FAMILY FRIENDLY

Q: I've heard about "Baby Friendly" hospitals. What does this mean?
A: The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a World Health Organization and UNICEF project with the following criteria for participating hospitals:
1- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
2- Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
3- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
4- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
5- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
6- Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk, unless medically indicated.
7- Practice “rooming in”-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
8- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
9- Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
10- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

While Bridgeport Hospital fully endorses breastfeeding, we also value each new mother’s right to choose how she wishes to feed and nurture her baby. We believe that this is a very personal decision, and we will support Mom whether she wishes to breast- or bottle-feed.

Another important choice that we give to new moms is whether or not Baby should sleep in her room or in our beautiful nursery. This too is a personal decision which is respected by every member of the Birthplace team. Our goal is that when you return home you feel well-rested and confident in your ability to care for yourself and your new baby. The Birthplace at Bridgeport Hospital is fully committed to supporting the decisions you make regarding breastfeeding and utilizing the nursery.

CLASSES & TOURS

Q: What sorts of classes do you offer for pregnant women and our families?
A: The Birthplace at Bridgeport Hospitals many classes to prepare moms, dads and entire families for the birth of a new baby. Please click here for full descriptions.
Q: Will I be able to tour the unit prior to my delivery?
A: We love to give tours of our beautiful Birthplace. These are scheduled with one of the advisors who you can reach at 1-888-357-2396. They'll have all of the specifics regarding available dates, timing and any other questions you may have. Please feel free to call them anytime -- they're available to you 24/7.

PRE-REGISTRATION

Q: I need to pre-register before I give birth. Is there a form on the website or can I pre-register over the phone?
A: It's a great idea to pre-register, and all of the necessary materials should be available at your physician's office. Just ask at your next appointment. Currently, pre-registration is not available on-line or by phone.

BIRTHING PLANS

Q: I have a birthing plan and would like to implement it. What measures are taken to ensure that medical interventions aren't used unnecessarily?
A: The very special occasion of a baby’s birth has always brought excitement, but now it also brings expectant parents many options and choices. With your physician, midwife or physician assistant you need to decide what type of birth setting and experience will satisfy your wants and expectations. Discuss your hopes and plans with your healthcare provider throughout your pregnancy so that everyone involved in your care can prepare for your special needs and wishes.
Q: After my baby is delivered, is it possible for me (and my husband) to hold the baby BEFORE the eye salve is applied? I’d like to be able for my baby and husband and I to all look into each other’s eyes.
A: We are happy to wait to apply the erythromycin ointment until you and your baby have seen each other.

Please make sure you let your nurse know your wishes. To best protect your baby’s eyes, the medication should be given in the 1st hour after of birth.

The only thing that could prevent this from happening is if you require emergency surgery. In that case you would be under anesthesia during the first hour.

If you have any further questions regarding the ointment and/or your infant not receiving it, please discuss the risks and benefits with your pediatrician.

PAIN MANAGEMENT

Q: I am interested in a natural birth. What do you have that can help me to birth as comfortably as possible?
A: Our care team can review breathing techniques with you that can help with pain. Additional non-pharmacological methods – showers, walking, back massage, etc. – can also ease labor. You may also consider taking our Childbirth Preparation Class – call, toll free, 24/7 at 1-888-357-2396 for information, which includes Lamaze breathing and relaxation techniques.
Q: My friend is due in a couple months and was wondering if heating pads were allowed to help with contractions. I guess someone mentioned that putting it on your lower back would help with pain?.
A: Once you here in The Birthplace we typically do not use heating pads due to the high risk of burns especially if a patient has had an epidural (pain medication that numbs the area from waist to toes). If you would like this therapy, you would need to talk with your doctor, and we would only use a hospital approved device. The most common therapy is a warm shower or heated blanket from our blanket warmer – these are warmed to a temperature that will not burn the skin.

WATER BIRTHS

Q: I am currently pregnant and am interested in a water birth. I understand that two of the birthing rooms have whirlpool/Jacuzzi tubs. Are these available for the actual birth or just for comfort? I would like to have a COMPLETE water birth, eliminate the birthing table all together.
A: That’s right. We have two whirlpool/Jacuzzi tubs in The Birthplace. Moms with intact membranes can use these tubs for comfort and pain relief. Deliveries are not conducted in the tubs.
Q: Also, are the Jacuzzi rooms first come first serve, or can we go on waiting list?
A: If you are interested in using the tubs for pain relief during delivery please let your physician/provider know so it is indicated on the medical record sent to us. This helps us make sure you are admitted to one of those rooms when we hear you are on your way.
Q: Would it be possible to bring in a RENTED birthing pool? Could that be accommodated?
A: No. To ensure your safety and comfort, we only use birthing pools that have been developed and tested for hospital use.

