Updated at: 25-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What questions should I bring up when I go on a tour of a maternity hospital? Ask questions about hospital regulations and procedures during a tour of the facility. If something goes wrong during labor or delivery, you’ll want to be prepared.

The side of the bed that has an emergency button close is important, for example.

As an example, let’s imagine a member of the family is eager to help but has never dealt with a baby before. When the visiting hours are over, ask how long it will be until people may return to their base of operations.

If you’re a breastfeeding mother, make sure you have a place to recover between sessions! See if the hospital has a room specifically for this purpose, as some still don’t or are still in the process of constructing these facilities.

Why should you take a maternity hospital tour?

Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t want to know what to expect.

Normal apprehension regarding the outcome of labor and delivery is understandable. A hospital stay might be frightening for first-timers.

Questions to Ask During a Maternity Hospital Tour - Baby Chick

Take a prenatal hospital visit or a tour of the birth center where you intend to give birth to alleviate your worries.

About an hour and a half is a good length of time for most hospital tours for pregnant women. Touring the hospital before you go into labor is worth the time spent.

Childbirth classes are better than a hospital tour. Yes, you must take one of those as well.

Questions to Ask on a Hospital Tour for Birth

Only a very small percentage of us think beyond hiring a doctor or midwife to help us give birth. Choose a doctor or midwife and it looks like they’ll tell you where their preferred place to give birth is almost immediately. Some ladies may be able to select from a variety of locations, while others are limited to one. Asking inquiries or interviewing the area where you’ve chosen or may choose to give birth is essential.

You should personalize the questions you ask your birth team to meet your specific requirements, and you should always want to open the lines of communication. Some of your questions may be answered by your doctor, while others will be governed by the policies of the hospital or birth center where you choose to give birth. When it comes to your labor and delivery, these policies can have a significant impact.

Here are a few starter questions to get you thinking about what to ask at your birthplace:

Labor and Birth

  • Do you have any classes on how to give birth? Do they have a teacher? What’s the price tag? Is there a class for me?
  • When it’s time to give birth, where should I go? Has anyone been here at night?
  • Before a woman can be admitted to the hospital for labor, what documentation must she complete? Is there anything more I need to take care of? Does this need to be done before the birth of a child?
  • When I go into labor, what should I have with me? Is my chart going to be mailed to me or will I have to bring it with me?
  • How do you prioritize your patients’ needs? In general, how long does a person spend in triage?
  • Is there a wide range of options for birthing rooms? In a single room, can I give birth, labor, and recover?
  • To what extent do you advise people to take comfort measures? If so, where is the tub or shower located? If so, do you have access to exercise equipment such as birth balls, music, squat bars, and so on?
  • Is there a restriction on what I can eat or drink? Is there a kitchen area for myself or my family? What about food and drink from home? Do you provide clear liquids like popsicles, broth, Jell-o®, etc?
  • Is IV therapy necessary? What if I had a saline lock that would allow me to access my veins? If this is not a typical policy, who would make this provision?
  • What kinds of drugs are out there? Do I need to take medication? Where do you get your IV drugs from? Is epidural anesthesia something you provide? When it comes to the epidural, is there a specific class to take? Do you have obstetric anesthesiologists on staff? Does your facility have 24-hour anesthesia? If I have any specific concerns, can I meet with the anesthetic team before delivery to discuss them?
  • In terms of workplace visitors, do you have any guidelines? Is there a policy in place for dealing with siblings in your household?
  • Is it permissible to use cameras and film equipment? Please let me know if there are any parts that should be turned off.
  • Are there any options for fetal monitoring? External? Internal? Doppler/fetoscope? When it comes to labor, what are the hospital’s guidelines?
  • What percentage of the time are you dealing with a backlog of patients? Do you know what happens if all of your birthing rooms are already booked?
  • In what ways do you put students and residents to use?
  • How many new patients are admitted to your hospital each year? The number of women who have augmentation during labor is unknown. My episiotomy rate is _ percent. What’s the rate of an epidural? What are the rates for forceps and vacuum? Rates for c-sections? What is the rate of VBAC?
  • Does your company employ any doulas? Do you have a list of doulas available to you?
  • My birth plan should be sent to whom? Is my doctor or midwife’s signature required on this document? My pediatrician is?

