A Guide to Planning Your Birth Experience
Having a baby is an exciting time, and the entire staff at UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital wishes to make this the most wonderful birth experience possible. Your thoughts, wishes, and choices are important to us. We ask you to spend some time thinking about and reflecting on your preferences for your birth experience.
This birth preference guide was made to help guide you when thinking of topics that are important to talk about with your health care team. Please stay flexible in case you or your baby’s health calls for your health care team to change your preferences. This birth preference guide reflects your current wishes. You can change it at any time.
If you would like to print a copy of the birth preference guide to bring to your next appointment, please click on the link above. You will be sent a digital copy through MyUPMC around your 28th week of pregnancy. Paper copies will be available in OB/GYN offices for those who would prefer a physical copy.
Birth Preference Guidelines
Below are some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning your birth experience.
Labor and Delivery Visitor Guidelines
- For security reasons, all visitors to the Labor, Delivery, and Recovery Rooms (LDRs) will need to obtain a UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital Visitor Badge at the Information Desk in the main lobby. We also ask that all support persons display their badges at all times.
- Each support person is required to keep their visitor badge on their person. This access badge will give access to enter the LDRs by swiping the badge in a card reader at the unit's entrance doors. Unbadged visitors will be stopped by hospital staff and security to display their badge, to ensure a safe environment for everyone.
Support Person Limits
- Support persons in the Triage area and Labor, Delivery, and Recovery rooms (LDRs) are limited based on space and patient safety. Please discuss with your care team the support guidelines that best fit your care.
- If you have a doula as part of your care team, they are permitted and do not count towards your primary or alternative support persons.
- Support persons may be asked to step out if you wish or if we need to give you care.
- Doulas may be part of your health care team and are not considered support persons. If you wish to have a doula as part of your care team and have not prearranged these services, we will do our best to accommodate based on availability.
- Currently, no children are permitted within the facility, unless under extenuating circumstances as determined by your healthcare team.
Support Persons During Birth
Up to 2 support persons, and your doula (if applicable), may be present.
Cesarean Birth Support
- In the event that you have a Cesarean birth, only 1 support person, and your doula (if applicable), may be present.
Sick Support Persons
- Any person who is sick or has been exposed to an infectious disease (such as chicken pox, flu, or COVID-19) in the past 3 weeks should not visit.
- Please notify a member of your healthcare team if you have been exposed to a sick individual, so precautions can be taken to keep you and your baby safe.
- In Triage and the LDRs, visiting hours are not restricted.
- On the Mother-Baby Unit, visiting hours are limited to 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. After 9 p.m., your 2 support persons are permitted to accompany you and your baby to the Mother-Baby unit.
Patient Jewelry Removal
All jewelry and body piercings should be removed before coming to the hospital. The presence of jewelry creates risk factors during labor, birth, or surgery, including:
- Breathing problems due to piercings of the mouth, lip, or tongue (they can cause interference to your airway)
- Swelling of fingers or limbs from tight jewelry
- Infection at piercing sites
- Interference with medical instruments and equipment
- Loss or damage of jewelry
Photographing, Filming, and Recording Within UPMC Facilities
Delivering a baby is a very special time. We understand that families may want to record memories of this special event. As long as there is no interference with health care delivery and the members of the team agree to be included in any recording, video, or photos, we encourage you to record your memories of this special event. Please see the below guidelines that outline these permissions.
Please know that the health care needs and desires of the health care team will determine whether you are able to record/photograph your delivery.
Photographing, filming, and recording are not permitted in the following situations:
- During a Cesarean Section
- During direct patient care procedures (for example: epidural insertion, urinary catheter insertion)
- In any public area, including hallways (where the privacy of other patients, visitors, and health care team members must be ensured)
Photographing, filming, and recording in the health care setting require the voluntary verbal agreement of any health care team member who is present. Any member of the health care team may request that photographing, filming, and recording stop.
Photographing, filming, and recording are permitted only for private, noncommercial use.
During the delivery of the baby, photographing, filming, and recording must be done from the head of the patient's bed. We want to respect and protect the dignity of all our patients during this special time.