by FXBG Lifestyle

Being a first-time mom is exciting but overwhelming at the same time. You’re preparing for the biggest change of your life and trying to learn about all the options offered to help remain confident about your care in addition to that of your new baby. This all starts with going to the hospital for labor and delivery.

Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center offers personalized maternity care in a state-of-the-art, private room facility. Whether you’re looking for a midwife for a low-intervention birth, or a perinatologist who specializes in high-risk pregnancy, Spotsylvania Regional offers services that meet a variety of needs and preferences. And, as part of HCA, Spotsylvania Regional works with and has access to services and staff beyond the hospital walls if a special situation arises.

The labor and delivery nurses and OB/GYN team at Spotsylvania Regional comprise a closely-knit family. Their number one goal is making sure patients and babies are safe, healthy, and happy. With that, they provided some information to help comfort first-time moms or moms who are delivering at this local hospital for the first time.

A Labor and Delivery Team

The Labor and Delivery team at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center. Their biggest goal? “Maternal and baby safety.”

The birth plan may not go according to plan. “Everyone has a birth plan,” said Erin Buckler, M.S.N., R.N. “Even if they come and don’t have anything written, there is a birth plan. Every person has an idea when they come here of how it’s going to go. They can be very basic with things we’ll do anyway because they’re part of our standard and sometimes they get a lot more detailed with more special requests. We try to honor them as best as we can. But there are certain things, for safety reasons for mom and for baby, that we have to be cautious about.”

For example, it is becoming more common for patients to request less fetal monitoring for reduced intervention. The team at Spotsylvania Regional advised that monitoring is based on each circumstance and sometimes it is necessary for mom and baby safety. The good news? This month the hospital has implemented wireless fetal monitoring so baby and contractions can be tracked without any wires.

And birth plans that stray from the bed and OB are A-OK. Want to use a birthing ball? Prefer a midwife? Spotsylvania Regional can absolutely accommodate you. According to the labor and delivery team, birthing balls are standard because they facilitate the descent of the baby and different positions can shorten the duration of labor. Because of this, they’re used with most patients even if they come in not recognizing that they want to use one.

Spotsylvania Regional has trained midwives that bring a “midwifery touch” to patients who want it. Think lowered lights, music of the mom’s choosing, etc. Medication can still be used and doctors can accommodate the desire to have a midwife and or a more holistic birth plan as well.

Water births are not hosted at Spotsylvania Regional but hydrotherapy is offered for pain management and every labor room has its own shower as many women are comforted by the temperature of warm water.

What about home births? You have the option and Spotsylvania Regional staff is available if the need for intervention arises. With personnel and midwives in the area, they can be called and patients can be brought to the hospital and admitted through triage; the doctor on call will deliver. Women who deliver at home unintentionally would come to the unit through the ER and then be fully admitted.

The effectiveness of an epidural can vary. Plenty of patients have epidurals work successfully, the Spotsylvania Regional team reports, but it’s important to remember that every woman and every labor is different. Some patients get an epidural at a later stage and it’s effective while others get one earlier and end up laboring without its effects. “It varies based on things that are completely out of control,” said Ellen Bejger, BSN, RNC, Director of Women’s & Children’s. “There are people who move through labor so quickly that there is no stopping, just going, and within 30 minutes you’re done so you don’t have time to get an epidural set up.”

Skin-to-skin is key after delivery, and not just because it’s sweet to cuddle. “If the baby is doing OK right at delivery, we always put baby directly skin-to-skin with the mom and we leave the umbilical cord connected for at least 30 seconds—longer if we can,” Buckler explained. “That helps lower the chances of anemia following delivery for the baby. There are a lot of red blood cells the baby gets through the placenta and we leave it [connected] until it stops pulsing and then we clamp [the cord] at that point.

“Putting the baby skin-to-skin is good for mom’s recovery, baby’s recovery, it’s good for temperature regulation, and there’s a lot of good hormones that are released following delivery,” she continued. “If mom wants to breastfeed, putting baby skin-to-skin right away is one of the best things to do. Sometimes we get the baby nursing before the placenta is even delivered and when that does happen the suckling of the baby helps with contraction of the uterus, which helps slow the bleeding. There are just so many things that center around that one action that is great for mom and for baby and I don’t think people realize there are all these reasons why we do it.”

If everything goes well, the stay isn’t too long. New moms are typically in the hospital for up to 48 hours depending on the method of delivery. Vaginal delivery usually means a two-day stay, while a C-section is typically three days. Of course, there are circumstances in which a longer stay may be required for the safety of mom and baby.

Outpatient breastfeeding support is available. While in the hospital, lactation nurses—all IBCLC certified—make rounds to help breastfeeding moms become acquainted with the process and help where it is needed. These professionals provide contract information so patients can get in touch after they go home if they have questions, concerns, and/or want to make an appointment with a consultant.

You can visit the hospital to help prepare for childbirth. Spotsylvania Regional offers tours of the Birth Center unit on Sundays at 2 pm. In addition, classes are offered that include tours at the end of the session. There is a breastfeeding course led by an IBCLC-certified lactation consultant, a Labor Express condensed course on labor, and Labor Basics which is a two-part, more intensive class.

Class descriptions and registration are available at

A Labor and Delivery room

A Labor and Delivery room at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center.

Ready for baby!

Ready for baby!

Medical professionals

Medical professionals at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center are prepared for just about all birthing scenarios.

At the end we want a healthy mom and a healthy baby,” Buckler said. “So, we may have to veer from the birth plan. Patients initially may get upset about that, but I can pretty much guarantee after the fact, when she’s healthy and the baby is healthy, she says, ‘It’s OK; I’m good, my baby is good,’ and that’s really what the goal always is.”

To learn more about pregnancy and birth care at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center, visit