Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations on this very memorable event in your life. Our goal is to make your birth experience special, safe and comfortable. Here are some frequently asked questions about having your baby at Hillsboro Medical Center.

How is prenatal care with a midwife different from care with an obstetrician?
Midwifery is a traditional art that honors birth as a normal and natural process rather than a medical emergency. Our certified nurse-midwives will support your individual birth plan and respect your goals and preferences.

Our nurse-midwives offer all the same prenatal testing, screening, ultrasounds and pain management options as obstetricians. They are not surgeons, so do not offer cesarean birth. If your pregnancy is considered high risk, we recommend you see an obstetrician for prenatal care.

What are your rooms like? Will I change rooms after I deliver my baby?
Our rooms are designed to provide a comfortable birthing environment. You’ll usually stay in the same room for your Labor, Delivery, Recovery, and Postpartum (LDRP) period. Each of our 14 LDRP rooms are equipped with a whirlpool bath (great for labor) and a daybed for your partner or support person.

We encourage you to keep your baby with you at all times during your stay.

What should I expect when I first arrive?
If you are not scheduled for an induction, you will be escorted to an exam room in the Family Birth Unit. The nurse will monitor your contractions, the baby’s heartbeat and your vital signs. She might also perform a vaginal exam to check for cervical dilation. During this time the nurse will be in contact with your doctor.

Sometimes it is necessary to observe you for one to two hours to determine whether you are in active labor. You may be asked to walk and drink fluids during this time.

Can I eat when I get to the hospital?
You will likely be able to drink clear liquids depending on your stage of labor, provider’s preference and if you have an epidural.  Water, juice, soda and tea are available. After your birth, you may choose from our kitchen’s menu and order from the comfort of your own bed using our telephone ordering system. If you deliver during the night, you can choose from our after-hours menu. If you have a cesarean section, your provider will let you know when you can eat
Will there be food for my support person?
A limited selection of snacks and beverages are available to you and your partner. Bringing food from home is your best option. Our Café is located on the first floor and open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There are also vending machines located by the Emergency Department available 24 hours a day.
How long should I expect to stay in the hospital?
Generally, if you deliver vaginally, you may stay 24 to 48 hours. If you have a cesarean birth, you may stay you may stay 48 to 72 hours. The length of your hospital stay may differ based on the recommendation of your provider.
What if I have a cesarean delivery?
If it is necessary to perform a cesarean section for the delivery of your baby, you will be brought to the operating room on the Family Birth Unit. One person may accompany you during the surgery after anesthesia has been placed.

After your baby is born, you will recover for at least one hour with your baby and your designated support person. At this time other visitors are not allowed. Once you go home we encourage you to seek additional support for your return home as you will be recovering from abdominal surgery as well as taking care of your new baby

What if my baby needs special medical attention?
Our level 2 NICU helps babies born at 32 weeks or greater who may need monitoring for jaundice, feeding challenges, or other moderate issues. If your baby needs additional care, they’ll be transferred to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital NICU in Portland.
Can I photograph or videotape during my hospital stay?
Families often photograph or videotape their birth journey while at the hospital. While generally this is supported, circumstances may arise that would require anyone taping or taking pictures to stop to provide the safest and most sensitive care to our patients.

We generally request that no photographing or videotaping be done during the delivery. Immediately after the delivery, you may photograph or videotape at the discretion of your care team. Only still photos may be taken during a cesarean birth. Please discuss this with your provider at your prenatal appointments.

How will my baby be cared for after delivery?

Eye Drops and Vitamin K

Within two hours after birth, your baby will receive eye drops (to prevent infection) and a vitamin K shot (to aid in blood clotting).

Hepatitis B Vaccine

Hepatitis B is a severe illness caused by a virus. Most cases of Hepatitis B occur in teenagers and adults but newborns can be infected also, usually at the time of birth. The AAP recommends that children receive immunizations for Hepatitis B when they are being routinely immunized for other illnesses. The first Hepatitis B vaccine can be given to your baby before you leave the hospital unless you request that he/she does not receive it. After your baby receives this immunization in the hospital, he/she will need to complete the hepatitis B series from his/her doctor during the first year of life.

Physical Exam

During the first 24 hours after birth, your baby’s doctor will perform a physical exam on your baby. A good time to select your baby’s doctor is in your last trimester of pregnancy or earlier.

Hearing Screen

A simple hearing screen called the AABR will be performed on your infant prior to discharge. Your nurse will discuss the procedure and results with you during your stay. A copy of those results will be given to you to take to your baby’s doctor. An additional copy is also given to you for your records. Do not hesitate to ask your nurse if you have any questions.

