Frequently Asked Questions
How do I prepare for the arrival of my baby?
At Steward® Maternity Services, an important part of our personalized patient experience is education and support before and after childbirth. Many classes are offered to help parents know what to expect, prepare for baby's arrival and be ready for baby at home.
Can I tour the facilities?
Tours of Steward maternity services centers are offered on a regular basis and we encourage you and your support person to take a tour by your 34th week of pregnancy.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not offering in-person tours at this time. However, we encourage you to join us for a virtual tour here.
What if my pregnancy is high-risk?
All of our mothers and babies receive special attention, but some do require more advanced medical care. Our hospitals can handle complications, including conditions such as multiple-births, premature labor, gestational diabetes or premature rupture of membranes.
For mothers with pre-existing medical conditions, our obstetrics team works closely with specialists to provide the highest quality of care for mother and her baby.
Mothers living with epilepsy can be assured that the team works closely with the SMG Epilepsy Center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Our epilepsy specialists are experienced in:
- Managing anticonvulsant medication during the family planning process
- Seizure treatment and prevention during pregnancy, especially close to delivery
- Post-birth treatment, including actively managing treatment according to the lifestyle adjustment a new mother experiences.
Should your baby require extra attention, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center's Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is available to care for newborns from across the system.
If I have an urgent situation, who should I call?
In the event of a major emergency, call 911. If you have an urgent need, call your obstetrician's office. However, during off hours, you will be connected to the answering service and the on-call doctor will call you back.
How do I choose a pediatrician?
Choosing the right doctor to give you advice about your baby's health and well-being as well as care for your sick baby is an important decision. You can ask your obstetrician for recommendations, call the Steward DoctorFinder at 800-488-5959, or search online here to find a doctor in your area.
Here are some tips to help you choose the right pediatrician:
- Start searching for a pediatrician before your baby is born to give yourself time to interview several doctors in person.
- Consider the location of the pediatrician's office. Do you want it close to home or work?
- Find out the doctor's office hours and how after-hours calls are handled.
How do I develop a labor and delivery plan?
A birth plan is a wish list that outlines what you'd prefer to have happen during your childbirth experience. Developing a plan will help you to carefully think through your choices and prepare you for the big day of delivery.
Develop a list of questions to discuss with your doctor or midwife so that you can identify and record your preferences ahead of time. Birth plan options may range from medication, vaccinations, birthing equipment, noise level, to visitors during your labor and delivery.
What are my birthing options?
We encourage natural comfort methods that you learn about in your childbirth preparation classes. Birthing balls and squat bars are available at our maternity services centers. Also, extra support persons such as a birthing coach or doula are welcome.
What are my pain relief choices?
If you choose to receive pain relief, anesthesia is administered by our anesthesiologists who are available around-the-clock. There are intravenous (IV) pain medications that can be used in labor. It's a good idea to discuss pain control options with your doctor ahead of time. Your childbirth preparation classes will also talk about pain relief choices for labor.
What happens if I need to have a cesarean birth?
If the need arises to deliver your baby surgically, our surgical rooms are adjacent to our labor-delivery-recovery rooms. In most cases, your partner is permitted to join you in a cesarean birth.
Who can be in the labor room with me?
A patient is allowed two designated support people* for the duration of your stay. Visitors can swap in and out upon the birthing person's request. Doulas are considered separate as they are part of the care team.
Your support people must pass COVID-19 screening measures and wear a mask at all times.
*If the patient is COVID positive, only one visitor will be allowed with no swapping.
Besides my doctor, who will be caring for me?
From the time you arrive at one of Steward maternity services centers, professional, experienced nurses, physician assistants and midwives are assigned to care for you and make sure your needs are met. They will get to know you and your family. If you opt-in to the Steward Healthy Beginnings program, you may also have a doula join your care team.
Can my other child or children be with me in the room?
Due to safety precautions in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are only allowing visitors over the age of 18.
If I am in labor during regular hours, where should I go?
If you arrive at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center:
- Between 8:00 am – 8:00 pm, Monday through Friday, you can enter the St. Margaret’s entrance and go to admitting, located on the left hand side of the lobby.
- Between the hours of 6:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 6:00 am – 8:00 pm Saturday and Sunday, please go to the Seton Main entrance. You will be directed to admitting in the St. Margaret's building.
- If you arrive at the hospital outside of those hours, please proceed directly to the Emergency Department (ED) entrance located on Washington Street. You will be admitted and escorted to Labor & Delivery.
Labor & Delivery (L&D) is located in the St. Margaret’s Center on the 7th floor by taking Elevator D.
If I am in labor after hours, where should I go?
If you arrive after 8:00 p.m., proceed to the emergency room entrance located on Washington Street. You will be registered and then escorted to the maternity center where a labor nurse will greet you.
Where do I park and is there valet parking?
