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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If all goes according to plan, I'll be delivering with a midwife in a hospital just over two hours from our home. I have never been in the birthing center there, but I have read online about their tubs and rooms, and have talked with my midwife about some of the policies.

The hospital offers tours of the birthing center only on Monday evenings. My DH would have to take off from work early, and it would be a very long evening of driving to and from. If it's worth it, we'll do it. But how important is the tour?

Your opinions, please!
 

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I think it's pretty important, and not just once. Not to know where things are, but to get a general feel for the place, and to let the nurses get to know you as well. Plus, when you're in labor and having to travel so far, your stress level is going to be higher than average, and walking in might increase that. KWIM?

I would definitely do it with dh close to birth date, and maybe drive up once or twice to poke around. Do you know anyone who will be delivering there between now and your duedate? I'd definitely hang out as much as possible.

Nurses remember nice people ;-)
 

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I had my last one at a hospital I'd never been to. My mw gave my name to the hospital three times and every appointment kept asking if they'd called me yet. They must have had some admin troubles and I was never called for the tour. I think the main advantage is that you can prefill the paper work when you go tour it.

Anyway, I'd never been before so had no clue where the mat ward was when we got there but to tell you the truth, it didn't bother me. In fact, I had zero interaction with any of their staff. None. I think I saw some admin staff from a distance but I didn't even see a single nurse. The mw had called them ahead so a room was ready. She came and got us downstairs and took us to the room. DS was born 20 minutes later and exactly 3 hours after that I was on my way home. I saw no one but the midwife in all that time.

Really, I was sort of glad I didn't get called to go for a visit. Would have been pretty useless.
 

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My hospital did tours at any time, upon request. So though we could have signed up for the tour, just wandering in and asking questions got us a private tour! It was helpful in that I found out they had a birthing ball and squat bar available. It was helpful that we found out which door to use during off-hours and DH now knew exactly where to go. Otherwise, there wasn't anything we learned that really mattered.

If you don't want to do it, I'd suggest driving there on the weekend just to learn exactly which doors to go in, especially after hours. As well as learning how to get to labor and delivery. It was the only part my DH was stressed about. So it was well worth it to go.
 

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I've never done one, I just didnt think it was that important but thats just me. It didnt really make a difference. my ob office and the l and d and mother baby unit are all on the same floor anyway lol.
 

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I didn't tour the hospital until about two weeks ago (I am due next week) but I wish I had gone much earlier in my pregnancy. Touring the hospital took away a lot of my apprehensions (the hospital is much more progressive and much nicer than I had thought it would be). Also, I have been trying to do visualization exercises about the birth, and being able to see the actual LDR room has been very helpful for that.

It was also helpful to learn where to park, check-in, etc.
 

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I would try to do it. I did one when I was preg with ds. It was the same day as the birthing class that they offered so I got to do it all at once. It was really cool to see exactly where everything was, the nursery, the rooms, the hospitality room (where dh could go grab snacks and drinks), etc. Plus I learned then that the hospital gave every couple who intended to breastfeed a free Medela PIS and that was supr sweet. Later I ended up doing NST's twice a week and I didn't feel like quiet a stranger when I had to go in.

This time we'll do one again because I am not to familiar with the hospital and want to know what to expect. I wish I had already had the tour, we spent Tuesday evening there doing a NST.
 

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I think it's very important. You'll be able to learn about all the routine procedures they do there, you'll get a feel for the nurses' (or at least the nurse doing the tour) birth philosophies, you'll feel more comfortable going somewhere you're familiar with when you're in labor, and you'll be able to see what the drive there is like and not get lost when you're in labor!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You all have good input...thank you!

My midwife's office is right next to the hospital, so how to get there is familiar. DH will accompany me to the next appointment, and I think afterward we'll wander over to the hospital for a first look around. From there we can decide whether or not to make a special trip for the tour...though with all your input, I think we should.

I guess I was thinking we should all along, but hoping you ladies would talk me out of it..it's such a long drive! Of course, I have no room to complain, as I knew that when we decided on this birthing option.
 

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I found the hospital tour to be invaluable... first of all, you learn where to go - during 'regular' hours and during 'after' hours. You get to see the L&D rooms first-hand, the labor 'triage' where you're first admitted, the maternity ward. And you get to ask questions...

Since I'll be registering at 2 different hospitals (we've since moved) I plan on doing the tour at both.
 
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