Cesarean Birth

  • Do I have to be alone if I have a cesarean delivery? What is my doula’s name?
  • Is there any way we can get a picture of the birth?
  • Is there a mirror so I can observe the surgery? Is it possible to lower the drapes? Clear drapes are also available.
  • What is the pre-operative medicine policy at this hospital? Relieving post-operative discomfort?
  • Is skin-to-skin contact possible as soon as my kid is born?
  • Is the baby going to be with me while I’m having surgery? Are you in the hospital’s recovery room? To begin nursing, when can I?
  • If a cesarean section is on the horizon, how can I get admitted?
  • What happens if my partner needs to get out of the room with the baby?

Postpartum

  • Is my postpartum room the same as the one I used for labor and delivery?
  • Does every postpartum room in your house have a door? Is there any chance you’ll ever let me out of my room?
  • Is there a bathtub or a shower in the rooms? What about soaking in a sitz tub?
  • Are there any rooms available for overnight guests from my family? Do you have to pay for this?
  • What postpartum pain management solutions are out there for new mothers? It depends on whether you had a cesarean section or not. What about mothers who are still breast-feeding?
  • Do you know how long it takes to have a vaginal birth? Is this a cesarean?
  • Is there a policy in place to allow patients to be discharged early?

Baby Care

  • When it comes to housing, what is your policy? Is there a moment when the infant is not allowed in our room?
  • How frequently do pediatricians see patients at the hospital? There are times in which this is not suitable.
  • Has a lactation consultant been assigned to your case? What days of the week is she available? What are her working hours? Is she able to view all of the nursing mothers in her area? Is she a licensed professional?
  • Breastfeeding infants and bottles/pacifiers: What are the rules here?
  • Who gets to see their siblings when?

20 Questions To Ask On Your Maternity Hospital Tour:

1. Is there a newborn intensive care unit (NICU)? What floor is it located on? Is it easy to access from the postpartum rooms?

A woman’s decision on where to give birth could be affected by the presence or absence of a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

One explanation could be that you choose to give birth in a hospital with an on-site NICU in order to save on travel time.

In addition, your pregnancy may be classified high-risk for maternal reasons (twins, toxemia, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, etc.) or high-risk because of neonatal problems detected during your prenatal care (such as gestational diabetes, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, and preterm birth) (fetal cardiac malformations, fetal diaphragmatic hernias, intrauterine growth restriction, etc.).

You might want to familiarize yourself with the different levels of nursery care before you go, just in case.

  • Level 1 of well-being for newborns
  • Level 2 Special Needs Nursery
  • ICU for Newborns with Severe Severity
  • Level 4 of the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

2. What hospital entrance do I use when I arrive in labor?

First-time parents, especially, will want to practice the hospital trip ahead of time.

Assume that the only thing on your mind will be getting to the hospital as fast and safely as possible.

Preparation for labor is critical, but you should limit your attention to the essentials.

Don’t make things more difficult for yourself. It goes without saying that everyone should know exactly where the hospital’s entrance is.

The labor and delivery entrance might be difficult to locate in large hospitals with numerous doors, especially at 2:00 a.m. when women are in active labor.

Ask for the entrance to labor and delivery on your tour of the maternity facility.

3. What are the pain management options available? Is there always an anesthesiologist present at the hospital?

A non-clinical hospital employee or a labor and delivery nurse could be in charge of leading the tour of the maternity facility.

Your personal healthcare practitioner is best-suited to answer your concerns about labor pain management.

You should, however, inquire about the availability of pain treatment (anesthesia coverage) at the hospital.

4. Does the hospital offer wireless fetal monitoring?

Pregnant women were confined to their beds because of fetal monitoring during childbirth.

Because the monitor requires a direct connection of the FHR and contraction transducers to the bedside monitor, laboring patients have to remain in bed.

There have been wireless options for monitoring the fetus for some time now.

When you tour the labor and delivery floor, make sure to ask if this service is provided.

If you have questions concerning wireless fetal monitoring during your tour of the maternity hospital, it’s a good opportunity to bring them up.

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Using a transmitter that is attached to the patient’s thigh, wireless monitoring, also known as Telemetry monitoring, transmits a wireless signal to the central nursing station in labor and delivery.

