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Arriving at the hospital

When to go to the hospital?  
If you think you are in labor, your physician or midwife may want you to call him or her before coming to the hospital. You should discuss this in advance during your routine prenatal appointments. 

If you experience a sudden onset of bright red vaginal bleeding or continuous, sharp abdominal pain that doesn't stop after two or three minutes, come to the Emergency Department immediately.

Every woman experiences contractions in her own way. Generally, contractions are felt as either abdominal or lower back discomfort that comes and goes. You should begin to time your contractions from the beginning of one contraction to the start of the next.

Unless otherwise advised by your doctor or midwife, you should come to the hospital when you are having regular contractions. Generally, this means when contractions are 3 to 5 minutes apart or less and lasting from 45 to 90 seconds long.

You should call your doctor or midwife if your membranes (bag of water) break. This may be a gush or a trickle of fluid from your vagina. If you think your membranes have broken, don’t take a bath, have sexual intercourse, or put anything into your vagina.

Arriving at the hospital
For entrance to the main hospital, including Labor & Delivery, Maternal Fetal Medicine and Fetal Imaging, you may use the front entrance located off of Woodward Avenue. Valet parking is available at the main entrance, or there is free parking in the visitor parking lot. 

Between 8 p.m. - 6 a.m., you must enter through the Emergency Center. A parking lot is conveniently located near this entrance, for emergency and laboring patients only.

Click here to download SJMO Labor and Delivery Admission Instructions (which includes directions to the hospital and a campus map).

Once inside the hospital, take the D elevators to the 5th floor, where a receptionist will greet and assist you from there.

Admission to the hospital
In the Labor and Delivery unit, you will be assigned to one of our private birthing rooms. Please note:  

  • The patient room allows space for only one significant other, who must be at least 18 years of age, to spend the night with you.
  • Please remind your guest to pack their pajamas for their overnight stay as the hospital cannot provide scrubs.
  • Leave your suitcase and infant car seat in your car until you are transferred to your Mother-Baby room.
  • You are invited to bring a camera and/or video camera with you to capture special memories. However, videotaping is not allowed during the actual delivery.

When a birth is a planned procedure (i.e. induction or Cesarean birth) your doctor will schedule the date and time. You will be admitted to the Labor and Delivery unit on the day of your procedure. Please make sure to follow your physician’s instructions, or your procedure may have to be rescheduled.

Additional Items to Bring

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Slippers and bathrobe
  • Shower cap
  • Shampoo
  • Deodorant
  • Comb and brush
  • Full-size cotton panties
  • Sanitary pads with adhesive strips
  • Two well-fitted bras (nursing bras if planning to breastfeed)
  • “Going home” clothing and blanket for baby
  • Infant car seat (leave in car)
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St. Joseph Mercy Oakland | 44405 Woodward Avenue, Pontiac, Michigan 48341 | 248-858-3000