What To Expect at the Hospital | The Family Birth Center | Woman and Children Services | Cape Fear Valley Health
The Family Birth Center

What To Expect at the Hospital

At Cape Fear Valley’s Family Birth Center, we want to make your child’s birth a safe and memorable experience. We recognize you’re not only giving birth to a beautiful baby, you’re giving birth to a lifetime of memories. Each woman has different needs and expectations when it comes to the birth of her child. With this in mind, the Family Birth Center offers several different birthing options. Our Labor, Delivery and Recovery (LDR) suites are designed to offer the needed medical support in a comfortable, home-like environment, allowing you to stay in one spacious and private room during labor, delivery and initial recovery.

Tobacco Free

For your health and the health of others, Cape Fear Valley is a tobacco-free campus. Smoking is not permitted anywhere on the health system’s grounds, including the parking deck and parking lots.


Both still pictures and videotaping are allowed after your baby has been delivered, however, you will still need to wait for an okay from a staff member in the room before you begin. We want to make sure both mom and baby are in stable condition before you begin. As a courtesy, please ask permission before videotaping or taking pictures of staff.


Visitors ages 16 years or older during labor, pre-term labor, and observation. During delivery, visitors are limited to three persons ages 16 years or older. Patients on certain medications before and after delivery, such as magnesium sulfate, will be allowed a limited number of visitors as determined by the staff in order to maintain a calm environment.

Children of patients who are hospitalized long term may visit their mother at 1-2 hour increments when accompanied by a responsible adult. Children are not permitted to stay overnight. For safety reasons, no child should be left alone with the patient, as she will be unable to respond to the child’s needs.


Nutrition is a vital component of your overall medical care. A dietitian is available to provide information concerning your dietary needs and will assist you with menu selections, if needed.

Meals are served by the following times:

  • Breakfast 8:30 a.m.
  • Lunch 12:30 p.m.
  • Dinner 5:30 p.m.

Your meal trays will be delivered to you. If you are not on a liquid diet your nutrional care representative will offer you a choice of foods that you can select for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If you do not select your own menu, you will receive a standard non-select meal. If your physician puts you on a special diet, your menu selections will be reviewed by the nutritional services staff.

If you have special religious dietary restrictions or needs, please ask a member of the nursing staff to contact the Registered Dietitian. We will make every effort to accommodate your religious dietary needs.

Healthy snacks are available to you while you are a patient, providing you do not have any dietary restrictions. If you would like a snack, please ask a member of the nursing staff.

Take-out meals are available in the cafeteria for your visitors so they may eat in the room with you if they wish.

Infant Safety

Our goal is for you, your baby and your family to have a safe experience while at Cape Fear Valley. This is a shared responsibility among our staff, patients and family members. After your baby’s birth, special identification bands will be placed on you, your baby and one other person of your choosing. For your safety, as well as your baby’s, these bands must be worn until your baby is discharged. The only persons permitted to transport your baby from your room are:

  • You
  • Whoever you have selected to wear the 3rd band.
  • Members of the nursing staff, who will identify themselves to you each time they need to transport your baby. they will be wearing pink name badges.

Do not allow anyone else to transport your baby.

Whenever your baby returns to you from the nursery, your nurse will check both you and your baby’s identification bands to make sure they match. If you are ever unsure of the identity of anyone who comes into your room, or if you are uncomfortable with any visitors, call the nurses’ desk immediately.

Cesarean Delivery

If you have a cesarean delivery, depending on the emergent nature of the event, you may be allowed to have one visitor stay with you during your cesarean section. If the reason for your cesarean section is emergent your visitors will be asked to wait in the waiting room so staff can provide you and your baby with the best possible care they can. Once your baby is delivered and the emergent situation is under control, staff will come and talk with your family members, because we know they will be very concerned.

If you have a cesarean delivery, you will have an abdominal incision with a dressing covering it. Your nurse will be available to help you get out of bed for the first six to 24 hours after your delivery, depending on your physician’s instructions. Be sure to ask the nurse for help before getting out of bed the first time.

It is important for you to get out of bed and walk around if you have a cesarean section. Walking will help you recover faster from your surgery and will reduce the amount of air built up in your belly that can cause gas pains.

You may feel discomfort or pulling in the area around your incision. Pain medication will help you feel more comfortable. Please do not hesitate to ask your nurse for pain medication. Your nurse will also instruct you in methods to brace your abdomen to help you move more comfortably in the days immediately following your surgery.

Pain Management Options

The Family Birth Center, in conjunction with your obstetrician or nurse midwife and the anesthesia staff, offers you a variety of pain management options, including epidural anesthesia.

Choosing a method of pain relief is a personal and private decision. You may find that you neither desire nor need any type of pain medication for a normal vaginal delivery. Or, you may find that receiving pain relief can help your delivery by allowing you to relax and gain control over your labor and better enjoy the birthing experience.

Whatever your choice of pain management, we want you to have a positive birth experience; therefore, we recommend that you discuss pain relief options with your physician or nurse midwife early in your pregnancy so proper arrangements can be made. We also recommend that you discuss this decision with your primary nurse so that she will be able to provide you with proper support. Anesthesia options include:

  • Epidural Anesthesia- This option is available during labor and delivery for those who desire more complete anesthesia. We recommend you discuss this option with your obstetrician or nurse midwife well in advance of your due date.
  • Local Anesthesia- This method is used to numb the perineum, the area around the vagina, for an episiotomy at the time of delivery.
  • Intravenous Medication During Labor- Pain medication may be administered intravenously during labor at your physician’s discretion. You should discuss your desires with your physician.

Whatever your desire is, the staff of the Family Birth Center will support and help you through every phase.

Baby Pictures

Baby pictures are taken seven days a week by a representative fromMom365 Photography. The photographer will stop by your room to explain costs and ask if you are interested in having your baby’s picture taken. These photos are entirely optional.

Car Seats

You must have a car seat for your child when you leave the hospital. If you do not have one, they are available for rent (for a fee) to residents of Cumberland, Hoke and Robeson counties through their local Health Department Rental Programs. If you are interested in this program, please contact your local Health Department directly.

Text4Baby - weekly texts during pregnancy

Text4babycan help give babies the best possible start in life.

New moms can help give their babies the best possible start in life by signing up for text4baby, a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information they need to take care of their health and the health of their babies.

Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics, including immunization, nutrition, prenatal care, emotional well being, labor and delivery, stopping smoking, breastfeeding, birth defects prevention, car seat safety, exercise and fitness, developmental milestones, and more.

Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public- private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, tribal agencies and non-profit organizations.

Lactation Consultant

We have certified Lactation Consultants on staff who are available to help breastfeeding moms with any breastfeeding concerns or problems. In addition, our nursing staff is very knowledgeable about supporting and assisting moms during breastfeeding. For additional information, please ask a member of the nursing staff.

Cape Fear Valley Health System offers a free breastfeeding class. You will probably find it most helpful to take the class before you deliver.