How to Choose the Best Hospital to Deliver Your Baby
If you or your partner is expecting, you are no doubt nervous, thrilled, stressed out, and exhilarated — all at the same time. You’re also likely making many important decisions, like what kind of crib to purchase and how to child-proof your home from top to bottom. One of those very important decisions is choosing the best hospital to deliver your baby. In fact, this may be one of your biggest worries. But there’s little reason to be concerned.
Choosing the best hospital can actually be quite a fun activity for soon-to-be parents. You get the opportunity to imagine the labor and delivery experience of your dreams — and then make it a reality. That’s something to be really excited about! Read on for our tips on choosing the best hospital to deliver your baby.
Choosing the Best Hospital to Deliver Your Baby
Sometimes people wonder why expecting mothers look around for the best hospital to deliver at. They may just assume that if you have chosen a doctor, then you’ll automatically give birth at your doctor’s resident hospital. However, it’s a little more complicated. Depending on the schedule of your obstetrician-gynecologist (also known as your OB-GYN), you may end up in the delivery room with another doctor from the practice. Thus, it’s best to make your choice dependent on the hospital itself and the entire OB-GYN team, so that you know you’ll be comfortable no matter what.
Here are some of the key characteristics to look out for when shopping around for the best possible hospital to give birth.
The Doctor and Staff
You’ll want to ensure that your OB-GYN practices at the hospital of your choice. Luckily, most doctors have admitting privileges at multiple hospitals, which means they can deliver your baby at a variety of places. Check with your doctor to see what your options are.
It’s also a good idea when touring a prospective hospital to pay attention to the rest of the nurses, maternity specialists, and other medical professionals. Does the hospital seem adequately staffed? Are the staff attentive and engaging with patients? Does this team of people make you feel well-cared for and looked after? Rather than narrowing your focus to one doctor, remember that you’ll be interacting with multiple staff members during your stay at the hospital so you want to ensure that you find the right fit for you.
Unless you want to pay out-of-pocket, you can’t just decide to go anywhere. Call your insurance provider and get a list of hospitals that offer coverage for you under your current medical plan. Luckily, in this day-and-age, providers generally offer a wide variety of choices, but you’ll still want to organize your “hospital tour” based off of that list so that you’re sure you’ll be covered no matter what.
Your Birth Plan
Depending on what your birth plan is, you may want to research whether or not the hospital you’re interested in is a good match. For example, if you want to have a natural birth, are there special rooms such as water birthing rooms that will accommodate this option? If you’re choosing to breastfeed, will there be lactation consultants on-site to assist you? What kind of support is offered for women who do — or do not — want to undergo an epidural prior to childbirth?
Draw up a list of questions based on your ideal birth plan and bring them with you when you tour hospitals. You’ll want to make sure you get answers to these important questions now, rather than waiting until the day of delivery.
Although your hospital of choice does not have to be adjacent to your home, it is certainly helpful — and less stressful — to choose a hospital that is local to you and one that you can travel to easily. You don’t want to worry about traffic jams or complicated directions when you’re going into labor.
You’ll want to inquire about what kind of accommodations the hospital offers, especially if you are particular about how your stay there will go. For instance, are you comfortable sharing a room with another new mother or do you want to have a room to yourself after childbirth? Can your baby stay in the room after delivery? Or will he or she be brought to a nursery? Which option do you prefer?
These kinds of questions go hand-in-hand with the general feeling that you get while visiting the hospital. You want to choose a place that makes you feel welcome, cared for, and supported during your exciting new experience.
Contact Us about Labor and Delivery
Once you’ve found your ideal hospital for childbirth, it’s time to contact your chosen site of delivery. Learn more about City Hospital’s Labor and Delivery services; reach out to us for more information. We’re here to help during this important transitional time in your life.