If you plan to give childbirth in a hospital, you will want to know which hospital you’re going to before the start of labor. Some health groups only have one childbirth hospital in each area, while others have a variety for you to choose from. Depending on your health group and your insurance, you will have different options. You can always ask your OBGYN or your insurance agent for the appropriate information. Follow the tips given below to make your hospital stay during childbirth as hassle-free as possible:
1) Before you get to the hospital, speak to your healthcare agent about coverage for your childbirth stay. You want to know the facts before you go in so that you can be prepared rather than surprised and possibly disappointed.
2) Once you know which hospitals are available to you, take the tour. Each childbirth hospital has scheduled tours for expecting parents. Ask friends about their hospital experience and if they would recommend one hospital or another.
3) Ensure you always have enough petrol or gas in your car and know more than one route to get to your hospital.
4) Since this is the one occasion you want to remember your hospital stay, check if camera and video are allowed and make sure to assign it to someone else (you will be busy giving childbirth).
5) The length of your stay depends on the childbirth type (vaginal or cesarean), your health, and the health of your newborn baby. You will typically stay two nights after a vaginal delivery and three to four nights after cesarean delivery. Ask the doctors and nurses about your discharge if you are concerned.
6) While you’re at the hospital, take the time to rest from childbirth and bond with your baby. If you need the rest, don’t invite family and friends to the hospital, you will be home soon enough to see them but will not have the luxury to lie in bed all day.
7) Also, remember to take advantage of the hospital’s resources. Ask to see a lactation consultant if you are breastfeeding to get all your questions answered and get hands-on help with breastfeeding. If you are confused about baby care, you can ask the nurses for help and guidance. Make sure you are not neglecting yourself. Tell the staff if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort; they may be able to relieve it.
8) If you are 37 weeks pregnant and do not have a hospital bag ready for the big day, it is time to get one ready, just in case you go into labor and need to go to the hospital in a rush. You can just pick your hospital bag up and go when labor starts. Even if you do not need to hurry, you may not be thinking clearly with excitement when the time comes. Why not put a bag together and be ready. What will you need:
- Comfortable maternity pajamas, preferably ones with breast access if you are planning to nurse.
- Your hospital may provide disposable underwear, but in case they do not, pack some from home. Not your sexy ones, but granny ones you do not care too much about, as you may have to throw them away.
- Most hospitals also provide maternity delivery gowns, but it’s a good idea to carry one or two hospital gowns of your own.
- Socks! If it is winter, bring slippers as well! You will be walking around on your hospital room floor before you are released.
- If you are the robe type, bring one!
- Clothes to wear when you are released from the hospital. You will most likely not fit into your pre-pregnancy clothing. Maternity clothes will do just fine at this point.
- An outfit or two to take your baby home in! Consider bringing two different sizes – newborn and 0-3 – you never know exactly how much your baby will weigh.
- Baby blankets and burp cloths!
- Toiletries: body soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
- Toiletries and a change of clothes for hubby (he may be spending the night in the hospital with you.)
- Snacks for hubby – chips, energy bar, etc.! While you will not be allowed to eat during labor, hubby does not need to suffer with you.
- Body pillow if you use one or any pillow from home. If you are at the hospital for a while, why not be comfortable.
- Cell phone and charger!
- Books and magazines. You cannot anticipate how long you will be in labor. Have something to help you pass the time.
- Cash for the vending machines.
- Car seat for the baby, already installed.
- Hospital registration forms, completed. You do not want to deal with paperwork when you get there.
- Childbirth plan, if you have one.
- Insurance cards.
- Your ID or DL for admission!
Happy delivery experience!