Where to Give Birth: Why it’s important to tour a maternity unit before you choose

Somehow when you become pregnant or even just start thinking of becoming pregnant, your to-do list grows by leaps and bounds!  Between finding a doctor, getting checkups, revamping your diet, taking prenatal vitamins…don’t let one vital piece of your pregnancy plan get left out:  Deciding where to give birth.

Where you can give birth is limited based on the doctor you choose.  That’s because most doctors have privileges to deliver babies at just a few hospitals, and your favorite hospital might not be one of them.  So if where you give birth is important to you, make sure you include that in your research before or during your search for an obstetrician/gynecologist.

But how do you decide where to give birth? The easiest and most telling way to evaluate a hospital for your baby’s birth is by taking a tour.  In fact, one might argue that touring a hospital before you choose is very important, for the following reasons.

Why touring a maternity unit is so important:

  1. It ensures you’ll go to the right place when the time arrives!  It seems simple, but sometimes hospitals have separate entrances (i.e. not the ER) for maternity patients and you don’t want to waste time going to the wrong place or getting lost.  Who wants that on the most joyous day of your life?  Besides, just knowing exactly where you’re going reduces uncertainty and anxiety as you await your baby’s birth.
  2. You get a chance to meet the people who will care for you and your baby, and get a better feel for how they will treat you. Are they friendly and caring or cold and distant?  Do they care about you as a person or will they process you through the system like a number?
  3. Seeing where you might give birth in person gives you a much better feel of the place.  It might look nice in photos or video, but is that the way it really looks?  Or did they just show the best parts?  Is it a place you can spend a few days and still feel comfortable and well cared for?  It’s nearly impossible to get this kind of information from a website.
  4. It gives you a chance to ask all of your questions.  It’s unlikely that all of your questions can be answered on a website so why not ask hospital staff in person?  You’ll be likely to get better and more thorough answers.
  5. Asking your questions in person will help you better judge the sincerity and knowledge of the people who would be caring for you and your baby.  This helps you determine whether you think you can be confident in their ability to provide great care.
  6. It triggers even more questions that you didn’t think of. Sure you have a lot of questions now, but chances are you’ll think of more when you start walking through a hospital’s maternity unit.  Why wait until you’re admitted to think of new questions?
  7. You can see the space ahead of time which can greatly reduce anxiety. When you’re familiar with an environment it simply makes the experience of going back less frightening.
  8. The tour guide can explain the process and what you can expect when you arrive. This relieves any anxiety and frustration that may arise on the day you deliver if you don’t know what’s going on.
  9. You get the chance to meet other expectant parents and compare notes.  Finding out what others liked or didn’t like may open your eyes to something you didn’t notice.  You may also have the chance to swap stories, compare experiences and exchange advice which is priceless when you’re expecting!

So if giving birth is in your future, be sure to add a few hospital tours to your to-do list.  To schedule a tour at Botsford Hospital’s New Beginnings Maternity Center, call (248) 888-2500, or visit our website for upcoming tour dates.  You can also watch a video tour below, but be sure to come by and see us in person!

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