MIDWIVES/DOULAS

Q: Are there midwives and doulas on staff? If not, could I hire my own to accompany me?
A: Typically, midwives are part of the physician group you go to and you would see the midwife or physician during your stay. If you are interested having a doula accompany you, you would need to hire your own. Please speak with your physician for a referral.

WHAT TO BRING

Q: Do you have a list of what is necessary to bring to the hospital when having baby? What if I have a c-section?
A: While you are in the hospital, Bridgeport Hospital will provide hospital gowns for your use. Some additional items you will want to bring are:
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • deodorant
  • shampoo
  • nightgowns
  • robe
  • slippers
  • comfortable undergarments (bra and underpants)
  • lip balm
  • any additional toiletry items

During your hospital stay, your baby will be dressed in a T-shirt and receiving blanket. The clothing is not intended to go home with the baby and should stay at the hospital. Please bring in clothing for the baby to wear home from the hospital.

You will probably want to have some pocket money with you to cover incidental expenses, such as television rentals, a newspaper and small items from the gift shop. For your peace of mind, do not bring large sums of cash or other valuables to the hospital.

PHOTOS & VIDEOTAPING

Q: Just curious as to what the hospital's policy is on taking pictures/video taping the birth of my child?
A: At the request of our medical staff, use of video and audio equipment is not allowed in the delivery/recovery rooms, operating rooms or the circumcision room while the birth or medical procedure is in progress. However, this equipment is permitted in these areas during labor and after the birth of the baby or completion of the medical procedure. Still photography is not permitted during the actual birth but is permitted before, immediately after or at any other time during the hospital stay.

Due to privacy issues for all infants, no pictures may be taken of the baby while in the nursery.

Q: Are there services that offer taking a baby's first picture?
A: Professional third-party photographers are available for in-room newborn photo sessions. If you are interested in having portrait photos of your baby taken, ask your nurse for more information.
Q: Do you put new baby photos on your web site?
A: We do not post baby photos on the web site.

PEOPLE WITNESSING THE BIRTH

Q: How many people can be in the delivery room with me when I deliver my baby?
A: When you first arrive you will be evaluated to see if you are in labor. This takes place in the Triage Area. For your safety, one person can be with you at this point.

Once it is determined that you are in labor, you will be moved to a birthing room. Three people are welcomed to be with you here. Your nurse and a member of the Admitting Team will ask you to fill out a quick form indicating which parts of labor you want each person present for and will then place purple bands on your chosen three. These people cannot give their band to others during your labor and delivery.

If you are having a c-section delivery, only one person is allowed to be with you in the operating and recover rooms. This will help you recover from your anesthetic.

ROOMS

Q: After I deliver my baby, will I be in a private room? What if I have a c-section?
A: All post-partum (after delivery) rooms are private, with private bathrooms and showers.
Q: Will I be able to access the internet from my room?
A: Wireless access is available in all patient rooms via your own laptop equipped with a wireless card.

LACTATION (Breast Feeding)

Q: I am interested in utilizing the help/assistance of a lactation consultant as soon as I deliver. Who are the lactation consultants at Bridgeport Hospital and what is their contact information?
A: Everyone working at the Women's Care Center has been trained to teach you everything you will need to know about breastfeeding. And we have pumps here if you need to use one.

Most new mothers will be able to breastfeed their baby without any problems and will not need the use of a pump. But we have all the supplies and information you will need to help you along the way. The best thing that you can do to prepare is to read everything you can about breastfeeding and speak to your doctor and let him or her know that you are planning on breastfeeding. They can also help you prepare for the arrival of your precious new baby.

If you have any questions, or would like to speak to the breastfeeding specialist, please do not hesitate to call 203/384-3705 and we can arrange a meeting with her before you deliver. She can answer any questions or concerns you may have before you come in to deliver.

Q: Do you rent or sell breast pumps?
A:

BREAST PUMP RENTAL

Hospital grade electric pumps (Medela Symphony, Lactina) are available at the pump rental stations listed below, or call 1-800-TELL-YOU (1-800-835-5968) for more rental stations in the area.
  • Lupe’s Drug Store #3, 2035 Black Rock Tpke., Fairfield, CT 06825, (203) 368-1955
  • MacKenzie’s Pharmacy, 930 White Plains Road, Trumbull, CT 06611, (203) 261-2541
  • Oronoque Pharmacy, 7365 Main Street, Stratford, CT 06614, (203) 378-1111, dial “0”
  • Colonial Druggist’s, 611 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880, (203) 227-9538

In most cases, rental stations offer a weekly or monthly rental contract. In addition, you will need to purchase the pump kit (which includes the tubing, bottles, valves and breastshields necessary to operate the pump). A deposit may also be required.

Please call your insurance company’s (800) number to see if the rental or purchase of a breastpump will be covered.

BREAST PUMP PURCHACE

Small Personal Electric Breast Pumps are available for purchase at Babies-R-Us, Burlington Coat Factory (Baby Depot), Target; or check your local stores that carry infant products and supplies. The best pump is the one that works for you!

