What to Ask on Your Hospital Tour

There's more to know than just what hospital you will be having your baby at; you need to know everything from parking and paperwork to complication procedures and length of stay requirements. Your hospital tour is the perfect time to learn it all. Yes, the list of questions is long, and some may not pertain to your birthing wishes, but you want to be informed. You want to know everything that can possibly happen while you are there. Do not be afraid to ask everything, the staff is use to it!  
  • How many births take place here on average every day?
  • Will I be brought directly to a room or transferred between several rooms before settling in? Will I be checked in a triage area first? Will I stay in the same room for the entire experience?
  • Can I request a certain room?
  • Can I bring outside food and drink into the room during labor?
  • How comfortable is the hospital with natural births?
  • How many are allowed in the room at a time?
  • Can my other children stay with us the entire time?
  • If I am declining all interventions, including the IV port, do I need to sign anything or just state my requests upon arrival?
  • Will someone actually read my birth plan?
  • Do I have to labor in the room or can I walk to halls until transitioning?
  • What items are available to use during labor? Birth ball, squat bar, etc.
  • Can I use the tub or shower after my water breaks?
  • Can I birth in the tub or shower?
  • What is your policy on fetal monitoring? How often is monitoring done, and can it be done wirelessly?
  • How often do you perform cervical checks?
  • If we want to just be left alone, will you respect that?
  • How long after the water breaks am I given to have the baby (before interventions occur)?
  • Can I push in any position that feels right, or do you require 'bed only births'?
  • Can Dad 'catch' baby?
  • Is there an IBLC on staff 24/7?
  • Do you practice delayed cord clamping?
  • Are all newborn procedures performed in-room with the mother there (or holding baby)?
  • Do you recognize the 'Golden Hour' after birth and leave the family to be together?
  • Is baby placed and left skin-to-skin after birth?
  • How soon can we be released? Are there typical hours in which discharge takes place?
  • What are your photography policies?
  • What is the c-section rate here?
  • If a c-section becomes necessary, are there clear cloths available to be able to see what is happening?
  • If the NICU is needed, can Dad stay with Baby?
  • If jaundice levels are above normal, can a bili-blanket be taken home with us and levels be rechecked by the pediatrician?
  • Is mother's consent needed before anything happens to baby?  This includes:
  1. Formula being given
  2. Pacifier being given
  3. Bathing baby
  4. Eye Ointment
  5. Any vaccines
  6. Circumcision
  What questions would you add to the list?
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