Preparing for Your Hospital Stay

As you near your due date, you’re probably feeling lots of different emotions. You may be excited, but also scared and anxious. All of these feelings are normal.

Being prepared can help ease some of your anxieties and fears. Below you’ll find information on what to pack for the hospital and what to expect during your stay.

Baby and mom

Helpful information

Before the baby is born

Enroll in classes
We offer many different classes for expectant mothers and family members. These classes can help you prepare for life at home with a new baby. You can check out our list of programs and register through our online calendar . Or, feel free to call our HealthLine at (843) 402-CARE or (800) 863-2273. We recommend registering for classes at least three months before your due date. The I'm Pregnant class is an exception. 

Find a pediatrician
Make sure you have a pediatrician who can care for your baby in the hospital and after you go home. If you need help choosing a pediatrician, contact our HealthLine for a free doctor referral: (843) 402-CARE or (800) 863-2273.

Prepare birth certificate details
When you plan to have a baby at a Roper St. Francis Healthcare hospital, we will give you a packet with details about your delivery with us. This packet will include a sample South Carolina birth certificate worksheet. You will need to complete this worksheet while in the hospital.

It’s a good idea to review this worksheet before coming to the hospital. You will need to bring information such as the mother and father’s birthplace, race and social security numbers.

Practice installing a car seat
A few weeks before your due date, purchase an approved infant car seat. Practice installing it in your car. The car seat should be installed when you leave the hospital with your newborn.

Start insurance coverage
Remember to call your health insurance company and enroll your baby for medical coverage.

What to bring

You should prepare an overnight bag three weeks before your due date. The bag should include everything you and your baby will need while staying in the hospital.

Below are some items you should make sure to include in your bag.

  • Bathrobe
  • Flat slippers or flip flops
  • Two or three outfits that include shirts that open in the front (for breastfeeding)
  • One or two bras, including a nursing bra and nursing pads
  • Loose-fitting clothes you can wear home
  • “Going home” clothes for the baby (including a blanket)
  • Insurance card or information, an ID and form of payment, if needed
  • Personal toiletries, such as a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant

Where to go

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
The maternity suites are located at the Women’s Center. The Women’s Center is on the west side of the hospital (pink building). Parking is available next to the Women’s Center entrance.

Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital
The maternity suites are located on the second floor. When you first come in the main entrance, turn left into the main hallway to find the visitor elevators. Once you get to the second floor, ring the call bell next to the waiting room.

During delivery

When you start to go into labor, remain calm. Call your doctor or certified nurse midwife immediately. They will judge how far along you are in labor and tell you the best time to get to the hospital.

Your doctor or nurse midwife will call the hospital to let us know you’re on your way. In the meantime, we’ll prepare everything we need to take care of you while you’re in delivery.

When you arrive at the hospital, we will escort you to a maternity suite. Family and friends can spend time in the waiting room or nearby courtyard while you are in labor. Your partner can stay with you during the delivery. However due to COVID-19, this could change. Please check with your doctor or certified nurse midwife.

Our staff is specially trained in all aspects of labor and delivery. Whether you chose to have natural (unmedicated) labor or want to receive anesthesia, our nurses will provide support for you and your partner. Nursery nurses will also attend the delivery. This helps make sure your baby has a healthy start to life.

We also have anesthesia experts on hand during your delivery. These specialists can provide epidurals during labor or general anesthesia if you need a cesarean section (c-section). C-sections are usually done in the maternity suite.

After delivery

To promote bonding, your baby will stay with you at all times. Our staff will be on hand to help care for your baby as you learn feeding and other cues.

Lactation consultants and our nursing staff are available to help you with breastfeeding after delivery.

While you’re in the hospital, we’ll provide a menu designed specifically for new moms. These foods will help you and your nursing baby get the nutrients you need to stay healthy.

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