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Expectant Mothers: Labor & Delivery

Information for Moms-to-Be

Pregnancy Timeline

Between 2 and 3 months of pregnancy:

  • Focus on proper nutrition during this important stage of development for your baby.

From 4 to 5 months of pregnancy:

  • Continue to see your physician for prenatal care.
  • Fill out pre-admission papers at Antelope Valley Medical Center in preparation for the birth of your baby.
  • Choose a pediatrician by contacting your insurance company or HMO for a list of providers.

From 6 to 8 months of pregnancy, you should:

  • Begin to prepare your children for the pending birth. Make arrangements for the care of young children during your upcoming hospital stay.
  • Take an obstetrical orientation class at the hospital.
  • Start your childbirth education classes. Childbirth education classes are available through our Alpha Charter Guild Education and Breastfeeding Center. For more information, call (661) 726-6210.
  • Consider taking a breastfeeding class if you are planning to breastfeed.
  • Discuss hospital procedures with your physician and your preferences regarding medication and delivery.

By 9 months:

  • Congratulations, it's your baby's birthday! When the time comes, have someone drive you to the main entrance of the Women & Infants Pavilion, which is a separate building from the hospital. A nurse will help you prepare for the birth of your child.

Preparing for Your Hospital Stay

We recommend packing for your hospital stay at least 2 weeks prior to your scheduled delivery so there is no last-minute rush. Here are some suggestions for items you may need during your hospital stay and your trip home.

For yourself, remember to pack:

  • Slippers
  • Robe
  • Nightgown
  • Toothbrush
  • Comb and brush
  • Cosmetics and shampoo
  • Supportive nursing bra
  • Clothes for going home

For the labor room, you should bring:

  • Two extra pillows
  • Childbirth goodie bag
  • Lotion or talcum powder

For your baby, bring:

  • Clothes for going home
  • Car seat
  • Receiving blankets

Special services are available to teenage mothers. The hospital’s Social Services Department can provide extra help with resources and offer advice for financial assistance.

If you are unable to care for your baby, Antelope Valley Medical Center is an LA Safe Surrender location. For more information please see English / Spanish versions of the Baby Safe handout.

What to Expect


  • When labor begins go directly to the Women & Infants Pavilion for registration and admission.
  • We recommend filling out the English pre-admission form / Spanish pre-admission form and bringing the completed form to the Women & Infants Pavilion admitting office in advance of your labor to pre-register for your admission. If you have any questions, our admitting office will be happy to assist you.


When you feel the first labor pains or your water breaks, stay calm and relaxed. Contact your partner or birth coach, and have someone drive you to AVMC’s Women & Infants Pavilion’s main entrance. If you feel you are going to deliver right away, call 911. If you are on your way to the hospital and feel like the baby is coming quickly, go directly to the Emergency Department. Our specially-trained staff members can help you immediately upon your arrival. Mothers-to-be may quench their thirst with ice but should not eat or drink during labor.

Delivering Your Baby

When your baby is ready to be born, you will be taken to a special labor/delivery/recovery room. You will remain in this single room through your labor & delivery and following delivery; before being transferred into the postpartum area. Your physician will continue to monitor the condition of you and your baby, and your partner or support person will remain by your side during the birth if you desire.

Specially trained nurses will assist you and your doctor during these final moments. Your partner or coach may take photographs to preserve this exciting time, provided it is a low-risk vaginal delivery. Video cameras, digital or traditional A/V equipment, are not allowed in any area of the Pavilion.

Before the delivery, have a discussion with your physician about pain medication. If at any time during labor you feel you need pain medication, just let your nurse know.

C-Section Surgery

Sometimes your obstetric team will tell you a Cesarean Section (C-section) should be performed. In this case, you will be taken to one of our surgery suites for the delivery, and afterward, you and your baby will be taken to the recovery room for approximately 2 hours. If you wish, your partner or support person can stay by your side. Photographs, video cameras, and tape recorders are not allowed in the operating room.

If your physician has scheduled a Cesarean in advance, be sure not to eat or drink anything after midnight before your surgery, and until after your physician approves. If you need to have an emergency Cesarean, only hospital staff members are allowed to be in your room during delivery.

Tubal Ligations

If you are planning to have a tubal ligation (“getting your tubes tied”) during your scheduled Cesarean section, you must discuss this with your physician prior to delivery. This will allow time for proper paperwork and preparation. Insured and private-pay patients must have permits signed 72 hours before tubal ligation surgery.


During the first hour following birth, the nursing staff will check you periodically for bleeding. They will also measure your blood pressure and perform a fundal massage. After this period of recovery, you will be taken into your own room. A nurse will assist you with personal care.

