Whether you’re deciding between hospitals or taking a tour of your doctor’s hospital, here are 10 things to consider when making your choice. With such a big decision, it's important to have some maternity tour questions ready.
Before you give birth, you’ll most likely tour the hospital affiliated with your doctor. This is a great chance to get an inside look at the facilities. Have your maternity and hospital tour questions ready so you can ask about the process; this will help alleviate some stress as you prepare for the birth of your little one.
An overview of a typical labour room
Most of the traditional labour and delivery rooms at hospitals consist of several different rooms where the mom-to-be transfers depending on her stage of labour. Because labour can go on for a very long time, most pregnant women start out in a labour room, where they can work through contractions. When the baby is ready to make an appearance, she’s moved to the delivery room. After delivery, moms may go to a private or semiprivate room. Or, if a C-section is necessary, she will go to an operating room and then a post-op area.
Of course, some hospitals offer a consolidated experience with labour, delivery, and recovery in the same room. Postpartum care may occur in the same space or a different room. Other hospitals have birthing suites in which all stages of the birthing process—labour, delivery, recovery, and postpartum care—take place in one room.
Other amenities may include a pull-out bed for your partner; TVs and Wi-Fi access so you can keep friends and family updated; and a variety of birthing tools, such as birthing balls.
10 maternity tour questions to ask
When you take a tour of your hospital, you can always bring a list of maternity tour questions to make your decision easier. Here are 10 questions to get you started:
- How many births take place at your hospital each year?
- Do you offer birthing and parenting classes at your facility?
- Is there a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) on the premises and/or what’s the earliest age an infant can get care at your facility?
- How many people are allowed in the delivery room?
- Are there lactation consultants at your facility to help with breastfeeding challenges?
- How long is the average stay for a vaginal delivery and/or a C-section?
Once your hospital tour questions are answered, you’ll likely feel more comfortable with your upcoming labour and delivery.
Write down your questions
It’s easy to get distracted when taking in all of the information, or so involved in discussion with your doctor that you forget what you want to address. In order to ask the right questions and anticipate the paediatrician’s questions ahead of time, you might want to write them down. That way you’ll be sure to get the most from your visit.
Still, trying to decide if a hospital birth is right for you? Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of your labour and delivery options and let them help you decide which option is right for you.
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