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Touring the hospital tonight...advice?

596 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  phathui5
We'll be touring the hospital tonight, and I'm wondering what I should ask? I mean, I know we'll be with a group, since it's a group tour, and I don't know how much one on one time we'll have with anyone, but I was thinking of sticking around and asking one of the labor and delivery nurses a few questions. I guess I'll have a better idea once I get there, but if I do get a chance to grill one of the nurses, what should I ask? I've been asking my doctors questions along the way, and letting them know how I feel and how much I want a natural birth, but I'm not sure what's appropriate to ask the hospital staff. Should I bring my birth plan? Basically, I want to make sure they're going to support my decision, and see what their policy is on routine IV, eating/drinking, moving around during labor, etc... Are those things that are appropriate to ask on a tour, or should I make a seperate appt. for that?

I know this is long, and semi-confusing...but any advice from anyone who's toured their hospital before would be greatly appreciated! thanks...
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At the hospital where I had DS they made a BIG DEAL about security. I don't think they would have let someone break away to talk to a staffperson. Where we were volunteers gave the tour, so their knowledge was pretty limited. Stuff I wanted to know was:

-do they have tubs/showers. If there are no tubs am I allowed to rent my own and bring it in if I take responsibility for set-up and take-down. My hospital did allow this, but I chose not to because I opted to labor at home as long as possible instead.

-I wanted to be able to use heat as a comfort measure. Can I plug things into the wall? If not is there a microwave available for heating rice socks? Can I get right to it or does the nurse have to do it for me?

-ice. where is it? how do we get it? cold soda cans work too as a cold pack.

I think your questions are appropriate, they just might not know the answers. Be laid back when asking your questions--this sometimes gets people to talk more.

I had to call and arrange to speak to the nurse manager about the tub question. Regarding plugging things into the wall, the answer was no where I was. Some places say yes if you get your cd player/heating pad pre-approved by someone in the engineering department.

The people on my tour were very mainstream. They wanted to know where the husbands could get food during labor and where the grandparents were supposed to wait. This kind of inhibited me when asking questions, so I got a lot of info from my doula, midwife, and childbirth instructor.

I think it's great you're doing this so early. I was really freaked out by my tour, but that gave me time to strategize how to get the birth I wanted in that environment, which I did!

How is your reading going? I remember you saying you were reading thinking woman's guide and birthing form within.

p.s. don't bring your birth plan. this is not the time/place. work that out with your midwife or ob. if the hospital staff try to do something other than what your provider agreed to, ask them to call and check with them first. technically they aren't supposed to do things like insert ivs w/o a doctor's/midwife's order, but so many people get them they sometimes become "routine". of course you can always refuse a medical procedure, but it sometimes goes smoother if they know your doc/midwife is on board.
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I'd say that the tour will probably be a hectic time w/ lots of people asking questions and that (personally) I'd rather be able to speak one-on-one with someone, have their full attention and get firm answers to my questions.

You could ask IF it's an appropriate time to ask the questions you have and if not, with whom you should schedule time.

I'd ask things like policies on IVs, heparin locks (many hospitals require IVs, some only require hep locks, some you can get away without either), eating during labor, routine exams and procedures done on baby (and which require you to sign forms if you refuse), being up and about/changing positions during labor and birth, what "extras" they allow in the room (birth ball, birth tub, birth stool, etc.) if you want to use any of these, their requirements for electronic fetal monitioring (continuous? 20 minutes every hour? for a few minutes as needed by OB/midwife? fetoscope?) ... anything that will be a concern while you're in labor and giving birth, so you can think about and deal with it now instead of while you're laboring/birthing.
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pp made me think of one more thing. lots of hospitals are into 20 minutes of efm every hour. This can be a real drag. ask if they have mobile telemetry units for efm. this basically means you wear the efm straps/sensors, but you aren't chained to the machine by the bed.

if they don't have them, it's not the END of the world. they tried to make me sit in the bed, but I asked to sit on a birth ball instead. I actually ended up standing /swaying/leaning against the bed. Just don't let them make you lay in the bed.
Thanks for the responses! The tour went good. It kind of freaked me out to see the hospital room and bed, etc...but I'm glad that I did it this early on because now I feel prepared.

The nurse doing the tour answered a lot of my questions before I had to ask them and that was good. Then, once people started leaving, my husband and I were able to get some one on one time with her to ask about the IV, birth ball, birth plan, if they allow a doula in the room, etc... They're pretty mainsteream...It seems I might have a hard time refusing the IV, but everything else sounded good. They have two jacuzzis and, as long as my water hasn't broken, I'm free to use them. EFM is only during active labor, and they'll use the portable one as long as everything is looking good...doula is allowed in the room with my husband, I can bring a cd player to plug in, i can bring my birth ball, and I'm free to move around as long as there are no complications...and, it seemed like if I had any more questions, I could call and ask. The nursing staff seemed very nice, so that put me at ease. I didn't like seeing the "section" rooms, but I guess they have to show that on the tour, just in case.

Oh, and my's going great! I finished the Thinking Woman's Guide, and I'm going through "Birthing from Within" now. Being a painter, I'm really enjoying Birthing from Within. It speaks to me in my language! I'm taking Bradley classes, and my childbirth educator has been very helpful. We're thinking of asking her to attend the birth as a doula, but we haven't 100% decided yet.

Thanks for the responses girls!
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Originally Posted by curlyfry
It seems I might have a hard time refusing the IV, but everything else sounded good.
See if you can get your midwife/OB to run interferance on this one. If you turn out to be GBS+ you will most likely get a great deal of pressure to have IV antibiotics even if it is less than 18 hours since your water has broken. So hopefully you will be negative if you have this test. Otherwise, if you are doing fine and you opt not to have an epidural, you should be able to go IV-free imo!

My first birth was in a huge hospital where 5000 babies were born per year. It was a real factory. But I did manage to get the birth I wanted. I think having a doula in a situation liek that really helps, especially if she has experience working in that hopsital.

I'm glad your tour went so well!!!
It seems I might have a hard time refusing the IV
Ready? Say these with me.

"No thank you."

"I've decided not to have that done."


Remember, you're the one having the baby. You're paying them, not the other way around. They can't make you do anything and if they try to pressure you into something you don't want when you're in labor, ask them to leave.
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