What to Expect

Having a Baby

Having a baby is an amazing time in a woman’s life. Life is changing quickly and there are so many new things to remember. We are here to help you every step of the way. Our videos have been designed to give you the information you need at each stage of your pregnancy.

Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies wants you to have the best childbirth experience possible. Download and customize your free birth plan to let us know what your preferences are during your labor, delivery and post-partum care.

Where to Park

Free parking is available in the parking garage across the street from Winnie Palmer Hospital on Miller Street. A garage attendant is on staff 24 hours a day and can provide an extended-stay parking pass if you need one. Valet parking is also available for a nominal fee at the front entrance of the hospital. Be sure to bring only what you need for the first part of your birthing journey, and leave other items in the car until you are ready for them. Refer to our packing list for guidance. If you are in active labor and walking is difficult, your driver may also pull into the valet loop and request a wheel chair and park the car once you are checked in.

What to Bring at Check-In

  • Insurance provider card
  • Your completed birth plan
  • Notes on past medical and surgical history, including any allergies you may have and a list of medications or supplements that you take at home
  • Prenatal records
  • Important phone numbers, such as the pharmacy where get your prescriptions filled, your new baby's doctor (pediatrician or family practitioner), family and friends you want to keep updated
  • Glasses and contact lenses
  • Camera or video camera, if desired, and if approved by your doctor 
  • Advanced directives and living will, as desired

What to Leave in the Car for Later

You won't need the items listed below until you reach the Mother & Baby Unit. Do not bring them at check-in; please keep them in your car to have your support person bring them to you once you are recovering in the Mother & Baby Unit.

For mom:

  • Robe and slippers
  • Loose clothing to wear home
  • A comfortable support bra and, if breastfeeding, a nursing bra with pads
  • Snacks
  • Baby book
  • Books or magazines 

For baby:

  • Car seat
  • An outfit to wear home
  • An outfit for baby pictures, if desired
  • Receiving blanket

Where to Check In

Check in at the Labor & Delivery Triage area, located at the hospital's Miller Street entrance. All expectant patients are evaluated in the Labor & Delivery Triage area; women in labor or having problems are evaluated first. An expectant mother is allowed to have one support person accompany her to the triage area. We make this request to ensure the comfort and privacy of all our patients who receive care in this area. If you are transferred to the 2nd floor Labor & Delivery Unit, you will be allowed to have additional visitors at that time.

Check-in location varies depending on the type of birth you have.

  • Planned Induction Birth: If your doctor has scheduled a delivery date through induced labor, you should check in to Admissions at least 30 minutes before your procedure. You will go to either the 2nd or 5th floor of the hospital for your procedure. After you recover in your Labor & Delivery room for 2-3 hours, you will move to a private suite in the Mother & Baby Unit where you will rest up for 24-48 hours before being discharged.
  • Planned Cesarean Section Birth: If you are having a C-section, you will check in 2-2 ½ hours before your procedure, which will take place on either the 2nd or 4th floor of the hospital. After the procedure, you will move to a recovery room for approximately two hours before transferring to a private suite in the Mother & Baby Unit where you will rest up for 48-72 hours before being discharged. 
  • Natural Onset of Labor: If you come unscheduled to the hospital with labor pains or if your water has broken, you will be evaluated for delivery. After giving birth on either the 2nd or 4th floor of the hospital, you will remain in the Labor & Delivery room for 2-3 hours to recover. You will then be transferred to a private suite in the Mother & Baby Unit, where you will rest up for 24-48 hours before being discharged.
  • Emergency Situation: If you are experiencing a medical emergency or your doctor instructs you to come to the hospital for immediate care, please check in at Triage located on the first floor. 

What to Expect After Delivery

Mother Child 1

Your beautiful baby is here, and the hardest part is over! Now what? Immediately after birth, you'll have time for skin-to-skin cuddling with your baby if there were no complications with the delivery.

When you move to your private mother/baby suite, our team will assess your baby at your bedside. All newborn care including bathing will be done in your suite throughout your stay. During your stay after your baby’s birth, you can expect:

  • A daily examination by your nurse and doctor
  • Education on feeding and caring for your new infant
  • Detailed discharge education to help and support you when you go home
  • Time to care for your baby, who will be rooming with you, with support from your nurse to assist or answer any questions you may have

Going Home

New babies and birth mothers are usually discharged 24-48 hours after a vaginal delivery and 48-72 hours after a cesarean delivery. Before you leave, a nurse will go over your discharge instructions. You'll receive information about follow-up care for you and your baby, along with resources or help you may need or questions you may have when you're home.

You'll also talk with a clerk from the birth certificate office before you leave the hospital. Before heading home, you will need to have:

  • An infant car seat with you at the hospital
  • An appointment scheduled with a pediatric doctor to check your baby within two days of discharge  

Once you’re back home and settled, check out our parenting classes to gain some valuable support and education

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