Getting Ready for the Birth

Pre-Registration: The Earlier The Better

When it comes to pre-registering for your baby's birth, the earlier the better - preferably in your first trimester. For your convenience, you can complete your Maternity Pre-Registration online from the comfort of your own home. You may also mail a registration form to the hospital Admitting Department. Be sure you have the following information handy when registering:

Insurance Information

  • Insurance company, name and phone number
  • Insurance type and policy number
  • Secondary insurance information, if applicable
  • Insurance that will cover the baby

Personal Information

  • Previous and/or current treatments at your birth hospital
  • Family information
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • Obstetrician name, address, phone number
  • Emergency contact name, address, phone number

If you have questions, call us at (727) 725-6225.

Planned Cesarean Birth


  • Do NOT eat or drink 8 hours before your scheduled Cesarean birth.
  • Arrive at least 2 hours prior to your scheduled Cesarean birth as there are many forms to be completed, labs to be drawn, and you also need an IV started.
  • Please do NOT bring video cameras to the operating room. These are not permitted. You may bring a regular or digital camera.
  • Please keep your personal belongings in the car until you are transferred to the post partum unit.


There are 3 types of anesthesia for Cesarean births:

  • Epidural
  • Spinal
  • General Anesthesia

On admission, you will receive an education pamphlet on patient controlled analgesia for pain management after the surgery. We use two different types of pain management. PCEN (Patient controlled Epidural Narcotic) or PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia)

Visitors Policy

For your safety and that of your newborn, we restrict visitors in our labor and birth unit.

Only one person is allowed to accompany you into the operating room. This person will wear a "suit," which will be provided.

Immediately following the surgery, you will be wheeled back into the recovery room. The first hour following surgery is an important time when your nurse will attend to you ensuring that your recovery from major abdominal surgery is safe. It is also a quiet time for you to bond with your baby, and visitors are limited.

Approximately three hours after your baby is born, you will be transported by stretcher to the postpartum floor. Your baby will be in your arms. All your personal belongings may be taken to your new room at this time. Please be sure not to leave any items on the labor and birth unit including cell phone chargers, etc.


Before you have your baby, we'll need to verify your insurance coverage. We'll need a photocopy of the front and back of your insurance card(s), which you can mail with your pre-registration form. Be sure to write your full name and due date on all copies. If you'll be registering in person, bring your insurance card(s) and we'll make copies for you. If you have more than one insurance plan, please let us know and indicate which is primary.

Important note: many insurance companies require special authorization or have steps to complete before you have your baby. Please contact your carrier about this. If they give you an authorization number, let a Morton Plant Mease financial counselor know. If you overlook this step, your insurance company may be entitled to reduce your coverage or pay no benefits.

For insurance questions, please call (727) 725-6011.

Enrolling your newborn

Be sure to request a newborn addition form from your insurance company prior to giving birth and then enroll your newborn within 7 to 10 days of the birth by submitting this form to your insurance company.

Also, remember to notify Admitting of which insurance plan is covering the baby and of any changes prior to discharge at: (727) 725-6359.

Medicaid patients can enroll their newborns by calling the change line at (866) 762-2237 within 7 to 10 days after birth.

Birth Certificate and Social Security Card

Certainly one of the decisions you will be devoting a lot of time and thought to prior to your due date is what name you will give your baby. We encourage you to start that process now. If you have already made a decision, you can begin the paperwork by completing the Birth Certificate Worksheet.

During your stay, you will be contacted to verify the information on the Birth Certificate Worksheet. If you have not selected a name by the time you come to the hospital during labor, remember to bring your list of potential names. State laws require that we file a Certificate of Live Birth with the State Office of Vital Statistics for every baby born at our hospitals. That certificate must be completed and filed before your discharge. Please note: if you're single and want the baby's father listed on the birth certificate, he must be present to sign it. If you are married, only one parent needs to sign the certificate.

With your permission, we can process the paperwork to apply for a Social Security card for your baby. There is no charge for this service. The Social Security card will be mailed to you about 11 weeks after your baby's birth certificate is filed. Note: This application cannot be processed without a name for your baby.

The Right Pediatrician

There's a lot to decide before your baby comes - including choosing the right pediatrician. You need to select one prior to giving birth, and you'll want one who is:

  • Either board-eligible or board-certified in pediatrics
  • Affiliated with your health care program and accepting new patients.

Plan to interview any potential pediatricians well before your due date. You'll want to be sure the pediatrician you do choose has the same philosophy on important baby care issues such as breast feeding and circumcision that you do.

Our free Physician Referral Service removes the guesswork. Give one of our experienced professionals a call, and (s)he will help you find the right pediatrician with the credentials and insurance requirements you need. Make a get-acquainted appointment before your expected birth date. For assistance, call (727) 462-7500, or visit our online physician finder.

Advanced Medical Directives

An Advance Directive, also called a living will, is an individual's written instructions regarding treatment in the event of a serious illness or injury. This includes choices about extraordinary measures to sustain life such as CPR, dialysis and ventilators.

If you have strong feelings about what choices you would make in a medical emergency, we encourage you to talk with your physician and family members, and consider completing an Advance Directive. You can cancel it at any time, but making these decisions in advance ensures your wishes will be carried out.