Delivering Safely at Northside Hospital

Frequently Asked Questions for Expectant Parents

Safely Delivering at Northside Hospital

Download the PDF version of "Delivering Safely at Northside Hospital: Frequently Asked Questions for Expectant Parents" by clicking the links below.



Hello World!

We've curated the best-of-the-best of our maternity content to support and inspire you and your family along your joyous journey. Come explore!

Before You Arrive

Since I can’t come tour the hospital, how do I know what to expect?

For Northside Atlanta, Cherokee and Forsyth, please consult our Pre-admissions Packet eBook (English) (Spanish). Your physician will provide a hard copy of this packet. This resource is a great review of the information covered in a tour and includes a checklist of “things to consider” and what to pack.

You can access Northside Hospital Gwinnett’s pre-admission packet below or receive a hard copy from your obstetrician if you prefer.

Do I need to pre-register?

Yes. Please complete the pre-admission paperwork by your sixth month of pregnancy. Your information will be reviewed and you will receive a confirmation letter approximately one month before your due date.

Pre-register online

Where can I find a birth plan?

To learn more about birth plans and for a birth plan work sheet, click here for Atlanta, Cherokee & Forsyth and click here for Gwinnett & Duluth. Fill out the Labor Preferences/Childbirth Plan worksheet and discuss it with your health care provider prior to coming to the hospital. Bring a copy with you to the hospital and share it with your nurse.

What pre-natal classes does Northside offer?

Northside Atlanta, Forsyth and Cherokee campuses have both in-person and online classes. For information about classes at our Atlanta, Forsyth and Cherokee campuses, click here.

For information about classes at our Gwinnett campus, click here

Online classes are available for everyone planning a delivery within the Northside Hospital system.

How do I know if I'm in labor? When is it time to go to the hospital?

The question of whether you’re in labor and when to come to the hospital is one for your health care provider. Additionally, you can reference our Your Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy eBook (English) (Spanish).

Upon Arrival to the Hospital

Will I be tested for COVID-19?

Only symptomatic patients will be tested or if a provider feels testing is warranted. 

When I am in labor, where do I go to check in?

  • Northside Hospital Atlanta: From 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. use the Labor and Delivery entrance; from 7 p.m.- 6:30 a.m., use the Women’s Center atrium level entrance. Your support person will go in with you and move the car once you are checked in. 

  • Northside Hospital Cherokee: Go to the Labor & Delivery entrance. Your support person will go in with you and move the car once you are checked in.

  • Northside Hospital Forsyth: Go to the Labor & Delivery entrance. Your support person will go in with you and move the car once you are checked in.  

  • Northside Hospital Gwinnett: Go to the Labor & Delivery entrance. Your support person will go in with you and move the car once you are checked in. 

Planning for Your Stay

Can my support person come and go from the hospital?
COVID Negative patients may have 3 support people during their stay. COVID positive patients will be allowed one support person who is encouraged to stay with them as much as possible.

If my support person is unable to stay the entire stay, can I have another support person?
COVID positive patients support person should plan on staying with them for the duration of their hospital stay. COVID negative patients are allowed to have a 3 visitors that may come and go.

Can my support person use my shower?

Can any of my children or parents come to visit the baby and me in the hospital?
COVID negative patients may have up to three people visiting at a time. Children need to be older 16 or older. COVID positive patient's are still restricted to the one support person.

I want to hire a Doula. Can I have my support person and a Doula?
Doulas are allowed but we are restricting to three support people at a time. Therefore, during delivery, the Doula would be the second person.

Is there a restriction on how many bags we can bring? Can my support person bring a suitcase?
There is no restriction on how many bags you can bring. Your support person should bring what he/she needs for the entire stay.

Are there any restrictions on bringing in snacks/food?
Yes, pantries are available to store snacks/food.

During Your Hospital Stay

Do I have to wear a mask in Labor and Delivery?

No, masks are no longer required unless you are COVID-positive. 

If, COVID positive, you and your support person must wear your masks in the hallways and any time a health care provider enters your room. We are asking that your support person stay in the room with you at all times except for when he or she leaves the room to obtain food. He or she must wear their mask at all times when outside of your room. This also includes Postpartum and the NICU units.


Will I be able to practice skin-to-skin with my baby after birth?

The Golden Hour is the first hour you and your baby have together. During this time, your baby will be directly on your chest so that you both can benefit from skin-to-skin contact. If you are unfamiliar with skin-to-skin, read more about it.

Will my baby stay in the room with me?

We encourage rooming in to foster bonding, time spent skin-to-skin with the baby on your chest and breastfeeding. Most couples find this helps them learn all they can before they go home. Your baby will be weighed every 24 hours and will be seen by a pediatrician within 24 hours after birth.

Will someone help me with breastfeeding?

The Golden Hour is the best time to begin breastfeeding. Our nurses are all prepared to help you get started. Skin-to-skin really helps with getting breastfeeding off to a great start. We encourage babies to breastfeed without interruption for first feeding.  Find additional resources and information about breastfeeding.

  • Northside Atlanta, Cherokee, Forsyth: In addition to your nurse, lactation consultants are available and will see first time moms within 24 hours of your baby’s birth started.

  • Northside Gwinnett: The lactation consultant will see all NICU moms and any moms who have a consult. Baby-Friendly encourages baby to go to breast as soon as possible after delivery for as long as baby needs to breast feed.

Will my pediatrician come to check my baby daily?

Yes. Your pediatrician or nurse practitioner will come to see you or call you after the exam to discuss your baby and answer any questions you may have.

Will I complete paperwork for a birth certificate?

You will be given a birth certificate worksheet by your nurse. Please remember to complete the birth certificate worksheet in its entirety and give it to your nurse or to the birth certificate office. Birth certificates are created by the state. The creation of the birth certificate triggers the creation of a social security number.

Preparing to Go Home

How will I know when I am ready to go home?

The staff will discuss discharge readiness with you each shift and ensure you are ready to be discharged.

How do I care for myself and my baby once we are at home?

We have designed educational resources to help you understand what to expect in the days and weeks following your delivery. The New Beginning: Your Personal Guide to Mom and Baby Care (English) (Spanish) is designed to help guide you through what comes next during your postpartum period.

Do I need to have a car seat?

Georgia law requires all children under the age of 8 use a car seat. Northside Hospital does not provide car seats. Install your baby’s car seat base properly into your car before arriving at the hospital. Your car manual should provide some guidance on how to install the car seat into your car. Our staff is not permitted to assist with car seat installation or securing the baby in the car seat. If you have additional questions about car seat safety, visit

Do I have to have a pediatrician already picked out?

Yes. We recommend all patients have their pediatrician picked out before admission to the hospital. If your pediatrician doesn’t come to Northside and you are using one of the Northside pediatricians, you need to have your follow-up (after discharge) pediatrician’s name, address and phone number with you.

Does everyone who will spend time with my baby need a Tdap vaccination?

Yes. Anyone that will be around your baby will need an up-to-date Tdap vaccination. Whooping Cough can be life threatening for infants and is preventable. Learn more at