Delivery Day

After nine months of planning, worrying and dreaming of your baby, you are finally a mom. Congratulations! About an hour after delivery, you and your baby will be welcomed to a room in the Mother/Infant Unit where your new family will be cared for by expert nurses who specialize in new mothers and newborns.




Care in the Hospital

After delivery, you'll be moved to your own private suite on the Mother and Infant Unit, where baby can stay in the room with you -- there's also plenty of room for dad! On the Mother and Infant Unit, helpful OB nurses and Lactation Consultants help you adjust, and for baby -- your pediatrician will see your newborn in the hospital and, in the event that it is needed, there is our 24/7 neonatal care.

Your Mother & Infant Suite

The Mother & Infant suites are comforting, private rooms with special conveniences for new families. As part of our Family Friendly philosophy, babies are kept in the room with mom throughout the entire hospital stay. The rooms also have a sleeper chair perfect for Dad or another family member to room-in with mom, as well as private bathrooms with a walk-in shower. Free wireless internet access is available.

The Mother & Infant nurses are part nurses, part educators. They provide expert clinical care for both you and your infant, and they help support you every step of the way during your first few days as a new family. They will assist with breastfeeding, let you know how to care for yourself once you return home, and answer the many questions you're sure to have about your new baby.

Pain management is a priority on the Mother & Infant Unit. Your physician will prescribe pain medication that is safe for breastfeeding mothers. These medications are usually prescribed "as needed" instead of on a schedule, so please let your nurse know when you need medication. 

Pediatrician Visits

Your pediatrician will be notified of your new baby after delivery. He or she will visit the two of you in the hospital to examine your baby, perform some newborn screening tests, and answer questions that you may have. If you have chosen for your son to have a circumcision, the pediatrician will usually perform it at the hospital. Most pediatricians recommend seeing the baby again at their office in one week, and this appointment will be set up before you leave the hospital.

Lactation Support

After you have given birth, your Mother & Infant Unit nurse will assist you with breastfeeding. She will assist you through the first feeding, give you tips on techniques and provide support and encouragement. Should you run into difficulty breastfeeding, certified Lactation Specialists are available upon request and can give you additional instruction and support.

As a Baby Friendly Hospital, we provide the care and support you need to get you and your baby off to the best start possible breastfeeding. Among our policies are that we:

  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants.
  • Give infants no food or drink other than breast-milk, unless medically indicated. 
  • Practice rooming in - allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand. 
  • Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants. 

We have many other Lactation Services available to new moms after leaving the hospital, through our Outpatient Lactation Services.

Expecting the Unexpected

You can rest assured that St. Francis is prepared to give the best care to you and your newborn. We have a Neonatal Care Unit that is fully equipped to offer care to babies with special needs at birth. 

Other Helpful Hints

  • To place a call to a number outside the hospital, dial 9, then the number.
  • Our Gift Shop carries door decorations to help you celebrate the birth of your infant. The Gift Shop is located on the first floor across from the cafeteria.
  • Vending machines are located on the fourth floor near the waiting area and on the first floor next to the cafeteria.
  • The cafeteria is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • St. Francis Eastside provides Dining On Call, a dining experience similar to hotel room service. Please call 4199 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. to place your order. Guest trays also are available for purchase. 


Official Documents

Birth Certificates and Social Security Information

St. Francis provides a keepsake birth certificate for all babies. This is not the official state birth certificate. In the hospital, you will be given paperwork to complete for the state birth certificate. You can complete this paperwork at home and mail it in, or you can apply for your baby's state birth certificate online at the SCDHEC website. We suggest that you order two short forms and two long forms for your baby.

If you apply for the birth certificate within one year of your baby's birth and there is an error on the birth certificate, we will make the correction for you at no cost. Call 864-675-4212 for assistance.

While in the hospital you also will be given paperwork to apply for your baby's Social Security Number. Your nurse will collect this paperwork before you are discharged and you will receive a Social Security card in the mail within several weeks. 

Insurance

There is a lot going on following the birth of your baby, but don't forget to add your baby to your health insurance policy. Most insurance companies require notification within 30 days of birth.

Paternity Documentation

If you are unmarried, the hospital will provide forms from the South Carolina Department of Social Services for you to establish paternity for your baby.



