Things to ask on Birth Center Tour — The Bump
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Things to ask on Birth Center Tour

Hey ladies, I'm a frequent lurker here but haven't posted a bunch, but was hoping you could help me.

My husband and I are expecting our first in March and are planning a Natural Birth at a birth center with a nurse midwife.  My tour is next week and I'm trying to get my list of questions together.  I tried asking some of the girls at work but all they seemed to be concerned with was "Is there a NICU available?" and "What if you have to have a C-Section?"  Not exactly the kinds of things I want to focus on. 

Anyway, I was hoping you ladies could help me.  I have a few, such as "How long do I have to stay after the birth" and "Can I eat and drink during labor" and "If it's a boy does he get circumcised here or with my family doc"  But if you ladies have any to add to the list I would greatly appreciate it.  Thanks!

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Re: Things to ask on Birth Center Tour

  • While the questions your coworkers brought up may not be things you want to focus on they're still vaild questions.  Even the most routine birth can go south in a matter of minutes.  I think it's a good idea to cover your bases and know what their policies are for emergency situations just so you can be prepared in the rare case that something does happen.  Remember, information is power!

    Some things you may want to consider:  Is there a limit to how many people you can have visit at one time?  Do they provide birthing balls or do you need to bring your own?  How long can you labor in the tub/are you allowed to labor in the tub once your water breaks?  Is there a place for DH to lay down and rest if your labor is long?  Where is the nearest place to get a bite to eat and what are their hours?  What is the policy on photographing/video taping staff (some staff may not want to be photographed/taped)? 

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  • Which birth center are you going to deliver at Chapel Hill or the new one in Statesville?  I have toured the WB&WC in Chapel HIll (I actually go there for my gyn care) and they are very consistent with natural birth techniques & comfort measures.  They have birth balls, tubs in each room, birth stool, queen size bed so you & DH can rest, you are welcome to bring food and have access to a kitchen, they have about a 9% transfer rate & it is less than 5 minutes to UNC. They like to discharge patients who have had a normal, uncomplicated birth within 12 hours of delivery.  This may sounds scary to a 1st time mom, but you will have an easier time resting and recouperating at home anyway.  I teach Bradley and many couples who have taken my class have given birth there.  You may want to ask questions about other newborn procedures (I know they don't circ there) & follow up care including breastfeeding help since you won't be in a hospital with access to a LC.  Good luck to you & I wish you a wonderful birth!
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  • What is their transfer rate,c/s rate, etc? What equipment do they have for emergencies? What is the procedure they use if you do need to transfer? What postpartum procedures do they follow-ie Vit K, eye ointment, etc? How long can you stay pp?
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  • Thanks ladies, I will definitely be adding some of these to my list.  I know my co-workers mean well but since I work in the NICU I get tired of all their "what if something goes wrong."  I get it, cause we only see babies when something goes wrong, but there are sooooo many more where everything goes right and mom and baby are healthy and fine.  Again, thanks for the suggestions!
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