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Monday, April 11, 2016

What to Ask While on a Maternity Hospital Tour

After finding out we were pregnant and we chose our doctor and decided on a hospital, we knew we wanted to go on a tour of the hospital so I began making a list of questions I wanted to ask while on our tour of the maternity ward and I also created a list of requests (crazy new mom much?). All jokes aside I do believe it is important to be prepared and to ask questions to know what to expect during your stay especially if your a new momma or your going to a new hospital than your previous births and to make a list of requests so your birthing experience is catered to you and your family, as it should be.

Side Note: These requests will be apart of your birth plan but I wanted to bring some up during the tour to make sure the hospital I chose would be accommodating.

So what were the questions I asked?

Side Note: I also make a list of questions in my phone for our doctors before appointments and it sometimes helps to remember what to bring up to your doctor. As a new parent, we freak out about every little thing but we are also sleep deprived and may be too busy calming our little baby during an appointment, these questions or concerns may slip our mind but if they are written down, you are more likely to remember to ask.

What is the estimated cost of  a natural vaginal birth?
It's good to know in advance how much you are going to have to fork out especially if you need more time to save up to make the payment. Also, ask about a payment plan!

Is the lactation consultant and breastfeeding class apart of that cost or do they cost extra?
Some hospitals don't have either so its good to also ask if they even provide these services and if the do, what are the costs? We ended up not taking a breastfeeding class but we did have the lacation consultant come in to help me learn how to use my breast pump and to answer any questions I had that the nurses weren't able to. 

The nurses in my care were all very knowledgeable about breastfeeding but I heard most nurses do not know anything about breastfeeding or do not offer help so if that is the case, ask about the lactation consultant (they can also help with formula fed babies as well).

Is it possible for an all female staff to be assigned to us?
When I was first pregnant, I did not want any males to be assigned to me. Obviously they are professionals but I didn't feel comfortable having a man who was not my husband all up in my cookie HOWEVER I cannot remember who was all in my room when it actually came down to pushing. I was so focused on getting that little baby out, I hardly remember my husband being next to me holding my leg.

I would like all staff to be apart of my insurance network, is that possible? 
When you go to the hospital for any type of care or procedure always, ALWAYS, ask for the staff involved in your care to be apart of your insurance network. This will help keep the costs down. The only person I heard who is hard to get in your network is the anesthesiologist, for some reason. Does anyone know why that is? Leave a comment, if you do.

Side Note: I also listed this in my birth plan and I highly recommend you do the same

Does the hospital allow photography during delivery?
For obvious reasons, I wanted to be able to have photographic memories of the day we became parents.

Is a birth photographer allowed to be in the labor & delivery room?
Birth photographers are expensive and they are hard to find, at least I had a hard time finding one but before you make a deposit (they are non-refundable most of the time) be sure your hospital even allows a birth photographer. Our hospital did not allow professional photographers as they had their own within the hospital but their photographers did a Fresh 48 (newborn photography) instead. I really wanted professional photos of our birth to capture those sweet moments between my husband and I as we waited and finally got to meet our baby girl because like I said I barely remember those actual moments.

How many people are allowed in the room during delivery?
If you don't mind having your family members or friends all up in your cookie, than find out in advance how many people are allowed in the delivery room.

Can I have more information on the "golden hour"?
My hospital said they provided the golden hour which is an uninterrupted hour of skin to skin contact between the mother and baby, which is very important to create that bond and for breastfeeding. We had our hour but another nurse came in like three or four times asking if we were ready for guests and my nurse had to keep telling her no we were in the middle of establishing breastfeeding so be sure to mention the golden hour right after you deliver if you want that uninterrupted time.

Those were the questions I asked while on my tour of the hospital but I also had a list of requests I wanted to be sure the hospital would accommodate.

Pre-Birth Plan Requests
I do not want a pacifier given to my baby.
My baby will be strictly breastfed, do not give formula or sugar water.
I would like my baby to remain in the room with us at all times therefore all newborn procedures can be performed in our room. (I told ya'll I am that crazy new mom).
I would like more information about cord blood donation.

Did you ask any questions or make demands while on a maternity tour? I can't be the only crazy new mom. hehe. Is there a question I didn't ask that I should have? 

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