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 labor room
Most of the traditional labor and delivery rooms at hospitals consist of several different rooms where the mom-to-be transfers depending on her stage of labor. Because labor can go on for a very long time, most pregnant women start out in a labor 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 labor, 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—labor, delivery, recovery, and postpartum care—take place in one room. Some even include a Jacuzzi to relax and labor in.
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 or birth facility, 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?
- Does your hospital allow or provide tub birth experiences?
- What is the nurse-to-patient ratio in the labor and delivery unit?
- Do you have 24-hour availability for epidural and anesthesia services?
- 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?
- What is your facility’s view on doulas or midwives, and are they allowed in the labor and delivery rooms?
- 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 labor and delivery.
Write down your questions
It’s easy to get distracted when taking in all of the information, or so involved in the discussion with your doctor that you forget what you want to address. In order to ask the right questions and anticipate the pediatrician’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. Click on the link below for a list of pediatrician questions to consider before 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 labor and delivery options and let them help you decide which option is right for you.