March 2018 Moms

Hospital/Birthing Center Questions

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I think we've had a couple posts in the questions thread about what questions they should ask during a hospital tour. I thought it would be good to consolidate.
Me: 34 DH: 38
Married: June 2011
TTC since Feb 2016
BFP#1: 7/7/16 MMC: 8/16/16 
BFP#2: 5/8/17 - CP
BFP#3: 6/27/17 EDD: 3/10/18

Re: Hospital/Birthing Center Questions

  • Visitors policy is always good either if you want everyone in there or are hoping they can help you with crowd control.

    To me, it helps if I'm prepared for as many eventualities as possible. So if I were to end up with an emergency c-section, I at least go into it with some knowledge. For me, one thing I plan to ask is if they do gentle c-sections and under what circumstances. Depending on how everything goes down, some hospitals will allow you to have a clear drape and can facilitate immediate skin to skin for you and baby. You might also want to know how many people can be in the OR for a c-section. I think it's typically just you +1 but you'll want to be prepared in case it comes up.

    Ask about first hour policies and procedures. For example, mine tries to honor the first hour as much as possible and discourages visitors and unless there's an obvious need for it, they won't do tests or anything on the baby during that time. If they don't have that policy and you want that, then you know to ask for it when the time comes. 

    I'd ask about security measures. A lot of them have the doors locked and you have to get buzzed in and they basically put a proximity alarm on the baby so if anyone tries to leave with it, the alarm will go off. 
    Me: 34 DH: 38
    Married: June 2011
    TTC since Feb 2016
    BFP#1: 7/7/16 MMC: 8/16/16 
    BFP#2: 5/8/17 - CP
    BFP#3: 6/27/17 EDD: 3/10/18
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  • Copy/pasted from questions thread: 

    1.) what’s their policy on food/drink post labor? Like can you have hubs bring you mcdonalds and coke right after delivery or do they have a no outside food policy?

    2.) what options do they have for coping with the pain during labor? Yoga ball? Tub? 

    3.) will they require you stay in one place during labor or can you get up and move? Walk the halls, pace your room, etc. 

    4.) post delivery visitor policy? What if you don’t want visitors and someone shows up anyway? Will a nurse send them away for you?
  • I would definitely ask about security. In my hometown a baby was stolen, so they finally put in the wristlet/anklet security system. I also asked about when I could shower. I got to shower after delivery and it was heavenly. 
  • My husband was only allowed one free meal so I just got extra sides when I ordered my meals.  I also delivered in the middle of the night so my nurse told me to order a sandwich before the cafeteria closed and they kept it for me on the floor.  Otherwise it would have been vending machine food. 
  • Also copy/paste from questions thread:

    1) Do they have a "quiet hours" policy? My hospital had a set time frame where nurses/Drs/visitors (except close family if you opted for it) weren't allowed into the rooms so you'd have a chance to get an uninterrupted nap/rest. Obviously, if you needed help the hospital staff would come - just for routine rounds they wouldn't.

    2) What's their procedure for after hours admission?

    3) Food/drink policy during labor - every hospital is different.

    4) Hours the cafeteria is open.

    5) Do they have a bed for your husband in the postpartum room?

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Pregnant with #2: 
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • I delivered my son at the hospital where I work. I skipped the meals and had DH get me food, ordered out and our guests brought us food. Bonus about having a thanksgiving baby. All the food and no traveling to visit  :D
    for this one I am pretty excited about the mini food court deal they have going on. I’m delivering at a different hospital and they have an amazing food selection. Major selling point. I’ll be having a cs and the general post op rules apply: no food or drink after midnight, clears once bowel sounds are confirmed and then progressed as tolerated. I don’t depend on having an appetite immediately after due to likelihood of nausea and the pain. But once I’m over that bump feed me all the food
  • @Gingermom15 I was the same way after my section. Felt like crap for a few hours because of all the meds, but then it went from not hungry at all to FEED ME EVERYTHING. I ate an embarrassing amount of food, especially that first day, haha.
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • @Gingermom15 I was the same way after my section. Felt like crap for a few hours because of all the meds, but then it went from not hungry at all to FEED ME EVERYTHING. I ate an embarrassing amount of food, especially that first day, haha.
    The general anesthesia and morphine I was given made me feel like death, but let me sing all the praises for in the world for Zofran and Dilauded, aka angel juice. I was good to go once the pain and nausea was under control and all they would give me was popsicles because of awful I had felt   Hindsight is 20/20 and they did the right thing, but I really needed some steak. I’m not ashamed of how many chicken wings I ate once I was allowed. Probably at least 15 boneless 
  • @Gingermom15 reading your post and you mentioned Dilaudid... after my emergency c-section with my son, they gave that to me and it made me so incredibly sick - it was a nightmare. Just thinking about the pain coming from the c-section cut every time l would vomit...brings back horrible thoughts!! Glad it worked well for you. I’ll have to only take ibuprofen post-surgery if l have another section this time around. 
  • I love that we're most concerned about food. I'm vegetarian and everyone I've met in this town since I moved here isn't quite "what's that?" but clearly I'm the first one they've met. I'm very worried about the response I'll get from the hospital staff. I will ask about it when I tour, but I'm pretty sure people will have to bring me protein at least. 

    The good news is the local hospital has recently opened a gorgeous women's health center with birthing suites that have tubs and showers and are totally private. 
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • @orbmaker this never crossed my mind, but also totally makes sense to me. Thanks for sharing

    BabyFruit Ticker


    Me: 28  Him: 30

    Married: 11/15/14

    TTC: 02/2016

    IF DX: MFI (low count & morphology) & mild PCOS

    June 2016 BFP - MC @8w2d

    August 2016 BFP - MC @6w1d

    June 2017 - 50 mg Clomid + Ovidrel + IUI = BFP 7/6/17!!

    Beta #1 = 422 (14dpo), Beta #2 = 810, prog - 12.3 (16dpo), Beta #3 = 5023, prog - 18.9 (20dpo)


  • @SoFlaMommie1128 did they try anything else for pain? Everyone reacts different to pain meds, mane morphine would have been a good choice for you. There are also other options. If you need more than ibuprofen then try to take a small dose of something, stay ahead of the pain. 
  • @Mass-girl-at-heart Same except it was Chinese food, hahaha. I was more worried about getting enough calories in to get my strength back up and help my milk supply than I necessarily was about what foods I was eating.  
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • @ashleyf911 I’m a big fan of doing what’s best for you but honestly I never even thought of a hospital not allowing outside food. I will be asking for sure!  No Sonic near me this time though  :(
    Big Sisters 2/10 & 12/11
    Little Brother 3/1/18
  • @ShawnnaO Thanks for those tips! 
    BabyFruit Ticker

  • @notthefather same. Give me allll the cheese burgers and Chinese food.  :D
  • I second @ShawnnaO on being hungry. I was never overly hungry when pregnant last time and haven't been so far this time either but I was ravenously hungry while breastfeeding, especially in the beginning. I have never felt that kind of bottomless hunger before. 

    On our way to baby #2!
    BabyFetus Ticker
    EDD March 12, 2018

  • As for the no outside food policy, that sounds extremely outdated. Consulting with the nurse beforehand to make sure there is no food that will interact with meds, that they are allowed solid foods mainly due to bowel function, etc should be sufficient. If they say there is a policy, then ask to see the printed version with the policy number and read it for yourself. If they cannot produce that then you can bring in whatever you want. 
  • @ashleyf911 Yes, food is a big deal. There really is only 2 big hospitals in our area that have maternity wardsand you deliver based on your insurance. I've gone to both. The one I liked way better but the other one had awesome food and I talk about it all the time.

    I am a c/s mama (2 breech babies) and my big question on my second tour (different hospital) is am I allowed to do skin to skin and breastfeeding while still on the table. I was able to and that is a big reason I'm sticking with this hospital for #3 c/s. It made my experience so much better the second time.
  • I would have been a bitchy mess if I wasn't allowed outside food. I ate the hospital food, but one bowl of soup and half a sandwich is not going to cut it for this girl. My SO brought me pizza, and a poutine. And the lady beside me got a whole take chinese dinner. 
  • 1. What role do nurses play in supporting labor? Do they actually help you breath or are they strictly medically minded? This would have made all the difference for me bc I needed support (a doula or some breathing help) and was surprised that this wasn't part of the deal. 

    2. Ask about NICU policies and when a mom can see baby. I couldn't see my son for 8 torturous hours (I spiked a fever so he was monitored for elevated temps) and never thought to ask about those policies. 
  • I second the lactation consultant question from @DDRRT1982. Case in point, I gave birth to DD on Saturday at 2:30 a.m. and the ONLY lactation consultant in the hospital taught a breast feeding class on Saturday and then had Sunday and Monday off - the EXACT days I was in the hospital. The nursery nurses were a big help with breast feeding, but DD and I just couldn't get it right. We were able to see the LC about a week later, but I am super disappointed in the whole experience and am hoping this time around will be a lot different.
  • Re: outside food, my hospital has delivery menus available for nearby places that regularly deliver there, which is awesome. If your hospital isn't familiar with local delivery places, scope out the options ahead of time. 

    For the hospital, like what others have said, I'd ask about what support and facilities/equipment they have for labor. How often will the nurses check on you, and how much will they help you through labor? My nurse kept putting me in different positions to help labor which I was so thankful for, but I know other nurses just check on you and aren't as hands on. How much can you walk around vs. when do you have to be hooked up to machines? Are there birthing balls, donut balls, showers/baths available for labor, or do you need to bring stuff (like a birthing ball) from home? What do the nurses recommend you bring/don't bring from home for labor and postpartum? My hospital tour guide was one of the nurses there and she gave us a ton of helpful information. 

    Things to ask at the hospital tour and also discuss with your doctor would be about how much control you have during labor. Do you have to push lying down or can you push on your side, all fours, etc? How much can you walk around versus how often will you need to be hooked up to the monitoring machines? If you get an epidural, what can you/can't you do in terms of moving around or switching positions during labor? What happens if your doctor is unavailable at delivery? (Who would cover for the doctor?) What about a birthing plan, or birthing preferences - how do you communicate that, to whom, and when? For me, the only two things I had in my "plan" were to have the doctor do perineal massage right before baby crowned (to reduce tearing) and to have delayed cord clamping, and I just told that to my doctor both ahead of time and then again during labor when she checked in on me. 

  • I agree about the NICU stuff. I toured two hospitals before TTC because I needed to choose an OB/Gyn at that time. There were pros and cons to both but when it came down to it, I didn't end up weighing all of those because one has the higher level NICU than the other and that one was perfectly acceptable in all of the other ways. It's still in another area but it's not like the baby will have to be transferred across town, I wouldn't be stuck in a hospital across town from my baby, nor would it be a matter of H being torn between two hospitals. Like I said, some people don't even want to consider bad scenarios and would prefer to pretend that they don't happen unless they find themselves in the middle of one. But, for me, I find comfort in having at least a bit of a plan and some knowledge ahead of time.  
    Me: 34 DH: 38
    Married: June 2011
    TTC since Feb 2016
    BFP#1: 7/7/16 MMC: 8/16/16 
    BFP#2: 5/8/17 - CP
    BFP#3: 6/27/17 EDD: 3/10/18
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