Preparing for Childbirth
The following suggestions for during your pregnancy will make your hospital stay and the first weeks after your baby is born easier, safer and more enjoyable.
Pre-Register for Your Hospital Stay
You can securely pre-register online for your hospital stay by filling out our Hospital Pre-registration Form. This convenient way to register eliminates the need to do so when you are admitted to the hospital.
We invite you to create your own personalized birth preferences as you prepare for the delivery of your baby. Complete the Birth Preference Form.
Tour the Birthing Center
Free tours of the birthing center are available to expectant mothers. To register, please call (608) 417-8446 or visit the classes page to register for your tour.
Attend Birthing Classes
Meriter offers classes taught by professional nurses and educators to help ease you into your new role as a parent. Topics include prenatal yoga, preparing for childbirth, newborn care, breastfeeding, lifesaving, Mother Baby Hour and more. Register for Classes and Events online, or call (608) 417-8446.
Breastfeeding Supplies and Support
Meriter provides many resources to help you have a successful breastfeeding experience:
- Several classes including "Basics of Breastfeeding". Search for classes and events and register online.
- Nurses trained in lactation support are available for feeding assistance during your hospitalization.
- The Breastfeeding Helpline with specially trained lactation consultants. (800) 261-4449
Figure Out Your Health Insurance
Each health insurance policy can be different, so we recommend you contact your health insurance company and discuss your coverage before you are admitted.
Test Your Water
Well Water - If you have well water, it is very important to have it tested to be sure it is safe for your baby. A high nitrate content will decrease the ability of a baby's blood to carry oxygen. Bacteria in the water can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Boiling well water may kill the bacteria, but it also increases the nitrate level.
City Water - If your home was built before 1985 have your water tested for lead. If your home is new, have your water tested for copper.
How to Test - The local agencies that test water are:
- State Lab Hygiene - (800) 442-4618. Water testing kits for well and city water are available for a small fee.
- Public Health for Madison and Dane County - (608) 266-4821. Water testing kits for well and city water are available for a small fee. Fees are waived for Dane County residents who meet income eligibility standards.
Additional Information and Resource
Also, use the resources within this website to: