An important part of preparing for the birth of your baby is taking a tour of the hospital you plan to give birth at. If you have several hospitals to choose from you may want to plan your tours earlier so you can choose the one that is the best fit for you. Be sure to write down your list of questions before your pregnancy hospital tour so you don’t forget anything. Use my easy printable list of hospital tour questions to save you some time.
This list mostly covers questions to ask for those that expect to have a vaginal birth. As I have never gone through a cesarian birth I’m not sure what specific questions you will need to ask.
This is post 23 in my series, 31 days of tips for the mom to be
questions to ask on a pregnancy hospital tour
1 – When should the hospital be your go-to for urgent care issues?
Early in your pregnancy, you will just go to the normal ER or urgent care if you are experiencing a problem that cannot wait for your regular doctor. At some point in your pregnancy, usually around 24 weeks, you will often be directed to go to labor and delivery at your birth hospital if you have a major issue. This often coincides with your baby hitting the first viability milestone where your baby would have a good chance of surviving outside of the womb.
2 – Overnight parking?
You can generally expect to be in the hospital 1-3 days if there are no complications for mom or baby. What are the parking fees and are there designated places for you to park your car as you will be there for an extended stay?
3 – How many people in the delivery room?
Many hospitals have a limit on the number of people who can be in the delivery room with you. You will want to find out what that number is before decided on who those people should be. We’ll be covering who you should pick a little later in this series. You’ll also want to know if any of them can come with you in the event you need to have a c-section.
4 – Is there an age limit on visitors?
Hospitals often require visitors to be of a certain age to visit mom and her new baby, especially if you have your baby during flu season. This is to reduce the number of people and germs that are near these babies with brand new immune systems. You’ll want to know what these limits are if you have young children or family members who you would like to visit.
There is also generally a limit on how many people can visit at any one time.
5 – What birthing equipment/tools do they have in rooms?
Especially if you plan to use natural birthing methods and avoid an epidural you may want to have birthing tools such as a birthing ball, birthing bar, peanut ball, birthing stool, etc. Many hospitals have some of this equipment available for use. You’ll want to know what they have and if they often run out. If they do not have a piece of equipment you would like to use ask if you are allowed to bring your own.
6 – Can you have a doula at your birth?
Doulas are amazing to have as part of your birth team. Before you hire one you’ll want to be sure that your birth hospital allows doulas. They may also have a list of recommended doulas if you need help finding one. Some may even offer volunteer doulas on a first come first serve basis.
7 – What are their c-section rates?
If you have a choice of hospitals to choose from, and know that you want to avoid a c-section, you should find out the c-sections rates at the hospitals you have to choose from. Some hospitals have much higher rates than others. Even if you only have one option it’s still could to know these stats and see what you can do to avoid a c-section if it’s something that you only want as a last resort.
8 – Are there separate delivery/recovery rooms?
Will you be in one room your entire hospital stay or will you be moved after the baby is born? Many places have separate rooms for delivery and recovery.
9 – Are the rooms shared or private?
Are the recovery rooms shared or private? If they have shared rooms are there private rooms available for a fee?
10 – Will there be a bed/cot so your spouse/partner can stay overnight?
Especially if you’re a first-time mom you will likely want your spouse/partner/family member to stay overnight with you at the hospital. Is there a bed or cot for them to sleep on? When I had my daughter there was a couch that doubled as a bed. You may want to plan to bring a sheet or pillow for them depending on what the accommodations are.
11 – Does your baby stay in the room post birth?
More and more hospitals are recognizing the importance of the first hour after birth for bonding. You will want to know what sort of accommodations your hospital makes for this bonding time. Will they delay the initial procedures/measurements to allow for bonding? Will these procedures take place in your room or will your baby be removed to another area to be weighed, tested, etc.
12 – Can your spouse cut the cord?
If you and your spouse/partner are interested in having them cut the cord you’ll want to ask if this is allowed and what the procedure is. You don’t want to be disappointed the day of if they say they don’t allow this.
13 – Is photo/video during the birth allowed?
Do you want to have photos or video taken during your birth experience? You’ll want to check if this is allowed and if you can bring in a professional photographer. Will the photographer count towards one of the maximum number of people you can have in the delivery room?
14 – What type of security do they offer for mom/baby?
We’ve all heard horror stories about new babies going missing from the hospital or babies getting mixed up. What type of security protocols do they offer to protect mom and baby?
15 – How long should you expect to stay after birth?
How do they require/allow you to stay in the hospital after your baby is born? Are you able to check out early if mom and baby are both given a clean bill of health or is there a minimum required stay?
Grab the printable list of these questions with room to add your own!
Many of these questions will be answered by whoever gives your maternity tour, but if anything is missed don’t be afraid to ask. This is your birth experience and you have a right to know what to expect and if your wishes can be met. These are not things you want to try to figure out on the fly the day of, there will be enough going on!
Make sure to grab my printable pregnancy checklist, your week-by-week guide to preparing for baby!