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Childbirth Preparation 102: The Hospital Tour


“Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head.”

– Carol Burnett

Having not given birth yet, I can not validate Carol Burnett’s quote, but I did recently go on a tour of the hospital so I at least now have a visual of where this event will occur.

Though not required, a hospital tour can be another way to lessen your anxiety about the delivery and depending on how far you live from your hospital, it may even give you an excuse to time the drive. Our hospital provides private labour/delivery and postpartum rooms. I was really pleased to see that the labour/delivery room was well equipped with a rocking chair, birthing ball, showers (and in a few of the rooms – hot tubs!), and TVs.

One of the most notable things I learned on our tour was that the rooms were much smaller than they appeared in the pictures online (though I suppose this shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise after house-hunting and being deceived by the fish eye lens before). Knowing the size of the rooms was good information to have for planning out those hospital visits and setting the expectations of family/friends because three (even if one of them is less than 24 hours old) will be a crowd in these rooms. We plan to only have grandparents visit the hospital, but now we know to set expectations low in terms of the amount of time they will be staying in our cramped quarters with two very tired new parents.

Also positive was to get an insider’s knowledge – our tour guide was a 35 year veteran nurse – about where to park, where to check in, what entrances were open at different times of the day/night, how often first time mother’s are sent home because they are not far enough along in their labour to be admitted (i.e. don’t feel bad if this is you!), whether dad is fed during the labour or postpartum (no in our hospital), visiting hours, etc. While you can probably learn most of this information online or from the packet your hospital provides you, I’m a very visual person so actually seeing where my husband will be heating up his Top Ramen and getting my ice chips was helpful in taking the edge off the anticipation of D-Day.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 09/19/2011 14:02

    I’m glad we took a tour. I feel like all I remembered from it though was that there was cable television in every room (we don’t have cable, so it was kind of a treat….until it was boring and we remembered why we don’t have cable).

    Well, we also remembered the floor we needed to go to! Ha. I recommend taking notes if you want to remember things from the tour.

  2. kate C. permalink
    09/19/2011 19:05

    Oh, I forgot to mention how much I loved the whirlpool tub in my labors! Definitely try to request a room with one of those when you get there – if you can! It’s been called the ‘liquid epidural’! 🙂

    • 09/20/2011 10:08

      Yes, definitely going to request the hot tub room if one is available… I think they are highly requested so will be totally luck of the draw!

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