Delivery Room Rules: Labor and delivery can be a confusing place and you might not be sure quite how to act. Today we’re going to go over some simple delivery room rules that will help you be more comfortable!
BTW, if you’re looking to simplify the labor room process I have hosted thousands of couples in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. Experience, simplicity, and all on your own schedule. It honestly gets NO better, and I 100% think moms need a prenatal class before delivery!
I also love this podcast I did with Mandy, The Birth Nurse about labor room myths:
Delivery Room Etiquette
Who can be in the delivery room?
In most cases — as long as the number isn’t extreme, it’s up to the couple.
And, ultimately it’s up to the patient. But I do recommend talking about it ahead of time, and I have a whole in-depth post about who should be in the delivery room.
Cliff Notes: I don’t recommend any more than five people. If, at any point, the medical staff feels like the room is unsafe and they don’t have enough room to work, they will ask people to leave.
Couples should discuss who should be in the room well in advance of their due date. It’s one of the questions we dive in-depth into in the Online Prenatal Class for Couples.
Nurses can be used to ask people to leave so as to not hurt their feelings. We are used to being the bad guy. 🙂
Also, if you are planning on bringing kids into the room, check with staff and be aware you will want a 2nd adult in there to be with them in case of emergency (I would also REALLY check out this post either way — it has a ton of great info!)
Who has the right to be in the delivery room?
Some people wonder this, and in reality — the only person who has a right is the patient.
As a medical staff, we can ask anyone else to leave who is being inappropriate or unsafe.
Moms can also ask anyone else in the room to leave and we can have security come get them.
Some dads feel that they have a right to be there, but they don’t. Just the mom. That’s the way medical privacy goes. Google HIPAA if you need to go to sleep some night. 🙂
When can you take pictures in the delivery room?
In general, you can take still photos at any time.
However, at any point we may ask you to put your camera down. We’ll talk a bit more about this in a few minutes.
I am always happy to take pictures of families in the delivery room, so don’t be afraid to ask.
One of the best places for pictures at birth is by the mom’s shoulder. You won’t get much “baby exit area” and the light on the baby just looks so cool.
The main thing to be cognizant of is not being in our space, but we are usually not shy to tell someone to move. 🙂
When can you take video in the delivery room?
Video is a bit more tricky. Obviously, during the many hours you’ll wait in L&D video is fine. However, once we start to push, and most especially as the baby is crowning, we ask that no video is taken during that time. Once baby is out and on mom’s chest, PLEASE pull out the camera, those are moments you won’t want to forget!
Ask the staff before you take their picture/video them in the labor room.
You are working with professionals, and it is a common courtesy to ask people before you video them, if it’s alright.
Why we might ask you to stop videoing in the delivery room
Maybe we feel uncomfortable in the way you’re filming us, that’s our right to ask you to stop.
Filming may make us nervous. Imagine doing one of the hardest parts of your job with someone watching and filming you. When we’re working to save your baby, that’s probably not a time to film us, because you want 100% of our attention on your baby, vs on why the HECK you are filming us!
Litigation: Yup, like a lot of what we do in labor and delivery, litigation is something we are all very afraid of. Doctors and medical staff don’t want video in the courtroom. It’s just that simple.
Sidenote: We had a patient do a facebook live of his wife’s birth a while ago. Please, please, please don’t take live video without getting the consent of everyone in the room. It was a big “thing” and honestly, not cool from the nurse perspective. We are putting ourselves out there for your baby mamma, please be respectful of us and our talents.
Pro Tip on Video: Just quickly ask if it’s OK if you video. Most often it will be fine. 🙂
Don’t touch things in the delivery room
There are a few things in your L&D room that you should stay hands-off of.
Baby Equipment in the Labor Room
There are a lot of knobs and switches involved in this and it’s all calibrated to be safest for your baby. Don’t touch it.
Plus, it’s all kept clean for just your baby, so I would recommend staying away from it.
IV pumps in the Labor Room
Do not, and I repeat DO NOT touch these. While they are pretty fail-safe anymore, I have had husbands do bad things with them.
It’s my job, not yours. Stay away. Same goes for the epidural pump.
Also, I have a whole post about IV’s in labor.
Computer equipment in the Labor Room
My computer is mine, and not for your use or perusal. I don’t let family on our computer at all. If you need something googled, I will do it for you (or feel free to sign onto our wifi and do it yourself).
Delivery equipment in the labor room
When we get close to delivery time, we will wheel in some equipment the doctor will use at delivery. These items are sterile, don’t touch them. If they’re covered with a drape, leave them that way.
Drawers and Cabinets in the Labor Room
Please don’t paw through our drawers, and while you think it might go without saying — please don’t take stuff from there. We need it for your family member….
Otherwise, you’re welcome to use your call light, the bed controls any closet that the staff said is for you to use, etc.
If there’s a question, just ask!
Who can use the bathroom in the delivery room
This somewhat varies between hospitals and nurses, but I am fine to have the husband use the restroom in the room if he/his partner are OK with it.
If there is a “hat” collecting urine in the toilet, he should remove it before he does his business. We are usually counting the urine you’re giving us and we don’t need to count his as well.
I have had dad’s shower — and that’s fine, please just LET US KNOW. I’d prefer less awkward moments in my life. 🙂
What should you bring into the delivery room?
I have a whole post on what to put in your delivery bag. In general I recommend a few different bags (and I have posts on each one of them)
- Labor bag — this one often doesn’t have much in it — which is good because labor rooms get crowded. I recommend leaving the baby and postpartum bag in the car.
- Dad Bag — bring this one into L&D as that will be the longest time you’re stuck in the hospital.
- Baby Bag — this is basically just a diaper bag with an outfit in it to take them home.
- Postpartum Bag — this is all the goodies you’ll want for when you’re living in the hospital after baby. Toiletries, any post-baby clothes, etc.
In general. Less is more in the L&D room — but you will not want to miss what I share about what to bring in the room, I even have a printable list. 🙂
Other Delivery Room Faq’s
Some hospitals (usually older ones) have a “labor” room and then they wheel you to a delivery room to have the baby.
Some hospitals also have you labor, deliver, and recover all in the same room (those are called LDRP — Labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum).
There are a lot of different things in L&D — and that would be a LONG post of it’s own. I go over all the main things in this class.
Check out my post on at what point you go to labor and delivery instead of the ER.
I hope this post helped give you some ideas of what to expect in labor and delivery. I really am serious that people would have SUCH a better experience if they just took a birthing class. Fun fact: People who take a quality prenatal class are 10% less likely to have a cesarean section. So, join me in The Online Prenatal Class for Couples!
Or, if you’re not quite ready for the full class, check out my free prenatal class — It’s your first step towards being your own birth boss.