Childbirth FAQs

These are some of our most frequently asked questions about childbirth at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center. More information can be found by visiting the OB & Nursery section of our website.

·    Do you have childbirth classes available?
·    I would like to tour the hospital before delivery, how do I do that?
·    What is a birth plan?
·    Where should I park when I arrive at the hospital for delivery?
·    What should I bring to the hospital?
·    Do I have to have an infant car seat when I leave the hospital?
·    Does the hospital provide free or low-cost car seats?
·    How do you make sure my baby is safe while in the hospital?
·    Will I be allowed bonding time after my baby is born?
·    What if I’m having a cesarean section (C-Section), can my support person be with me?
·    Do I have to select my baby’s doctor before delivery?
·    May we take photographs and videos during delivery?
·    What is Recognition of Parentage (ROP) and why would I sign one?
·    What are the visitor guidelines during labor and delivery?
·    I would like my husband to stay overnight with me while I’m in the hospital, is this possible?
·    Do you have an online nursery so family far away can see my baby?
·    Do you have someone to help me with breastfeeding at the hospital?
·    Can I keep my baby in my room with me?

Do you have childbirth classes available?
Yes. We offer face-to-face childbirth classes taught by a staff person. We also offer the option of an online childbirth class. To learn more, visit our childbirth class section of our website. We recommend that you contact the Education Department at (218) 333-5578 or by e-mail at education-BEM@sanfordhealth.org to schedule your class at least 6-8 weeks before your due date.

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I would like to tour the hospital before delivery, how do I do that?

We recommend that you contact the Education Department at (218) 333-5578 or by e-mail at education-BEM@sanfordhealth.org to schedule a tour of our facility at least 6-8 weeks before your due date. This chance to meet our staff, see our facilities, and get your questions answered will help you be more relaxed as you anticipate labor and delivery.

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What is a birth plan?
A birth plan is a written document that may include the following items so everyone understands what you want for your labor and delivery.

·    How would you like to manage your labor?
·    How do you feel about monitoring devices?
·    Will you need to be induced?
·    How do you feel about pain medication?
·    What if a c-section becomes necessary?
·    Would you like to avoid an episiotomy?
·    Do you want cameras/video cameras? Music?
·    How should baby be handled immediately after birth?
·    Do you want to breastfeed immediately after birth?
 
My Birth Plan

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Where should I park when I arrive at the hospital for delivery?

Upon arriving at the hospital, please park on the west side of the hospital and enter through the Emergency Room entrance.

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What should I bring to the hospital?
Here are some suggestions of items you may want to bring with you to the hospital. Please make sure your valuables are left at home.
For Mom (Labor and Delivery)
• Eyeglasses or contact lens with case and solution
• Baby book for footprints
• Socks
• Hairbrush, hair clips or scrunchies
• Toothbrush and toothpaste
• Your choice of music to listen to during labor
• Lip moisturizer
• Lotion or powder for massage
• Slippers or comfortable shoes
• Camera
For Mom (After Labor and Delivery)
• Sleepwear
• Nursing bra
• Nursing pads
• Toiletries (sanitary pads will be provided)
• Maternity outfit for the trip home
For Baby
• Car seat
• One outfit and several baby blankets for the trip home
For Support Person
• Comfortable clothes
• Sweatshirt, in case mom wants the labor room cool
• Low-odor snacks and drinks

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Do I have to have an infant car seat when I leave the hospital?
Yes. You will need a suitable car seat to bring your newborn home from the hospital. Plan to install it well in advance—it can be tricky! Carefully read the car seat instructions and the vehicle owner’s manual to correctly install the seat in your vehicle. It is recommended that you have your installation checked by a certified child passenger safety technician. For further information on child passenger safety, including how to install a car seat and locating a child passenger safety technician, please go to: www.buckleupkids.state.mn.us.

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Does the hospital provide free or low-cost car seats?
No, but there are state car seat distribution programs in Minnesota. Distribution programs provide low-cost or no-cost seats to eligible parents. Agencies that provide these seats to families also give educational materials to help ensure proper seat installation.

Purchasing used car seats through garage sales or second-hand stores is not advised. Also, if the car seat is more than six-years old or has been involved in a car accident, do not use it. 

For further information on proper use of car seats or on car seat distribution programs in our area, contact:
 
Sanford Bemidji Certified Car Seat Technicians
Sanford Bemidji Medical Center
1300 Anne St. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601
(218) 333-6453

Beltrami County Health & Human Services
(218) 333-8140

Kim Larson
Leech lake Band of Ojibwe
6055 - 161st Street NW
Cass Lake, MN 56633
kim.larson@llojibwe.com
(218) 335-4585

To find a distribution site near you, please click here.

