Have you decided to have your baby in hospital? If your maternity unit offers a pre birth tour then take them up on it, as it’s a great way to help you prepare for your baby’s birth and can help you feel less anxious. If there is more than one hospital in your area it can help you decide which one might be more suitable for you. Your midwife can help you decide too. Some hospitals also offer a virtual tour of their maternity units via the internet.
So what questions should you ask?
Who is allowed in to the delivery room with you?
Are they allowed to stay with you the whole time? If not, why would this happen?
Can you move around during labour? What birth aids to they have available? Some hospitals may offer birth/fit balls, floor mats, beanbags and other items to help during labour. If they do, ask how many are available – sometimes these items are shared and you can miss out on the day.
Can you bring your own music in and any essential oils you might want to use during labour?
What pain relief is available? Do you need to hire a TENS machine beforehand?
What about the hospitals policy on induction, routine monitoring and pain relief in general?
Do they offer epidurals?
Do they offer breast feeding support? What happens if you have decided to feed your baby formula?
Will your baby be kept with you at all times? Are there times when a baby is separated from their mum? If so, why?
What is security like?
How soon will you be expected to go home after the birth?
What are the rules surrounding visitor hours?
What is the hospital’s caesarean rate? Not all hospitals are the same, by finding out the caesarean section rate of a hospital, you’ll get a better idea of what sort of births go on there, and what kind of births the staff are used to supporting. The same goes for induction rates.
Do they have a birthing pool?
Are you allowed to film or take photos of the birth?
Have these questions helped? Have we missed any out? Please share your thoughts and let us know.