When seeing a maternity facility, what should I be thinking about in terms of questions to ask? While you’re getting the grand tour of the hospital, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions regarding the rules and protocols they follow. In case of complications during labor or delivery, you should be ready.
It’s crucial, for instance, to sleep on the side of the bed where the panic button is located.
Suppose a well-meaning relative wants to pitch in but doesn’t know how to care for a newborn. When the visiting hours are over, ask how long it will be until people may return to their base of operations.
Make sure you have somewhere to rest in between sessions if you’re a breastfeeding mom. Check to see if there is a designated space for this in the hospital; some may not yet have one or may be in the planning stages of building one.
Why should you take a maternity hospital tour?
Expecting a baby doesn’t mean you don’t want to know what to anticipate, especially if it’s your first.
It’s natural to be anxious about how labor and delivery will go. The prospect of a stay in the hospital might be intimidating for first-timers.
If you’re anxious about giving birth, visiting the hospital or birth center where you plan to give birth before the big day can help.
Most hospital tours for expectant mothers should go no longer than an hour and a half. It’s a good idea to check out the hospital where you’ll be giving birth before the big day.
Labor preparation courses are preferable than hospital visits. You should definitely get one of those too.
Questions to Ask on a Hospital Tour for Birth
Very few of us consider alternatives to having a medical professional or midwife present during childbirth. If you ask a doctor or midwife where they would recommend giving birth, you should get an answer rather quickly. While some women may have their pick of several different establishments, others may be forced to stick to just one. It’s crucial that you learn as much as possible about the region you’ve chosen or are considering for your birth.
The questions you pose to your birth team should be tailored to your unique needs, and you should strive to keep lines of communication open at all times. Your doctor will be able to answer many of your questions, but some may be subject to the rules of the facility where you choose to give birth. These policies might have a major bearing on your labor and delivery.
Here are some questions to get you thinking about what you want to know when you visit your place of birth:
Labor and Birth
- Do you have any classes on how to give birth? Do they have a teacher? What’s the price tag? Do you think I could benefit from a course?
- I was wondering if you offered childbirth education. What about a teacher, do they have one? To what extent does it cost? Do you have a course that I may enroll in?
- When should people take comfort measures? Can you tell me the location of the bathroom’s bathtub or shower if that’s the case? Do you have access to things like birth balls, music, squat bars, and the like to help you get in shape?
- Do I need to watch what I consume? Do you have a kitchen I could use if I brought my family with me? What about home-cooked meals and beverages? Do you have things like clear liquids like popsicles, soup, Jell-O®, etc.
- Should I have an IV? To put it another way: what if I had a saline lock that unlocked the door to my veins? Whoever would write this clause into an otherwise unusual insurance contract.
- What other kinds of medicines may people get their hands on? Should I take medicine? From whom do you obtain your intravenous drugs? Can you give patients an epidural if they need it? Is there training required for administering an epidural? Have you got any anesthesiologists who specialize in obstetrics on staff? Do you offer anesthetic around the clock? Can I meet with the anesthesia team prior to birth if I have any questions or concerns?
- Do you have rules on who can and cannot enter your office? I was wondering if your family had a set procedure for dealing with sibling conflicts.
- Are cameras and other recording devices allowed? If there is anything that needs to be disabled, please let me know.
- Is fetal monitoring even possible, and if so, what methods exist? External? Internal? Doppler/fetoscope? What are the rules that the hospital enforces when it comes to giving birth?
- How often do you have a queue of patients waiting to be seen? Do you know what happens if you reach capacity for your facility’s birthing rooms?
- How do you make use of the people who are enrolled in your courses or living in your facilities?
- How many people are brought into your hospital as new patients every year? It is unclear how many pregnant women make use of augmentation techniques. To date, I have performed _% episiotomies. I was wondering how much an epidural would cost. How much do forceps and vacuum cost? How often do cesarean sections occur? How often is VBAC?
- How about doulas? Does your employer use those? I was wondering whether you had a referral list for doulas.
- Who do I notify about my birth plan? Is a signature from my doctor or midwife necessary? What’s the name of my kid’s doctor?
