Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hospital Questions for Labor & Delivery

Tomorrow we are touring Plano Presbyterian Hospital. I'd like to know where we're suppose to park before we're actually in labor and freaking out!


We're scoping it out, making sure it's good enough for Baby Stiller to make his grand entrance. Although I'm sure it's good enough. It's Plano. WEST PLANO. I'm pretty sure West Plano mom's aren't delivering their babies in a dive.

If you've never been to Plano, let me give you a preview. My ob/gyn had a conversation with a patient (no, not me) that went down like this:

Patient: "I would like to have a natural birth. Do you do natural births?"

Doctor: "Well, you're going to have to tell me what you mean by natural birth. We're in Plano, so when someone says natural birth, I assume that that means they are going to show up for their scheduled C-section wearing no make-up."

And that, my friends, is Plano. I do not exaggerate.

In preparation for our tour, I did a little light reading. I relayed information to Danny over breakfast this morning and together we came up with a list of 37 questions.


They are going to fire us from this hospital before we even try to deliver there!

Maybe it's overkill. Maybe it's first-time-I've-never-done-this-thing-called-BIRTH-before jitters. Maybe it's I'm-Type-A-personality obsessiveness. But, whatever it is The Baby List book and Your Best Birth made me ask them!

**All non-pregnant people stop reading right now - the sheer boring-ness of what's about to be blogged might blow your mind. But in case you are pregnant and don't want to read books or make lists, I give you the cliff-notes version of all the books I've read rolled into one blog!**

Questions for Hospital Tour:
Hospital Staff:
  1. What is the patient-to-nurse ration? Is that ratio consistent 24-hours a day?
  2. When will the nursing staff tell my doctor to arrive?
  3. Do you have 24-hour emergency staff and anesthesiologist present at all times?
  4. Is a neonatalogist or pediatrician on staff at all times?
  5. How will my pediatrician know I've delivered my baby?
  1. What is the parking situation? Where do we park & is there validation for Dad & visitors? 
  2. When I come to the hospital in labor, where do I go?
  3. Where do I go after hours?
  1. Are you open to natural methods of pain management and birth, including a water birth?
  2. What non-drug pain relief is available? a shower? a tub? a birthing ball? Are these routinely use by laboring women?
  3. Will I be allowed to move around during labor?
  4. If I need pain relief, who do I ask?
  5. Are walking epidurals given?
  6. Can I wear my own clothes?
  7. Will I be allowed to eat and drink during labor?
  8. How many rooms will be I be in as my labor progresses?
  9. Do you honor birth plans? To whom should I give my plan?
  10. Do you allow doulas to attend births?
  11. Will my husband be allowed to stay with me at all times?
  12. How many people are allowed in the room during labor/delivery?
  13. Do you allow cameras/videocameras/photographers in the room during labor/delivery?
  14. Can I bring my own music/ipod to play during labor?
Monitoring During Labor:
  1. Is continuous monitoring standard?
  2. What is the rate of IV use? Is a Hep-Lock available instead?
  3. How much fetal monitoring do you do during labor? Do you allow intermittent fetal heart rate monitoring?
  4. How often do you do vaginal exams? Can we request that those be limited?
Post Delivery
  1. Is the nursery prepared to handle emergencies or would my baby be transferred to another hospital?
  2. What is the policy immediately after birth? Can I hold/nurse my baby right away?
  3. Can the baby stay with me after the initial examination and not be taken to the nursery right away?
  4. What are my chances of getting a private room after my baby is born? Is there a special procedure to request one? What is the cost?
  5. What type of security system does the hospital have?
  6. Does the hospital have in-house lactation consultants available?
  7. What are visiting hours?
  8. Can I bring my own electric devices/hair dryer for afterwards?
  9. Is there wireless internet in the rooms and are cell phones permitted to be used?
Did I forget anything? Feel free to share any resources you found helpful in researching your hospital/birthing center/home birth.

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