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The Gift of Motherhood – your personal journey through prepared childbirth 6

Choos ing a Hosp i tal or B i rthing Center

The months leading up to and during early pregnancy are the time that you need to consider where you are going to have your baby. The hospital or birthing center you choose will largely depend on your insurance carrier, healthcare provider and the privileges provided. It is important to communicate effectively with your physician or healthcare provider on the management of your labor and birth. You will also want to understand the hospital’s or birthing center’s policies. This understanding is especially important if you have a particular birth plan in mind. Ask yourself and your healthcare provider what choices will provide you a birth experience with the best possible outcome.

Hospital Setting

Most hospitals have set days and times for tours. Hospitals have developed tours to provide information to mothers-to-be and their partners who are shopping hospitals or to educate expectant mothers and their families about hospital services.

Important Information To Know when choosing a hospital:

• Does the facility offer birthing rooms to all mothers?

• Are there LDR’s (labor, delivery, recovery rooms) or LDRP’s (labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms)?

• What is the hospital’s policy on rooming-in? • How many people are allowed in the room at the time of birth?

• What are the visiting hours?

• Are siblings allowed in at any time or are there age restrictions on sibling visitation? • Are there breastfeeding educators or lactation consultants on staff to help you? • Can the baby go to the nursery at any time?

• What, if any, security does the facility have in taking special care of your newborn? • If a Cesarean birth is necessary, where will it be performed?

• Will my support person be allowed in the surgical room if I need a Cesarean?

Birthing Center

Birthing centers have become very popular among women because it gives them more control over their birth experience. These centers encourage natural childbirth. It is the philosophy of the centers that childbirth is a natural process not meant to be a technical or medical procedure. They are usually run by a nurse midwife who has been certified and may or may not have a physician overseeing the facility. Just as in choosing a hospital, there are many things that you must also consider in choosing a birthing center.

Make sure you take a tour of the facility where you plan to have your baby. Most hospitals have set days and times for tours.

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