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How do you make sure my baby is safe while in the hospital?
We take the safety of your baby very seriously, but we need your help to keep your infant safe. You are the first line of defense in assuring the safety of your baby. These guidelines are intended to ensure your baby’s safety.
·    All obstetrics and nursery staff wear yellow picture identification badges that say Baby OK. Never give your baby to anyone who is not wearing proper identification.
·    Never let your baby out of your sight. If you are alone with your baby and are planning to take a shower, take your baby into the bathroom with you or bring your baby back to the nursery.
·    Always use the bassinet when transporting your baby. Do not leave the obstetrics area with your baby.
·    Use your nurse’s call light whenever you have a question or concern.
·    Matching, numbered identification bands will be placed in the delivery room: two bands on the baby, one on the mother, and one on father/significant other.

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Will I be allowed bonding time after my baby is born?
After a vaginal delivery, we want you to spend time bonding with your baby. The nurse will assess both the mom and baby frequently after the birth. Mothers are encouraged to start breastfeeding at this time. You should plan to “room in” with your baby as much as possible, in order to feel more confident when you take your newborn home.

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What if I’m having a cesarean section (C-Section), can my support person be with me?

Cesarean births, as well as some difficult vaginal births, take place in the operating room. One support person may be with the mom during this time, as long as the mom is going to be awake during the delivery. After the delivery, mom will spend some time in the recovery room before returning to the obstetrics (OB) unit.

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Do I have to select my baby’s doctor before delivery?
Your labor and delivery nurse will ask you for the name of your baby’s doctor. If you have not chosen a doctor for your baby, you will be assigned the baby doctor who is on-call the day of delivery.

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May we take photographs and videos during delivery?
There are some restrictions on use of cameras and videos during the delivery process. Your labor and delivery nurse will provide you with further information. Pictures of your baby may be taken in your room by a volunteer at your request. Purchase of these photos is optional.

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What is Recognition of Parentage (ROP) and why would I sign one?
The purpose of signing the ROP form is to establish a legal relationship between father and child when the father is not married to the child’s mother. Signing the ROP form creates and waives certain rights and responsibilities for the mother, father, and child and allows the father’s name to be on the child’s birth record. To read information from the Minnesota Department of Human Services on establishing parentage, please visit: www.mncourts.gov. To complete or download the form for Minnesota Voluntary Recognition of Parentage, click here.

Both parents must sign the ROP form and have their signatures notarized. Parents may sign at different times in front of different notary publics. Sanford Bemidji Medical Center has notary publics available most of the time to assist with completing this paperwork. Both parents must have photo identification with them at the time of notary signing.

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What are the visitor guidelines during labor and delivery?
To assure quiet for other patients, after hours visiting during the labor and recovery period after delivery is limited to two people (this includes the adult primary support person). Visitors with permission to remain on the obstetrics floor after visiting hours must obtain a badge from the security officer with the visitor’s name on it.
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I would like my husband to stay overnight with me while I’m in the hospital, is this possible?
Our policy allows the father or significant other to stay overnight, providing this meets the needs of the mother and baby. Children are not allowed to stay overnight.
Please note these guidelines:
·    Allow the nursing staff easy access to the new mother’s bed, especially in the middle of the night when it is dark.
·    You may help the mother up to the bathroom and return the baby to the nursery as needed. Always use the bassinet when taking the baby to and from the nursery. Only those with an identification band may transport the baby.
·    It is expected that you take an active role in the care of the baby, especially if you are a new dad, and to participate in the education about caring for your baby.
·    You are expected to obtain your own meals. You may use the dining room on the first floor or you may bring food in from outside. There is a microwave available for heating food.
·    We will provide a blanket, pillow, and a cot or recliner if possible. Please do not sleep on the other patient bed if you are in a semi-private room.
·    Soap and fresh towels will be provided for personal hygiene.
·    If there is an increase in the number of patients on the obstetrics unit, it may be necessary to put another patient in the room. In that instance, you will not be able to stay overnight.

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Do you have an online nursery so family far away can see my baby?
Our 365 WebNursery® is our online web nursery where parents who have had a baby at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center may choose to post a newborn photo with all the birth statistics so loved ones far and near can get their first look at the new arrival.  Other online options from Our 365 WebNursery® include:
·    Update babies' information
·    Share page with family and friends
·    Purchase prints, keepsakes, or personalized gifts
·    Upload additional photos
·    Post comments

To see the latest arrivals of newborns whose parents chose to use the WebNursery, visit Our 365 WebNursery®

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Do you have someone to help me with breastfeeding at the hospital?
A lactation consultant provides free breastfeeding support services for mothers and babies from birth throughout the breastfeeding relationship. We have an experienced board certified lactation consultant who sees new mothers in the hospital after delivery and schedules free appointments for babies and mothers having breastfeeding problems once back home.

Once you leave the hospital, a free Walk-in Breastfeeding Clinic is held twice a week at the Sanford Bemidji Main Clinic. For current dates, times, and locations call the clinic directly at (218) 333-5000.

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Can I keep my baby in my room with me?
Yes. Families are encouraged to take part in their new baby’s care in order to facilitate the learning process of parenting. We encourage families to keep their new baby in their room day and night if desired. Our nursery is available if needed.

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