About two hours after birth, you and your baby will move to the Mother-Baby Unit. This room allows you and your baby to enjoy special bonding time. “Rooming in” will also help you to become comfortable caring for your newborn. It provides the best opportunity for you and your baby to learn together. A nurse will stop by your room to check on your baby and help with feedings, whether you breastfeed or formula feed.

For the safety of you and your baby, Mother-Baby Units are locked, but family and friends may visit you between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. after they obtain a visitor/access badge at the front desk. To further keep you safe, Magee has an Infant Surveillance System. You, your baby, and one support person of your choice will receive identification bands, which allow you to move your baby between your room and the nursery.

You and your baby will stay in the hospital for about two days after a vaginal birth and for about three days after a C-section. When it’s time to go home, your health care providers will see you and your baby and review discharge instructions with you. After a nurse removes your baby’s security tag, we will accompany you to the entrance of the Mother-Baby Unit or to the zero level of the parking garage, if you prefer. Now you are ready to begin life at home with your little one.

Your baby’s umbilical cord should fall off after one to three weeks. Keep the area around the navel clean and dry. If your baby’s doctor tells you to use rubbing alcohol on the cord, apply rubbing alcohol to the base of the cord three or four times each day, using a cotton ball or cotton swab. Call your baby’s doctor right away if the skin around the cord becomes red, warm, and tender.
What will happen after my baby is born?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

  • Life With Baby
  • Mom and Baby Yoga
  • Baby Signs Workshop
Long renowned for its services to women and babies, Magee offers a wide range of care to men as well.

Once you arrive at the hospital and your health care provider confirms that you are in labor, you will be sent to a labor and delivery room (LDR). To help you relax, each LDR has a TV and a CD player/radio. Each LDR has a large shower with an adjustable spray nozzle, which can be used for comfort during labor. A staff member can tell you more about water therapy or using a birthing ball.

Labor can sometimes be uncomfortable for women, but our hospital staff is well trained to discuss different options to help relieve pain and discomfort, including breathing and relaxation techniques, medicine, and anesthesia. To help you make an educated decision about your pain relief options, you can view an online educational program, Emmi®, right from the comfort of your own home.

During childbirth, you may have one or two visitors. Afterward, you’ll need some time to recover physically and emotionally, and to bond with your baby. It’s a good idea to encourage your family members and other loved ones not to visit for longer than 10 minutes. After about two hours, you and your baby will move to the Mother-Baby Unit.

If you decide to have an “epidural” to help manage pain during labor and delivery, your anesthesiologist will insert a tube into your back using a needle, and you will receive pain medication through this tube. An epidural allows you to receive a small amount of pain medication that provides the same relief as a higher dose taken via mouth. With an epidural, you will be awake and alert, but able to sleep when you wish.

Some babies are delivered by cesarean birth (“C-section”), which involves delivery through an incision made in your abdomen and uterus. Your doctor may recommend cesarean birth for several different reasons, including if your baby is not positioned head first, if your baby’s head is too big to pass through your vagina, and if you are carrying more than one baby.

What should I expect during labor and delivery?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

  • Life With Baby
  • Mom and Baby Yoga
  • Baby Signs Workshop
On any given day, Magee cares for about 120 babies.

Because the next couple of months can be a whirlwind, you may want to prepare now for your hospital stay. The hospital is a safe, nurturing place where you and your baby will receive the best possible care during and after your delivery. Our Mother-Baby Units are locked at all times, and the hospital is completely smoke-free. You also can use this time to tour the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and meet with a specialist if there’s a chance that your baby will be in the NICU.

You may want to pack a bag now to have on hand for the big day, so you will be ready to go at a moment’s notice. This checklist can give you a good idea of what to bring with you.