- If I undergo a cesarean section, will I have to give birth in isolation? Exactly what is the name of my doula?
- Is it possible to receive a photo of the delivery?
- Is there a window I may look through to watch the operation? May I request that the shades be drawn? There are also clear drapes if you like.
- How does this facility handle pre-operative medicine? Relieving post-operative discomfort?
- How does this facility handle pre-operative medicine? Relieving post-operative discomfort?
- I would like to know more about the hospital’s policy regarding pre-operative drugs. Reducing Soreness After Surgery?
- How do I gain admission if I need to have a cesarean section?
- So, what do I do if my partner has to leave the room while I’m holding the baby?
- Is the room where I recover from giving birth the same as the one where I gave birth?
- Does your home have separate postpartum rooms, each with its own door? Is it possible that you might allow me out of my room someday?
- Can I take a bath or use the shower? Isn’t a sitz bath more your style?
- Do you have any spare rooms for my extended family to stay the night? How much does this cost?
- Is there any advice you can give to new mothers about how to deal with the discomfort that often follows delivery? Whether or not you needed a cesarean section is a factor. When it comes to breastfeeding women, what do you recommend?
- How long do you think it takes to give birth naturally? Will there be a cesarean section?
- Is there a procedure for expedited patient release?
- What are your housing policies like? Is there any time the baby is not permitted in our room?
- How often do kids get to see their doctors in the hospital? This is not always the best course of action.
- Does your case involve a lactation consultant? When during the week can I expect to see her? When does she start and stop work? Does she have access to all the nursing moms in the area? Does she have a valid professional license?
- How do you handle a baby that isn’t breastfed and a bottle or pacifier?
- When will each sibling get to meet the other again and who gets to choose?
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?
Whether or not a hospital has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit may influence a pregnant woman’s choice of birthing facility (NICU).
Because of the inconvenience of transporting your newborn, you may have opted to give birth in a hospital that houses a NICU.
High-risk pregnancies can also be identified by the presence of maternal risk factors (twin gestation, toxemia, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, etc.) or by the presence of neonatal risk factors (gestational diabetes, gestational diabetes, preterm labor, and premature birth) (fetal cardiac malformations, fetal diaphragmatic hernias, intrauterine growth restriction, etc.).
Just in case, you should probably read up on the various nursery care levels before you leave.
- Newborns are considered to be at the “Level 1” of well-being.
- Second-Stage Special-Needs Childcare
- Critical Care Unit for Extremely Premature Babies
- Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on the fourth level of regionalization
2. What hospital entrance do I use when I arrive in labor?
Particularly first-time parents may choose to run through a mock visit to the hospital.
In all likelihood, you won’t be able to think about anything else but getting to the hospital as quickly and safely as possible.
While it is important to do as much as possible to get ready for labor, you should focus on the most crucial aspects.
Avoid making things harder on yourself. Everyone, of course, should know where the main entrance to the hospital is located.
When women are in active labor at 2 in the morning, it can be difficult to find the entrance to labor and delivery in large hospitals with many doors.
On your tour of the birthing center, be sure to inquire about the entry to the labor and delivery area.
3. What are the pain management options available? Is there always an anesthesiologist present at the hospital?
The tour could be led by a non-medical staff member or a nurse who specializes in delivering babies.
If you are concerned about managing pain during labor, talk to your doctor.
However, you should find out if the hospital provides pain medication (anesthesia services).
4. Does the hospital offer wireless fetal monitoring?
Because of fetal monitoring, pregnant women were required to stay in bed throughout the whole labor and delivery process.
Patients in labor must stay in bed since the monitor requires a direct connection between the FHR and contraction transducers and the bedside monitor.
Wireless fetal monitoring alternatives have been available for some time.
Be sure to inquire about this possibility while touring the maternity ward.
During your visit to the maternity ward, this would be an excellent time to ask any questions you may have about wireless fetal monitoring.
Wireless monitoring, also known as Telemetry monitoring, transmits a wireless signal from a transmitter placed to the patient’s thigh to the central nursing station during labor and delivery.
Telemetry monitoring is able to keep an eye on a patient when they are on the hospital floor.
