The part of choosing a hospital for delivery is a very sensitive one, and it can be understandably worrisome for most mothers.
Interestingly, we have put together here all the information- all the boxes you will need to check when picking a hospital,
Of course, we also added important questions to ask your doctor to ensure that you have that safe and stress-free delivery you desire.
1. The Hospital’s Reputation
A man’s reputation they say goes before him; a hospital is no different.
In choosing the hospital for your delivery, here’s how to go about it:
- Pay a visit to their website where information regarding what facilities are available and which doctors are affiliated or work in-house at the hospital.
- Look at reviews from other patients and clients of the hospital. Note that this could be done online via social media or the reviews section of their site or offline from people you know or would meet in the hospital premises.
2. Feedback And Reviews From Other Mothers
This is usually the deal-breaker or maker and will be very helpful in helping you to make up your mind if a hospital is a good fit or not.
- Interview the women in your life who have had children; they could be family, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances. Ask them what hospital they delivered at and what their experiences were, and if they would recommend it. You are looking to find out if the hospital policies were favourable to them, and whether they were satisfied or unsatisfied with their stay and the services provided by the hospital staff.
- If you are already interested in a particular hospital and want to know more, you can always seek more information online by specifically searching for reviews from other women who have given birth there. You’d be surprised the wealth of information is available online these days. Community forums are also a great way to find out about the experiences of other mothers in the same city as you and what they have to say.
3. Consult your Family Doctor
This could be your obstetrician, gynecologist, family doctor, or any other Doctor you are comfortable with.
Really, the nature of their job has it that most of them have been to or have friends across several hospitals, which makes them a perfect fit for a consultation of this nature.
Ask their opinion on which of the hospitals has the best staff for labour and recovery care.
Table your needs and ask her which one of the hospitals will be able to best meet them
4. A Hospital Tour
Furthermore, after narrowing the list of hospitals that pique your interest, it will be helpful to pay a quick visit to each of them, to confirm the staff and facilities are really as they said it is.
- When you get there, take a look at how spacious and busy the maternity ward is. Look at the size of the rooms and confirm everything looks clean and sanitary.
- Note the availability of nurses and doctors.
- Inquire what amenities and equipment will be available.
- Take a stroll to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
5. The Quality Of Doctors And Medical Staff
It is not the edifice or the very thoughtful blend of colours or the flowers outside the ward, or the texture of the mattress cover.
What makes a hospital worthy or not is the quality of its medical staff.
- If you have any family, friends, or colleagues who have delivered at the hospital, be sure to ask them how they found the staff to be.
- Look out for how the neonatal staff handles the babies and interact with as many of the staff as possible to gauge how comfortable you feel with them.
6. Technological Facilities
This is as important as it gets when looking at how to pick a hospital for delivery.
Ask as many questions as you need to. Make all the inquiries you have to.
Ensure you are well informed on what the hospital has to offer you in terms of technology and birthing techniques that correspond with your birth plan.
- Do they have high-risk pregnancy facilities, a team of experts, and access to blood if needed?
- C-Section Delivery Facility?
- A good Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
- Epidural and Anesthesia Facilities
- Cord Blood Donations
- Emergency Facilities/ICU
Should unforeseen circumstances manifest, having the right team and standard equipment to handle and an emergency situation is very important.
7. Distance from Home
The distance you will need to travel to get to the hospital should not be overlooked, and should to some extent, influence your decision.
- Go for a hospital that is close to home, especially in the case of a high-risk pregnancy.
- You might consider going with a hospital or finding the route with the least amount of traffic and good roads to save time and discomfort while heading there during this critical time.
Also, where to stay is another crucial aspect in picking a hospital. You want somewhere both you and your newborn will be really comfortable.
- Consider if you would like to share a room or if you want to have a private room.
- Find out if your husband/loved ones will be provided with a place to stay while you are at the hospital.
- Ensure that the rooms and the bathrooms are neat and well ventilated.
A very key factor for whatever hospital you will eventually choose for your delivery is being able to afford all your needs. You are looking at the hospital with the best value for your money (whatever amount you have).
- If you have an insurance plan, look into it to see if it covers maternity as well. Again, some insurance plans will have a limit to the amount they cover, and others may be affiliated with only certain hospitals. If the latter is the case for you, get a list of the hospitals that your insurance company is affiliated with and choose one from this list.
- Most hospitals give detailed price lists during the tour, but the prices may vary depending on different factors like if you want a shared room or a private one.
- Factor in the fact that medications and extras will not be included as this will differ for each individual.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
Basically, where you deliver your baby is as important as who delivers your baby.
Let’s say the part of you picking the hospital for delivery is taken care of, the next vital to look into is the Doctor to go through that journey with you.
Here are 9 questions to ask your doctor to ensure that he/she is a good fit and that you’re both on the same page for successful delivery:
1. How much choice do you feel I should have in the decision-making process?
It is very important to choose someone who you are sure will involve and inform you throughout your pregnancy and delivery.
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Truly, you’ll have a much better experience if you’re involved in the decision-making process and are given options.
2. How do you feel about my birth plan? Do you foresee any problems?
3. what are your thoughts about pain relief during labour?
4. What is your induction rate and when do you think an induction should be considered?
5. What is your c-section rate and in what situations will you recommend one?
6. What mother-centered options do you offer for c-sections?
7. What is your episiotomy rate and in what situations would you perform one?
8. Do you support vaginal breech birth? If so, what conditions do you have?
9. How do you manage the third stage of labour?
Note: When speaking to a potential health care provider, always try to ask open-ended questions, to find out how he or she really feels. Encourage discussion rather than ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, which don’t really tell you much at all.
Find more on pregnancy and delivery here.