There is a parking garage (Garage B) and valet parking available for guests.
Garage B is located on the left side as you drive up the hill to the hospital.
Valet is located at the Seton Main Entrance and is a flat rate of $10.00. The Valet team is available for your convenience Monday-Friday (except holidays) 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
If you need your car after 6pm, please have staff contact security and they can assist you.
After-hours arrival: The Seton Main entrance closes at 8:00pm, at which time you will need to park your car in our Emergency Room Parking area. If you need to do so, please notify your care team so they can make sure your car is looked after.
How much does it cost to park?
If you choose to park your car in Parking Garage B (located on the left side as you drive up the hill to the hospital), please pull a ticket as you enter the garage. Please stop by security to obtain a “Green Pass” to park in the garage, which costs $20 per week with the “Green Pass.” Security is located to the left once you enter the Seton Main Entrance.
You will need to go to security the day of discharge to pay for parking and to obtain validation before you can exit the garage.
What do I bring to the hospital?
Remember to bring your photo identification and insurance card when you come to the hospital. It's best to have two bags packed - a small one for labor and delivery and a larger one for you and baby during your hospital stay.
Suggested items to pack for labor and delivery include:
- Lip balm
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Snacks for support person
- Massage tools
- Robe and slippers
- Pediatrician's name and phone number
- Extra pillows
- Phone numbers for family and friends
The bag for you and your baby might include:
- Personal care items and cosmetics
- Nightgowns, robe and slippers
- Underwear and nursing bras
- Loose-fitting outfit to wear home
- Outfit for baby to wear home
Please leave valuables such as jewelry, credit cards and large amounts of cash at home. The hospitals cannot be responsible for your personal belongings.
Infant Car Seat: Be sure to have a properly installed car seat. Our staff is not trained to evaluate car seats and place your baby into them. On the day of your discharge, the person driving you and your baby home is responsible for having the car seat correctly installed and for placing your baby into it properly.
How long can I stay in the hospital?
How long you are in the hospital after your baby is born depends on your health and your specific insurance coverage. Generally, mothers stay 24 to 36 hours after a vaginal birth and 48 to 60 hours after a cesarean birth.
Are the postpartum rooms private?
We offer private postpartum rooms at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center. On the postpartum floor you will enjoy a full array of services including breast-feeding consultant and support, infant massage, access to the Newborn Channel and baby care classes.
If you have had a C-section, we offer rooms with two full beds for your partner’s comfort during your recovery.
Is there Internet access?
Steward Maternity Services offer free wireless service as well as wired connections in every patient room. If you'll be using the wired connection, be sure to bring your own cables.
Can I use my cell phone?
Yes, cell phones can be used during your stay in your postpartum room. Each room does have a phone that can be used to place a local call at any time. Friends and family may reach your room by calling the hospital's patient information number at 617-789-2780 and then ask for you.
How many visitors can I have in my postpartum room?
- Labor & Delivery Unit: Two support people are allowed*. Doulas are considered members of the care team and not counted in this number.
- Mother Baby Unit (Post Partum): You are allowed two designated visitors* (including your support person and one additional visitor). Visitors may swap out per the birthing person's request.
- NICU: Both parents are allowed 24/7.
*If the patient is COVID positive, only one visitor will be allowed with no swapping.
Can someone spend the night with me?
Our current overnight visitor policy during the COVID-19 pandemic is that one adult support person will be permitted to stay with the patient. This support person can come and go from the hospital.
Please remember to notify staff immediately if you or your support person develop any flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath).
Can my baby “room in” with me?
We encourage rooming in. Infants usually “room in” with their mothers during day and evening hours. Your baby may “room in” with you at any time and for as much time as you decide. When you need time for yourself, our staffed nursery is always available for your baby.
How do I know my baby will be safe?
At St. Elizabeth’s, we use a state-of-the-art infant security system to ensure your baby's safety. Also, everyone who cares for you and your baby wears a hospital identification badge that includes their photo.
Will someone help me with breastfeeding?
Steward offers a team of breastfeeding experts to all mothers who deliver at our hospitals. Our nursing staff and a lactation consultant are available as you begin to breastfeed. Lactation services include:
- Prenatal breastfeeding classes and support
- Postpartum breastfeeding education and support
- Lactation rounds by a board-certified lactation consultant for patients during their stay
- Special care nursery education and support
- Private consultation appointments
- Collaboration with community WIC offices
- Breast pump arrangement assistance
How do I obtain a birth certificate and social security number for my baby?
During your stay you will be asked to complete the forms required by the State for your baby's birth certificate, social security number and paternity. The birth certificate, issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will be mailed to you at a later date. It usually requires four to six weeks to process birth certificates and social security numbers.
What happens when I go home?
In anticipation of going home, your OB provider will review the discharge plan. You and your newborn may be eligible for a home nursing visit after discharge. Please inquire about this option.