Sunday, October 18th, 2015

A Hospital Tour For Those Planning Home Birth

by Kristen Suzanne in kamea, kids, Kristen Suzanne, Motherhood, pregnancy
Questions to ask a hospital on a hospital birth tour.

Questions to ask a hospital on a hospital birth tour.

No. I’m not currently pregnant.

But, as I wrote in a post recently that talked about all about breastfeeding, I’m sharing some other posts from my old Green Mommy Blog. This is another one… taking a tour of a hospital even though I originally had planned a home birth for my daughter.

Well. As some of you know, I did end up in the hospital for the delivery of Kamea, but it wasn’t the local one I toured. 

Here we go….

When I was 36 weeks and 1 day in my pregnancy, we took a tour of the nearby hospital labor and delivery ward where I thought I’d likely go in the event of an emergency transfer. So, although we had a home birth planned, I thought I’d be more relaxed about the whole process if I had more information.

I went to the hospital armed with the book, Your Best Birth, because there is a section for hospital tours where Ricki Lake offers a list of questions to ask (I highly recommend this terrific book).

We were one couple among four others, and I asked about 95% of the questions. I even stumped the tour guide a couple of times, but she was a trooper and found the answers for me.

Here is what I asked during the hospital tour with answers:

1. What are the chances I will have a private room? Can baby room with me? – Good news! From the triage area to the labor and delivery room to the post partum room… they are all private with baby rooming in. The labor/delivery room has a TV, DVD player, CD player, mini-fridge, microwave, private bath, etc.

2. Do you honor birth plans? – Yes, they claim that they do and I should bring it with me. (By the way, I recommend having a birth plan written before conceiving if possible. It’s less stressful that way, you have a clear head, and it’s not something you have “to do” while pregnant – you already have enough to do during that time, not to mention the possibility of not feeling well.)

3. What can I do if I’m not happy with my nurse? – I can get a different one.

4. Who can be in attendance of the birth (in the delivery room)? – Anyone I want pretty much so long as the doctor and nurses can do their jobs.

5. What non-drug pain relief is available? (tub? birth ball? squat bar?) – Each labor/delivery room has a bath tub with jets, and birth balls are available.

6. Can I eat or drink during labor? – No. (I’ve heard there are ways around this … simply sneak it in.)

7. What percent of women get epidurals at this hospital? – About 99.9%

8. What is your c-section rate? – About 28%

9. Who can accompany me in the operating room if I end up getting a c-section?– Birth coach (a.k.a. my husband for my situation and I would probably push to get my doula or midwife in there, too).

10. Can I wear my own clothing? – Yes.

11. Can I video tape the birth? – Yes. And, photos are also allowed in the operating room for c-sections.

12. Can I have the lights dimmed during my labor and delivery? – That is up to my doctor.

All in all, I was impressed with the hospital and I’m really glad we took the time to tour and ask questions. Heck, it was worth it just to learn the parking situation – that alone could be a nightmare.

If you’re planning a hospital or home birth, you might consider a tour of the hospital and ask lots of questions. Don’t be shy.

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