Welcoming Your New Addition

Your baby's first moments in this world are significant. At one and five minutes after birth, he or she will be given an Apgar score. This measures the baby's heart rate, respiratory rate, muscle tone, and response to color and stimulus. We will share the score with you and your partner and/or support person and discuss what it means.

After delivery, you and your baby will recover in the delivery room for approximately 1-2 hours so that you and your partner or support person can share this special time with your new baby.

Please note, Antelope Valley Medical Center does not perform circumcisions. Your baby’s pediatrician may perform this procedure in his or her office. Please check with your insurance carrier about coverage of this procedure.

Medications and Blood Tests for Baby

During the first 6 hours of life, your baby will be given a shot of Vitamin K to begin the clotting mechanism. In addition, by state law, an antibiotic is instilled in the eyes to prevent infection. Law also requires newborns to be screened for rare metabolic conditions in the first few days of life. These conditions can be treated if detected early. A blood sample is taken from the baby’s heel for this screening test.


When babies are born prematurely or with serious health conditions, they may be placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where they will be cared for by highly trained nurses and neonatologists. After the child's health is entirely stable, he or she can go home.

Family Centered Maternity Care

Soon after recovery, you and your baby will be moved to a postpartum/couplet-care room. Your baby's crib, stocked with infant care items, will be moved next to your bed to continue the important bonding time. This "family-centered maternity care" gives new parents many opportunities to learn how to care for their baby. Nurses will be in attendance to help with and teach you about infant care. We also have certified lactation specialists available to assist you with breastfeeding.

If you have any problems or feel you are not getting enough rest, please let your nurse know, and we will be happy to help you.

Caring for Your Baby

Our maternal-newborn nurses receive special training to give you the best care possible. Many are certified in their specialty by a national accrediting agency for their extra effort in seeking specialized education. Each shift, a nurse is assigned to care for you and your baby. Feel free to ask them questions or call them should you need assistance.

During your stay, you will have the opportunity to watch videos in your room. These videos cover infant care, what to expect during the first days at home, and CPR techniques for infants. They are shown several times a day on one of the TV channels. You may obtain a Patient Guide with TV listings from your nurse or a volunteer.


Upon arrival, you and your newborn will receive ID bracelets. We ask that you check the ID bracelets you and your infant receive after delivery to verify that they both have the same numbers and information. When you are ready to go home, check the baby's ID band with yours again.

Maternal child health employees wear special identification badges with a distinctive bright pink square. Do not allow anyone not wearing the special badge to remove your infant from your care. We also utilize an electronic band system for added security.

During Your Stay

Recovery Care

Throughout your stay, nurses will check your vital signs, both day and night. If you are asleep, the nurse will have to awaken you to make these checks to assure you are recovering properly. If you had a regular vaginal delivery, you may resume eating when you are ready. If you are staying in the hospital for more than one day, you will have the opportunity to select your meals from a broad menu offered by the hospital. Visitors may bring food in for you if approved by your physician. The hospital cannot provide food for your visitors, but they are invited to eat at the cafeteria located in the Women & Infants Pavilion or the Café on J inside the main hospital.

There is a phone beside each bed for your convenience. Local calls require dialing "9" before the phone number. For a long-distance call, dial "0" for assistance. They must be collect or billed to your calling card. Calls from the hospital may be made at any time. As a service to our consumers, we provide family members or friends with the ability to call patients directly without going through the switchboard or nurse's station.

Please follow the directions below to make calls:

  • Call 661-949-5000. You will receive a message prompting you to dial 1 to reach a patient.
  • At the prompt, please say the patient’s first and last name.

Please remember that our patients need their rest. Try to avoid making or receiving calls after 9:00 p.m. or before 7:00 a.m.


As a health care provider, Antelope Valley Medical Center is concerned with the health of all occupants of our facility. Therefore, there is no smoking allowed anywhere in the building or on hospital property.

Footprints of the Future

Footprints of the Future, a program of the Antelope Valley Medical Center Foundation, is designed to allow family members to commemorate the birth of a baby while contributing to the needs of Antelope Valley Medical Center. For a contribution of $200, the baby's actual footprint is deeply etched in a satin silver medallion, with the complete name and birth date. This medallion permanently adheres to the Footprints of the Future wall near the entrance to the Women & Infants Pavilion. The donor receives a duplicate of this beautifully crafted 3-1/8th-inch diameter medallion, including a Lucite display easel.

Time to go home

Once your physician and pediatrician have approved you and your baby's discharge, a nurse will help you get ready to leave the hospital. Arrange for a family member or friend to park in the discharge area. A hospital employee will transport you in a wheelchair to the car and help you get settled. State law requires that you restrain young children in approved safety seats every time they are passengers in any vehicle.

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