Pregnancy is such a magical time, but it can also feel like a never ending to-do list. I wrote a post on what to do before your baby’s due date to help make life with a baby easier and what to pack in your hospital bag. One of the important items on that to-do list is to take a maternity tour. The maternity tour, gives you an opportunity to see the spaces you will occupy while you’re in the hospital and allows you to ask all the questions your heart desires.
I have a super Type A personality so I wanted to know everything there was to know about the hospital before deciding to give birth there. Below are the ultimate list of questions that you should ask during your maternity tour.
*UPDATE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll want to make sure that you know any new rules that the hospital may be enforcing. Especially rules related to having an advocate (spouse, friend, etc.) while you’re in labor.*
Labor & Delivery Rooms
- Will I labor and deliver in the same room?
- Are all the labor and delivery rooms private? If not, how would I go about securing a private room and how much would this cost?
- Are the bathrooms private or shared?
- Is there a bathtub in the bathroom?
- After birth, how long will I be in the delivery room before moving to the postpartum room?
- What happens if the L&D floor is full? How often does this happened?
- How many people can I have in the room before and after delivery?
- Can my partner stay the night?
- Am I allowed to eat or drink during labor?
- Are the baby’s siblings allowed in the labor and delivery room (before, during, or after delivery)?
- Do all of the rooms look like the one being shown for the tour?
- Are there any situations that may take me away from my partner during labor?
- Is WiFi available in the L&D room?
- Who should I give my birthing plan to?
- Can I birth at my own pace or will there be a time limit?
- How often do you perform pelvic exams during labor?
- What’s the hospital’s C-section rate?
- What are your maternal and infant mortality rates at this hospital?
- What laboring equipment do you provide? Birth balls, showers, squat bars?
- What’s the average wait time for an epidural?
- Is there always an anesthesiologist on site?
- Do you have wireless monitoring available?
- What positions do you allow mothers to give birth?
- Can I push in a shower or tub?
- Will I be able to walk around the room and halls during labor?
- Do you allow cameras and video recording during labor?
- If I have a c-section, can I do skin-to-skin immediately after the baby is removed from my womb?
- Are all the mother and baby rooms private?
- Are all the mother and baby bathrooms private?
- What is the average length of stay for a vaginal birth? Birth by c-section?
- Will my partner be able to stay the night?
- Can we bring outside food and beverages? If so, is there a refrigerator and/or microwave that we can use?
- Are the baby’s siblings allowed to visit in the mother and baby rooms?
- Is WiFi available in the postpartum room?
- Do you honor the golden hour?
- Is there a newborn nursery or will the baby remain in my room? If there is a newborn nursery, can I elect to send my baby to the nursery at any time?
- Will all the baby’s examinations be done in my room?
- Do you require parental permission before offering babies pacifiers or formula?
- Where is the NICU located?
- Are there any situations where the baby would need to be transferred to a different hospital?
- Do you have a certified lactation consultant?
- What are the hours of operation for the lactation consultant?
- Do you provide hospital grade breast pumps?
Policies and Procedures
- Which entrance do I use if I come during normal business hours?
- Where can I park during normal business hours?
- Which entrance do I use if I come after normal business hours?
- Where can I park after normal business hours?
- Is this a teaching hospital? If so, can I decline to allow students to be present during my labor?
- What security measures are in place to protect mothers and babies?
- What documents do you require? (insurance card, driver’s license, etc.)
- What paperwork should I bring to obtain my baby’s birth certificate?
- Visiting hours for labor and delivery?
- Visiting hours for postpartum room?
- What time of day does discharge occur?
- Where is the cafeteria?
- What are the cafeteria’s hours of operation?
- Can I pre-register?
- If so, how soon in advance?
- Can I pre-register online?
The Type A in me couldn’t go on the tour without checking around to make sure I was prepared with all the questions I needed to ask. So while I came up with a lot of these questions on my own, I did do some research and compiled questions from other sites as well. Below are the sites I referenced from:
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