So I'm about 30 weeks and some-odd days along and I'm getting antsy. Aside from nesting, I am really just wanting to make sure that I am totally prepared for whatever this kid can throw at me. I'm a list-maker, and the making of lists is in full-force, my friends. I decided to blog it all in a few different parts so my fellow pregos and pregos-to-be might benefit from my obsessive-compulsiveness.
This is Part 1 - Visiting the Hospital or Birthing Center
It's important to know how your hospital or birthing center operates. Every place does things a little differently, so a tour is something I would HIGHLY recommend (unless you have given birth there before). Eva will be my second, but I've never delivered at this hospital, so I'm scheduling a tour within the next week or so. Most hospitals have scheduled tours and you generally go as a group with a handful of other expectant parents. I would recommend bringing your partner along.
It's important to know your surroundings when you're ready to have a baby. Things can get hectic, so familiarity is key to keeping things as calm and comfortable as possible. There are a lot of things you'll want to take note of and it's a good idea to have a list of questions handy for your tour. Here are some things that I will be jotting down and questions I'll be asking:
- Quickest driving route (and alternate routes in case of construction or traffic)
- Where to park (most hospitals want you to park in a specific lot or level depending on what you're there for)
- What is the process when checking in for labor/delivery?
- Will I be laboring, delivering, and recovering all in the same room? or will I be moved to a different room for recovery?
- What is the nurse-to-patient ratio in the maternity ward?
- What features are there is the delivery room? (tv, dvd player, music, dim lights, etc.)
- Do you have a squat bar/birthing chair/labor tub/birthing ball? (if these are things that you're interested in)
- Are the labor/delivery rooms equipped with showers? What about the recovery room? (if separate)
- Can my spouse and/or doula be with me at all times? Even if I have a c-section?
- How many people are allowed in the room with me during labor and delivery?
- Are cell phones allowed?
- Can the outlets be used for personal electronics? (sounds like a dumb question, but the hospital I delivered Gabriel in didn't allow me to plug in anything...)
- What routine tests/vaccinations/procdures will my baby get? How/when can I opt out if I choose to?
- Do you have a NICU? If not, where is the nearest NICU and how are babies transported if necessary?
- Is there a place for my partner to lie down while I'm in labor?
- Can my partner stay (overnight) with me in my postpartum room?
- What are the rooming-in options with my baby?
- Are there lactation consultants available after my baby is born?
- What is your visitor policy? What about for siblings?
- How long can I stay after a vaginal birth? How quickly can I be discharged?
- How long can I stay after a c-section? How quickly can I be discharged?
- What materials/toiletries are provided by the hospital while I'm here? (for both mother AND baby - knowing the answer to this question will really come in handy when you pack your hospital bag!)
I hope that helps anybody who is planning on going on a tour of their hospital/birthing center! Again - I highly recommend doing so. Let me know if there is anything you would add to this list!