Maine Medical Center
Woman with newborn baby

Labor & Delivery

At the Family Birth Center, we want you to be prepared as possible. Here is some valuable information to help you understand what will happen when you first arrive. Once you are here, your one on one nurse care in our labor and delivery unit will be there to provide information and support.

When you arrive at the hospital you must first check in at the Coulombe Family Tower security desk.

  • Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, you will first go to Obstetrical Emergency (on the second floor) where the nurses and doctors will confirm your stage of labor. This usually takes 1-2 hours.
  • If you are in active labor, you will be brought to the Labor & Delivery Unit where you will stay throughout your labor and the birth of your baby.
  • If you are not in labor, but you or your baby need to be monitored, you will be brought to the Prenatal Care Center.
  • If you are scheduled for an induction, you will go directly to the Labor & Delivery Unit.
  • If you are scheduled for a cesarean birth, you will go to Obstetrical Emergency first where you will be cared for before the surgery. You will also stay there with your baby for 2-3 hours after the birth. The birth will happen in the Surgical Suites next to Triage.

Most women in labor have choices about what they want their birth experience to be. At the Family Birth Center, the patient’s safety and desires come first. Whether it is a natural child birth with little to no medical intervention, or one with medication to help ease pain, our nurses and doctors work with each patient individually to help them achieve their goals.   

Before you come to the hospital, be sure you understand the birth process and your options. Talk to your obstetrical provider about what happens during labor and what your options are for managing pain, should you want it. It is important to discuss your wishes with your provider during your prenatal visits. When you come to the hospital, make your plan known to the staff upon arrival.

We offer many options for women in labor without medication. You can change your plan depending on your stage of labor. We support various natural measures including:

  • Walking
  • Birthing tubs
  • Massage
  • Position changes
  • Birth balls
  • Hypnotherapy
  • General distraction

Ask your nurse or doctor for the “Comfort Measures in Labor” handout to learn more about tools you can use. You can learn about comfort measures in our childbirth education classes, too.

Should you choose medication for relief during labor, it’s best to know your options before making a decision. There are benefits and risks of using medications. Your care team is here to answer your questions.

There are three types of pain medication available during labor & delivery:

  • Nitrous Oxide Inhaled gas that is self-administered after education provided by anesthesiologist and/or nurse.
  • Medication given by your nurse through your IV or an injection.
  • Epidural pain medicine given through a thin tube in your lower back by an anesthesiologist.
  • Keep in mind that while it is not possible to relieve all the discomfort of labor, we are here to support you, and make sure you have the experience you desire with the comfort measure plan you have developed. 

No matter what type of comfort measures options you choose, we recommend you communicate with your care team here in the hospital every step of the way.

Click here to learn more about labor and delivery pain relief options or, learn more about Obstetric Anesthesiology.

  • After your baby is born, you will recover in the Labor & Delivery/Obstetrical Emergency area for 2-3 hours. Then we will bring you to a private room on the Mother Baby Care Unit.
  • You will typically stay on the Mother Baby Care Unit for 1-2 nights if you have a vaginal birth or 2-3 nights if you have a cesarean birth.
  • Your baby will stay in your room with you on the Mother Baby Care Unit where your nurse will care for you and your baby.
  • If your baby needs special medical care or to be watched more closely he or she will be moved to the Newborn Observation and Procedure Area (NOPA) or the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
  • You are welcome to have visitors at any time during your stay. Patients are welcome to have up to 4 visitors in their room at a time, although we encourage you to limit your visitors so that you can focus on getting your rest and learning how to feed and care for your baby. We also encourage you to bring your own doula. 
  • During our Quiet Hours of 8 PM – 6 AM we ask that all visitors are quiet in the rooms and hallways to allow all of our patients to rest.
  • Additional information for visitors.

We encourage you to take any of our Childbirth Education classes to learn more about labor and birth, caring for and feeding a new baby, and more. Call (207) 662-6132 for more information. We are here to help make the birth of your baby a safe and comfortable experience. Please let your nurse or doctor know if you have any questions.

Low Intervention Birth at MMC

Whether it be a natural child birth with little medical intervention, or one with medication to help ease pain, our nurses and doctors work with each patient individually to help them achieve their goals.