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Frequently Asked Questions

Have Questions About the Labor and Delivery Process?

We know that childbirth is one of the most exciting, special and personal experiences of your lifetime. There are so many things to prepare for — everything from your birth plan to which car seat to buy. We want to make it easy for you — so we put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you prepare.
 

What Can I Do to Prepare for Delivery While I’m Pregnant?
Choose a physician: Take time before your birth to select a doctor who is just right for your family. 

Find a Physician

Car Seat Program: Plan ahead to be ready for a safe ride home from the hospital. The MultiCare Mary Bridge Center for Childhood Safety offers a weekly car seat check-up event on Tuesdays from 9-10am at 1112 S. 5th Street in Tacoma (except holidays or inclement weather), as well as monthly checks in Auburn and Puyallup. Your third trimester is a great time to visit our Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who can teach you how to adjust and install your car seat properly. If you have questions about safe travel, either at home or while here at the hospital, call the Mary Bridge Car Seat Help Line at 253-403-1417.

Paternity affidavit: Paternity must be established if parents are not married or paternity is in question. Our records specialists will answer any questions and help you fill out forms to establish paternity if necessary.
Where Do I Park?

When checking into or visiting the hospital, you may have a lot on your mind. We try to take the stress out of parking and let you focus on what's important.

MultiCare Auburn Medical Center
Parking for patients and visitors on the MultiCare Auburn Medical Center campus is available on the street, in two parking garages or by valet ($3.00) at several different entrances.
If you have any questions, please call the Auburn Family Birth Center at 253-545-2522.

MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital
Valet service is available for $3.00 and is located on 5th St SE from 15th Ave SE.
If your arrival is after 8:30pm on a weekday, or on a weekend when valet is closed, the parking lot is still available for use. If it is an emergency, please access the Emergency Department.

If you have any questions, please call the Good Samaritan Birth Center at 253-697-5300.

MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital
When you come to the Tacoma General Birth Center, please use our main Olympic Lobby (formerly 3K) entrance for registration. For your convenience, valet services ($3.00) are available outside of the entrance from 5am – 7:30pm. 

The address is:
315 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Tacoma, WA 98415

Visitor parking will still be available in P2 (formerly the 5th Street Parking Garage).

If you have any questions, please call the Tacoma General Birth Center at 253-403-1032.

What Happens When I Arrive?
Once you arrive for labor and delivery, you will first check in at the nurse’s station. Your first stop after that will be the triage room. A nurse will assess you and your baby and consult with a physician. Depending on where you are in your labor process, a decision will be made to admit you to a delivery room or not. If you are still in the early stages of labor, it may be too early to admit you. A nurse will help you decide what is best for you.
What About Safety/Security?
Your baby's safety is our primary concern, both before and after he or she is born. Our security policy is designed to make sure your family is comfortable and safe during your entire hospital stay.

At all our locations, each infant wears a band that will cause an alarm to sound if he or she goes beyond the unit's locked doors. To help you easily recognize our staff members, each member of the obstetrics unit staff has pink on their name badge.
Will My Physician Be at My Birth?
Your physician can deliver your baby as long as they enjoy full delivery privileges at one of the three MultiCare Family Birth Centers. Consult with your physician beforehand and they can answer any questions you may have.

If for some reason your physician is unable to attend the birth, we have obstetricians in-house 24 hours a day.
What Happens if There are any Complications?
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Should any complications arise during or after delivery, advanced and specialized care is close by with Tacoma General's Level IV NICU.

In-house obstetricians 24 hours a day: No matter what time of day it is, we have providers available around the clock to provide the care you and your baby need.

Maternal-Fetal Medicine: These obstetrician-gynecologists have completed advanced training in the care of very high-risk pregnancies and births. They work in consultation with your OB/GYN and are on-call at Tacoma General 24 hours a day.
What Happens After My Baby is Born?
After your baby is born, you will need some time to rest and recover. You can relax and recuperate before you and your baby transfer to a private room. We understand you will want to spend precious time with your newborn, so the baby will be with you at all times. A family member or primary support person is also welcome to share these special moments with you.

Lactation assistance If you choose to breastfeed, we’ll provide all the assistance you need to get started in the privacy of your own room.

Education:  As a new parent, there is so much to learn. From changing a diaper to bathing your newborn, we will show you the proper way to care for your new child.

Newborn testing: An array of tests will be done on your newborn to make sure your baby is healthy, including hearing loss and newborn jaundice.
When Are Visiting Hours?
MultiCare Auburn Medical Center: General visiting hours are 8am to 8pm. We understand that babies come on their own schedule, so visiting hours in the Family Birth Center are unrestricted.

MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital: We don’t have any restrictions on visiting hours. Your family and friends are free to visit you and your new baby at any time.

MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital: All visitors to the Family Birth Center are screened and must check-in with the Reception desk. They must give your full name each time they enter. The unit is locked 24 hours a day. Usually a receptionist will let your visitors in, but if she has stepped away, your visitors will need to pick up the phone by the door. Because babies are born 24 hours a day, there are no designated visiting hours in Labor and Delivery.
How Long Will I Stay in the Hospital After My Baby is Born?
Your time spent at the hospital will depend on what type of birth you have. Typically, if you have a vaginal birth, you will spend 48 hours in the hospital. Cesarean delivery cases are typically required to spend 72 hours in the hospital. Your health care provider will discuss with you when you and your baby will be discharged.
What Happens After I Leave?
Discharge Information: You will be receiving education in a wide variety of topics to help you care for yourself and new baby after you leave the hospital. Nursing staff will provide one-on-one instruction for you and your family. We also provide written materials and videos on various topics.