Hospital Birth Planning
Making the Move
If you are planning a hospital birth, you will be faced with some unique challenges when birth planning. For example, when will you make the move to the hospital? How will you get to the hospital? How will you handle the normal admission procedures when you get there?
You may not know when you will move to the hospital, it may depend on the way your labor progresses. But you should have an idea of what signals the need to move to a hospital.
You will also want to be sure you know at least two ways to get to the hospital and which entrance you are supposed to use. Where do you park, and can you be dropped off by an entrance to avoid a long walk? If you plan to bring a lot of bags, is there a cart you can use to transport them to your room?
Once you are in the hospital birthing center, what forms will you need to sign to be admitted? Can you fill out some of the paperwork ahead of time? Does your midwife meet you at the hospital or will you first see an on-staff midwife? Can any of the admission procedures be delayed if you are in active labor or arrive pushing?
Hospital Policy and Procedures
Hospitals can be a great place to get health care, but when it comes to normal healthy process like giving birth the routines and protocols can get in the way. The very nature of a hospital, being a facility that provides care to many at one time, requires strict adherence to standards of care to ensure every person receives a minimally acceptable level of care. This strict adherence also ensures the next shift of nurses and midwives know what has been happening in your labor and what they are to do next.
You will need to consider issues of environment, comfort and the type of care you wish to receive. Will you be comfortable in the hospital gown? Will the monitoring style give you the freedom to move around? How fast must your labor progress to be considered normal? Be sure you know what your midwife and your hospital consider to be essential and which routine procedures can be avoided.
Procedures which may be routine at hospitals: