Labor & Delivery
Rely on the skilled labor and delivery team at UNC Medical Center to help you have a safe and positive childbirth.
Make a Birth Plan
Use a birth plan to communicate your preferences for childbirth. Before you start creating your birth plan, talk to your doctor about what matters to you, and ask for guidance.
Use this outline to create your birth plan and bring it when you arrive to deliver your baby.
Prepare for Labor & Delivery
Learn what you need to know before childbirth by taking our birth care classes.
Recognize Signs of Labor
When you’re in active labor, your contractions will occur every two to three minutes and last about 50 to 70 seconds. Contact your provider’s office if you’re in active labor for instructions on when to come to N.C. Women's Hospital.
Where to Go When You’re in Labor
Ask your provider where you should go when you arrive to give birth. The stork entrance at N.C. Women’s Hospital is always open.
Have your support person take you inside, then park by the main entrance to the hospital. Depending on when you arrive, you may have the option for valet parking.
Preregister for Your Delivery
Benefit from preregistering to allow your check-in to go quickly. Your provider will give you the hospital pre-admission forms to complete during one of your prenatal visits. If you have any questions, call the UNC Health Care Admitting Office at 919-843-0095.
What to Expect During Labor
After arriving at the birth center, a nurse will assess you to determine your stage of labor. If you’re in active labor, you’ll stay in a spacious labor and delivery room, and we’ll monitor your and your baby’s health.
Pain Management During Labor
You’ll appreciate having options to help you feel comfortable as you progress through labor. You and your partner may choose:
- Birthing and peanut balls
- Breathing techniques
- Hydrotherapy in a whirlpool tub
- Movement and positioning
- Relaxation methods
Medications for Pain Relief
Depending on your preferences, you may receive:
If a Cesarean birth (C-section) is the recommended way for you to deliver your baby, trust the advanced technology and specialized care at UNC Medical Center for a healthy and safe delivery.
Visitors During Labor & Delivery
You can have up to three visitors while you’re in labor, including children if they’re with another adult. One visitor can remain with you during the birth of your baby, ask your nurse if you want anyone else present. In most cases, your support person can stay with you during a Cesarean birth.
Receive additional emotional and nurturing support from a doula by requesting one when you arrive at the hospital.
Taking Pictures & Video
When you arrive to deliver your baby, discuss your photography plans with your labor and delivery team. For safety, tripods, freestanding lights, and electrical cords cannot be used. Video cameras must be battery operated. Rely on your team to show you a safe place for you to take photos once your baby is born. There may be procedures or emergency situations when you won’t be able to photograph or videotape.
Care & Support after Delivery
Following the birth of your baby, move into our comfortable and secure postpartum unit. Depending on the type of delivery you had and your health, you may stay in the hospital two to four days. Trust your care team to help you:
- Bond with your baby by rooming in and skin-to-skin contact
- Feed your baby
- Give the first bath
Your baby will receive tests to screen for medical conditions shortly after birth. When conditions are detected early, your baby can get treatment as soon as possible. We’ll check your newborn for:
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
If your baby needs extra medical care following delivery, they’ll receive the highest level of care in our Level Ⅳ NICU.
Depend on us to send your information to the North Carolina State Office of Vital Statistics for your baby’s birth certificate. Fill out as much information possible before the birth of your baby to help the process of getting you home go smoothly.
Your doctor or midwife will decide what day you’ll return home based on your health and insurance coverage. On the day you go home, you’ll leave the hospital at 11:30 a.m. and will ride in a wheelchair to the main entrance of N.C. Women’s Hospital to meet your ride.
You and your baby may get approval to go home at different times since you have a different doctor than your baby. You’ll need a car seat to take home your baby safely.