Getting Ready To Go To The Hospital
If you haven't created a birth plan detailing your preferences, you can use our birth plan template. A birth plan is just what it sounds like — a list of your choices and wishes for during and after childbirth. You’ll consider whether you'd like pain medication, how you plan to feed your baby, who should be in the room with you and other preferences.
Suggested Packing List
A few weeks before your due date, pack a suitcase with a few items to make your hospital stay more comfortable.
Here's a checklist.
- A favorite pillow and blanket for you and your partner
- An eye mask for sleeping
- A robe that is easy to take on and off
- A nursing bra with pads
- Underwear and socks
- A refillable water bottle with straw for you and your partner
- Personal care items, including toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush, hair ties, moisturizer, deodorant and lip balm
- A comfortable going-home outfit to wear when you leave the hospital – front-opening shirts help with breastfeeding
- Electronics, such as phone, tablet, laptop, charger and headphones
- Nonperishable snacks for you and your partner, if you have favorites you’d like to have on hand
- Change of clothes and toiletries for your partner
- Books, magazines or downloaded movies for your partner
- Identification and insurance cards
Note: The hospital provides feminine care products, gowns that support breastfeeding, diapers, baby care products and breast pumps, as well as T-shirts and blankets for baby.
For Baby's Trip Home
Be sure to pack a few items for the ride home from the hospital, including:
- A new infant car seat (required by California law)
- A baby blanket for going home
- A going-home outfit for baby
Q: Am I at a higher risk from COVID-19 because of my pregnancy?
A: Pregnant women are at higher risk than nonpregnant women for severe illness caused by COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Reducing your risk of exposure can help protect you and your baby.
Q: How do I protect myself and my unborn baby from COVID-19?
A: Please visit the CDC website for recommendations on how to protect yourself.
Q: Is it safe to attend my obstetrics appointments?
A: To ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery, it is very important to continue attending your obstetrics appointments. Please remember to wear a mask for your visits and wash/sanitize your hands.
For further concerns and questions related to visits, please reach out to your obstetrics provider.
Q: How can I access tours and classes during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: We recognize the importance of classes, tours and education to our patients, especially during this time. We are offering live classes via Zoom including Childbirth Express, Baby Care, Infant Safety and Breastfeeding Basics. Virtual tours of our birth centers are also available.
Please note that for the safety of all our patients, we are not offering in-person tours.
Q: Is it safe to deliver a baby the hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Our hospitals are the safest place to have your baby. We have all the medical services to support you and your baby's needs, including highly trained staff and infectious disease experts.
We take all reasonable precautions to ensure every mom and baby can have a safe and high-quality delivery.
Both of our campuses have health screeners stationed at all entrances who ensure everyone who enters receives a mask. All healthcare providers undergo health screening each day. Our Mountain View campus has a separate Women’s Hospital and parking garage. Our Los Gatos campus has a separate, secure wing dedicated to mother-baby health.
Q: Who can be with me during labor and delivery?
A: We understand this is a special time for you and your family. For the safety of our patients and staff, we must limit visitors to two support persons at a time while you are in the hospital.
- Please ensure your birth partner/support person is a healthy adult.
- Your birth partner/support person will wear a hospital-provided mask at all times in the hospital, regardless of vaccination status, and should limit the number of times they leave the room. Food may be ordered from the room, or from local food delivery services.
- All visitors will be screened and must follow CDPH entry requirements:
- CDPH Entry Requirements:
- Provide ID and proof of a COVID-19 vaccination series completed at least two weeks ago OR proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours. Home tests are not allowed.
- Must be 16+ years old.
- CDPH Entry Requirements:
- Exception per CDPH:
- For emergent situations ONLY, including active labor and delivery and emergent care of a newborn, support persons have a one-time exemption from meeting the above requirements. Support persons must comply with above requirements after birth and stabilization of the newborn to remain in the hospital, per CDPH requirements.
Effective August 23, 2021 for partners of OB patients who do not meet vaccination or testing requirements:
- Once the mother/baby is stable and before being transferred to the Mother-Baby Unit, partners of OB patients who do not meet vaccination or testing requirements will kindly be asked to leave to obtain a COVID-19 test. In order to return to the hospital, the partner must present a negative test result and must continue to present a negative result every 72 hours.