As long as the patient is on the hospital floor, telemetry monitoring can keep an eye on them.

This sort of monitoring was created to alleviate the need for laboring patients to be confined to bed for the duration of their labor, since ambulation is generally recommended during the early stages of labor.

Even while wireless monitoring was widely available, it was rarely employed. This was due to a lack of signal reception. For this reason, the two most prevalent ones were:

  1. a weak wifi connection
  2. The FHR could no longer be picked up by the transducer since it was moving due to the presence of both mother and fetus.

*An alarm is sounded if the telemetry signal is lost. Adjusting the transducer’s position was the most common solution. Sadly, this happened frequently and was extremely stressful for the mother.

5. How many people are allowed in the delivery room?

Within the same hospital, this policy has changed numerous times. Make sure to ask if the hospital has any policies in place if they aren’t mentioned during your tour.

If you’ve established a birth plan, you may wish to include this in it.

Keep in mind that you are in control of the entire process, from conception to delivery. You get to choose who will accompany you to the delivery room.

You may desire the company of a spouse or partner. A doula, a close friend, or even your mother can be a helpful resource. All of them, perhaps.

You should ask this during your maternity hospital tour and discuss it with your partner before you go into labor.

If you and your spouse are going to be in the delivery room together, it’s a terrific idea to take a birthing class.

Having an experienced delivery partner who knows how to care for both you and the baby is a great idea!

Your partner may not know how to support you or advocate for you during labor, which may be a long and difficult process.

The online course “Supporting her” is a great resource for birth companions!

Practical skills and procedures are taught so that your spouse can assist you during your labor and delivery. The class lasts for two hours and can be completed on a smartphone at the student’s convenience.

6. Who do I give the birth plan to when I arrive at the hospital?

Having two copies of your birth plan is a good idea.

You should tell the maternity ward nurse that you have a birth plan and provide her a copy.

One copy should go to a member of your family who will be present during your birth.

Ensure that your birth plan is available to the new labor and delivery nurse if you arrive at the hospital just before a shift change.

On your maternity hospital tour, you’ll notice that labor and delivery units are a whirlwind of activity. A smart approach is to verify with the arriving nurse to see if she received the birth plan report from the nurse who was heading home.

Doing a birth plan and enrolling in childbirth education classes are two things you should do if you haven’t already done so. The likelihood of a vaginal birth and avoidance of a c-section was higher among women who had a birth plan or had taken a childbirth class, according to a recent study.

7. If I have a c-section, who is allowed to attend the delivery?

Recently, this policy has undergone several adjustments. Hospitals are making an effort to better serve their patients.

A cesarean section is performed in a hospital operating room. To guarantee patient safety, the state has imposed various limits.

Hospitals and OB/GYNs have been working to make c-sections more family-oriented and supportive.. Your partner and doula can usually accompany you to the hospital for your c-section if the facility and doctor allow it. You should talk to your doctor about this so you are aware of their policies.

As a precaution, we recommend bringing up this topic when you are touring maternity hospitals to see if the facility has a doctor on call or a laborist on call to cover deliveries.

8. Are there lactation specialists available? Do you have a lactation consultant on staff at the hospital?

Whether the hospital offers a lactation consultant, find out if they are available when you need them. They’re probably right.

It’s helpful to know how many options there are if you intend to breastfeed. What are their working hours?

Do you have to beg them to visit you, or will they come to you?

9. Does the hospital allow pacifiers and bottles in the nursery?

In some hospitals, pacifiers and bottles are no longer allowed. If you have any questions, ask.

BFHI (Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative) certification has been awarded to over 500 US hospitals. In order to help women successfully breastfeed their newborns, the BFHI program was created (Baby-Friendly USA, 2018).

A BFH may be the best option for you if you intend to nurse your child. Breastfeeding specialists will be on hand to provide you with the support you need to succeed.

A BFH can provide the support and confidence you need to nurse your new baby if you are unsure.

Be upfront with the hospital about your decision to feed your kid with formula, even if it’s a “baby-friendly” designated hospital. It’s possible that you’ll be asked to carry your own formula to the hospital. Bringing small bottles of ready-to-feed formula is the most convenient alternative. If you’re pushed about your decision, don’t back down. In the end, it’s all up to you.

