questions to ask on hospital tour - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-21-2011, 09:25 AM - Thread Starter
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we're touring our hospital tonight and i've put together a list of questions to ask.  was hoping y'all could look it over and tell me what i'm missing...

-how are the nurses assigned to laboring moms?

-what are the routine procedures during labor? IV or hep-lock?


-do you monitor the baby continuously or intermittently?  if continuously, do you have a telemetry unit available?

-do you have a squat bar available for labor and birth?

-will baby be placed on my chest immediately after birth and allowed to stay there until breastfeeding is established?

-what are the routine procedures after birth? (follow-up questions will depend on their answers).  can i opt out of some of these procedures?  will baby have to leave my room for any reason?  if so, can my partner accompany baby at all times?


-is delayed cord clamping allowed?

-are siblings allowed in the room during labor and birth?


-who is allowed in the room during labor and birth?  is there a limit?

-are baby and partner both allowed to stay in the room with me overnight?  when are siblings permitted to be in the room?  any age restrictions on siblings?  what are the general visiting hours?

-how soon after birth will we be able to leave?

-are lactation consultants available?  how soon after the birth?


-is a birth ball provided (i have my own, so this isn’t that big a deal)?  stools?

-where do we park when i’m in labor?

-if i’m planning a drug-free/intervention-free birth will i be matched with a labor nurse who is more in tune with that type of birth?  how common are un-medicated births?


-do women give birth in alternative positions?


-will i be encouraged/allowed to walk the halls during labor?

-can we bring our own music?  do we need to bring a cd player or speakers?

-can i eat/drink during labor?




i realize some of these questions are more appropriate for my ob.  i’ve discussed most of those with him already.


i already know the hospital doesn’t have tubs (just showers), so i don’t need to ask about that.


i’m planning a vbac, so some questions will be vbac specific (and perhaps their answers will be different depending on that – i’m thinking especially regarding the intermittent vs. continuous monitoring).


should i ask questions like, “in the event of a c-section…”?  i really don’t want to even go there, but i also don’t want to be unprepared.  if so, what kinds of questions should i ask?


i’m already familiar with the hospitals c-section rate (pretty high) and vbac rates (pretty low).  the low vbac rate may be because only one dr there will attend them (luckily, mine – although I hear that the hospital is slowly evolving and that at least two others have started to attend them as well).


it is our plan to labor at home as long as possible, but I’d like to know what I’m walking into when we arrive at the hospital.


what am i forgetting?

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#2 of 5 Old 02-21-2011, 09:37 AM
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The only thing I didn't see was if there is an age limit on kids in attendance of the birth.  What they allow for visitors might be different than what they allow for the actual birth itself.


Oh, also, you probably want to know what rules are actually enforced.  The hospital my MIL was at when she caught the flu (not H1N1, but still ended up in ICU and almost died) had an age limit, but it was rarely enforced. 


A few other things I thought of while I was typing-you might want to ask about when you can leave-some hospitals want to keep you around as long as insurance will pay, others want the room space ASAP for the next mamma and want you out ASAP.  And, this will vary based on whether you are able to VBAC or end up with a c-section.  If you don't already know you want to find out about the room situations-most hospitals have LDRP rooms, but some only have LDR and the post partum is seperate.  Some still have some seperate rooms. Obviously this will probably be covered on the tour, but you want to be prepared to ask for specifics.


Other questions are going to depend on what else you want to you care what they do with the placenta?  I didn't, but if you do, you will want to ask.  Do you plan to eat there while you stay (ie after birth?)  If you aren't going to have your spouse bring you your food, you will want to ask how that's handled-is it like 24 hr room service, do they only serve specific meals at specific times of day, does it add additional/seperate charges to your bill etc. 

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#3 of 5 Old 02-21-2011, 10:31 AM
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Will you be labouring & delivering in the same room or do you have to move to a "delivery room"?

Doula mama to dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08) and expecting (Apr '17)
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#4 of 5 Old 02-21-2011, 01:52 PM
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-ask the in the event of a c-section questions. better to know.

-ask about changing nurses if you don't mesh

-how to get from parking to admitting etc. You want to know the whole chain of events. My son's hospital had valet parking. The same for discharge.

-What do I need to bring? What do you provide?

-Ask about the food. What is available in labour, after wards, if you miss dinner, snacks etc. Mine were upfront that the food was awful and they had takeout menus at the nursing station.


-if you are worried about your wishes not being followed or their changing their minds, someone not knowing the alternative policies etc. get a write up about those policies signed by an administrator.


Consider a Doula. Ours worked as a filter for the medical staff and made everything much calmer. I feel that they were more on the ball since she was there.

Mama to J (Jan '09), E (May '11), and C (August, '13)

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#5 of 5 Old 02-22-2011, 07:30 PM
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We just had our tour last night, and if I hadn't asked (I'm having a rcs for breech), they wouldn't have given us ANY information about the c/s at all.  It's shocking.  I know I certainly wasn't prepared the first time for the c/s - the protocol for recovery, etc.  My last c/s was 3.5 years ago at a related hospital, and the c/s protocols are much more mom/baby friendly and less draconian now.  It eases a lot of the stress I've had.


I agree re parking (can you valet, how much does it cost, etc.  Parking is SO expensive where I live).  They also told us that if you're so far along that you can't make it to the way back elevators, to go straight to the ER to get a wheelchair or a gurney.  Those kinds of questions - what if you can't walk to the elevator, etc.  Rooming in.  Separation from baby (at our hospital, the only time you're separated is when the residents get all the babies together to discuss the cases, which is confidential).

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