When you find out you’re expecting, you have roughly nine months to make essential decisions, like where your little one will be born.
There are numerous factors to consider when choosing a hospital for labor and delivery, and the process can seem overwhelming at times.
We’ve compiled several tips to help you choose the best possible maternity hospital for yourself, your baby, and anyone going through the experience with you.
Labor and Delivery Experience
The first criterion in your search should be the hospital’s expertise in labor and delivery.
You need to know that you and your baby are in good hands, and there are several ways to determine how qualified the staff and facilities are.
- Choose a hospital with laborists on staff. Laborists are certified and experienced OB/GYNS who enhance patient safety by evaluating the labor progress, examining patients, and providing life-saving interventions during emergencies.
- Ensure the staff includes board-certified anesthesiologists and OB/GYNS. This certification shows their expertise and their continuing professional development.
- Patients with preexisting health conditions affecting their pregnancy or complicated past deliveries should consider hospitals that can handle worst-case scenarios. Find out if there’s a blood bank, ICU, NICU, and other appropriate facilities and services.
Your Insurance Coverage
Unfortunately, most expecting families can’t choose any hospital they please. Insurance carriers determine which doctors they cover, and ultimately, which hospitals you can choose for your labor and delivery.
Check with your insurance provider to learn which maternity hospitals are within its network. Confirm which maternity services are covered by your insurance, so you’re not surprised by unexpected charges on your bill.
Your Birth Plan
Your birth plan will have a significant impact on the hospital you choose. Select a facility with the tools necessary to execute your desired birth plan, whether that’s pain relief medication, natural pain relief sources, a warm tub, birthing balls, birthing chairs, or others.
Friendly, Professional Staff
Visit the hospitals you’re considering for a tour of the maternity ward. Examine how the staff performs.
Do they seem stressed, rushing from room to room?
Does there appear to be a comfortable staff-to-patient ratio?
You’ll likely be able to tell if the staff appears friendly and engaged or overwhelmed and disorganized. Choose the hospital that leaves a good impression and feels right for you.
Delivery is over, and it’s finally time to relax with your baby and new family. You want a postpartum room that is comfortable and away from the labor and delivery rooms.
An excellent maternity hospital will have a team of nurses answering your questions and offering guidance on breastfeeding and common childcare practices. Restaurant-style dining is a significant bonus for you and your loved ones.
An ideal hospital will also offer prenatal and postnatal care options to help ease you into motherhood. These may include pregnancy health classes, pelvic floor therapy programs, breastfeeding consultations, and others.
The hospital you choose should have numerous security protocols in place for babies, mothers, and families. Understand the visitation regulations for friends and family at the hospital you choose. Select a facility that takes the safety of newborns seriously. An infant security system in hospitals protects babies while putting the parents’ minds at ease.
Giving birth is one of life’s most monumental moments. The hospital you choose has a significant impact on how positive the birthing experience is for you, your child, and your loved ones.
Learn more about choosing the right hospital for you and your family in the accompanying infographic.
Author bio: Meredith McRoberts is the Chief Executive Officer and the fifth-generation owner of McRoberts Corporation. She is a respected innovator and leader in the security industry. McRoberts established McRoberts Technologies to address specific security risks through the use of leading-edge technology and unmatched customer service. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Infographic provided by McRoberts Technologies, a leading provider of infant protection systems