As part of the antenatal build-up to the delivery of your baby, you may be offered a tour of the hospital. It's an opportunity well worth taking - and make sure you take your birth partner with you.
Not only will you be able to see first-hand where you are likely to give birth, but you'll also get the chance to ask questions.
Not sure what to ask? Think about the following:
- Parking procedures, shopping and catering arrangements
- Admissions procedures - who to call, where should you report to
- What to bring, and what you're not allowed to bring
- What to bring for your newborn baby
- Visiting hours, numbers of visitors allowed
- Are private rooms available? Do you have to pay for them?
- Number of beds per ward
- Are babies kept next to mums?
- How the hospital deals with birth plans
- What is the hospital policy on inductions: when might they decide to induce?
- Number of babies born, intervention and Caesarean rates
- Who will deliver your baby?
- Availability of birthing pools
- Shower/washing facilities
- Types of pain relief available. Can you use natural remedies during labour, can you bring a complementary therapist?
- What type of fetal monitoring do they use?
- What happens to you and your baby after the birth
- What support is available for breastfeeding?
- Ask to see the special-care baby unit. What will happen if your baby needs special care?
- What is the procedure if you need a Caesarean?
Taken from Pregnancy & Birth, The Essential Checklist
, DK £8.99. Published November 1, 2009