Since it is typically advised that laboring mothers walk around during the early stages of labor, this type of monitoring was developed to allow them to do so if they so desired.
Despite the widespread availability of wireless monitoring technologies, their use was limited. Poor signal reception was to blame. Because of this, the two most common were:
- wifi signal too weak to reliably stream video
- There was a problem with the transducer picking up the FHR because it was on the move due to the presence of both the mother and the fetus.
In the event that the telemetry signal becomes dead, an alarm will ring. In most cases, moving or repositioning the transducer helped. Sadly, this was a common occurrence, and it caused a great deal of anxiety for the mother.
5. How many people are allowed in the delivery room?
This policy has been revised multiple times, even within the same hospital. If the hospital’s policies aren’t addressed during your tour, don’t hesitate to inquire about them.
If you have a birth plan, this is something to consider including.
Remember that you have ultimate say over every step, from inception to completion. To the labor and delivery room, you may bring anybody you like.
Maybe you’re feeling lonely and wish you had someone to spend your days with. You can find support from a doula, a trusted friend, or even mom. Maybe all of them.
This is a question you and your spouse should consider before you give birth while touring a maternity hospital.
Taking a birthing class together with your partner is highly recommended if you plan to share the delivery room with them.
You and your baby will benefit greatly from the assistance of a skilled delivery partner.
Labor can be a lengthy and challenging process, and your spouse may not know how to best support you or fight for you.
If you are a birth partner, you should take the course “Supporting her.”
Your partner will be able to help you through labor and delivery thanks to the knowledge and techniques you learn. The two-hour course can be taken at the student’s own pace on their smartphone.
6. Who do I give the birth plan to when I arrive at the hospital?
It’s smart to make two copies of your birth plan in case something goes wrong.
Make sure the nurse in the delivery room knows you have a birth plan and gives you a copy to review together.
One copy should be given to a family member who will be at the birth.
If you go to the hospital right before a shift change in the labor and delivery department, make sure the new nurse has access to your birth plan.
Visit the labor and delivery wards of a hospital and you’ll see a flurry of activity. Checking in with the arriving nurse to ensure if she received the birth plan report from the departing nurse is a prudent precaution to take.
If you haven’t already, make a birth plan and attend childbirth preparation classes. Women who made a birth plan or attended childbirth education classes were more likely to give birth vaginally and avoid cesarean sections, according to a recent study.
7. If I have a c-section, who is allowed to attend the delivery?
Several changes have been made to this policy fairly recently. The healthcare industry is making strides to improve the quality of care they provide to its patients.
The surgical procedure known as a cesarean section takes place in a surgical suite. Several regulations have been enacted by the state to ensure the protection of patients.
It has been an ongoing effort by hospitals and OB/GYNs to improve the experience of having a c-section for the entire family. In most cases, if the hospital and your doctor are agreeable, your partner and doula can be with you when you have a cesarean section. You should discuss this with your physician to learn about their procedures.
As a safety measure, you should inquire about this topic during tours of maternity hospitals to find out if a physician or a laborist is always available to handle emergencies that may arise during the course of a birth.
8. Are there lactation specialists available? Do you have a lactation consultant on staff at the hospital?
Find out if a lactation consultant may be reached in the hospital at your convenience. They are very likely correct.
If you plan to breastfeed, it’s useful to be aware of how many different alternatives you have. When do they typically work?
Do you have to invite them over, or do they just show up when you call?
9. Does the hospital allow pacifiers and bottles in the nursery?
Certain medical facilities have banned the use of bottles and pacifiers. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you have them.
Over 500 hospitals in the US have been certified as part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI). The Breastfeeding Helpline International (BFHI) service was established to assist mothers in their efforts to breastfeed their infants (Baby-Friendly USA, 2018).
If you want to breastfeed your child, a BFH may be the best solution for you. Professionals in the field of breastfeeding will be available to lend you the assistance you require.
If you’re worried about nursing your newborn, a BFH can give you the support and assurance you need.
