Maternity hospital Checklist

Choosing a hospital to have your baby is one of the most important decisions a mother makes in her pregnancy journey. The choice of where to have your precious baby should not be inundating, it should be convenient and stress free.
There are so many key factors to consider such as the hospital’s willingness to follow your birth plan, preparations for emergencies amongst others.

The BabyBliss Maternity service team has carefully put together a list of things to consider or ask the hospital you are interested in having your baby.

Things to consider as an expectant mum:

Health insurance :

Do you currently have health insurance? Would you want to procure health insurance for your pregnancy and delivery consider if the hospital accepts your health insurance if you have any. Also, establish to what extent you have coverage.

Cost :

How much does antenatal and delivery cost in the hospital? If you have health insurance, when you exceed the benefits, will you be able to afford care without health insurance?

Proximity to work or home :

it is important to consider how close your hospital of choice is to your home; and if it’s far, consider a seamless and easy transportation post delivery.

Things to ask your prospective birthing hospital.

Does the hospital run antenatal classes?

Depending on your preference; either physical or virtual, discuss what your options are with the hospital as antenatal classes creates the avenue to meet other members of managing team like midwives, doulas and gives you the opportunity to meet other women who are likely in the same pregnancy stage as you with similar experiences to learn from.

Does the hospital have an in-house gynaecologist?

This is so you are assured a specialist is available should you have the need of an emergency.

Does the hospital have an associate pediatrician?

This is to ensure that when a baby is born, the pediatrician can be called in to examine, monitor and resuscitate if needed.

You need to find out the nursing to patient ratio. Ideal nurse to patient ratio is 1:5.

Does the hospital have an anesthetist?

This is very important should there be a need for an emergency caesarean section or an elective cesarean section. The availability of an anaesthetic is also important if you are considering having an epidural for vaginal birth.

Try to understand the hospital’s birthing protocol. What is their view on elective CS or Vaginal birth after cesarean section etc.

Will the gynaecologist consider the birth plan of the mother to be?

If you are having a high- risk pregnancy and envisage complications during and after birth, you should ask if the hospital owns an ambulance and if they do, how many? An ambulance is needed to transfer a patient to a tertiary centre or to transport a specialist to meet you in the hospital in times of emergencies.

How big is the labour ward?

If it can accommodate just one delivery at a time, ask what alternatives can be made if more than one person falls into labour at the same time.

What is the hospital’s method of labour monitoring?

Is there a continuous foetal heart rate and contraction monitoring? What is the managing team’s protocol on vaginal examinations during labour?

 

Why do UK Black women experience gynecological care disparities?

 

Does the hospital have facilities to manage other emergencies?

Does it have a blood bank? Intensive Care Unit (ICU)? Neonatal intensive Care Unit (NICU)? Incubator?

If it is important for you to have your partner or family member with you during labour or Cesarean section. It is important to ask what the hospital’s policy allows considering privacy of other women in labour, COVID- 19 protocols etc.

Does the hospital have the capacity to accomodate you and or other family members in the hospital in the event that your child must stay after you have been discharged from the hospital? etc.

Does the hospital have a catering facility? If they don’t, do they have arrangements with external caterers to enable you to plan for your own meals while on admission.

Is the hospital a “baby friendly” hospital? A baby friendly hospital is a hospital that encourages a baby to be put to breast within 30mins of birth regardless of the mode of delivery. It is a hospital that encourages exclusive breastfeeding.

If you are unable to breastfeed, does the hospital have a breastfeeding support team/ group?

What is a typical hospital stay like post delivery? Vaginal delivery is averagely 2 days, while cesarean section is typically 5 days.

We hope this helps you make informed decisions while searching for a healthcare provider.

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