Taking a maternity hospital tour? Find out which questions you should be asking now for the best birthing experience later!
You’ve been pregnant for what seems like forever, but now you’re in week 30, and the preparations are getting real. The baby shower invites have gone out, you’ve finally settled on a theme for the nursery, and you’ve narrowed down your list of baby names to a few favorites. If you’re planning to deliver in a hospital, now is also the time to schedule a tour of the maternity ward. While it’s not vital to a successful delivery, knowing where you’ll be delivering and how things are done can definitely give you and your partner a little peace of mind. Plus, you have lots of questions you want to ask. You need to call and set up a day and time for your exciting tour. So, where do you begin?
The first look inside the doors of your maternity hospital tour
After calling and setting up an appointment for a tour, the next thing to think about is how long it will take you to get to the hospital. When you leave for your tour, time how long it takes you from the moment you leave your home until you arrive at the hospital. This is one way to start calming those pre-birth butterflies in your stomach. This will give you an opportunity to figure out where your car should be parked too and what entrance will be open and at what time. Some hospitals will shut down some entrances at certain times. In addition, this will be the time to find out where the registration room is. After your tour, you can pre-register.
When you arrive at the maternity floor on your tour, you’ll be able to meet some of the staff. It can be comforting to see the friendly faces that will be there when your baby decides to show up. The tour will probably last about 30 minutes or so. You will see the triage area which is the pre-delivery area. You’ll also get to peek at the newborn nursery, but don’t expect it to look like it does in the movies with babies all lined up. Most hospitals leave babies with mom unless she desperately needs rest or baby needs more hands-on care. When you arrive here on the big day, a maternity nurse will be monitoring your vital signs and keep tabs on how close you are to your delivery.
Now a delivery ward can be a noisy and intense place. Spouses may be pacing; grandparents may be sharing news to other members of the family and, yes, a mother-to-be may be doing some yelling. But, all of this is because of the excitement of welcoming a new life. Now the questions you may want to ask!
Questions to ask on your maternity hospital tour
There are bound to be lots of questions swirling around your head. You might want to write down any questions you have so that you don’t forget them. Some of these questions might be:
- Your insurance plan should cover most of the hospital bill, but you could find out what it costs for a private room if you want one. Many hospitals have a labor/delivery/recovery (LDR) suite which will let you stay in one room from your labor through the recovery stage.
- Find out what you need to pack in your bag for the hospital. Some items should be insurance info, Photo ID, any forms you’ve filled out for the hospital. Other items could include your cell phone and charger, non-skid socks, chap stick, ponytail holder if you have long hair, maternity bras without underwires; plus nursing pads for leaks whether you’re nursing or not. You’ll also need your toiletries.
- What are the pain management options? This is something that you need to ask. Also, find out if you’re permitted to walk around the halls if you feel the need to while in labor.
- What kind of special services are available if you have a high-risk pregnancy?
- Who is permitted in the room during the labor and delivery? Is there a limited number of people? You should also decide who you want in the room with you. Maybe you’re comfortable with the father and your Mom. Maybe you’re okay with another relative in the room, or maybe you just want you and the father present. You may also want to ask how the hospital deals with visitors who are unwanted during the birth of your child and afterward. Sometimes relatives (such as grandparents) can be insistent whether you want them there or not.
- Will you be permitted to record the delivery? If you’re planning on having a cell phone present, a digital camera or a video camera and tripod, you will need to see if it’s permitted.
- Also, you may want to find out if your partner is permitted to stay overnight with you, if the baby will be staying in the room with you, the visiting hours and if children can visit.
You are sure to have other questions as well which aren’t covered here. Just remember to write everything down so when asked if you have questions, you will have them ready.
Taking a tour of the maternity ward is an important step in your pregnancy. You’ll be relieved to know where you’ll be going, where you’ll be staying and who’s going to be caring for you.