Getting to the Hospital
Many couples are anxious about getting to the hospital in time to have their baby safely. In reality, very few babies are born on the way to the hospital or unexpectedly at home. Having your bag packed and knowing the driving and parking directions to the hospital will help the trip go smoothly.
When should I leave for the hospital?
Most doctors recommend you leave for the hospital when “active labor” begins. This is when contractions are about three to five minutes apart and last from 30 to 40 seconds. Notify your care provider when you think you are in active labor, and his or her staff will call the hospital to prepare them for your arrival.
How do I find the hospital?
For driving directions to our First Hill, Ballard, Edmonds or Issaquah campuses, go to the Maps section of this Web site.
Where should I park?
There are four parking stalls reserved for women in labor on the right as you enter the First Hill campus Broadway Garage, located at 747 Broadway. This lot is closed from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. During these hours, you may park in the garage located at the corner of Minor and James streets. Patients arriving at the Ballard campus should park in the main garage across the street from the hospital on Tallman Ave. N.W. The skybridge from the garage will take you to the third floor of the hospital. For visitors, fees and hours vary; go to Parking for more information. At the Edmonds and Issaquah campuses, you can park anywhere in the patient lots near the main entrance.
What will happen once I'm there?
Once you arrive on the unit, a nurse will greet you and you will be checked into the triage area.
Your nurse will have you sign consent forms and ask you about your medical and pregnancy history. She will check your temperature, pulse and blood pressure; observe your contractions and listen to your baby’s heart rate. She will get blood and urine samples and may start an IV for intravenous fluids.
The professional nurses on Swedish’s childbirth units are committed to helping meet your needs during this important time. Be sure to share your birth plan and specific wishes with your nurse, and let her know if there is anything you or your partner need.
Hear from two Swedish OBs and find out everything you need to know if you’re planning to get pregnant or just found out you already are!
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One Patient's Story
Amazingly, her twin boys were born three weeks apart.