Even if the hospital is certified as “baby-friendly,” it is still important to be open and honest about your decision to feed your child formula. There’s a chance you’ll need to bring your own formula to the hospital. The most practical option is to bring little bottles of ready-to-feed formula. Don’t give in to pressure to change your mind about your decision. It’s your call, in the end.
If the hospital doesn’t have any on hand, bring your own pacifier.
It’s not always easy to breastfeed. Therefore, it is important that you carefully inquire about the policies in place and the resources accessible to you.
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?
Security measures are always heightened in healthcare facilities. Inquire about the policy if it is not discussed.
11. Are there specific hours for visiting? Do you allow young children to visit?
This question is one of the most common ones we get. Determine if there are any age or time of visitation limits. It’s also a good idea to inquire as to whether or not patients are permitted to spend the night at the facility.
As a result of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many hospitals have begun turning away visitors. That’s why it’s crucial to check on the existing policy.
12. Does the hospital support supplement breastfeeding with formula?
For this reason, hospitals have started implementing new policies to deal with this issue head-on. It’s a case-by-case basis.
A number of hospitals have adopted or are in the process of adopting the “Baby-Friendly” label.
In the absence of a medical necessity, exclusive breastfeeding is one of the BFHI’s guidelines for caring for infants. And yet, you are perfectly within your rights to supplement your diet with infant formula.
We firmly believe that no woman should ever be punished for the food she feeds her child.
13. Is there wireless internet access?
If WiFi is offered, it’s a good idea to double check that it’s compatible with your device and internet service provider.
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:
- You’ll go through the delivery room and then the postpartum wing.
- After giving birth, you will be taken to the postpartum area of the hospital (LDR).
- All phases of your hospital stay (labor, delivery, postpartum) will take place in the same room.
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?
We believe it is important to discuss this topic so that you may make an informed decision about whether or not you want medical or nursing students or residents to evaluate you or be present during your birth.
Many hospitals that provide tertiary care also serve as academic medical centers. These hospitals have the resources to treat patients with the most complex medical and surgical needs. Care during pregnancy include both low- and high-risk pregnancies.
Care for expectant mothers and newborns requires a sizable workforce, which is referred to as “perinatal staff” (known as neonatal personnel).
The following are examples of the types of people you might meet on the maternity and postpartum floors of a university hospital.
These are in addition to your personal doctor and nurses:
- Those studying to become doctors and nurses
- Physicians who have finished medical school and are now enrolled in a residency program, such as those in the specialties of obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics, or anesthesiology, are referred to as “residents.” Different kinds of residents include interns in their first year and the chief resident.
- The term “fellow” is used to refer to those who have completed their residency and are now working toward certification as a subspecialist. A perinatologist is a physician who focuses on the health of infants and their families (see below).
- Throughout the first trimester of pregnancy, it is common to see an obstetrician or gynecologist as your primary care provider.
- Teaching hospitals often have a need for the services of a perinatologist. This physician specializes on high-risk pregnancies.
- Tertiary care hospitals need neonatologists for the management of their neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Those who have completed both a pediatric residency and a fellowship in neonatology are qualified to use the term “neonatologist.”
- Your baby will be checked out by the pediatrician on the postpartum ward.
- The term “Obstetric Anesthesiologist” refers to a physician who specializes in pain management during childbirth.
In all likelihood, not all of these are included. Given the existence of both primary and secondary referral hospitals, the quality of care offered by the medical staff will vary.
You won’t have to interact with any of them while you’re in labor, giving birth, or recovering afterwards. Nonetheless, it helps to have an idea of who you might run across.
This is a question you should ask on your tour of the maternity hospital to gain a good sense of the hospital’s current policy.
In most cases, students and residents can be instructed to stay away from your birth.
Avoid any unnecessary confusion by discussing this with your doctor before going to the hospital.
In some medical centers, the laborist also acts as the birthing center’s coordinator.
Be sure to ask the Laborist on the unit whether they plan to have any residents or students present during your birth.
16. What is the preregistration process?
In most cases, this is done beforehand via mail before a trip to the hospital. Your application materials will be waiting for you at the admissions office.
Make sure you’re indeed a patient there.
