What Can I Expect at My Hospital?

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 12:47pm
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Preparing for the birth experience that you would both like to have requires learning as much as possible about all of the options available to you. Plan a tour of your hospital or birth centre – it’s a great opportunity to gather additional information that will help you prepare for your birth experience.

The list below contains several questions that you can ask at the hospital about care for both you and your baby during labour and delivery.

The Room and Staff

  1. Do moms labour and give birth in the same room?
  2. Do moms have a different room after the baby is born? 
  3. What accommodations does the hospital provide for dads in the labour area – easy chair, reclining chair, cot? 
  4. Are there rules that limit the number of people moms can have with them during labour? 
  5. Do rooms have private toilets, showers, tubs? 
  6. Is there an obstetrician, anesthetist, pediatrician, available in the hospital 24 hours a day? 
  7. Do midwives deliver at this hospital? 
  8. Do doulas provide care at this hospital? 
  9. Do you encourage the use of doulas? 
  10. Is there a birth centre in this hospital? 
  11. How does care in the hospital differ from the birth centre? 
  12. Are there rules about taking pictures or videos during labour or delivery?

Interventions and Pain Management
The questions below are good to ask if you want to know more about how the hospital will manage your pain during labour and delivery.

  • How will you monitor the well-being of our baby during labour?
  • What are your practices regarding Intravenous (IV) drips in labour? 
  • What are your rules about eating and drinking during labour? 
  • What are your practices regarding various positions for labour and delivery? 
  • Do you encourage walking or movement during labour? 
  • Are there rules about using the showers or taking baths? 
  • What drug-free measures are used to cope with labour pain? 
  • What medical pain relief options are used in this hospital? 
  • What is the epidural rate at this hospital? 
  • What is the pain medication rate at this hospital? 
  • What is the episiotomy rate at this hospital? 
  • What strategies are used to help deliver without the need for an episiotomy? 
  • What is the rate of assisted deliveries; for example, use of forceps or vacuum extractors? 
  • What is the caesarean section (C-section) rate at this hospital? 
  • Where are C-sections done in this hospital—labour area or a surgical area? 
  • Are partners or a support person allowed in the room for a caesarean birth? 
  • Are moms permitted to be awake during a caesarean birth?

Newborn and Postpartum Care
Keep these questions in mind when discussing postpartum care for you and your baby.

  • Does this hospital encourage breastfeeding immediately after birth?
  • Does this hospital encourage our baby staying in the room with mom? 
  • What procedures are routinely given to our baby after birth? 
  • Will we be separated from our baby immediately after birth? When and why would this happen? 
  • Is there a Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on site? 
  • In what circumstances would our baby be moved to the NICU? 
  • What breastfeeding resources are offered here—classes, Lactation Consultant, breastfeeding clinic? 
  • What educational classes are offered regarding postpartum care and adjustment? 
  • What is the average postpartum stay for a vaginal birth? 
  • What is the average postpartum stay for a Cesarean birth? 
  • Does the hospital have an early discharge program? (This allows healthy moms and babies to go home approx. 24 hours after birth. Arrangements are made for a community health nurse to visit the home.)
  • Does this hospital accommodate families that feel the need to stay in hospital longer?
  • What are the rules surrounding visitors? 
  • What types of accommodation are available for fathers during the postpartum stay? 
  • Do you make arrangements for follow-up contact by a Public Health Nurse?

The Room and Staff
The following list of questions will be helpful the first time you visit your birth centre.

  • Are the midwives here licensed?
  • What other staff will care for me during labour—a nurse, for example? 
  • Are there rules about the number of people with the mother during labour and delivery?
  • Do you encourage the use of trained labour support individuals, such as doulas?

Adapted from The Maternity Center Association (2001), Possible Questions when Touring a Birth Center and Possible Questions when Touring a Hospital Maternity Area http://www.childbirthconnection.org/

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Is There A Way To Avoid A C-section?

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 04:09pm
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Pregnancy and birth are unpredictable and may not unfold as a couple or care provider has planned. C-sections are done for many reasons some of which are impossible to avoid. Some of the following suggestions may help you as a couple have the best birth experience that you can: 

  • Choose a birth setting with low overall rates of interventions such as continuous monitoring of the baby's heart rate, augmentation of labour, and epidural anesthetics. Some studies show that medical facilities that conventionally use many interventions in labour have higher rates of c-sections.
  • Choose a caregiver with low rates of intervention. Consider having a midwife deliver your baby; studies show that midwifery care has lower rates of intervention. Ask your family physician for a referral to a care-provider that has a low intervention approach. 
  • Discuss your goals and preferences with your doctor or midwife.

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by Maxine
Posted July 27 2010 03:28pm
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Our experts have developed a number of articles that will address the questions you have about properly breastfeeding your child.

There is so much information out there about breastfeeding and as a result, parents are overwhlemed when they look for the information they need about breastfeeding their baby. Our experts have developed a number of articles that will address the questions you have about properly breastfeeding your child.


Rest assured - you are not alone and we are here to help.


Ask Our Expert!
Do you still have questions about breastfeeding? Our expert, Attie Sandink, is a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Ask Attie a Question!


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Labour, Delivery and Postpartum Nurses

by Guest
Posted August 25 2010 12:52pm
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Labour and Delivery nurses are registered nurses who provide care to both moms and babies during labour and birth.  In most hospitals, Labour and Delivery nurses provide one-to-one care. This means that you are the only person being cared for by your nurse while in labour and for the time immediately following the delivery of your baby.

The benefit of this type of care is evident in the ongoing support provided by your nurse during your birthing experience. For example, your Labour and Delivery nurse closely monitors your baby before and after delivery, provides helpful education regarding breastfeeding, and advocates for your wellbeing while at the hospital. Labour and Delivery nurses are happy to assist you and your baby with breastfeeding immediately following birth provided you are both stable. These nurses work closely with the doctors, midwives, and doulas to ensure your comfort and safety for the duration of your stay in the hospital.

Postpartum Nurses provide care to mom and baby during the postpartum hospital stay.  These nurses also work closely with your other care providers.  They can assist you with breastfeeding and learning how to care for your new baby.

In some hospitals, the labour, delivery, and postpartum areas are combined and may be referred to as combined care.  In these hospitals the nurses provide you care in labour, delivery and postpartum – you may have the same nurse care for you for your entire stay.

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