Your Birth Experience
Every birth is unique, and yours will be, too. We want you, your partner and your baby to have a personalized, memorable experience.
Our team will help you navigate the expected—and unexpected—that happens along your journey. You and your baby can depend on us for the best support and most compassionate care.
A little advance planning can make your birth experience less stressful. Here are some things to plan or consider as you prepare to welcome your little one.
What to Pack
We suggest packing two smaller bags—one for use during labor and one for after your baby arrives. Items include:
- Items for your personal comfort (such as lip balm, deodorant, contact case and solution).
- Loose, comfortable clothing for you to go home in.
- Clothes for your baby to wear home as well as a blanket.
- Specialty foods to meet your needs beyond our room service program.
- Your pediatrician's name and phone number.
- An infant car seat.
Please leave your valuables and candles at home.
Your Birth Plan and Team Birth
Take some time during your pregnancy to consider how your goals and values will impact your birth. Use these to write out your ideas and create your birth plan, which you should also discuss with your doctor or midwife.
The Overlake Childbirth Center is proud to participate in Team Birth, an interactive program designed by Ariadne Labs to encourage communication and teamwork between you, your labor support person and your nursing team. Team Birth aims to reduce overtreatment by using decision-making tools for each part of your birthing journey.
We welcome you to review these tools before you go into labor. Please let your provider know if you have any questions.
Team Birth uses four tools:
Admission Discussion Guide
When you’re in early labor, it may be hard to know if you should stay home or go to the hospital. This guide helps with making that decision.
Continuing to labor at home is often beneficial for you and your baby, as it provides a familiar and comforting environment. Always know that you can come back to the hospital at any time as your labor progresses.
Learn more about checking in and where to park.
Shared Labor & Delivery Planning Board
The large whiteboard in your labor and delivery room functions as a living birth plan. Your nurse will add updates on the board throughout your labor. You can write comments and concerns or change your wishes at any time. Periodically, you and your team will discuss what is on the board to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Labor Support Guide
This guide is useful for identifying, discussing and selecting labor support options with your team. This includes methods you can try yourself, like changing your position or taking deep breaths. There are also things you can try with your team—starting pain medication or changing how baby is being monitored, for instance.
Assisted Delivery Discussion Aid
As your labor progresses, this aid can help you discuss with your team the best delivery method for you and your baby. We encourage you to be an active participant in this discussion by sharing your preferences and asking questions along the way.
You can download and preview a PDF of these resources.
Planned Cesarean Birth
After delivery, you will recover in the Labor & Delivery post-anesthesia care unit for at least two hours. Then you and your baby will move to your postpartum room.
Elective (non-medically indicated) delivery by cesarean section, as opposed to natural labor, can increase the risk of complications for both mother and baby. These risks may include:
- Future high-risk pregnancies due to increased risk of uterine rupture and abnormal placenta, which can result in hysterectomy and maternal and/or fetal death.
- Severe blood loss, infection, organ injury, intra-abdominal adhesions, blood clots, wound infections or delayed wound healing.
- Longer recovery time, including a longer hospital stay.
- Baby respiratory problems, such as respiratory distress syndrome and transient tachypnea.
- Increased cost.
Your baby deserves a soft entry into the world. This means they’ll spend the first hour of life calmly in uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with you. Please encourage your loved ones to honor this first precious hour.
Skin-to-skin means placing baby with their belly directly on your chest immediately after birth for the first hour of life. Baby will have a hat on their head and will be covered with a warmed blanket to help maintain body temperature.
Snuggling skin-to-skin lets you and your baby get to know each other and provides important health benefits for both of you. If you are planning to breastfeed, skin-to-skin holding may encourage your baby to begin feeding in the first hour of life. Skin-to-skin is the best place for your baby to adjust to life in the outside world.
Continue skin-to-skin in the first weeks at home. Fathers can also perform skin-to-skin care. Babies held skin-to-skin stay warmer, calmer and cry less.
For baby, skin-to-skin care:
- Helps baby maintain a healthy body temperature.
- Calms and soothes baby.
- Improves baby’s sleep.
- Helps with weight gain.
- Helps baby feed more successfully.
- Regulates baby’s response to pain.
For mom, skin-to-skin:
- Provides a wonderful way to bond with baby.
- Reduces stress.
- Improves milk production and breastfeeding.
- Speeds recovery from childbirth.
- Increases confidence in baby care.
Safe, Healthy and Happy: Our Common Goals
You want a happy, safe and healthy birth—and we are here to support you in that! Throughout your stay, please let us know how we can support you best. Let us know your concerns, questions, worries and wants.
When you walk into the Childbirth Center, you are part of our family. We are here for you during every step of your journey into parenthood.