- After a baby admitted to our NICU is stabilized (per Neonatologist assessment), the parent who does not meet vaccination or testing requirements will kindly be asked to return with a negative COVID-19 test result and must continue to present a negative result every 72 hours.
To ensure the safety of patients, visitors, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, all Doulas will follow the guidelines below that reflect many of the same requirements of our staff and visitors. Effective September 30, 2021, all Doulas will be required to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination series completed at least two weeks ago in order to enter Labor and Delivery.
- Not attend labor and delivery of patients who are COVID-19 positive.
- Be fully vaccinated (2 weeks since final dose) or have a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours.
- Bring vaccination card and/or documentation of a negative test within the last 72 hours to the hospital. We will record your information in a log as required by the county.
- Be screened at hospital entry for risk factors and symptoms of COVID-19. To enter the hospital, all visitors and staff must be asymptomatic and have not been exposed to any persons in the last 14 days who have had a positive COVID-19 test result.
- Wear appropriate PPE per hospital guidelines.
- Follow guidelines for attending a patient on labor and delivery:
- Shelter in place within the patient room/unit and minimize leaving and returning as much as possible.
- One person can accompany the patient walking in the hall during labor.
Q: Will I need to be COVID-19 tested prior to my C-section delivery or natural birth delivery?
A: If you are scheduled for a C-section delivery, you will be contacted by an El Camino Health scheduler to schedule a COVID-19 test three days prior to your procedure. This also applies if you have already been vaccinated.
If you are not scheduled for a C-section delivery, you will be contacted by our scheduler to schedule a COVID-19 test at 38 weeks gestational age, even if you are vaccinated. If you are admitted in labor more than two weeks beyond your 38 week test, you will receive a rapid test from us upon admission.
Click here for information on COVID-19 testing resources in Santa Clara County. We appreciate your understanding and help in ensuring our patients, staff and visitors are safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Q: Will I be able to have lactation support?
A: Our experienced nurses and lactation consultants continue to be available to support your breastfeeding needs.
Q: Are there changes to how labor is managed due to COVID-19?
A: Pain medications and epidurals continue to be readily available as well as nitrous oxide. Also, walking during labor is limited to one patient/partner at a time in the hall. Both you and your partner/support person will need to wear a mask. Your delivery team will wear gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection to protect all present.
Q: What if I test positive for COVID-19?
A: Our Mother-Baby services are ready to support you and your baby. We have specially prepared isolation rooms and services to provide excellent care to moms with respiratory symptoms. Make sure you notify your obstetrics provider as soon as you test positive for COVID-19 to ensure you get the right monitoring and care.
Q: I have COVID-19 and am near my due date. What should I do when I arrive at the hospital?
A: When you arrive at the hospital to have your baby, please call Labor & Delivery from your car.
You'll be given a hospital mask and admitted to a prepared isolation room. Staff and providers will wear gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection when providing your care. You’ll be asked to wear a mask when staff or your support person are present.
You may have one support person during your hospital stay. Your support person should be healthy with no active COVID-19 infection, wear a mask and stay in your room during your hospital stay.
Q: Will I be able to stay in the same room as my baby if I have COVID-19?
A: It is uncommon for newborn babies born to COVID-19 positive mothers to become infected. The risk of a newborn becoming infected is low if a mother takes preventative steps including wearing a mask and washing her hands regularly. Because of this, and a very low risk of severe illness in newborns, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends mother and baby room-in together.
Our provider and staff team will work with the mother and support person to determine how to provide a safe environment for newborn care within the mother's room. If either mother or baby requires a higher level of care, they would be temporarily separated.
Q: Can I breastfeed my baby if I have tested positive for COVID-19?
A: Our experienced nurses have advanced training to support all your lactation needs. COVID-19 does not appear to transfer to the baby through breastmilk. The decision to breastfeed when you test positive for COVID-19 is a personal decision. You and your family will have to weigh the benefits of breastfeeding versus the risk of transmitting COVID-19 to your newborn. If a mother prefers to breastfeed, we will assist her with proper masking and hand washing. We encourage discussing this decision with your pediatrician.
For additional information please visit the CDC website.
Q: Will my baby be tested for COVID-19 if I have a positive COVID-19 test?
A: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies born to COVID-19 positive mothers are tested 24 hours after birth, followed by another test at 48 hours (if your baby is still at the hospital). Your pediatrician will guide your baby's care.