Bring your own pacifier just in case the hospital doesn’t have any on hand.

Breastfeeding isn’t always a piece of cake. As a result, be careful to enquire about the policies in place and the resources available to you so that you can succeed.

10. What security measures are there? Do people have to be buzzed in, are there security guards, and is a device placed on my baby to make sure he/she cannot leave the floor?

In hospitals, security is extremely tight. If the policy is not brought up, inquire about it.

11. Are there specific hours for visiting? Do you allow young children to visit?

This is a frequently asked query. Find out whether there are any restrictions on when you can visit and how old you must be. Additionally, you may want to find out if the hospital allows patients to stay overnight.

Many hospitals are refusing to accept visitors as a result of COVID-19. Because of this, it is important to inquire about the current policy.

12. Does the hospital support supplement breastfeeding with formula?

In order to explicitly address this problem, hospitals have begun establishing new policies. It all depends on the situation.

The “Baby-Friendly” designation has been adopted or is in the process of being adopted by several hospitals.

One of the BFHI’s standards of care is that unless medically necessary, an infant is fed only breastmilk. Having said that, you have every right to take infant formula in addition to the food you’re already eating.

It is our firm belief that no mother should be victimized because of the way she chooses to feed her child.

13. Is there wireless internet access?

In the event that WiFi is accessible, you may want to inquire about connectivity, as this can cause a problem depending on your internet provider and the device you are using.

14. Will I be in one room during my entire stay, or will I be moved to a separate postpartum floor?

Your hospital will have one of the following arrangements. Ask if you have any questions:

  • Labor & Delivery, after which you’ll be moved to the postpartum floor.
  • You will be transported to the postpartum floor from the labor and delivery room (LDR).
  • One room for the duration of your hospitalization: Labor/Delivery/Recovery/Postpartum

15. Is this a teaching hospital? Will students or residents attend the birth? Can I request that they not attend if I don’t feel comfortable with them there?

In order for you to make an educated decision about whether you want medical or nursing students or residents evaluating you or present during your birth, we think it’s vital to address this subject.

Tertiary care hospitals frequently double as teaching hospitals. These medical facilities are equipped to handle the most difficult medical and surgical cases. Pregnancy care involves both normal and high-risk situations.

A large number of people are needed to care for pregnant women (known as perinatal staff) and babies (known as neonatal personnel).

People you may encounter on the labor and delivery and postpartum floors of an academic medical center are listed below.

These are in addition to your personal doctor and nurses:

  1. Students in the medical and nursing professions
  2. The term “resident” refers to physicians who have completed medical school and are now completing their residency training in OB/GYN, Pediatrics, and Anesthesiology fields. First-year interns and chief residents are all types of residents.
  3. Aspiring subspecialists are known as “fellows” since they have finished their residency and are in the process of becoming one. A perinatologist is a doctor who specializes in the care of newborns (see below).
  4. An obstetrician or gynecologist is often your primary care physician throughout the first trimester of pregnancy.
  5. A perinatologist is frequently employed by teaching hospitals. High-risk pregnancies are handled by this doctor.
  6. Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) management necessitates the presence of neonatologists at tertiary care hospitals. Those with a neonatology specialized fellowship and a pediatric residency have earned the title of “neonatologist.”
  7. On the postpartum floor, your pediatrician will evaluate your newborn.
  8. Specialist in the care of labor and delivery patients: Obstetric Anesthesiologist

It’s possible that some of these aren’t even on this list. Due to the fact that main and secondary teaching hospitals exist, the level of treatment provided by the staff will differ.

During your labor and delivery, as well as the postpartum period, you won’t have to deal with all of these folks. However, it’s always helpful to know who you might run into.

On your maternity hospital tour, you’ll want to ask this question to get a clear picture of the hospital’s current policies.

Students and residents can generally be asked not to attend your delivery if you so desire.

You’ll want to talk to your doctor about this before you arrive at the hospital to avoid any confusion.

In some hospitals, a laborist serves as the unit’s delivery coordinator.

The Laborist on the unit should know that you don’t want residents or students present during your birth, so be sure to ask about this on your hospital tour.

16. What is the preregistration process?

Before you travel to the hospital, this is usually done by mail. The admissions office will have your paperwork ready for you when you arrive.

