Before You Arrive
Getting ready for delivery is an exciting time. During your routine prenatal visits, discuss your desired birth plan with your care provider.
To familiarize yourself with The Birth Center and North Valley Hospital, consider touring the maternity area ahead of time during our monthly Talk and Tour. For brother- or sister-to-be, we offer a monthly Siblings Class. About five to six months before your due date, call The Birth Center to register for Childbirth Classes with an experienced OB nurse/childbirth educator.
You will want to register yourself at the Admitting Office prior to your due date so you need only check in for any outpatient tests and when you arrive in labor.
Several weeks before your baby is due, you may want to pack a small suitcase with these items:
- Nursing bra (if you plan to breastfeed)
- Robe and slippers
- Insurance card
- Personal grooming items (shampoo, hairbrush, makeup, etc.)
- Music CDs or DVDs; laptop or iPad
- For your baby:
- Car seat (required to leave hospital)
- Going home outfit
When You Arrive
The closest entry to The Birth Center is the south entrance of the hospital. It is a good idea if you can notify your provider and The Birth Center before you arrive so we can prepare for your arrival. Note that the doors to The Birth Center are alarmed and locked 24/7 for the safety of patients. When you arrive, pick up the telephone on the desk to the right of the doors to request entry.
The Birth Center Experience
The spacious, private birthing suites in The Birth Center provide a homelike atmosphere where expectant moms can share the birthing experience with their loved ones. Maintaining this feel, supplies and equipment are kept relatively out of sight while being next to the delivery bed where a nurse will monitor your and your baby’s progress carefully.
If you have chosen a special method of childbirth preparation, the nursing staff will be supportive of your request while keeping in mind your own health and the safety of the baby.
A warm and soothing whirlpool is available for those who desire to labor in a tub, and an AquaDoula tub or built-in tubs are available for water births. North Valley Hospital’s Birth Center is one of the few hospitals in Montana to offer water births. If you are interested in having a water birth, please discuss this option with your doctor or midwife prior to arriving for labor.
You will be carefully monitored and coached during your labor by our professional nursing and medical staff. While most births occur without complications, for those rare moments, cesarean births take place in our operating suite. In most cases, dad, or a designated support person, can accompany you into surgery to be present for the birth.
Caring for Parents and Baby After Delivery
Parents and baby will be joined after the baby’s condition is considered stable. In most cases, parents have the opportunity to hold their baby immediately after birth.
The new mom will be moved shortly after the birth to a private postpartum room to rest and relax for the remainder of her stay. It’s there that you will be offered a complimentary massage from one of our massage therapists. Hospital meals are served three times a day, and our Cuisine-on-Call menu is also available.
We encourage new parents to get as much rest as possible while at North Valley Hospital. A daybed is available for dad or a support person. Our visitation policy is 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but with restricted access for security purposes.
Complimentary Professional Photography of Your Newborn
The Birth Center offers a free professional photo session in the hospital within 10 days of birth, including a free photo of your baby. Our photographer is also an obstetric registered nurse, who has that special touch to care and quiet your baby during the photo session.
Check out our New Arrivals page
If you elect to have your baby’s picture in the newspaper, make sure to pick up the Flathead Beacon on the last Wednesday of the month following the month your baby was born. In this edition we welcome all of the babies born in the valley the previous month by displaying their photo with parent’s consent.
Before You Go Home
Our nurses and lactation consultants will provide you with instructions on:
- Nutrition and care of your newborn and yourself
- Bathing your newborn
- What to expect after delivery
Our nurses will schedule a postpartum visit three days after your release date. We encourage parents to call The Birth Center with any concerns you may experience after you are home. We also encourage participation in the weekly Mother/Baby Support Group
. Gather with other new and seasoned moms along with one of The Birth Center nurses to ask questions and find comfort with all the new changes in your life.
For additional information on North Valley classes and events, check out our Tours and Classes page