Medical Paperwork

  • Photo ID
  • Insurance card
  • Cord blood collection kit, if applicable

Toiletries

  • Lip balm
  • Deodorant
  • Skin moisturizer
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Hairbrush, Hair bands, clips
  • Makeup, shampoo, conditioner

Clothing

  • Slippers
  • Go-Home, outfit
  • Nightgown, robe
  • Maternity, underwear
  • 2 Pillows, pillow cases
  • Nursing bra, nursing pads
  • Loose, comfortable pre-labor outfit

Sibling Items

  • Gifts to celebrate the special occasion
  • Favorite toy, family photo or artwork

Baby Items

  • Sweater
  • Diaper bag
  • Baby car seat
  • Newborn outfit
  • Hats, booties
  • Swaddle blanket(s)
  • Outfit for pictures

Personal Items

  • Camera
  • Journal
  • Breath mints
  • iPod/CD player
  • Pen, paper pad
  • Favorite snacks
  • Reading material
  • Cell phone, charger
  • Glasses/contacts with solution
  • Coins, dollar bills for vending machine
Your doctor may recommend that you count fetal movements (or kicks) to check on your unborn baby. Your baby may be more active at different times during the day. As the baby grows, the way you feel the baby move may change. Try to count fetal activity—your baby’s movements, kicks, and rolling motions—at least once every day by placing your hands on your belly or lying on your side. You should feel about 10 movements within two hours. Your doctor can give you more information.
What should I know about my hospital stay?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

  • Life With Baby
  • Mom and Baby Yoga
  • Baby Signs Workshop
For the simplest directions to Magee, visit our website.

It might seem too early to start thinking about childbirth, but the truth is that you are just a few months away from delivery. In fact, now is an excellent time to start reviewing your plans for this time. Because some babies can come early, it’s also important that you know the signs of preterm labor and know what do to if that happens.

Most women experience normal pregnancies, but there is still a chance that your baby may be born prematurely. For this reason, it’s a good idea to develop a plan in the event that you need to go to the hospital before your due date. Your plan should include things like who you need to notify, how to get in touch with your primary support person, and who will care for your other children, if you have any (please note that childcare is not available at Magee).

One reason you may have to go to the hospital before your delivery date is if you experience preterm labor. Signs of preterm labor include contractions at least every 10 minutes, cramps, pelvic pressure, a low backache, and fluid leaking from your vagina. You don’t need to have all of these symptoms—just one can indicate preterm labor, so call your provider if you experience it.

Most pregnancies progress normally, but sometimes complications can occur. Your health care provider will check your blood pressure, urine, weight, fetal heartbeat, and uterine growth at each appointment because changes in these vital signs could signal a problem. Complications that are detected early have the best chance of being treated and eliminated.
What are the signs of preterm delivery?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

For all expectant mothers:

  • Preparing for Childbirth OR Preparing for Lamaze Childbirth and Beyond
  • Hospital Tour
  • Meet with the Magee Anesthesiologist
  • Prenatal Preparation for Breastfeeding
  • Dogs and Storks
  • Car Seat Safety Check

For those not having their first baby:

  • The Sibling Program
  • Prepared Childbirth Refresher
  • Preparing for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: Exploring the Options
Magee’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is the largest in the region and one of the largest in the country, treating more than 1,500 seriously or critically ill babies each year.

How you choose to feed your baby is one of many important decisions you will make during your pregnancy. Consider whether breastfeeding or bottle-feeding is best for you and your family. No matter what option you choose, your mother-baby nurse can help you get started after your baby is born.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for your baby: A mother’s milk contains just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help support your infant’s growth, development, and immunity. To learn more about breastfeeding, take Magee’s Prenatal Preparation for Breastfeeding class, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health and the La Leche League International. Our lactation staff is available seven days a week for prenatal consultation, as well as for problem solving during and after your hospital stay. For more information, call 412-641-1121.

Although there are clear advantages to breastfeeding, some mothers choose to formula-feed their babies for various reasons. Formula comes in three forms: liquid ready-to-feed, concentrated liquid, and powder. Make sure you follow package directions carefully when preparing. Mixing formula with too much or too little water can make your baby very sick. It’s also important to take care when choosing plastic bottles and sippy cups for your baby. Some plastics contain chemicals that can harm your baby’s health. If possible, use glass bottles. Talk to your own or your baby’s health care provider about specific feeding practices and instructions.

