Take a Tour of the Hospital

To get a good idea of what your delivery day will be, be sure to take a tour of the hospital. Seeing the facilities beforehand will remove a lot of the mystery and reduce any fears you may have about what will occur. You'll get to see a delivery room, and the hospital staff will explain the various monitors, equipment, and services. You'll also learn about the recovery procedures.

Ask any questions about what is and what is not allowed and to meet people who work in labor and delivery. The staff member giving the tour will go over the hospital's standard policies. But they may not be able to answer all questions specific to your situation. Talk to your doctor about any remaining questions you have.

Check the current tour schedule and pick a time that works for you. Try to go at least a month in advance (you never know when you'll go into labor).

Also, think about your birthing preferences before you go. That way, you can ask any questions that come up as you think through your birth options.

During the tour, be sure to ask about:

  • Pre-registration and check-in procedures
  • Suggestions for what to bring to the hospital
  • Policies on walking around, eating, and drinking
  • Access for the mother's "birthing coach" or other support people
  • Visiting hours for family and friends
  • Availability of neonatal intensive care facilities and trained staff
  • Childbirth classes offered by the hospital (labor and delivery, baby care, first aid, breastfeeding)
  • Security procedures (such as matching wristbands on mother and baby)
  • Use of video cameras
  • Pain relief options
  • Can baby be in mom's room after delivery?
  • After care of cesarean birth moms
  • Check-out procedures

Remember that the hospital wants to make your delivery day as safe and comfortable as possible. Ask a lot of questions - the labor and delivery staff would like to do whatever it can to help you prepare for the big day!

Review Date: 7/4/2019
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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