Heart Problem Check

Your nurse will use a special light called a pulse oximeter to check your baby’s oxygen levels on his hand and foot. Comparing these two readings will help us to screen for certain heart problems.

Metabolic Screen

This test is required by the state. It is performed using a blood sample obtained by a heel prick to your newborn’s foot. It can tell if your baby has a metabolic disorder within days after birth. If treated soon enough, problems can usually be prevented. Results are sent to your baby’s doctor and then discussed with you. This test must be done prior to discharge and again at two weeks when you take your baby for the first check-up. Upon discharge, your nurse will give you a special envelope to take to the doctor at that time. Please keep this envelope in a place where you will remember to take it with you.

Jaundice Check

Healthy newborns, especially if they are premature, can develop jaundice. Jaundice occurs when a newborn has an elevated level of bilirubin (a by-product of the breakdown of red blood cells) in the body. Most newborns with mild jaundice do not need treatment.

This test is performed using a blood sample obtained by a heel prick to your newborn’s foot.

Your Newborn’s Care

In some circumstances, your baby’s doctor may recommend other testing or treatments. Your baby’s care will always be communicated to you. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse if you have questions regarding your baby’s care.

How will you support my efforts to breastfeed?
We promote skin-to-skin contact with your newborn right after delivery and throughout your stay.

We practice “rooming-in” by keeping you and your baby together in the same room.

We will help you have the best start. Our trained providers and staff will provide you with any breastfeeding assistance you may need.

We support breastfeeding as the normal way of feeding your baby. We recommend not giving your baby any food or drink other than Breastmilk for the first six months, unless medically indicated.

If you need to start pumping we have hospital-grade pumps you may use during your stay. Please contact your insurance about obtaining a pump after discharge. Some insurance companies will allow you to order a pump before you deliver.

The hospital supports the World Health Organization/UNICEF “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”.

We recommend you wait to introduce artificial nipples or pacifiers until breastfeeding is well established (usually around 4-6 weeks). We will show you other ways to soothe your baby without offering a pacifier

What measures do you have in place to assure my baby’s safety?
The Family Birth Unit takes many precautions to assure the safety of you and your baby. The Unit is secured with locked doors and has video cameras throughout the unit.  We have comprehensive infant security procedures and our employees are trained to be on the lookout for any potential risks to infant security.

While you and your child are staying on the Family Birth Unit, your nurses will inform you about the safety measures we employ. These include staff identification badges and a newborn banding system. Authorized personnel wear a name badge that has their picture outlined by a pink Family Birth Unit frame and states their name and department. Never allow someone without an authorized identification badge to take you baby from your room. If you are unsure about someone in your room, please press your call light and your nurse will assist you.

Once your baby is born, your nurse will place matching identification bands on you, your baby, and one other person of your choosing. Newborns do not typically leave the room but if your baby needs to leave the room for a procedure, you or the other banded person is always welcome to accompany your baby. Only you, the other banded person, or properly identified staff member should be with your baby outside your room.  While outside your room or walking in the hallways please keep your newborn in the provided crib.

What paperwork will I need to complete before being discharged?

Birth Certificate Worksheet

This form will be given to you at the Birth Center. The birth certificate clerk or your nurse will provide you with any help needed to complete the form before you go home. Birth Certificate Order Form

A birth certificate will not be sent to you automatically. At the hospital you will be given an order form to fill out. You can either mail in the order form or take it to the Washington County Vital Records Office to obtain an official birth certificate.  Parents must show identification when requesting a certificate in person.

The address for Washington County is:

Washington County Vital Statistics Vital Records Department
155 North First Ave., Room 200
Hillsboro, OR 97124

You can order certified copies of the birth certificate at the Washington County Office only within six months from the baby’s date of birth.

Please fill out all information correctly and make sure payment is included (check or money order only).

Cost of the first certified copy of Live Birth – $25, Additional copies if ordered at the same time – $20.

If applying for the birth certificate after the first six months from birth, you will need to call the Oregon State Vital Records in Portland at 971-673-1190 or order on-line at

How do get a social security number for my baby?
Fill out, sign and submit a Social Security Authorization form. There is no charge.

The card takes approximately 1-3 months to be delivered to your address from the time of your baby’s birth date.

If you would like more information, call the Social Security Administration office at 1-800-772-1213

How do we recognize the baby’s paternity?
If you and your partner are not legally married to each other or anyone else during time of conception and you would like to fill out a legal document recognizing the baby’s paternity your nurse will provide you with the correct document. If you would like to have paternity testing (blood testing) done then you should not fill out paternity papers at the time of birth. This will be done after paternity testing.