Preparing for Your Hospital Stay  

What to expect during labor and delivery

Blood work will be drawn. Blood pressure, pulse, breathing, oxygen levels and temperature will be checked often. Oxygen level will be checked if you have an epidural. You may receive medications for pain, to stimulate labor or antibiotics. An IV will be placed, and remain in until after you deliver. A monitor will be applied to check the baby and monitor your contractions. Some activity is encouraged to help labor progress, such as walking, side-to-side turning, squatting and knee-chest. Vaginal exams will be done to check labor progress. You may request epidural anesthesia. You may be given ice chips, sips of liquids or popsicles. Frequent urination is encouraged.

What to expect before your C-section

Blood work will be drawn. Blood pressure, pulse, breathing, oxygen levels and temperature will be checked often. You will be given medication. Your lower abdomen will be shaved and washed. An IV will be placed, and remain in for a minimum of 24 hours, potentially until you are discharged. A monitor will be applied to check the baby. A catheter will be placed to drain the bladder and will remain in place for 8-24 hours after delivery. You cannot have anything by mouth before your c-section.

What to expect after delivery
  • Blood pressure, pulse, breathing, vaginal bleeding and your uterus will be checked frequently for the first few hours, then once per shift.
  • Blood work will be drawn the morning after delivery.
  • Normal diet may be resumed after a vaginal delivery.
  • After a c-section, ice chips will be given followed by a gradual increase in diet.
  • You will be given help on your first trip to the bathroom.
  • You'll learn how to clean and care for your stitches. Ice packs, ointments or sprays may be used for stitches/hemorrhoids as needed.
  • Pain medication is available if needed.
  • For c-section deliveries, oxygen levels, incision and dressing will be monitored.
  • For c-section deliveries, you will be asked to cough and breathe deeply every two hours.
  • For c-section deliveries, you will have a compression device placed on your legs until you begin walking. Nurses will help you sit up on th side of the bed within 12 hours of delivery and will help you walk within 24 hours of delivery.
What to expect for your newborn
  • Kangaroo care is encouraged for at least an hour after delivery, or until baby has finished breastfeeding.
  • Identification bands and Hugs security bands will be applied shortly after delivery.
  • Baby's mouth and nose will be suctioned to remove mucous.
  • Medications will be given, including eye ointment, Vitamin K and Hepatitis B Vaccine).
  • Temperature, pulse and breathing will be checked frequently at first, then every shift.
  • Blood pressure and weight will be checked daily.
  • Cord care will be done every shift.
  • Circumcision and care of circumcision will be reviewed with parents who consent to having their newborn baby boy circumcised.
  • Blood work will be completed during baby's second night in the hospital.
  • Baby will receive a bath after 8 hours of age.
  • Hearing screening will be completed at or after 12 hours of age. Referrals will be made as appropriate.
  • Paternity Acknowledgement Form/Birth Certificate will be reviewed.
  • Car seat testing will be done for low birth weight or pre-term babies.
  • Most babies are required to stay in the hospital for a minimum of 48 hours before discharge.
What the hospital provides

During your stay at the hospital, the following will be provided for mom: Medications Pads Creams and lotions Ice packs Peri bottle Toiletries (if needed) Breast pump and supplies Lanolin ointment for breastfeeding During your stay at the hospital, the following will be provided for baby: Diapers Wipes Shampoo Lotion Diaper cream Onesies and sleep sacks

What to bring to the hospital

While the hospital will provide many of the items needed for postpartum and newborn care, you may want to bring personal items to help you feel more comfortable.

For mom:

  • Pajamas or comfortable clothing
  • Socks or slippers
  • Nursing bras/tanks
  • Toiletries Toothbrush and toothpaste

For baby:

  • Nursing pillow
  • Outfit for hospital photos
  • Going home outfit
  • Baby book
  • Car seat (already installed)


  • Phone Camera
  • Chargers

Postpartum Education

Pain Management

Pain management following childbirth includes topical creams or sprays, over-the-counter medications (like ibuprofen) and prescription medications. Your nurse will review all of your medications with you and explain how they work, how often you should take them and possible side effects. Other comfort measures for pain management include deep breathing and relaxation techniques, ice packs, warm pads and warm sitz baths.

Menstrual Cycle

On average, women's mentrual cycles return 7-9 weeks postpartum. Nursing mothers often get their first postpartum period by 12 weeks, but some do not resume menstruation until they finish breastfeeding. If you have concerns about your mentrual cycle, talk to your provider. 

Exercise & Nutrition

Discuss postpartum exercise with your provider to know when you can safely start exercising and what exercises are safe. Walking is often a great way to ease back into exercise.

Eat a variety of healthy foods to get all of the nutrients your body needs. Drink plenty of water. Don't skip meals or go for long periods without eating. 

Mood/Baby Blues

Many new moms doubt themsleves and their ability to be a good mom. These feelings often include tearfulness, irritation, anxiety, sensitivity, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping and feeling overwhelmed. The "baby blues" typically begin 3-4 days after giving birth and last up to a week. These feelings are usually short lived and do not require treatment. 

To help cope with postpartum blues, take time to learn about your baby. Rest as much as you can, limit visitors if needed, take help offered to you and talk about your feelings with your partner, a family member or a friend.

Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

When postpartum blues last more than two weeks, it may be postpartum depression or anxiety. Symptoms also include tearfulness, irritation, anxiety, sensitivity, exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping and feeling overwhelmed, but they are typically more severe than those experienced with baby blues. Postpartum depression and anxiety can appear any time in the first year of giving birth. 

There are several effective treatment options for postpartum depression and anxiety. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience these signs/symptoms:

  • Loss of identity
  • Loss of control
  • Feeling withdrawn, isolated or lonely
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling exhausted but being unable to sleep
  • Feelings of hopelessness, failure or guilt
  • Mood swings
  • Constant crying
  • Constant anxiety or doubt
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Lack of interest in yourself, your baby or others
  • Overly concerned about cleanliness/germs and the health and safety of your baby
  • The need to keep moving or pacing
  • Feeling the need to "jump out of your skin"
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating 
Warning Signs

Soreness and fatigue are common after giving birth. Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of these signs/symptoms: 

  • Bleeding that soaks a pad every hour for two hours
  • Bad smell coming from your vagina
  • Fever of 100.4 degrees or higher
  • Swelling, redness, discharge or bleeding from your c-section incision or episiotomy site
  • Problems with urination
  • No bowel movement after 4 days of giving birth
  • Visual changes/disturbances 
  • Severe headaches
  • Excessive swelling
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Pain or redness in breasts
  • Pain, warmth, tenderness or swelling of the legs
  • Frequent nausea/vomiting
  • Signs of depression/anxiety 

If you have any of the following, you should call 911:

  • Bleeding that is not controlled 
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sudden onset of arm/leg weakness
  • Sudden facial drooping
  • Slurred speech, difficulty speaking or inability to speak
  • Chills, clammy skin, dizziness, fainting and racing heart beat
  • Dramatic emotional changes like insomnia, severe agitation or confusion 

Newborn Education

Newborn screenings
Bathing baby
Safe sleep
Car seat safety

Local Resources

Mercer County Health District Car Seat Safety Program

Visitor Information

Childbirth Center visiting hours are 9:00 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Visiting hours at Mercer County Community Hospital are flexible, depending on the patient’s condition and need for privacy and rest.

Visiting hours may be limited or visitors may be asked to leave the room for any of the following reasons:

  • The patient is about to undergo a procedure
  • The patient needs to recover following surgery
  • If the visitor is being disruptive to the patient, staff or other patients

Contact Us

Mercer Health's Childbith Center is located on the second floor of the east wing of Mercer County Community Hospital. 

800 West Main Street
Coldwater, OH 45828
Phone: 419-678-5670
Hearing Impaired: 419-678-5677

For more information about the Childbirth Center including OB/GYN offices, childbirth classes and more, call 419-678-5670.

To contact the lactation consultant, call 419-678-5162.