Verify that you are a patient of the hospital.

17. What birthing equipment is provided by the hospital? (birth ball, squat bars, showers, jetted tubs, rocking chair, birthing stool)

Hospitals differ greatly on this issue, so it’s wise to inquire.

It’s recommended to bring portable personal things for hygiene reasons (birth ball, etc.).

18. Where will I be evaluated when I arrive at the hospital?

There is a specific triage unit for women in labor and delivery.

Before being admitted to labor and delivery, you will be evaluated here.

It is critical that you are familiar with the hospital’s triage layout and how to get there from the main lobby.

19. What is the hospital’s policy about photography? (ie. cameras / video cameras during labor/delivery/c-section)?

At the maternity hospital tour, this is a must-ask question.

In the delivery room, hospitals have varying policies about photography.

As a result of COVID-19, birth photographers may not be allowed on the unit where you’ll be giving birth.

More and more people are opting to have their labor and delivery documented by a professional birth photographer.

Consult the hospital’s policy on birth photography if you intend to bring a photographer along. Also, check out if your medical group’s providers follow the same policy (not only your personal provider).

Hiring a photographer necessitates extensive preparation and a substantial budget. If this is part of your birth plan, you’ll want to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible during labor.

While some hospitals and healthcare professionals permit recording and taking photos during labor, this is not always the case throughout delivery.

One of the reasons for this is the possibility of problems and issues with liability.

Medical and nursing staff should be entirely focused on assisting you safely birth your baby.

To avoid any last-minute modifications to your birth plan, be sure to ask these questions.

It is doubtful that hospitals and providers will make an exception to this policy if it has not been addressed in advance.

Getting to the hospital in labor is already stressful enough. Conflicts that may have been resolved during your prenatal care should be avoided at all costs.

How to choose the best hospital for your labor and delivery | BabyCenter

The following, are the specific questions you will want to ask the hospital and your provider:

There is a hospital here (Ask these questions well before your due date and ideally before your hospital tour.)

  • Your labor and delivery can be documented by professional photographers at certain times. Labor? Delivery? Postpartum?
  • In the event of a cesarean section, can a photographer be present in the delivery room?

Provider:

  • Is it possible to take pictures of labor and delivery in your medical practice if all the doctors who deliver patients accept it?
  • Is there a limit to what may be captured on camera? Filming before and after delivery is fine, but what about during delivery?
  • Will your colleagues allow you to videotape my cesarean section if the hospital permits it?

By addressing this issue ahead of time, you may spare everyone engaged in your delivery process the stress of a last-minute scramble.

If the policy is not to allow photography, other than the usual allowances, try to accept this and realize that you want your providers to be comfortable performing their job.

If the policy is not to allow photography, other than the usual allowances, try to accept this and realize that you want your providers to be comfortable performing their job.

20. Can my baby room in with me instead of being in the nursery?

If the policy is not to allow photographs, other than the standard allowances, try to accept this and remember that you want your suppliers to feel comfortable performing their work.

Let go of your want to take pictures and instead focus on making your service providers feel at ease as they do their job.

If you’re concerned about the lack of a well-baby nursery at your hospital, you’ll want to inquire.

Some of this can be attributed to the fact that more hospitals are becoming “baby-friendly.” There is a difference between “baby-friendly” and “new mom friendly.”

Assuming this is the hospital’s protocol, you should seriously consider bringing along an emotional support person with you while you’re there.

Because of this, I understand if you’re a single parent or don’t have any other children at home. Ask a friend, your mother, or a postpartum doula for advice. Make certain you have support.

Even if your vaginal birth goes smoothly, you can expect to feel sore and weary afterward. If you’re alone with a newborn and in need of care, a 24-hour stay can feel like a lifetime.

When having a C-section, you can expect to be in the hospital for a few days, and you’ll want a companion to assist you in caring for the baby during your recovery time.

Rooming-in policies can make it difficult for new mothers to rest, so be sure to ask about the rooming-in policy during your prenatal tour of the hospital.

FAQs

When should you do a hospital tour when pregnant?

The beginning of the third trimester, in month seven of pregnancy, is an ideal time to go on a hospital tour. Between the 30th and 34th week of your pregnancy, you can go on the tour.

