Be prepared. It's the motto of the Boy Scouts and a worthy mommy mantra. The best thing a mom-to-be can do is prepare for what lies ahead and arm herself with backup. Before you create a birth plan, pick a hospital to deliver the baby in, or decide on a home birth, you should tour the hospitals in your area.
- Preregistration and check-in procedures
- Suggestions for what to bring to the hospital
- Policies on walking around, eating, and drinking
- Access for the mother's "birthing coach" or other support people
- Visiting hours for family and friends
- Availability of neonatal intensive care facilities and trained staff
For five additional items to look out for, read more.
- Childbirth classes offered by the hospital (e.g., labor and delivery, baby care, first aid, breastfeeding)
- Security procedures (e.g., wristbands)
- Use of video cameras
- Pain-relief options
- Check-out procedures