The tour you take of the hospital where you’re planning to deliver your baby can be daunting. As the reality of giving birth hits you, it’s easy to draw a blank on what you’d like to know to in order to plan for the smoothest labor possible. Don’t worry about asking too many questions; it’s better to know before you go into labor than to find out mid-contraction that the hospital doesn’t have the birthing tub you were planning on and that you’ll be sharing a room!
Here are a couple of suggestions that can go on your lost of questions.
1. Will I have to share a room? Is there the option for a private room (and if so, check with your insurance to see what portion of the room fee, if any, is covered)?
2. How many people are allowed in the room while I’m in labor? During the delivery? What about in the event of a C-section?
3. Will I have access to a shower or birthing tub? Are these shared facilities that may be in use when I deliver or private and for me alone?
4. Am I allowed to walk around during labor? If so, am I restricted to the room? If there is an area where laboring moms are allowed to walk, ask to see it.
5. Do I have to get an IV line placed immediately upon arrival? Is a hep-lock an option (so you don’t have to drag an IV bag with you while mid-contraction)?
6. How long is the average labor time for this hospital?
7. Is there a policy regarding videos or photos during labor and delivery?
8. Can I wear my own dressing gown or pajamas during labor?
9. When is the cord cut? Who cuts it? Is there the option for a delayed cord cutting?
10. What is the hospital’s policy regarding episiotomy?
11. Will I be moved to a different room post-delivery? Is that room shared or private?
12. What security measures does the hospital have in place to insure the safety of Mom and Baby?
13. Does the hospital offer infant CPR classes for new parents before discharge?
14. Does the hospital offer whooping cough vaccinations for parents and caregivers?
15. Is there any paperwork I can complete ahead of my delivery?
There are many more questions you can ask about visiting hours, food, parking, access to showers, et cetera. Keeping your preferences in mind, take your list with you when you check out the hospital’s facilities and be comfortable with asking as many questions as you’d like.