Can I apply for short-term disability if I’m already pregnant?

If you’re already pregnant, you can qualify for short-term disability benefits under the Social Security Act. With this, you’ll be able to better manage your pregnancy and care for your newborn baby thereafter.

It’s up to the insurance company to decide whether or not to cover you once you’ve applied for this type of policy. It is common for short-term disability insurance plans to pay around half of an employee’s monthly wages when they are unable to work because they are sick (including pregnancy).

Even though many employees feel that their employer provides them with paid maternity leave during these first few months after delivering a baby, this is not always the case, especially in smaller organizations where there may only be one HR professional.

When can I apply for short-term disability for pregnancy?

As soon as she is eligible, a pregnant woman can file for short-term disability. Having returned to work after taking a leave of absence for a pregnancy, a woman may be eligible for short-term disability benefits after one year of employment with the same employer.

Pregnancy-related time off, such as bed rest or hospitalization, has the same effect when a woman does not take any time off. Instead of one year, the eligibility period is extended to two years in these situations.

In the first 60 days following the birth of a child, it will be significantly easier for a mother to meet the requirements because there are no minimum weekly hours required (or longer if the mother was hospitalized).

Is Short-Term disability worth it for maternity leave?

All employees, not only parents, are eligible for short-term disability benefits, which are an extension of your current health insurance. While on maternity leave, it can be utilized as an additional source of income for those unable to work because of illness or accident.

Under the Family Medical Leave Act, employees can receive up to 60 percent of their wage while on medical leave with short-term disability coverage (FMLA).

Depending on the policy of the business and other reasons, this percentage can vary. When you initially become ill or injured, there is a waiting period of between one day and two weeks – this varies from company to business.

As long as you have worked for at least a year and are unable to return to work for more than three consecutive days because of illness or injury, you are eligible for FMLA benefits.

How much is a pregnancy photoshoot?

Costs for maternity photoshoots can range from $200 to $500 each session. The photographer, the venue, and the amount of time you want them to shoot with you are all factors to consider.

If you only need one day of photography services instead of two, some photographers may provide a discount. Moreover, several companies include maternity images in their packages! Make sure to get in touch early if you’re interested in booking a pregnancy photography session, as spots fill up quickly!

What should my husband wear for maternity pics?

It’s important that your husband dress comfortably and properly for the occasion. Anything with zippers or buttons that aren’t properly lubricated before the shoot can cause harm to the film.

Try not to put on fresh clothes immediately before the shooting, since this could cause your shirt to spread out or the seams to rip! When trying to demonstrate how far along you are in your pregnancy, the best thing to do is to dress comfortably but attractively.

How far in advance should you schedule maternity photos?

Photographing expecting women during their pregnancies is a wonderful method for them to preserve these priceless memories. You’ll be able to capture some fantastic images and keep a lasting reminder of this special event thanks to them.

Maternity photo shoots should be scheduled at least two months before your due date in order to allow for sufficient editing and processing time.

Even if you plan ahead of time, it may take up to six weeks following the birth to receive all of the high-quality photographs from your photographer, depending on whether they are shot on location or in a studio.

You can give your body some time to recuperate after the birth if you schedule them 37 weeks into your pregnancy.

What should I ask my birthing center?

After I leave your care, what kind of assistance can I expect? A home visit is an option, right? in the birthing center with you? Is there anything you would do differently if you had this information?

Can you tour a hospital before giving birth?

During your hospital stay, you should tour all of the rooms you’ll be visiting. If your hospital has a triage section, you can expect to see it. Your doctor may send you to be evaluated in the triage room before admitting you to the birth and postpartum rooms. Check out both private and semi-private rooms if your hospital has them.

What do you do on a hospital tour?

Infant CPR and breastfeeding classes may be included in their services. In most cases, they are provided free of charge or at a significantly discounted cost to women who want to give birth at that facility.

What are birthing options?

Natural childbirth without assistance, assisted childbirth, and Cesarean delivery are all choices for childbirth delivery (C-section). Home, birth center, or hospital are all options for giving birth.

Does your Obgyn deliver your baby?

Your OB-GYN will deliver your baby, but he or she will normally rely on your care team to keep an eye on your progress and alert them when the time is right. Common birth aids might also be discussed with your OB-GYN.