Medela Brand
Pump In Style (Backpack or Metro Bag): $250 - $280
Swing (Single Electric): $135 - $150
Harmony (manual): $35

Avent Brand
Isis iQ Duo (Double): $250 - $280
Isis iQ Uno (Single): $140 - $150
Isis (manual): $40

For your convenience the gift shop in the Bridgeport Hospital lobby sells manual Medela pumps.

VISITORS

Visitor Parking
Parking is available in our Agnes and Ernie Kaulbach Parking Pavilion across from the main entrance. Visitors can park on or near the third floor, which is reserved for visitors, and use the skywalk to enter the hospital. Visitors need to take their parking ticket with them into the hospital. At the end of their visit, visitors must stop at the parking desk in the main lobby to pay for parking. A paid ticket will open the gate to leave the parking garage.

Visiting Hours
While we encourage visits from family and friends, our primary concern is that our patients receive the proper care and rest necessary for their recovery. Please have visitors limit their stays to the following times:

Labor & Delivery
Labor & Delivery does not allow visitors, however we do allow support persons 24 hours a day. While you are in Labor & Delivery, you may have a maximum of three support persons while in a birthing room. Upon arrival you will be asked to identify your support persons (as indicated on the form at the front of this booklet). Support persons will receive a wrist band identifying them as a visitor.

You are allowed one support person while being evaluated in triage, preoperatively and in the post-op area. Visiting children under the age of 15 must be present their certificate from the sibling birth preparation class and must be accompanied by an adult that can chaperone the child if asked to leave the labor room for procedures. Grandparents without visitor bands are welcome to stay in the waiting room until delivery.

Women’s Care Center (after your baby is born)
Approximately one hour after you deliver you will go to your room in the Women's Care Center. If it is during regular Visiting Hours (10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.) you are welcome to have visitors. Visitors are limited to four in a room. The visiting policy is for your comfort and safety of your baby. Your cooperation with these guidelines will help make your stay and that of our other patients more relaxing and comfortable. Father of the new baby/significant other may visit 24 hours a day. Brothers and sisters of the new baby may visit 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Grandparents may make their first visit at any time and then are welcome to visit during regular visiting hours.

Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NBICU)
Parents of the baby/babies are welcome 24 hours a day. Grandparents are welcome any time but are preferred 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Other visitors are welcome at any time, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m., with parents of the infant(s). Brothers and sisters of the baby/babies must show proof of chicken pox (varicella) vaccine. (Please have the pediatrician’s office fax directly to the NBICU at 203-384-4962.) For more information, please speak with NBICU staff.

If special circumstances make it difficult for your family members and/or friends to observe our visiting guidelines, we will do our best to accommodate your needs and wishes. Please discuss any special request with your nurse.

Please also assist us in keeping our patients well by asking your friends and family members not to visit, or remain in the waiting area, if they have any symptoms of a cold or diarrhea, or have recently been exposed to any of the following:

  • chicken pox
  • measles
  • mumps
  • rubella (German measles)
  • flu
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)

Overnight Visitors
Birth is a family experience at Bridgeport Hospital. The father/significant other of the new baby is welcome in your hospital room at any time. Those wishing to spend the night are asked to make themselves comfortable in the convertible chair/bed. Blankets can be provided by the nursing staff if necessary, but the father/significant other should prepare for an overnight stay by bringing toiletries, comfortable clothes and pillows.

Handwashing
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to help keep colds or infection from your newborn baby. Everyone should wash their hands thoroughly before touching the baby.

In addition to soap and water, we encourage using an alcohol-based hand gel, such as Purell, to clean your hands. Dispensers are mounted on the wall outside every patient room. If your hands are visibly dirty, you should use soap and water to clean them.

Gift Shop
Our Gift Shop in the hospital lobby offers flowers, greeting cards, magazines, clothing for baby and adults, pacifiers, infant toys and much more.

MEDICAL RECORDS & BIRTH CERTIFICATES

Q: I delivered my son at Bridgeport Hospital. How do I go about getting copies of our hospital records?
A: To protect patient privacy, requests for medical records need to be made in writing and include the signature of the patient (when the patient is 18 years or older) or of the parent (for minor patients).

Please fill out the attached form and either mail it to the hospital at 267 Grant Street, Bridgeport CT 06610 Attention: Correspondence or fax it to the Medical Records Department at 203-384-4215.

After you send in the form, you will receive a bill (65 cents a page) from the hospital, and once we receive your payment the medical record will be sent to you. It takes about 30 days.

If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact Medical Records at 203-384-3430.

Q: My daughter was born at Bridgeport Hospital. How can I get her birth certificate?
A: Birth Certificates are available from The City of Bridgeport Vital Records Department, 999 Broad Street, First Floor, Bridgeport, CT 06604. Phone: 203-576-7445 or 203-576-8208.