Baby's First Photo

St. Francis offers optional in-hospital photos of infants and their families in partnership with Bella Baby Photography. If you choose to have photographs taken, they will be posted on Bella Baby's password-protected website and can be shared with family and friends.These beautiful photos are special reminders of your first days together as a new family, and can be used for birth announcements and other gifts.

Bella Baby brings experienced freelance photographers into the hospitals to capture your baby's first photograph with a natural, artistic style. Bella Baby believes that babies look the most beautiful when being held in their parents' arms or cuddled in one of their own baby blankets. Bella Baby captures this beauty by using only "real things"....natural window light, real photographers and professional grade SLR digital cameras.

Because we are committed to providing a private, family-friendly environment for our new families, a photographer will not come to your room unless you request this service. If you are interested in having a Bella Baby photo session during your hospital stay, let your Mother Infant Unit nurse know and she will have a Bella Baby photographer meet with you.


 
Learn more about Bella Baby and see examples of photos >>

Already Had Pictures Taken? Log in here to see your photos (password required)



Visitors and Security

Security

At St. Francis, we take patient safety seriously, especially for our smallest patients. On the fourth floor of St. Francis Eastside, there are special security measures in place to make sure that your baby is safe and secure.

First, only staff with pink identification badges are permitted to leave the mother's room with an infant. In addition, each infant is fitted with a small ankle bracelet after birth. This bracelet alerts the security system if it travels beyond designated areas on the floor, automatically closing doors to the floor and alerting staff. If your infant's bracelet needs to be adjusted, please let your nurse know. You will also notice that mom's hospital bracelet matches baby's, and that staff check often to make sure the two are perfectly matched.

The fourth floor is a closed unit, meaning that anyone seeking access to anywhere other than the floor lobby will use a call box to gain access to the hallways and patient rooms.

For safety reasons, we require patients to always use portable cradles to transport baby while in the hospital. Infants should not be carried in your arms in the hallways.

Visitor Information

You will no doubt be receiving a fair share of visitors eager to welcome your new baby. At St. Francis, visitors are welcome any time of the day or night.  However, visitors arriving after 9 p.m. must sign in with Security. See more Visitor Information >>

  • Visitors should use the visitor elevators located next to Security at Entrance C to get to the fourth floor. Once in the fourth floor lobby, call boxes located next to each door can be used to request access to the patient rooms. Signage next to the boxes will instruct your visitors about how to use the call boxes.
  • Depending on your health status, visiting hours may be restricted or limited. Nursing or Security may limit the number of guests visiting a patient at any given time.
  • Children ages 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Children may not be left unattended on the Nursing floor, in waiting areas or in other locations like lobbies or the cafeteria.
  • You may have one visitor/family member stay with you overnight. The Mother & Infant Unit rooms have a reclining chair, and a pillow and linens are provided. 
  • For privacy and safety reasons, all visitors and family should remain either in your room or in designated waiting areas.
  • New moms need rest. If at any time you would like to restrict your visitors, please ask your nurse for a door sign indicating that mom and baby are sleeping.

For information about cafeteria hours, wireless access, and more, please view St. Francis Facilities Information >>



Going Home

Your doctor will let you know how long you will be staying in the hospital.  The day you are discharged, you will probably be discharged around 11 a.m. Prior to discharge, please:

  • Ensure your car seat is properly installed in the rear facing position
  • Turn in any paperwork to your nurse
  • Ask your doctor for any prescriptions you may need
  • Let your nurse know the name of your pediatrician

It is helpful to have your car loaded with your personal belongings prior to being discharged. Carts are available to assist with getting your belongings to your car, so let your nurse know if you would like to use one.

Once you have returned home, remember that you can call St. Francis Lactation Consultants if you have any questions about breastfeeding. For questions about your health, please call your OB/GYN's office, and for questions about your baby's health, please call your pediatrician.

Car Seats

South Carolina law requires all children under four years old to be in a child safety seat while in the car. This means your baby must ride in a child safety seat on the ride home from the hospital (and any time when riding in a motor vehicle). You should plan to purchase a seat that meets federal safety standards and have it installed a few weeks prior to your expected due date.