Always check with your health care provider before taking any medication. Most medications pass into your milk in small amounts. If you take medication for a chronic condition, such as hypertension, diabetes, or asthma, your medication may already have been studied in breastfeeding women, so you and your provider should be able to make an informed decision.
How should I feed my baby?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

For all expectant mothers:

  • Preparing for Childbirth OR Preparing for Lamaze Childbirth and Beyond
  • Hospital Tour
  • Meet with the Magee Anesthesiologist
  • Prenatal Preparation for Breastfeeding
  • Dogs and Storks
  • Car Seat Safety Check

For those not having their first baby:

  • The Sibling Program
  • Prepared Childbirth Refresher
  • Preparing for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: Exploring the Options
Through Magee’s Healthy Community program, health educators go on-site to community locations offering interactive health programs designed for women and their families.

By your fourth month of pregnancy, you have likely started to “look” pregnant—and no wonder: Your fetus is now more than six inches long! The physical changes that you are experiencing can serve as a good reminder that your baby will be here before you know it. Parenthood can be overwhelming, so take this opportunity to plan ahead.

Because your baby’s first checkup will occur before you even leave the hospital, it makes sense to choose a health care provider now. You’ll want to ensure that your baby’s doctor is available in case you deliver early, so it’s best to decide on a family practitioner or pediatrician for your baby no later than your seventh month of pregnancy.

And don’t forget that you’ll need to bring your baby home safely. You will need to have a car seat installed and ready at the time of discharge. Remember, infant car seats are safest when used in the center of the back seat, facing the rear. For information on car seat safety, call 412-802-8299 or visit classes.UPMC.com or www.seatcheck.org.

Magee gives parents-to-be an opportunity to preserve their baby’s umbilical cord blood for possible future health care needs. You may also donate it to a public cord blood bank or to scientific research. To help you make an educated decision about what to do with your baby’s cord blood, you can view an educational online presentation through UPMC’s Emmi® program to learn more about umbilical cord blood options.
What can I do now to prepare for my baby?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

For all expectant mothers:

  • Preparing for Childbirth OR Preparing for Lamaze Childbirth and Beyond
  • Hospital Tour
  • Meet with the Magee Anesthesiologist
  • Prenatal Preparation for Breastfeeding
  • Dogs and Storks
  • Car Seat Safety Check

For those not having their first baby:

  • The Sibling Program
  • Prepared Childbirth Refresher
  • Preparing for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: Exploring the Options
To date, nearly 4,500 families have made arrangements to donate or preserve lifesaving cells through the innovative Dan Berger Cord Blood Program at Magee.

This month, your baby is quite active, moving and grooving as it learns to use its limbs. At the same time, it continues to grow: The eyes, ears, finger- and toenails, and reproductive organs fully form. In fact, if you could see inside your uterus, you would be able to tell if your baby was a boy or a girl!

Month three also marks the last third of the first trimester of your pregnancy. Because of all of the activity happening with your little one, this is an excellent time to discuss various tests with your health care provider. One common test is an ultrasound. This painless exam uses sound waves to check a pregnancy and is typically performed at 18 to 20 weeks to measure the growth and development of your baby. You may undergo an ultrasound several other times during your pregnancy, depending on your individual situation.

He or she may recommend a number of other tests throughout your pregnancy, including glucose-tolerance testing, Group B strep testing, or a multiple-marker screening blood test. The tests you receive depend on a variety of factors, such as your age and genetic profile.

Each cell of your body has 46 chromosomes, which carry the traits (such as eye or hair color) that you inherited from your mother and father. Having too much or too little chromosome material often results in health problems. Your chances of having a baby with a chromosomal disorder depend on a number of factors, including your family history, age, and ethnicity.

