes in your birth plan for your safety and that of your baby. The more prepared and knowledgeable you are regarding labor, delivery, and postpartum, the better chance you will have in achieving your birthing goals. A plan is a guideline; you can change your mind about any of the provisions. You and your delivery team will work together to make this the best possible event for you!
When should I come to labor and delivery?
If you are under 20 weeks gestational age and are having any bleeding, cramping, or concerns you think need to be assessed by a health care professional, you need to either be seen in the OB/GYN Clinic or the Emergency Department.
If you are over 20 weeks gestation, you should come in to the Birthing Center for assessment if you have any vaginal bleeding or vaginal gush of fluid (note the time and color and put on a peripad), decrease in fetal movements (you want the baby to move at least four times in an hour), or if you are having four or more contractions in one hour.
If you have a medical emergency, call 911.
My husband and I are free on Tuesday and my pregnancy has reached term. Can I get induced on Tuesday?
For the safety of the mother and the baby, inductions are only scheduled for medical indications and are planned by your physician.
I am scheduled for an induction, what should I do?
If you are scheduled for an induction, plan to call the Birthing Center around 5:00 a.m. the morning of your induction. This phone call is to ensure the plan is still to induce you and that there is room for you. You will want to arrive to the Birthing Center at 5:30 a.m. the morning of your induction. Also, you will want to take a shower/bath before coming and will not want to eat anything "heavy" after midnight ("heavy" meaning large portions of any kind of food, but could include large portions of meat, and meals such as casseroles, multiple course meals and spicy dishes).
I am scheduled for a cesarean section (C-section), what should I do?
If you are scheduled for a C-section, DO NOT eat or drink anything after midnight. Plan to call the Birthing Center around 5 a.m. the morning of your operation. This phone call is to ensure the plan for you to have a C-section has not changed, and to make sure we have an operating room open. You will need to take a shower/bath as well as use the special antiseptic wipes provided before coming, and you will want to arrive at the Birthing Center at 5:30 a.m. on the morning of your C-section.
How many visitors can I have in my labor and delivery?
In an effort to keep Madigan’s patients, staff and the entire local community safe from the spread of COVID-19, Madigan has enacted proactive changes the inpatient visitation policy. Visitors for the Maternal Child Health areas to include Labor and Delivery (L&D), Postpartum (3S), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Inpatient Pediatrics (4N), and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), will be allowed to have two adult visitors and have 24/7 access to their patients. The age of visitors to those in inpatient care will also be limited. Visitors under the age of 18 or over the age of 60 will not be permitted. Exceptions may be considered on case by case basis for visitors under 18 years old or visitors over 60 years old in consultation with the patient’s provider. See Madigan's visitation policy updates in full here.
What are the visiting hours on labor and delivery?
We do not have set visiting hours in the Birthing Center.
What should I plan ahead of my pending labor and delivery time?
Remember to make child care arrangements for when your labor begins (back-up plans can be helpful). Also, remember to plan transportation available for trips to and from the hospital.
What are my options for pain management?
You will be provided a wide range of options for pain management. These include breathing techniques and positions changes, IV medication, and also epidural analgesia. What route you take for pain management will depend on your preparation for the labor, the baby, how far along you are in your labor, the mother's health, and the decision you and your health care team agree on.
Do I have to have and intravenous infusion (IV)?
An IV is generally used during the labor process as a way to give you hydration, medications, and provides a route to access your venous system in an emergency.
Can I walk around while I am in labor?
Many patients choose to walk and sit in a rocking chair while they are in labor. As long as your baby is doing well and you haven't received any medications that could interfere with walking, your physician may order for you to walk around if you desire. Many times, walking around can be very comfortable to women during the early part of labor.
What is Pitocin?
Pitocin is a medication which is a synthetic form of the hormone your body already produces to stimulate uterine contractions. Pitocin is sometimes ordered by your physician to induce or augment a labor. Your nurse and physician would discuss administration of Pitocin before starting it on you.