17. What birthing equipment is provided by the hospital? (birth ball, squat bars, showers, jetted tubs, rocking chair, birthing stool)
This is something you should definitely check into before committing to a hospital, as policies on this matter vary widely amongst facilities.
Hygiene-wise, it’s a good idea to carry along some small, portable toiletries (birth ball, etc.).
18. Where will I be evaluated when I arrive at the hospital?
Women who are in the process of giving birth are taken to a special triage area.
There will be an evaluation here before you are allowed into labor.
You must know the triage area’s location and how to get there from the hospital’s main lobby.
19. What is the hospital’s policy about photography? (ie. cameras / video cameras during labor/delivery/c-section)?
This is an essential inquiry to make during a tour of a maternity facility.
Different hospitals have different rules about photography in the birth room.
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is possible that your birth photographer will not be permitted on the maternity ward.
Having a professional birth photographer there throughout labor and delivery is becoming increasingly popular.
If you plan on bringing a photographer to document the birth, it is important to find out the hospital’s guidelines on doing so. Verify if the doctors in your insurance network have the same policies (not only your personal provider).
To get the best results while working with a professional photographer, you need to allocate a sizable cash and plenty of time. If this is something you’ve thought about doing while giving birth, you’ll want the process to go as smoothly as possible.
Some hospitals and doctors will allow you to record and take pictures while you’re in labor, but this isn’t always the case.
This is due, in part, to concerns about legal liability.
The whole attention of the medical professionals should be on helping you give delivery without incident.
Asking these questions will help you stay on track with your birth plan and avoid any surprises.
Without prior discussion, hospitals and providers are unlikely to make an exception to this policy.
It’s stressful enough to get to the hospital when you’re in labor. Avoid renewing old feuds that could have been settled during your prenatal care.
The following, are the specific questions you will want to ask the hospital and your provider:
This area features a medical center. (Ask these questions prior to your hospital visit and well in advance of your due date.)
- At specific points in your labor and delivery, you may choose to have professional photographs taken. What is it you’re trying to say? Postpartum?
- Can a photographer accompany you into the operating room if you need to have a cesarean?
- If all of the doctors who deliver patients are okay with it, can we snap pictures during labor and delivery at your clinic?
- Can anything and everything be photographed? It’s fine to film before and after the birth, but is it inappropriate to film during?
- If the hospital allows it, would you and your coworkers be willing to videotape my cesarean section?
A last-minute panic can be avoided for all parties involved in your delivery if this problem is solved in advance.
You should strive to understand why the policy prohibits photography outside of the standard exceptions and respect that decision if you want your service providers to feel safe and secure while they’re on the clock.
If photographing is prohibited beyond the scope of standard operating procedures, please understand that we wish to ensure that all of our service providers feel safe and secure while they are on the clock for you.
20. Can my baby room in with me instead of being in the nursery?
You should try to remember that you care about your suppliers’ comfort while they’re working, therefore if the policy is to not allow photographs above the regular allowances, try to respect that.
Do your best to put your service providers at ease rather than taking images of them at work.
Check with the hospital administration if you’re worried that they don’t have a well-baby nursery.
Some of this shift can be explained by the increasing number of hospitals catering to families with young children. The terms “baby-friendly” and “new mom-friendly” are not interchangeable.
Assuming this is standard procedure at the facility, you may want to have a friend or family member accompany you.
That’s why it’s okay with me if you don’t have any other kids at home or are a single parent. If you need help, talk to a friend, mom, or postpartum doula. You should make sure you have backers.
Expect to feel tired and sore after giving birth vaginally, even if everything goes smoothly. When you’re caring for a baby at home by yourself, 24 hours can seem like an eternity.
After a C-section, you’ll likely spend many days in the hospital, and it’s helpful to have someone else there to help you take care of the baby.
Be sure to inquire about the hospital’s rooming-in policy before giving birth to your child.
When should you do a hospital tour when pregnant?
The seventh month of pregnancy marks the beginning of the third trimester, and is therefore an excellent time to visit the hospital. You can embark on the tour if you’re between the 30th and 34th week of pregnancy.
Can I apply for short-term disability if I’m already pregnant?
