Things to Consider on Your Hospital Tour

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One of the most important, but least talked about, aspects of preparing to give birth is the hospital tour. The tour will give you a good idea of where you will be, what amenities will be available to you, and how things will proceed once you go into labor. While most of what you need to take into consideration will come from your personal preferences, these nine things are always good to know.

Do They Have a 24-Hour Obstetrician? 

Often, your doctor will not be called until you are a specific number of centimeters dilated. Having a 24-hour obstetrician available insures that you will get the care and coaching you need in the meantime. It also means that if your doctor can’t get to you in time, you have someone there that can deliver your baby.

Are Infant Warmers Available?

This may seem like a silly thing to ask for, but if you are unable to warm your baby enough when you hold them, it could be a lifesaver. Most hospitals have them available but it’s best to verify. 

How Many C-Sections Are Performed at Once?

If you’re having a c-section, you need to know how many your hospital performs at the same time. This could affect the amount of care and attention you get. 

How Much Room Will There Be for Those Staying With You?

Knowing what the accommodations are will affect how many people you have stay with you. Your hospital will most likely have sleep chairs and/or a couch for family to sleep in as well as a couple of chairs for visitors.

How Many Moms and Babies to a Nurse?

Again, this will affect how much care and attention you get. If the nurses at your hospital are responsible for a lot of mothers and babies, they can only spend so much time with each one. Once you find out how many mom and baby sets each nurse gets, you’ll need to decide if you’re okay with it.

How Many People to a Room?

You may not care if you are sharing a room with another mother or not. But if you do, find out how many people will be in a room beforehand. 

Is the Hospital Affiliated With a Religion?

Hospitals that are affiliated with a certain religion may have paraphernalia and services connected with the religion. If you’re going to be bothered by a hospital's religious affiliation, all may not be lost. They may offer to cover the religious symbols and give you the option to opt out of services. Again, find this out beforehand.

Is Lactation Support Offered?

If you plan to breastfeed, lactation support will be one of the most valuable services available. Find out if your hospital provides it and whether or not it’s free. 

Car Seat Installation Help?

Even if you already have your car seat installed by the time you go into labor, having someone at least check that it was put in properly is extremely helpful. If the hospital does not offer these services, visit your local fire station for help. Just make sure to do it before your baby is born.
Before your hospital tour, give some more thought to what other questions you would like to ask.  When coming up with these questions, reflect on what type of birthing experience you would like. No matter what you would like to know, don’t be afraid to ask!

By: Alecia Stanton

Get Access to Support, Benefits, and Resources for Expecting Parents. Join the EPAOA Community for FREE!

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