NWWC Newsletter
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Stay Updated on Women's Health Issues

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What Our Patients Have Said...

"I love this practice. I've been a patient of Dr. D for over 15 years and think he is the best. When I was pregnant, I was able to meet all the doctors and they were all great. I have recommended this practice to several friends who are now patients and also love the practice."
- Amanda J.
Featured Article
A Checklist for Expecting Mothers

Remember What You Are Packing For
No offense intended, ladies, but after completing the research for this article, we had to wonder if some of the individuals penning personal blogs were confusing a two-week trip to the Caribbean with a maybe one-to-two day stay at their local hospital's maternity unit. As one supremely reasonable blogger noted on her improbably named site, PregnantChicken, "You really don't need much to have a baby. Got your vagina? Packed."

Some list contributors seemed to want all the comforts of home there at the hospital, without realizing that carrying that amount of clothes, technology, bed accessories, relaxation aids and various changes of clothes would require a small U-Haul attached to your car. Thank goodness hospitals don't charge for excess luggage -- yet -- but try and keep that airline ideal in mind: a small "carry on" and a larger bag that weighs less than 20 to 25 pounds. The "Why" explanation is to follow.

Why You Should Try to Limit the Amount of Items You Pack for the Hospital
  • You are being admitted to the hospital to have a baby, another family member, to bring home in addition to all the objects you decided were necessary in those crazed days before you got into labor or are induced into labor. It's a small but significant difference in emphasis, so we'll repeat it again for those whose baby just kicked and disrupted their thought processes: the entire goal of the trip to the hospital is to bring home your new baby, not to recreate the comforts of home.
  • Believe it or not, there has not been one documented instance of either a new mother, her new baby or both, having been discharged home naked from a hospital even with medical facilities' strict money-saving emphases.
  • We don't recall a single mother ever bitterly regretting the birth of her child because she did not have a particular material item. This may be because the item is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things or current technology -- such as cell phones -- combined with ancient technology -- such as friends -- allowed Dad to call and request that one of the latter run by the house to deliver the desired item to the parents in the hospital.
  • The various stages of labor are a medically based process designed to indicate what necessary nursing and medical evaluations and interventions should be taking place at that time. They are not short periods of time for the laboring Mom to disappear into the bathroom and reappear in a new and spiffy outfit, much like Lady Gaga in concert. Hospital gowns may not have the same panache as a Calvin Klein birthing outfit, but then again, Calvin wasn't considering that medical personnel needed direct -- and possibly immediate -- access to your crotch area.
Finally, here are some more down-to-earth if not downright serious reasons for you to pack lightly:
  • The footies that hospitals provide you may not be as comfortable as your virgin cashmere socks woven by Tibetan nuns, but let us give you a hint: they're disposable and thrown away at the hospital instead of being repacked into your luggage. We're not quite sure how to get blood stains out of virgin cashmere, but we do know that after a traipse around your birthing room, they will be seething with hospital germs despite the attractive surrounds and artwork on the walls. Another baby kick? Here's the message in a no-miss kind of way: Whatever you bring to the hospital will become contaminated with whatever germs with which you, the nurses or Dad come into contact. Hospitals have hospital-like replacements for almost everything that every prima donna mother list advises you to bring. They aren't as styling, but they aren't going to expose you, your new baby and your family to industrial strength germs you might inadvertently bring home with baby.
  • Because of the above-noted contamination, everything that you bring to the hospital will require laundering in hot water when your return home. Your luggage, cosmetic bag, MP3 player, video camera, massager and any reading material should be wiped down or sprayed with an appropriate antimicrobial spray. We're fairly certain that your dreams of bringing your new baby home did not include loads of laundry and disinfecting items that can't be washed in a traditional style.
What You Absolutely Positively Need to Bring (or Have Brought to You) for the Experience
  • Copies of your completed admission forms and birth plan, insurance card(s) and photo ID. In smaller, rural hospitals, Dad may need change or cash for the drink and snack machine, however, most hospitals now have 24/7 cafeterias that accept credit cards in addition to vending machines that will happily charge items to your card as well. Many maternity suites also allow Dad to order meals.
  • Cell phones, MP3 players (if desired) and their appropriate chargers if allowed by the hospital. Telephone cards will be available in the gift shop if cell phones are not allowed at the facility.
  • Scrunchies or kerchiefs (think: soft) to keep the hair out of your face and lip balm for dry lips that will come from your breathing exercises and the dry atmosphere of hospitals (to inhibit bacterial growth).
Optional Items
Believe it or not, most everything else we've read for you to pack -- from personal mommy blogs to suggestions from such big baby companies such as Gerber or Huggies -- are essentially nicer versions of what a hospital already has on hand for you. For instance:
  • An infant car seat is suggested, however, a hospital will not discharge an infant without one and will provide one if necessary. Whether or not you're charged for this item will depend upon your financial circumstances and the organization providing the device.
So, reread those blogs and lists and start eliminating the unnecessary. You're going to the hospital to have a baby, not climbing Everest and Sherpas are expensive and hard to find in the US anyway.
Who will deliver my baby?

We currently have 6 physicians that care for our obstetric patients. The doctor that is on call when you go into labor is usually the doctor that will deliver your baby. We do our best to ensure that you meet all of our OB doctors prior to your due date so that you will feel comfortable with the doctor that ends up delivering your baby.

For more answers, click here to visit our frequently asked questions page.
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Northwest Women's Consultants, SC
1630 W. Central Road
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60005
(847) 394-3553

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Disclaimer: The information contained in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice of your physician. The dispensing of this information should in no way be construed as establishing a doctor-patient relationship.