Do you have a nursery?
We are fortunate here to have the mothers and babies stay and room together. For infants who require more medical care than what can be provided in a room, Madigan Army Medical Center has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and an Intermediate Care Nursery.
Do you have water births?
We have a tub for hydrotherapy (comfort measure) during labor.
Can I have photos and video of my delivery?
Yes for vaginal delivery, providing there are not any objections by the staff providing care.
About The Mother-Baby Unit
Welcome to the Mother-Baby Unit located on 3 South. We wish you a happy and healthy recovery and hospital stay.
The Mother-Baby Unit is a team of Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses working together with other services to provide quality care to our pregnant mothers, new parents and their babies, and our GYN-Surgical clients. Mother-Baby Unit 3-South is located on the 3rd floor of the hospital tower in suites 3-93-C5 of Madigan Army Medical Center across from the Birthing Center and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit/Intermediate Care Nursery (NICU). We are open 24 hours a day but have a visitation policy to ensure the safety of our newborns.
If you have any further questions please call the front desk at (253) 968-3044 or contact our Head Nurse at (253) 968-1317 or our Wardmaster at (253) 968-1314.
We take an aggressive multilevel approach to protect the infants on our unit. This includes education for parents and staff, training, background checks of staff providing care to our infants, staff identification, security monitors, and an infant ID system. Infants are not allowed off the unit unless accompanied by a designated parent/support person or appropriately identified personnel. During your stay you will receive detailed instructions and constant support to help you remain alert to potential abductors. If you feel something is “not right” about an individual, please notify a staff member immediately.
Every night at 7:45 p.m., all mothers and babies going home the following day are encouraged to attend. Topics covered in this class include newborn and postpartum care, signs and symptoms of infection to be alert for you and your infant, day-of-discharge instructions and expectations, and car seat safety.
Mother-Baby Unit Frequently Asked Questions
How soon can I go home?
Generally our Gyn-Surgical clients and Cesarean section patients go home in 48-72 hours, our mothers with a first child in 48 hours, and our mothers who've had more than one child after at least 24 hours. Our infants are generally discharged in 48 hours and ALWAYS with a parent. Each patient is unique so discuss your discharge plan with your doctor and your infant's doctor.
Do you have a nursery?
To support the bonding process between infant and parent and promote infant safety/security we have the mother and infant remain together during the entire recovery period. In the event your infant needs extra attention we have a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and an intermediate care nursery (ICN) available.
What does ‘rooming in’ mean?
This is a transition time allowing the mother and infant who was in NICU for a prolonged period of time to stay together with NICU staff support to ensure that the parent is aware of and is able to handle the special needs of the infant at home. On Mother-Baby Unit 3-South, we provide the rooms as they are available. However, the parent is responsible for her personal needs and meals.
I am being discharged from the hospital but my baby has to stay another day. What happens now?
You will be able to stay with your infant in a ‘rooming-in’ status until your infant is discharged or transferred to the ICN or NICU. Since you are no longer an inpatient you will need to provide your own meals and will need to go to the clinic or emergency room if you have a question about your health.
My baby is in the NICU and I am breastfeeding. Can I stay on Mother-Baby Unit 3-South?
Unfortunately, we are not able to provide boarding rooms on our ward for our moms while their child is in the unit. Coordination is made between yourself and the NICU staff to find accommodations.
I saw one doctor yesterday evening but I saw another doctor this morning. Who is overseeing my care?
We are a teaching facility so your care is being managed by a team of doctors who collaborate with other services to ensure your needs are met.
Who do I call if I have a question about my health once I'm home from the hospital?
Before you and your baby are discharged, the Mother-Baby Unit 3-South team will schedule your first well baby check appointments (two day and two week appointments) with the Pediatric Clinic. If you have any issues associated with postpartum, please contact your OB-GYN provider up until six weeks after delivery. Beyond six weeks, please contact your primary care manager for your healthcare needs.
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