It can be quite overwhelming for mothers when it comes time to choose which location is best for delivery. There are so many things to be considered. So, in honor of National Maternity Day on October 29th, we’d like to share a few tips for Moms on choosing a Maternity Hospital or Birthing Center so that you can have a safe and stress-free delivery!
Written by: Camille Lucy
Choosing a Hospital
Most times, you’ll deliver your baby at the hospital where your healthcare provider has admitting privileges. Keep that in mind when choosing a doctor or midwife. Here are some things to consider when selecting a Maternity Hospital for delivery:
Feedback and Reviews from Other Mamas. It’s helpful to find out what experiences other mothers had at the hospital(s) you are considering. What do reviews say about this hospital? Talk to the women in your life with children and ask them where they delivered and what their experience was. Find out if they were satisfied with their stay and the staff. You can also find community forums to ask questions and for feedback about a particular hospital you have in mind.
Ask your OBGYN. Ask your doctor for a list of hospitals he/she is affiliated with. Explain your needs, and ask which facility is best able to meet them. Ask questions, and for his/her opinion on which hospital has the best labor and delivery, and recovery care.
Take a Tour. After narrowing down a list of hospitals you are considering, take a tour! Look at how busy or quiet the maternity ward is. Check out the size of the rooms, and how clean everything looks. Find out if you would share a room or have a private room (and if your partner or caregiver will be able to stay). Ask about amenities and equipment and the availability of nurses and doctors. Be sure to include a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Distance from Home. Be sure to choose a hospital that is in close proximity to your home, especially in the case of a high-risk pregnancy. Have a route planned out that will help you with avoiding traffic.
Ask Questions. Once you narrow down your choices, be sure to ask a lot of questions so you can gather all of the information you need before making this very important decision. You can ask how many support people are allowed in the room with you during labor and birth, if the room you go into labor in will be the same as the delivery room, if anesthesiologists are at the hospital, policies with siblings and visitors, if the baby will be able to stay with you 24/7, if there are lactation specialists available, if they accept cord blood donations, etc. Ask questions that are meaningful for you and your family.
If you’re at high risk for complications or preterm birth, or a child who will need immediate surgical or life-saving care at birth, you’ll want to choose a hospital with a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Nicklaus Children’s Hospital (South Florida’s only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children) offers the region’s only fetal care center for high-risk infants while Jackson Hospital (with full-service maternity programs throughout Miami- Dade County at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Jackson North Medical Center, and Jackson South Medical Center) caters to high-risk pregnancies.
Jackson Health System has world-class facilities, physicians and staff that are with you every step of the way – from essential prenatal care to your day of delivery, and for any assistance you need with breastfeeding or parenting, and additional expertise when you need it. The Women’s Hospital at Jackson Memorial specializes in high-risk maternity care. And as a Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center, they have specialists available around the clock.
Infants with Medical Needs
Nicklaus Children’s Hospital’s Fetal Care Center recently unveiled its new special delivery unit for high-risk infants. This specialized birthing unit – one of only a few such units nationwide – serves mothers expecting an infant diagnosed with complex medical needs requiring advanced pediatric care immediately after birth. The unit enables families to stay together through birth, maternal recovery, and specialized infant care.
When you’re doing your homework and making a final choice, remember that it’s not about “right” or “wrong” or “good” and “bad.” You are finding a hospital or birthing center that is the best fit for you. It’s about the doctor and staff that will make you feel comfortable. Childbirth is an emotional process and experience that is going to be life-changing for you and your family. The decision on where to bring your baby into this world deserves your time and attention, and you deserve to deliver in a place that makes you feel good.
Camille Lucy is a Certified Holistic Health Coach/Reiki & Raindrop Technique Practitioner/Meditation & Yoga Instructor, Ordained Holistic Minister, graphic and web designer, business consultant, and Vice President of a local non-profit that “rehabilitates people through animals.” She is also a writer, a Mother of 3 girls, an artist, a Life-and-Love Junkie, a Self-Expression and Development advocate, and – well, you get the point. She’s a lot of things, just like all of us. Learn more about her and her adventure(s) at www.CamilleLucy.com.