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Preparing for Your Hospital Stay

Follow the links below to learn what to bring to the hospital, what to expect during and after delivery.

What to Bring

You should prepare an overnight bag three weeks prior to your due date. That way, you'll be sure to have everything you and your baby needs while in the hospital.

The following list is designed to help with your packing:

  • Bathrobe
  • Flat slippers or flip flops
  • Two or three outfits, perhaps with a front opening for breastfeeding
  • Personal toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, shower cap, deodorant, hair care supplies, a compact and cosmetics
  • One or two bras: a supportive, tight bra if bottle feeding, or two nursing bras and nursing pads if breastfeeding
  • Pillows from home
  • Important phone numbers
  • Birth announcements or stationary, if desired, plus pen, stamps and addresses
  • A watch with a second hand
  • Camera with fresh batteries or cell phone with camera
  • Insurance card or information/ID/form of payment if required by your insurance
  • Loose fitting “going home” clothes for you
  • “Going home” clothes for baby (including blanket)
  • Reading material
  • Infant car seat – base installed
  • Information for SC birth certificate
  • Prearrange for breast pump rental
What to Expect 
  • To register for any of our Expectant Family Programs call our HealthLine, (843) 402-CARE or (800) 863-2273 or register online. Whether you plan to take several classes or would just like to tour the maternity suites, it is a good idea to call early (three months prior to your due date) for reservations as the classes fill quickly.
  • Plan ahead to have a pediatrician available to care for your baby both while in the hospital as well as after you go home. If you need assistance in choosing a pediatrician, contact our HealthLine for a free physician referral, (843) 402-CARE or (800) 863-CARE.
  • Included in your information packet is a sample South Carolina birth certificate worksheet that you will be asked to complete while in the hospital. You may want to review this information prior to entering the hospital, and bring the following information with you in order to complete the birth certificate worksheet:
    • Child’s name
    • Mother’s name
    • Mother’s maiden surname
    • Mother’s social security number
    • Mother’s date of birth
    • Mother’s birth place
    • Mother’s race
    • Mother’s Hispanic origin
    • Mother’s residence
    • Mother’s mailing address if different from residence
    • Mother’s education
    • Father’s name
    • Father’s date of birth
    • Father’s birthplace
    • Father’s social security number
    • Father’s race
    • Father’s Hispanic origin
    • Father’s education
    • Unexpired government issued ID (for example, driver’s license, passport, etc.) for both parents
  • The purchase of an approved car safety seat should be included on your preparation list. Prior to the onset of labor, you should equip your automobile with this car seat. Practice installing the car seat properly before baby comes.
  • Remember to call your health insurance company and enroll your baby for medical coverage.
  • Prepare an overnight bag three weeks prior to your due date.
During Delivery - It's Time!

It's the moment you've been waiting for! Remain calm and call your doctor or certified nurse midwife immediately. They will assess your progression in labor and inform you of the best time to arrive at the hospital. Your doctor will call the hospital to announce your pending arrival. We will then prepare to admit you as a patient.

Where to Go: 

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
The maternity suites are located in the West Wing on the first floor.

Patients and visitors are to use the Women's and Children's entrance, open 24/7. Check in with the security officer at the desk. Each visitor must provide a government-issued identification card to obtain a visitors' badge from the security desk.  

Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital 
Enter through the main entrance. Take a left onto the main hallway and go to the visitor elevators. Go to the 2nd floor and press the call bell to the right of the waiting room to let them know you are here. Patients and visitors are to use the Emergency Room entrance between 6:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. 

Mount Pleasant Hospital
All maternity patients should use the Women's entrance at the front of the hospital.

Patients and visitors are to use the Emergency Room entrance between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. on Mondays—Fridays and between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.


After Delivery

Rest and nutrition are important!

While you are in the hospital, a specially designed menu suited for new mothers who have special nutritional needs as a result of childbirth and nursing is available. Special food selections are also available at any time of day during your stay.

When you are breastfeeding or recovering from delivery or surgery, do not diet. Healthy eating will help your body heal and provide nutrition to your baby. If you have questions or concerns, contact your doctor or a dietitian.

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