Birth and Delivery

Pregnancy and Delivery Information


Birth and delivery can be an exciting but also an anxious time for even an experienced expectant mother. Women's Medical Center is a top-ranked provider of birth and delivery care for women in and around Yavapai County, AZ, with care options tailored to meet the needs of each mother and baby to help ensure a smooth delivery process.

Birth and Delivery Q & A

What happens during a prenatal visit?

Prenatal visits include basic evaluations like blood pressure and weight, as well as blood tests and urine tests to make sure both the mother and baby are healthy. The baby's heartbeat may also be evaluated, and the expanding belly will usually be measured. Additional evaluations and tests may also be recommended. Finally, women will learn about what to expect during the next weeks of their pregnancy as well as receive guidance about what they need to do to stay healthy.

What is a high-risk pregnancy?

A high-risk pregnancy is a pregnancy where the health of the mother or baby or both is at risk due to a complication. Some common causes of high-risk pregnancies include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure or diabetes, existing before pregnancy or developing during pregnancy
  • Older age
  • Carrying more than one baby
  • Multiple previous miscarriages
  • Genetic issues

Women who have high-risk pregnancies will need to be monitored more frequently during pregnancy to ensure they and their babies stay healthy.

What are labor and delivery?

Labor includes the time before the birth of the baby when the uterus begins contracting and the opening of the uterus, called the cervix, begins to widen or dilate to accommodate the baby as it moves out of the uterus and through the birth canal. Delivery is the actual birth of the baby.

What are the three “stages” of labor?

The first stage of labor includes early labor when contractions begin, and dilation starts to occur, and active labor all the way to the point where the cervix becomes completely dilated, and the baby is in the birth position. The second stage includes the time during which the baby is moving through the birth canal and continues until the baby is born, and the third stage continues until the placenta is delivered.

How can I tell when it's time to go to the hospital?

Contractions can begin hours or even days before a baby is born. Timing contractions can help determine when it's time to leave for the hospital. In most cases, women should go to the hospital when contractions are about four minutes apart and lasting from 60 to 90 seconds each. Be sure to go to the birthing center at the hospital if the amniotic fluid sac bursts (water “breaking”) since antibiotics may need to be administered to prevent infection prior to delivery.

Will I need to have a C-section?

Often, there is no way to tell if a C-section will be needed until labor has begun.  C-sections are typically performed when the labor and delivery process are proving to be too strenuous for either the baby or the mother, when the baby is very large or when other conditions occur that make vaginal delivery unsuitable.

Who will deliver my baby?

Dr. Fernandez or Dr. Siggins will deliver your baby unless there is a different doctor on call that day.  The hospital is covered by a group of board-certified/board-eligible physicians, known as the laborist group.  The physician on call for the day will be available in the hospital when it is time for you to deliver your baby.