What To Look For In A Hospital Birthing Center

When it comes to delivering your baby, there are many options available. Some women prefer to deliver in a hospital setting, while others choose to have a natural home birth. If you prefer to have obstetrics services and medical staff available to you, a hospital birth may be your best option. However, there are many different choices even within a hospital setting. Before you determine your birth plan, you may want to visit the birthing center at several hospitals to determine which one you feel most comfortable with. Here are a few things to look for when selecting a hospital birthing center.

On-Call Physicians

While your obstetrician may not be on-call when you deliver, you may feel more comfortable with having a doctor from his or her practice present at your child's birth. Ask your OB/GYN which hospitals he or she has privileges at, and use this to help narrow down your list of potential birthing centers. You may also want to ask each hospital what its protocol is for on-call physicians. Will you be seen by the doctor who is currently working at the time you arrive? Will the hospital page your OB/GYN to request that he or she meets you at the hospital? Knowing who will be there when you deliver can be an important factor when choosing a hospital birthing center.

NICU Availability

Even with the healthiest of pregnancies, there is a risk that your infant may need specialized medical treatment after the delivery. Choosing a hospital that has a neonatal intensive care unit on-site can give you added peace of mind that the proper level of care will be available should your child need it. Ask to tour the nursery and see where the NICU is located in relation to the maternity department. Having your little one close even when he or she is sick will make it easier for you to visit during your recovery.

Delivery And Surgical Suites

You may be planning for a vaginal birth, but emergency situations do arise during deliveries. Choosing a birthing center that has both delivery and surgical suites will help ensure that you are prepared for an emergency C-section should the need arise. Be sure that the hospital will follow your birth plan, and work with your obstetrician to determine which criteria need to be met before a C-section is considered. Ask to tour the surgical suites and the delivery suites so you feel comfortable with the facilities available for either type of delivery.

Being comfortable with the birthing center you choose can help to relieve some anxiety about delivering your infant. Talk to your obstetrician about your expectations, and work together to select a birth plan and birthing center that meets your needs. Contact a clinic or doctor, like Zeng, Xiao-Mei MD,
 for more help.