Are you planning to deliver your baby at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children? Thinking about it? Well, I have just the “tour” for you! This will give you a taste for what to expect if you plan to labor and deliver here.
Nearly five years ago, I gave birth to my son, Jackson. His great-great-great-great-grandfather was one of the founders of the hospital more than 100 years ago… gives me chicken skin to think about it! What a full circle moment for Jackson to now tour the hospital where he was born. Come along with me on this journey!
PRE-REGISTRATION & ADMISSIONS
You should definitely pre-register at the hospital well in advance of your due date. There’s nothing worse than filling out paperwork while in active labor. Trust me… speaking from personal experience here. Keep in mind – if you leave the hospital to go home and labor on your own for a while, when you return you will have to go through checking in all over again… even if it’s for outpatient services. I learned the hard way.
You can get your pre-registration paperwork several different ways:
(1) In Person / By Phone: Just stop by admissions on the 1st floor (We swung by after one of our maternity classes at the hospital). If you need assistance filling out the forms or want to register by phone, here is the number to admissions: 808-983-8260.
(2) By Mail: You can get your “Baby Kit” in the mail by filling out this short form HERE. It includes lots of helpful information, phone numbers, a $30 gift certificate, a pre-registration form & envelope.
(3) Online: Click HERE and complete the pre-registration form.
Keep in mind, if you mail it in or complete the online form, you still have to go by the hospital to sign the consent forms before your delivery date. When you’re headed to the hospital, don’t forget to bring your ID and medical insurance card!
Parking in the new parking garage off of Bingham Street (right past the valet area) is FREE for the support person during mama & baby’s hospital stay. Other visitors will pay $5 to park. The garage is open 24 hours/7 days a week.
At the front entrance off of Bingham Street, valet parking is available for $5. The hours are 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. This is also the patient drop-off zone and this area can accommodate handicap vehicles during valet hours as well.
As you leave the hospital, make sure to get your free parking pass at Admissions before heading to your car. You will need the original parking ticket along with your parking pass as you exit the parking garage.
WHERE DO I GO?
It’s actually pretty simple! If you need assistance, go directly to the Emergency Department entrance off of Punahou Street and Kapiolani staff will lead you to the Family Birth Center. If you do not need extra assistance, enter through the lobby or 3rd floor parking garage and check-in with security. Your support person will get a visitor ID. If you are pre-registered, you can go straight to the 3rd floor, press the intercom and you will get buzzed in. Then, check-in at the desk in the waiting area. If you are NOT pre-registered, you will have to go to Admissions on the first floor before heading up to the third floor.
FAMILY BIRTH CENTER ROOMS – LABOR & DELIVERY
There are 6 triage beds where Kapiolani doctors and nurses can assess and evaluate how your labor is progressing. There are 26 labor/delivery/recovery rooms and they are PRIVATE. Two of those rooms are able to accommodate special needs patients. In each of these rooms, there is a bathroom and shower for mom and her support team. There are also 3 large cesarean delivery rooms and a transitional newborn nursery on the third floor.
Labor/delivery/recovery rooms are separate from the mother/baby postpartum rooms that you will be transferred to in the “Mother Baby Care Unit.”
There are no visitor hour restrictions during labor & delivery. You are allowed FIVE visitors during this time (including Doulas). If you want sibling children to be present, this is allowed. However, any child under the age of 12 must be supervised by an adult other than the patient. Any additional visitors can wait in the cafeteria (closed from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m.) or the main lobby (open 24/7) to await baby’s arrival. If you need a C-section, only ONE support person will be allowed to enter the operating room. All visitors must check in with security.
EPIDURAL VS. IV DRUGS VS. NATURAL LABOR & OTHER LABOR INFO
The hospital will be monitoring baby’s heart beat and your contractions with their high tech machines. When you are all set up in your labor and delivery room you can walk around the hospital as long as you don’t have an epidural or any other special circumstances. Once the needle is inserted, you are on bedrest until baby is delivered. Keep in mind, if you DO want an epidural there are only two anesthesiologists on staff at any given time – one who is present and one that is on-call. They could be in a C-section or busy with someone else so you may have to wait to get the epidural. When I gave birth to Jackson, I asked for it right away so that at least I had the option if the pain got out of control for me. It did, and I was VERY thankful that I asked when I did because one became available about 45 minutes after I requested it. Also… I don’t have experience with this, but my mommy / news lady friend Brianne Randle does… they have lots of options for natural birthing as well. Bri posted on my Instagram, “That’s where I delivered & they have great birthing tools if you want to do a natural birth!!! Birthing ball, squat bar, wireless monitors, etc…”
If you choose to have the IV drugs. These drugs actually go into your baby’s system so once the baby is born they may have to inject baby with medication that reverses the effects of the IV drugs. This is dependent on the timing of the IV drugs and how close they were injected before delivery.
After delivery, you will spend about 90 min bonding, recovering and breastfeeding baby while your nurse monitors your bleeding and blood pressure.
Kapi’olani is a breastfeeding advocate hospital and believes in skin-to-skin. They do not give baby formula (unless necessary and with your consent) and have 9 lactation consultants on staff to help you with breastfeeding. All the nurses are also trained.
YOUR NEW BABY!
Once your baby is born, two ID bands – that match mommy and partner – will be placed on baby. One on the wrist and one on the ankle. Do NOT remove the band until baby goes home! In addition to the ID bands, there will be a security device on baby’s ankle. If the baby is taken outside the security doors an alarm will be activated and personnel will be sent to investigate. There is a plan in place to protect your child in such a situation and there are policies where they may even go into physical lock down and guard exits until the threat is neutralized.
