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Ladies, Today i'm going to check out the hospital where i'm supposed to deliver my child..... I'm a total novice here.... what should i pay attention to? what kind of questions should i ask?”

20 replies so far...

  • LT - good point on pillow - somebody just recently told me the same thing... That's a great point, especially since i'm pretty sensitive about the softness of my pillow :)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 29th September 2007

  • Ask their standard routine, but prepared to have it go awry. Childbirth is not always a well-planned trip. Just when you think you're headed in the right direction, you may need to take a detour. So sit tight. Let them take care of you and be prepared for the unexpected. Also, don't forget to speak up. Health care professionals are very busy and may not notice something going on unless you tell them. Like your pain level. And if you want to breastfeed, ask questions. Many facilities have different opinions on the matter and different ways of explaining things. Oh, and bring your own pillow. You'll want if after the delivery. And slippers. Those sock thingies stink.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by L.T. on 29th September 2007

  • I think more important than the PLACE is the PEOPLE who will be helping you. Do you feel comfortable with your doctors and their policies/practices? I asked lots of questions to make sure we were the right fit. The hospital I delivered at wasn't the newest or most up to date as far as decor but I felt comfortable with the doctors and that made all the difference.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Melissa on 29th September 2007

  • My hospital has all private rooms and also had room service for the parents for after the delivery - including bringing up a bottle of champagne to toast the new arrival! Check to see if your hospital offers any services that you might not expect but might want to take advantage of. Ask about valet parking for you and for your husband. For me, I just wanted to go through the process with my husband and my doctor. I didn't want to become a "teaching case" as my hospital was a teaching hospital connected to two medical schools. I did remember to ask specifically and make sure they marked down that I did not want to have students anywhere near me. I figure if I'm doing all the huffing and puffing, I'm gonna want to do that with my husband and doctor only and not some group of Doogie Howsers taking notes! I should have also prevented the television in the room from being set to any sporting event (except the Red Sox) as I found it very irritating that my doctor and husband sat on the end of my bed watching the BC - Syracuse basketball game while I was in active labor and having contractions a minute apart! You're doing all the you get to set the rules!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Karen Webb on 27th September 2007

  • WOW - I can't thank you all enough for all this advice!!! The tour went fine and I actually felt prepared! I got answers to all of the questions you suggested - some answers I liked, some I didn't. The delivery room was very nie, however, post delivery rooms were pretty bad.... I would have to share one with another person, unless i'm one of the very lucky ones to get a private room (they only have 4 of those)! Bc it's a shared room - my husband will not be allowed to spend the night with me.... However, the baby will stay with me... I guess it'll be weird to have another person with her baby sleeping in the same room but i'll have to suck it up! BTW - my husband was really impressed that i knew what the nurse was talking about! :) Thanks again everybody for your wonderful feedback!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 27th September 2007

  • I wish that I had asked about NICU policies, and about policies about seeing the baby after a c-section. I was planning a completely different kind of birth and didn't even think to ask about emergency type stuff.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 27th September 2007

  • Ask whether they'll put you in a private or semi-private room after the delivery. My hospital had both and you could request either, but sometimes if the hospital doesn't have enough private rooms, you may end up in a room with another family. Ask whether the baby generally stays with you in the room or in the nursery while you're there. My hospital gave us a choice. Some hospitals may have very specific policies. But in general, I agree with Tattooed Mommie -- don't sweat the small stuff.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Amy@UWM on 27th September 2007

  • Make sure to notice the nurses and how they are acting. The nurses can make or break your hospital stay. Bedside manner is everything!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lisa M. Nolan on 27th September 2007

  • Even if you don't actually use your birth plan (I had things on there that I wanted but that I didn't care about once it was all happening!), it's really good to make one just so you think about these things. There are some things that I never would have considered before making my birth plan that became very important to me. A birth plan is not like a set-in-stone map that must be followed, it's just a way to remember some of your preferences at a time when you're kind of consumed by other things!

    Skin to skin contact- In a hospital, many women give birth with a nightshirt on and their babies are whisked away and wrapped up in a blanket or clothes before they get a chance to cuddle. I gave birth in a midwife center (where I was naked) and my son was placed on my belly until his cord stopped pulsing and was cut (by his daddy), at which point he was moved to my arms. Every test was done with him in my arms or right next to me in the bed. He never left my reach. It was wonderful.

    Anyway- a birth plan will help you identify those questions.

    (Might I also suggest a Doula, if you haven't gotten one already.)

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by heels on 26th September 2007

  • Find out if your husband can spend the night in your oom with you and if there are any policies around that. Fortunately, my hospital allowed it; unfortunately, they required proper PJs, so my hubby spent the night sleeping in my maternity yoga pants.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by AmyBow on 26th September 2007

  • Just make sure it is clean. I went to a different hospital than I had planned too, luckily my doctor had privileges there. It was not very good.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by libbysmom on 26th September 2007

  • Don't pay attention! (okay, well it worked for me)
    I had planned on going into my hospital with a birth plan and a laundry list of questions about everything I could possibly think of long before my son was born. I ended up going into premature labor long before I could actually ask the questions and I was about to freak because I wasn't prepared. Worse, they weren't prepared for me. They didn't know that I wanted a CD player or my own shirt.
    What ended up happening?
    I had a great delievery. I was able to ask questions and give my requests or my husband give them for me. And basically, it was perfect. Not because I knew which rooms were which or because I knew if I wanted mood music or not (which I did want but forgot). But because it was the most awesome day of my life and it just happened.

    In all honesty, listen to your gut. Don't sweat the small things and don't let this stress you out. It's going to be something you'll remember forever, regardless of how prepped you are.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by The Tattooed Mommie on 26th September 2007