Before You Arrive
To ensure your experience is what you expect, it's important to be as prepared as possible before baby arrives. Thinking about your birth plan, having a packing list, and knowing where to go when it's time, are just some of the things we can help with so you can be worry free.
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Your Birth Plan
UConn Health is committed to offering options that help make your birthing experience a natural, intimate event for you and your family. A compassionate team of experienced doctors and nurses provides a supportive environment. Our services include innovative options in pain management, lactation consulting, and private rooms with all the comforts of home.
We encourage you to carefully consider your birthing options in advance of delivery day and make a written birth plan or speak to your provider about your preferences. Thinking about your options and deciding what your preferences are in advance of delivery day will help us support you and understand your expectations of the birth of your child.
Prior to your delivery, we highly recommend thinking about your preferences for:
- What type of atmosphere would you prefer (quiet, music, etc.)?
- Who do you want with you in the room?
- Do you want photos/videos to be taken?
- Pain Management Options
- Would you like to walk around?
- Would you like to try a birthing ball?
- Do you want to be able to shower?
- Would you like an epidural?
- Would you like to use nitrous oxide?
- Do you prefer to breast or bottle feed?
- Do you want your baby to have a pacifier?
- Are you interested in skin to skin with your baby immediately after delivery?
- If you have a boy, would you like him to be circumcised?
- Who would you like to cut the umbilical cord?
What to Pack
- Slippers and a bath robe
- Cell phone and charging cords
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Bath soap
- Eyeglasses or contact lens cases
- Your birth plan
- Nightgown or pajamas
- Nursing bra
- One “going home” outfit for baby
- One loose-fitting “going home” outfit for you
- Sweatpants or pajamas for the support person who will spend the night (must be over 18)
- Infant car seat and base
Choosing a Pediatrician
Just as you have thought very carefully about an obstetrician, it is also very important to choose a pediatrician prior to the birth of your child. When you arrive at the hospital in labor, please notify the Labor and Delivery staff who you have chosen to be your baby’s doctor. Once you have delivered, the hospital staff will notify your pediatrician. After your baby is discharged, you will follow up with the pediatrician of your choice.
Breastfeeding or Bottle Feeding
Discuss the options with your doctor to help decide on the best option for you and your baby. UConn Health also has a full-time lactation consultant available to answer your questions. Learn more about our lactation consulting services.
What to Expect Upon Your Arrival
You will deliver your baby at UConn John Dempsey Hospital, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT. If you are instructed to go to the hospital during your pregnancy for any reason, you should go to UConn John Dempsey Hospital.
Between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., report to UConn John Dempsey Hospital Labor and Deliver by entering through the main hospital entrance. Stop at the information desk, and they will direct you where to go. Valet parking and drop off are available at the hospital entrance. Parking is available at the adjacent Lot H or in Garage 3.
After hours, from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., use the Emergency Department entrance and stop at the desk for directions. Drop off is available at the Emergency entrance and parking is available on the top level of Garage 2.
Visit the Locations page for maps and directions.
When you arrive at Labor and Delivery, ring the bell to announce your arrival. Our unit is always locked to ensure the safety of you and your baby. You will be greeted by a nurse and escorted to your private birthing room.
You will be placed on a fetal monitor to monitor your baby.
An ultrasound may be performed.
You will have a vaginal exam and the results of your exam will determine your plan of care.
An IV will be started. This will allow you to receive fluids and medications during your labor. It will be removed soon after your delivery.
You will be able to have ice chips, sips of clear liquids, and popsicles during labor. We will provide these, or you can bring your own.
Once you are stable, you will be allowed to walk, rest in a rocking chair, or find another activity to help you relax.
You may have your support person, and, if you wish, one other family member or close friend with you during labor and/or birth. During your stay in the Labor and Delivery Unit, children of the patient are permitted but must have a caregiver other than their parents or support person.
Your Birthing Room
Each birthing room has a special birthing bed that adjusts so you can deliver in the position you find most comfortable. Each room is also equipped with its own private bathroom and shower, as well as a television, telephone, and refrigerator.
For Your Support Person
As a support person, you have an important role and are free to be an active participant in mom’s labor and delivery. Talk about what might be asked of you in advance so you understand what mom’s expectations are. Would you like to cut the umbilical cord? Would mom like to have pictures taken? Also know the mom’s birth plan so you can help communicate preferences.
Don’t Forget to Pack for Yourself
While you’re making sure mom is ready, don’t forget to make sure you have everything YOU need. Things to pack:
- Change of clothes
- Cell phone charger
- Music and/or a book
- Contact information for family and friends
Don’t Forget to Eat
Be sure that you are eating and staying hydrated. You are welcome to bring snacks into the room, a refrigerator is provided for your personal use.
Take a Break
When there is down-time or mom is resting, don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself. You are welcome to come and go from the labor and delivery unit. At UConn John Dempsey Hospital, you have access to amenities like a cafeteria, bookstore, a chapel, and lounge areas. Or, simply take a moment to step outside for some fresh air.
Child Safety Seat Inspection
While traveling in a vehicle, the law requires that your baby ride in an approved infant car seat that meets current safety standards. It is very important to install the infant car seat before coming to the hospital. For maximum safety, read all instructions that come with the car seat to be certain that installation is correct.
Need help? Check with your local fire and police departments as most will check car seats for proper installation or offer to install them for you.