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What questions should I ask when selecting a hospital for giving birth?

Boston Women's Health Book Collective
Administration Specialist

If you are considering giving birth in a particular hospital, look at its website and/or go on a tour to find answers to these questions:

  • What kind of anesthesiology and pediatric coverage does the hospital offer?
  • Does it have a blood bank available?
  • What is its registered-nurse-to-patient ratio? What is it in active labor?
  • What percentage of births at the hospital are cesarean deliveries?
  • What percentage of women who are admitted for VBAC deliver vaginally?
  • What are the routine policies for laboring women?
  • How does the hospital deal with requests for non-routine practices?
  • What percentage of women has an epidural for labor?
  • Are showers, tubs or whirlpool baths available for laboring women?
  • Can I labor, give birth and recover in the same room?
  • Are there restrictions on the number of people allowed in the labor and delivery room at once?
  • Under what circumstances would I be separated from my companions?
  • What is the rooming-in policy for babies, and under what circumstances would my baby be separated from me?
  • What are the routine newborn care policies?
  • Does the hospital mandate certain shots for all newborns?
  • What if I do not want my child to have those shots?
  • What assistance is available for breast- feeding mothers?
  • Is this hospital certified as "Baby-Friendly"?
  • Are private or semiprivate rooms available?
  • Is there an additional charge for those rooms?
Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

More About this Book

Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth

ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO MAKE WISE DECISIONS ABOUT YOUR PREGNANCY AND THE BIRTH OF YOUR CHILD -- FROM THE EDITORS OF THE CLASSIC "BIBLE OF WOMEN'S HEALTH" Pregnancy and birth are as ordinary...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.