Your health care provider may recommend that you undergo first trimester screening between weeks 11 and 14. This two-part test can help determine if you are at higher risk for having a baby with Down syndrome or another chromosomal disorder called trisomy 18. Ask your doctor for more information about these and other genetic conditions.

What tests do I need during my pregnancy?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Infant and Child CPR and First Aid
  • Baby Care: Basic Training for New Parents
  • Prenatal Email
  • Dan Berger Cord Blood Program

Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) houses one of the nation’s largest groups studying pregnancy, prenatal genetics, pregnancy complications, and preterm birth.

As you enter the second month of your pregnancy, your baby is very busy growing. The embryo swells from the inside, a bit like a soap bubble, and its three layers separate. The outer layers grow into your baby’s skin and nerves. The middle layer grows into bones, muscles, the circulatory system, kidneys, and reproductive organs. The inner layer grows into the lungs and digestive tract.

All of this activity means that you need to provide your baby with the healthiest environment possible in which to grow. That includes eating a healthy diet that contains foods from the recommended food groups: fruits and vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, and protein from meat and fish. Try to drink eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.

Regular exercise also can help support you and your baby during this time, but you should discuss your plans with your physician before starting. If you get the all-clear, engage in moderate activities such as walking, swimming, cycling, gentle stretching, or exercising in water. Take slow, deep breaths as you exercise to help ensure your baby gets plenty of oxygen. Of course, you should also avoid alcohol and tobacco, and check with your doctor before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Early and regular care is important to having a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend that you take prenatal vitamins, especially folic acid (also known as folate), to help reduce the risks of some birth defects. Always check with your doctor before you take any medicine or vitamins.

Also, it’s important to avoid paints, bug sprays, glues, and other sources of harmful chemicals when you’re pregnant. You should also use only “non-toxic” cleaners and household products. For specific questions regarding hazardous substances during pregnancy, contact Magee-Womens Hospital’s Genetics Department and visit the website for the March of Dimes.

What can I do now to help ensure a healthy pregnancy?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword “Magee.”

  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Infant and Child CPR and First Aid
  • Baby Care: Basic Training for New Parents
  • Prenatal Email
  • Dan Berger Cord Blood Program
In collaboration with Phipps Conservatory and Carlow University, Magee has cultivated three on-site gardens that provide the fresh fruits and vegetables used in meals for patients and hospital employees.

Even in the first month of your pregnancy, you may begin to notice some changes in your body. As pregnancy hormones begin to flow, your breasts may be tender, and your nipples may look darker. As your uterus begins to grow, it presses on your bladder, and you find yourself taking more trips to the bathroom. Your gums may bleed when you brush and floss. Your nose and sinuses may feel a little “stuffy” and you may feel nauseous and moody.

During this time, your health care provider will also talk about concerns such as diet, exercise, medications and supplements, prenatal testing, and your health history. He or she may suggest that you get regular dental checkups. Additional recommendations may be to follow the US Department of Agriculture’s nutrition advice and get 400 micrograms of folic acid through your diet and prenatal vitamins. This B vitamin has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects in developing fetuses. Your provider is the best source of information about your pregnancy, so be sure not to miss any prenatal appointments.

All of these signs are common in the first few weeks of pregnancy. They are signs that your body is changing to protect your growing baby. You can also help ensure a healthy pregnancy by starting prenatal care as soon as possible. Prenatal visits offer you the chance to privately discuss the progress of your pregnancy with a health care professional.

Many women have some vaginal bleeding or spotting in pregnancy, which may continue with no ill effects. Since this may be an early sign of miscarriage, however, call your doctor or midwife if you experience bleeding.
What should I expect early in my pregnancy?

This month, consider registering for the following classes at Magee. Find and register for all of our available classes here, using the keyword "Magee."

  • Prenatal Yoga
  • Infant and Child CPR and First Aid
  • Baby Care: Basic Training for New Parents
  • Prenatal Email
  • Dan Berger Cord Blood Program
Magee helps bring into the world more than 11,000 babies each year. That's close to half of all births in Allegheny County!