During pregnancy

The more you can do before the baby comes, the better. At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we support you throughout your entire pregnancy. Read on to learn about all the things you need to know when you’re pregnant.

Choose your doctor

Now that you are expecting, it’s time to choose your obstetrician-gynecologist, midwife and/or doula if you haven’t already done so. You may decide to interview a few doctors to select one that best meets your needs.

  • An obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) is a physician who both delivers babies (obstetrician) and treats diseases of the female reproductive system (gynecologist).
  • A midwife is a certified medical professional with expertise and skills in supporting women during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum, as well as providing family planning, prenatal and infant care and women’s healthcare.

Find an OB-GYN or midwife.

Choose a doctor for your baby

It’s important to choose a pediatrician or family practitioner for your baby before your little one arrives. This is because your baby’s doctor (or partner or hospitalist) will come to the hospital once your baby is born, and you’ll take your baby to see the doctor within the first few days of life.

Here are some things to consider when choosing a doctor for your baby:

  • The physician’s location and office hours (is it close to home?)
  • If the physician is board-certified, which means he or she has passed a rigorous exam given by the American Board of Pediatrics or American Board of Family Physicians
  • Whether or not the physician accepts your insurance plan or, if you’re paying privately, what fees you can expect
  • The physician’s philosophy of care
  • Whether same day appointments are offered for sick infants and children
  • Whether coverage is provided when the doctor is not available
  • If there is an open advice line or dedicated line for parental questions
  • If this doctor accepts phone calls in the middle of the night if you’re concerned about your child’s health
  • If you feel comfortable with his or her style and the staff in the office

Find a pediatrician or family practitioner for your baby.

Stay healthy during pregnancy

There are things you can do to stay healthy during your pregnancy.

  • Get regular prenatal checkups.
  • Eat a well-balanced nutritious diet. Eat 5-6 six small, well-balanced meals and drink 8-10 glasses of water each day.
  • Take your daily prenatal vitamin as directed by your OB/GYN or midwife.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep.
  • Remember to exercise, such as walking 15-20 minutes a day, which is great for your overall health and helps reduce stress.
  • Take care of your feet. Wear comfortable shoes, and put your feet up throughout the day to help reduce swelling.
  • Always wear your seatbelt. Position the shoulder portion over your collarbone and the lap portion under your abdomen.
  • Contact your OB/GYN or midwife before you take any over-the-counter medications.

Monitor your emotional well-being

Becoming a parent is life-changing. Sometimes the anticipation of this change can become overwhelming and lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. These feelings can occur before your baby is born as well as after — and may lead to postpartum depression. Discuss your concerns with your doctor. Our Nurturing Mom group can help as well.

Develop a birthing plan

At Edward-Elmhurst, we care for you, respect you and honor your birthing choices. We encourage you to share your expectations with us, and we’ll do everything we can to meet them. You may decide to develop your own birthing plan.

Birth plans give you and your partner, along with your doctor, the chance to discuss all the aspects of your ideal birthing experience. Your birthing plan can include anything from who you want with you in the delivery room, to the type of music you want playing, if any. It also reveals your thoughts on different birthing experiences:

  • Natural childbirth – The nurses in our Family Birthing Center specialize in providing labor support for women who choose to deliver their babies naturally, with little or no medication or medical intervention.
  • Enhanced birthing - If you’d like to bring special music or movies to enhance your birthing experience, just let us know. After the delivery, we can provide alternative comfort measures for relief and relaxation.
  • Epidural - You have the option to choose from many forms of pain relief during the birthing process, including receiving an epidural or alternative comfort measures, to make you as comfortable as possible.
  • C-section - Should you and your physician decide on a c-section, we offer fully equipped Cesarean birthing suites to ensure a smooth procedure and optimal recovery for you and your baby.

OB triage for the unexpected

There’s always someone here to help you at Edward-Elmhurst. An obstetrician is available 24/7 to treat you in our designated triage area in case you think you’ve gone into labor or if any emergencies arise during your pregnancy, such as a car accident or a fall, and if your own physician isn’t immediately available. A designated anesthesiologist is also available 24/7. Our triage nursing staff members maintain advanced skill levels so you and your baby receive expert, quality obstetrics care.

Prepare for the big day

You'll be less anxious when the big day arrives if you prepare ahead of time and learn how to recognize when you're in labor, what to expect when you come to the hospital, and what to bring for you and your newborn.

Here are some steps to get started:

Learn what happens during labor and birth

Prenatal and postnatal classes

When you’re expecting, it’s easy to feel scared by the unknown. We offer a variety of classes to help calm your worries, answer your questions, and better prepare you and your family for what’s ahead.

  • Steps to a healthier pregnancy, including nutrition and exercise, common discomforts, and potential hazards and warning signs. Recommended for early in your pregnancy. Sign up for a prenatal class.
  • Childbirth classes, including signs of labor, breathing and relaxation techniques, what to expect during labor and delivery, epidurals and pain medications, vaginal and C-section births, multiples, postpartum issues, and much more. Recommended for early in your third trimester. Sign up for a childbirth class.
  • Breastfeeding classes, including the benefits of breastfeeding, how breastfeeding works, latch-on and positioning, when to feed your baby, breast care and breastfeeding lifestyle. Learn more about our breastfeeding services.
  • Parenting and infant care classes, including information and tips for caring for your newborn, daddy boot camp, siblings, grandparenting, and infant and child safety, including CPR. Sign up for a parenting or infant care class.
  • Pre/postnatal exercise classes, including water and land classes, yoga and stroller walks. Sign up for an exercise class.
  • Postpartum support groups, including support for parents of multiples, breastfeeding support, and support for new moms with emotional distress. Find a support group.

Learn more about classes at Edward-Elmhurst

Online childbirth education program

If you don’t have time for a conventional childbirth class, look no further. Elmhurst Hospital is pleased to be one of the first hospitals in Illinois to offer an eLearning Childbirth Education program, a convenient alternative for parents-to-be who cannot attend a regular class due to bed rest, scheduling conflicts or time constraints. This Web-based program guides you through the basics of childbirth, breastfeeding and caring for your baby—all at your own pace and from the comfort of home.

Register for the eLearning program (Elmhurst)

Login to the eLearning site (Elmhurst)