Good Samaritan Hospital
Through leadership in research and adopting the latest technological and clinical practices, Good Samaritan Hospital offers excellent medical care for the people of Silicon Valley.

Examining the Different Stages of Labor


As the birth of your baby approaches, it is completely natural to feel a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Knowing what to expect can go a long way in helping you approach the birthing process with more confidence and less anxiety. To help calm your nerves, read more about the signs of imminent labor and the stages of labor and delivery below.

Signs of Labor
The due date given to you by your doctor is his or her best estimate and is by no means set in stone. Your labor may begin two weeks before or even two weeks after that projected date. You may or may not notice any of the signs of labor, as this process varies greatly from woman to woman. Some of the signs of labor include the following:

  • Dropping, or Lightening
    When the baby drops, or “lightens,” he or she moves lower into your pelvis, making it easier to breathe.
  • Show, or Loss of Mucous Plug
    During pregnancy, a thick plug of mucus fills the cervical opening and prevents bacteria from entering the uterus. As the cervix thins and opens, you may notice a stringy mucus or discharge from the loss of this plug.
  • Water Breaking
    During pregnancy, your baby is cushioned and protected by a fluid-filled sac that can break before labor begins. The flow of fluid can be dripping or gushing.

Stages of Labor and Delivery
Once true labor contractions begin, you have entered the first stage of labor. There are three designated stages:

  • Stage 1: Early and Active Labor
    This stage includes dilation of the cervix and an increase in the frequency and strength of contractions.
  • Stage 2: Your Baby’s Birth
    This stage can take a few minutes or a few hours. During this stage, your doctor will encourage you to push or to relax. Once the baby is delivered, the umbilical cord is clamped and cut.
  • Stage 3: The Delivery of the Placenta
    The placenta comes out with a small burst of blood.

At the Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose, CA, we offer expectant mothers and their families the safety and security of a Level III NICU. Learn more about our maternity services by visiting our website or contacting us at (408) 559-2011.

A Look at Congenital Heart Conditions

Stethoscope & heart

Congenital heart defects are abnormalities in the structure of the heart that are present before birth. These conditions can involve the interior walls of the heart, the valves inside the heart, or the arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart or the body. While many of these congenital conditions do not need treatment or can be easily corrected, some defects require special medical attention immediately after birth. Some of the most common types of congenital heart defects include:

  • Aortic stenosis
    The aortic valve is a three-cusp valve located between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta. Aortic stenosis can be the result of a birth defect, leaving the valve with only one or two cusps.
  • Atrial septal defect
    ASD is an abnormality in the atria of the heart in which the wall between the left and right chambers is not completely closed. This allows blood to bypass the lungs and may eventually cause disabilities later in life.
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
    The ductus arteriosus is a small passageway connecting the pulmonary artery and the aorta, which is open at birth but closes within a few hours. Patent ductus arteriosus is a defect that results in this passageway remaining open, causing blood to travel in the wrong direction between the aorta and pulmonary artery.

The diagnosis and treatment of complex congenital heart defects has improved greatly thanks to recent advances in medicine and technology. Almost all children born with these conditions thrive into adulthood and live active lives. Good Samaritan Hospital offers new babies and their families the security of a Level III NICU. If you would like to learn more about the services we provide to the community of San Jose, CA, contact us at (408) 559-2011.

Labor and Delivery: Signs of Labor

When you are pregnant, it is completely normal to feel a certain amount of anxiety about the process of childbirth. Educating yourself about the process and knowing when to seek help from your physician are two great ways to help relieve some of that anxiety. In this video, you can learn more about the key signs and symptoms that often prompt expecting mothers to contact their healthcare provider. The host describes how you can tell when you are going into labor and provides some advice for new moms.

If you have any questions about labor or the birthing process, let Good Samaritan Hospital be your resource. We provide some of the highest quality maternity and pediatric services to the community of San Jose, CA. Call our friendly staff at (408) 559-2011 for more information.

What to Look for in a Maternity Hospital

Maternity Hospital

When you are pregnant, it is completely natural to only want the highest quality of care for you and your baby. When choosing a maternity hospital in which to deliver your child, there are many factors you should consider to ensure a safe and comfortable experience. Knowledgeable physicians, a highly trained staff, and cutting-edge technology are not the only things to look for. Be sure that your maternity hospital of choice also has the following services available:

  • Delivery suites that have the comforts of home
    Be sure that your maternity hospital has labor and delivery suites available that promote a peaceful birthing experience. Many suites include private bathrooms and comfortable furnishings available only to you and your family during your stay. After birth, you and your child share the same private, quiet room to strengthen your bond in peace.
  • Certified nurse midwives on staff available to families
    A hospital with great maternity services will have a full range of birthing options available to expectant mothers. Having certified nurse midwives on the obstetrical team gives mothers one more option to experience the birthing process in their preferred way.
  • Parenting and breastfeeding services
    Choose a hospital that has many support services and programs available to assist you with breastfeeding and early parenting. Childbirth preparation classes, baby care classes, and support groups are great ways for new mothers to get their questions answered.
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
    Having a neonatal intensive care unit available ensures a safe delivery by an obstetrical team that is available 24 hours a day. Also, look for support services for families with babies in NICU, such as Good Samaritan’s NICU ACCESS program.

At Good Samaritan Hospital, we believe every birth is a special one. That’s why we have designed our birthing center to meet the individual needs of each mother and their child. Our staff’s expertise and state-of-the-art technology help to ensure a safe and secure birthing experience. You can read more about our maternity services on our website or contact us at (408) 559-2011 to schedule a free tour of our birthing center.

Knowing the Symptoms of a Stroke

Symptoms of a Stroke

A stroke is a life-threatening medical event that occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted. When experiencing stroke symptoms, one should consider seeking emergency medical care immediately to avoid damage or death of brain tissue. Those experiencing an ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sudden changes in the senses, such as interruptions in vision or smell
  • An inability to speak or understand what is spoken to you
  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Memory lapses and difficulties focusing on a train of thought
  • Sudden dizziness, lack of coordination and balance, or trouble walking or standing
  • Sudden onset of a severe headache that can be described as ‘the worst headache of your life’ with no known cause

These symptoms almost always come on suddenly. If the symptoms of stroke go away after only a few minutes, you may have experienced a transient ischemic attack (TIA). A TIA does not cause permanent damage to brain tissue, but can be a warning sign of a future stroke.

If you think you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, seriously consider dialing 9-1-1 and seeking emergency medical attention immediately. Treatment immediacy greatly affects stroke survival and recovery. The Stroke Center at the Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose is dedicated to the rapid identification and treatment of each patient presenting with possible stroke symptoms. Learn more about our Joint Commission Certified stroke care by contacting us at (408) 559-2011.

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