Your bracelet allows you (and your support person) to see baby in the nursery if baby cannot room with you due to illness or stays in the hospital longer than you. Bands are not changed, so pick your support person well!
Ninety minutes after delivery, you will be transferred to your postpartum room on the 4th floor in the Mother Baby Care Unit. Baby will get their initial exam and a bath right there in your postpartum room. If your baby needs additional monitoring – or if you request it – baby may get this done in the nursery as well. If you wish to have circumcision or immunizations done, they will also be done in the nursery. Neither of those procedures are done without your prior consent. Sometime during the shift, baby will also be taken to the nursery to be weighed.
If your support person is rooming in with you and baby, they are not allowed to sleep in the hospital bed with mom. There is a recliner chair in each private room for your support person.
Kapiolani is committed to support you in your breastfeeding efforts. R.N.’s in the Mother Baby Care Unit and Family BirthCenter are trained to assist you with breastfeeding. In addition to that, there are lactation consultants on staff. Hawaii Mother’s Milk, Inc. is actually located on the 3rd floor of the Diamond Head Tower and you can get more information from them and even rent a breast pump. Here is their phone number: 808-763-2768. If you want to bring your own breast pump you are welcome to.
Visiting hours are from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. daily for the general public. Guests will need to know your name to check in at security and will be given a paper bracelet which they must keep on for the length of their visit – this is what allows you entry into the maternity unit. The OB unit is secured so you will have to push the intercom button and wait for staff to respond. Your support person can room-in with you the entire time.
Before labor & delivery, admitted but not yet ready to deliver
You can have up to FIVE visitors in your room at any time during visiting hours. After 8:30 p.m. only one adult can stay overnight.
Patients in labor
See FAMILY BIRTH CENTER ROOMS above.
Postpartum & recovery
Same instructions as for “before labor & delivery” but your room will be on the 4th floor, instead of the 3rd floor.
Cell phone use is allowed in the hospital. If you are using a cell phone for video, please make sure to get consent from the provider before filming them.
Kapi’olani asks that you have your devices fully charged when you arrive at the hospital. Outlets may be made available, but the priority is of course for use with medical equipment.
While you are in labor, you will stick to clear liquids and jello. After delivery, it’s fair game! You are welcome to bring whatever food / drink you want into the hospital. Patient meals are delivered at 7:15 a.m. for breakfast, 11:15 a.m. for lunch and 5:15 p.m. for dinner. Your support person / partner can share this with you (this is what we did) but the meal is really only meant for one person. You may want to bring food for your partner or have friends deliver food at meal times for them. Of course the cafeteria is also available.
Kapiolani also provides a “celebration dinner” for you and your support person the eve of your discharge. Couples have their choice of Salmon Provencal, Bacon-wrapped Petit Filet Mignon and Chicken Kiev.
The Cafeteria is open from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. with hot meals being served from 6 – 9 a.m. for breakfast, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 4:15 p.m. to 3 a.m. for dinner. It is located on the second floor, take-out is available and delivery to your room is available for a $2 delivery charge.
A photographer will come to your room to take baby’s first photos at your bedside. Bella Baby photography is the company. You will never be pressured to take photos if you don’t want to. The nurses ask patients if they are interested first and the Bella Baby photographer is only allowed to enter after they get the “ok” from you. Details on rates and packages will be given to you at the time of the photo session. If I get more info, I’ll add it here in the next few days.
WHAT TO PACK
Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children also provides some goodies for you including: diapers, wipes, a baby comb, vaseline, baby shampoo/body wash, a Hawaii Pacific Health canvas bag & water bottle, stretchy underwear for mom along with ice packs, adult diapers, maxi pads, bed pads and an irrigation bottle.
One thing to keep in mind, Kapiolani Hospital has FREE WIFI, however if you bring a laptop computer it needs to be battery operated.
Financial Counselors are available to help you figure out what your insurance will / will not cover, what your benefits are and can assist with QUEST applications. They can also estimate your hospital costs and co-payments. Kapiolani accepts MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, cash and personal checks. To visit the Financial Services Department, go to the first floor in the Main Lobby. They are open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. You can also call them at 808-983-8538.
BEFORE YOU LEAVE
Send gifts home with your friends/family prior to discharge to make it easier to move out.
A representative from the Medical Records Department will provide your birth certificate paperwork. You can take it home or if you complete the forms at the hospital, the clerk can file it for you. Click HERE for information on how to order extra copies of your baby’s birth certificate – easier than ever!
You can also request your Social Security Number for baby at the hospital. This paperwork is also provided to you by the Medical Records representative. Keep in mind, it can sometimes take up to 3 months to receive it. HERE is more information about getting your social security number for baby.
For verification of your baby’s birth for insurance or other purposes, let your insurance know that you’ve ordered your birth certificate and provide them with a copy of your “souvenir birth certificate” as proof. They should accept that in the interim.
Recommended discharge time is 11:00 a.m. but the ultimate decision comes down to your doctor and when they think you and baby are ready to go home.
Hope this blog helps you!! I know I felt a lot more comfortable with giving birth at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children once I knew all of these details! My second baby was born on Maui at Maui Memorial so if you have any questions about that I’m happy to answer them as well.
Life’s Swell… happy birthing!!
You can find more resources from Hawaii Pacific Health including videos, information on maternity tours, maternity classes, breastfeeding and more at this LINK.
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