Labor and Delivery
Getting ready for the birth of your baby can be both exciting and hectic. An important decision to make is where your baby will be born. At The University of Tennessee Medical Center, we are prepared to meet the needs of women and their families. The Labor and Delivery provides compassionate care through each phase of the birthing experience.
- OB Triage
- Private Rooms
- Your Delivery Team
- Your Baby's Care Team
- Finding Your Baby a Doctor
- Childbirth Classes/ Prenatal Classes
- Labor/Delivery Extra's
- Labor & Delivery Visitation Guidelines
- Directions to Labor and Delivery
As the region's only designated Perinatal Center for the care of high-risk mothers and babies, The Labor and Delivery Unit combines leading technology with family-centered maternity care. Be assured that whatever the reason for coming to L&D, you will be seen and treated by caring, professional nurses and doctors who embrace the medical center’s Model of Patient and Family-Centered Care. We also care about your safety and security and have numerous measures in place to ensure that you and your baby are safe during your stay here.
The following information will help you when you need to go to Labor and Delivery.
Your first visit to Labor and Delivery might be a visit to OB triage, located in the Labor and Delivery center on the 3rd floor of the East Pavilion. Triage is an obstetric emergency room for evaluation of pregnancy problems if you are more than 18 weeks pregnant. Usually your doctor will tell you to go to triage for evaluation.
When you arrive at the double doors leading into Labor and Delivery:
- Pick up the phone on the left wall near the entry door and someone will help you.
- Be sure to use the water less hand cleaner (a dime size) before entering the unit.
- When you come through the door, turn to your right and then left. Follow the signs all the way down the hall to triage.
- There are four private triage rooms. Only one support person may come with you to this area.
- It is not necessary to go to the Emergency Department on the 1st floor unless you need transportation to triage.
Sometimes you will be evaluated in triage and sent home for follow-up care with your regular doctor the next day or at your regularly scheduled visit. At other times, depending on the problem, you will be admitted to Labor and Delivery or the Mother/Baby unit (3 East) for continued care. These can be very anxious times, but be assured that your doctors are experienced and are making decisions about your care to protect you and your baby.
Call the doctor and report to triage if:
- Your water breaks
- You have vaginal bleeding
- You think you’rein preterm labor before 37 weeks
- You think term labor has started because contractions are every 5 minutes or less for first time moms
- Contractions are 10 minutes or less if you have already delivered a baby
- Your contractions have been lasting 60 seconds for at least one hour and you can’t walk or talk through them because they are very uncomfortable
- Your doctor has given you other specific instructions about when to call them, and you should follow their instructions
- You notice a significant decrease in your baby’s movement or you are not getting your kick counts
- You feel pressure in your vagina or pain in the lower abdomen that you have not felt before(It feels like your baby is pushing down and it is getting worse)
- You have been vomiting for more than 24 hours, especially if you cannot keep liquids down and you have not urinated in 6-8 hours
- You have sudden or severe swelling of legs, face and hands
- You have a severe headache and have vision changes such as blurring or spots in front of your eyes
- Fever of 100.4 or higher, and/or chills
- Pain that is severe and not going away
- Painful, burning bumps in your private area
- Burning with urination or pain in the area of the kidneys
- You fall, or are in an accident,especially if you hit your abdomen
- Any problem that your doctor advises you to go for
Giving birth is a special time and we know that you want to share it with family and friends. The birth experience, although miraculous, can cause a lot of anxiety in parents and families. Labor is hard work for you and your baby and we know that you will experience many physical and emotional changes in a short period of time as you undergo the process of labor and welcome this new baby into your life. In this section we hope to help prepare you for what you can expect.
As a mother-to-be, you will have a private room fully furnished to care for you and your baby throughout the labor, delivery and birth process.
- A spacious room that is comfortable for you and your family
- A specially designed birthing bed to help make your delivery as comfortable as possible
- Monitoring equipment for you and your baby, including the availability of intensive care for mothers who have special needs
- Comprehensive surgical services
- Adjoining Intensive Care Nursery with 24-hour on-site neonatal specialists (neonatologists)
The team of specialists can assist with both normal and complicated deliveries. Our specialists include:
- Highly skilled nurses
- Expert health professionals
- Obstetricians, family practitioners
- Perinatologists (obstetricians who specialize in high-risk obstetrics)
- 24-hour availability of obstetric analgesia and anesthesia
Following your recovery, you will be moved to a our Mother / Baby Unit where you and your baby will room together.
The Baby Care Team works closely with the delivery team to assure healthy beginnings for your baby. This team includes:
- Family practitioners
- Nurse practitioners
- Neonatal nurses
- Physician assistants
- Lactation consultant
- Social workers
- Visiting Hours
In the labor and delivery area, visiting hours are 24 hours, with two visitors at a time and up to four at delivery as long as the physician approves. Once mother and baby move to the postpartum floor, visiting hours are all day, until 8:30 p.m.
You’ll need a doctor for your baby, too. Before you deliver, we can help you find a pediatrician or family medicine doctor for your child. To make your appointment today, call 865.305.6970.
- Birth of a Family - a prepared childbirth series for expectant mothers and their support team
- Birth of a Family Refresher Course - a one-day review of the series
- Breastfeeding Class - a one-session class that prepares mothers for a successful breastfeeding experience
- Sibling Class - one session for ages 3-12
- Labor and Delivery Tours - call 865.305.9300 to schedule and view available dates.
- Pregnancy Central - a website birth announcement to share your good news
- Baby Touch - a video link for families to view babies separated by distance or special circumstances
- UT Medical Center provides the region's most advanced care to patients throughout East Tennessee. The Labor and Delivery Unit provides caring support, education, and health care to your family. Please ask questions and let us know how we can make your experience a positive, memorable one. We look forward to caring for you in the Labor and Delivery Unit …Where Life Begins.
During Labor and Delivery and Birth
When you arrive at the Medical Center, you may be seen by a doctor in the triage area to determine if you are in labor. One support person may accompany you at this time. Once it has been determined that you are going to stay with us, you will be moved to a labor room called an LDR (Labor, Delivery & Recovery).
We encourage you to have two designated support persons to assist you during your birth experience. You may want to choose two people who can best assist you with the type of birth you are planning. A total of four people may be in the LDR at one time. If children are going to be present for the birth experience, an adult, other than your support person must accompany them during your time in labor. Discuss your plans with your nurse upon arrival to the hospital. We also encourage you to discuss this with your doctor before your delivery.
Once your baby is delivered, we know it is important for you to see, hold, feed and put the baby skin to skin in that first hour of life. Your nurses will encourage you and your support person to hold off visitors until you have a chance to meet and get to know your baby. However, when you are prepared, visitors are welcome into your room. Everyone needs to wash their hands before holding or touching your baby. To protect your baby from infection, visitors that have a cold or cough should not be in the room. Siblings of the new arrival may need to be brought to the room first to encourage family bonding. Children may hold your baby, but will need assistance from the support person. If you are breast-feeding, we encourage you to do this before your visitors come into the room. Usually, you are more relaxed with a minimum number of people present.
You are welcome to take pictures before and after this special occasion, but not during the delivery. We encourage you to know how to operate all camera equipment before admission to the hospital.
Labor And Delivery
UT Medical Center
3rd floor of the (East) Boling Pavilion
1924 Alcoa Highway
Knoxville, TN 37920-6999