Short-term disability payments under the Social Security Act are available to women who are already pregnant. You’ll be able to handle the pregnancy and the newborn with more ease.
Once you apply for this type of policy, the insurance provider makes the final decision as to whether or not they will provide coverage. Typically, short-term disability insurance will cover between 50 and 60 percent of an employee’s regular monthly salary if they are unable to work due to an injury or illness (including pregnancy).
Many working mothers assume that their employers will cover their living expenses during the first few months after giving birth. However, this is not always the case, especially in smaller companies with only one HR specialist.
When can I apply for short-term disability for pregnancy?
An expecting mother can apply for temporary disability as soon as she meets the requirements. A woman who has returned to work after taking maternity leave may be eligible for short-term disability benefits after working for her current employer for a year.
The effects of taking time off for pregnancy-related reasons like bed rest or hospitalization are the same as if the woman did not take any time off at all. In some cases, the eligibility period is doubled from one year to two.
There are no minimum weekly hour restrictions for the first 60 days after a child is born, making it much easier for mothers to comply (or longer if the mother was hospitalized).
Is Short-Term disability worth it for maternity leave?
Short-term disability benefits are an expansion of your current health insurance, and they are available to all employees, not just parents. It can be used as a supplement to regular income for pregnant women and others who are unable to work due to illness or injury.
When an employee takes medical leave and has short-term disability coverage through the Family and Medical Leave Act, they can receive up to 60% of their regular pay (FMLA).
This percentage can change because of factors like company policy. The length of time you have to wait before receiving medical care after becoming ill or wounded varies widely from one company to the next.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protects employees who have worked for at least a year and who are unable to return to work for more than three consecutive days due to illness or accident.
How much is a pregnancy photoshoot?
Pregnancy portrait sessions might cost anything from $200 to $500. When planning a photo shoot, it’s important to think about who will take the pictures, where they will be taken, and how long you want the photo session to last.
Some photographers provide discounts if you only require their services for one day instead of two. In addition, some businesses provide bundles that include maternity photos! If you’re interested in scheduling a pregnancy photography session, you should do so as soon as possible.
What should my husband wear for maternity pics?
Your husband should wear something he feels good in and is appropriate for the event. Zippers and buttons can damage film if they aren’t properly lubricated before production begins.
If you’re going to be shooting, it’s best not to put on a brand new shirt right before you go. Dressing comfortably but beautifully is the best way to show how far along you are in your pregnancy.
How far in advance should you schedule maternity photos?
Taking pictures of pregnant ladies is a great way for them to have a tangible reminder of this special time in their lives. Thanks to them, you’ll be able to record wonderful memories of this momentous occasion and hold on to them forever.
If you want your maternity photos edited and printed in time for your due date, arrange your shoot at least two months in advance.
Whether the shots were taken on location or in a studio, it could take up to six weeks after the delivery to obtain all of the high-quality images your photographer took.
If you give birth at 37 weeks, your body will have time to rest and recover.
What should I ask my birthing center?
What type of follow-up care can I count on once I’m no longer under your supervision? You can do house calls, right? …at the hospital with you when you give birth? What, if anything, would you change now that you have this knowledge?
Can you tour a hospital before giving birth?
Visit all the areas of the hospital you’ll be in before you get there. You can anticipate encountering a triage area in a medical setting. Before being admitted to the birthing or postpartum rooms, your doctor may decide to have you undergo an evaluation in the triage area. If your hospital has them, you should look at both private and semi-private rooms.
What do you do on a hospital tour?
They may offer services like infant CPR training and breastfeeding support groups. Women who choose to give birth at that facility are typically offered them at no cost or at a very reduced rate.
What are birthing options?
There are a variety of options for giving birth, including natural childbirth with no medical intervention, assisted childbirth, and a Cesarean section (C-section). Labor and delivery can take place anywhere, including at home, in a birthing center, or in a hospital.
Does your Obgyn deliver your baby?
Your OB/GYN will perform the delivery, but they will typically rely on you and your care team to monitor your progress and let them know when it’s time. Your obstetrician might also offer advice on conventional childbirth assistance.