by Liza Janda
1. Every expecting parent MUST watch the eye opening The Business of Being Born.
2. Read Ina May’s Guide To Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin:
3. Tour your birth place and ask THESE QUESTIONS when you do:
HOSPITAL LOGISTICS & ROOM INFORMATION
Are all labor and delivery rooms private or do some share rooms?
Are the bathrooms private or shared?
Are all the rooms the same as the one(s) we’re being shown? Will I be in one room during my entire stay, or will I be moved to a separate postpartum room?
How many births take place at this hospital on average each day?
What happens if the L&D floor is full? How often does that happen?
Is this a teaching hospital? Do you utilize students or residents? Will they attend my labor and birth? Can I request that they not attend if I don’t feel comfortable with them there?
Is there a newborn intensive care unit (NICU)? What floor is it located on?
Where is the best place to park? How much does parking cost?
LABOR & BIRTH
If I believe I am in labor, where will I initially be examined? Will I have to wait in a general waiting area, triage, or will I be brought to a private room?
Will I be allowed to eat and/or drink during labor? Can I bring my own food?
What labor and birthing equipment do you provide? For example, birth balls, peanut balls, squat bars, showers, jetted tubs, rocking chair, birthing stool, etc.
What is the hospital’s percentage of natural births?
What sort of monitoring do you have? Do you have wireless fetal monitoring available?
How often are you fetal monitoring?
Do you have an iPod station in the L&D rooms? Are they complimentary? If you don’t have them, can I bring and use mine?
How many people are allowed in the delivery room at one time? Is there a limit?
Who should I give my birth plan to?
Will the nurse be comfortable with a birth plan that may include things they aren’t used to if my midwife/doctor has signed off on it?
Will I be able to labor at my own pace or will I be put on a time limit?
Will I be allowed to move around freely and get in the tub or shower during labor?
What is the induction rate at this hospital?
What is the episiotomy rate at this hospital?
What is the cesarean rate at this hospital?
How do you (and this hospital) feel about doulas?
What are the policies on cameras and video cameras during labor, pushing, and birth? Are recording devices (like a cell phone, video camera, or digital camera) allowed in the delivery room or operating room (if you are getting a c-section)?
What’s the policy on delayed cord clamping?
Will this hospital allow me to take my placenta home (if you choose to do placenta encapsulation)?
Can we delay all procedures/exams for baby for an hour for bonding time/skin-to-skin?
Is your spouse/SO and doula allowed in the room for a c-section?
If I have a c-section, will my baby be separated from me right after the procedure? Or can I do skin-to-skin?
4. Click to Read What To Reject When You Are Expecting from Consumer Reports
5. Interview 3 doulas, even if you think you don’t want to hire a doula. Click Here for: QUESTIONS TO ASK to help you decide.
6. Take a childbirth class beginning in your 5th or 6th month of pregnancy.
Yes! That’s right. It takes time to mentally and physically prepare. You may learn something that changes your entire perspective. Then you’ll have time to make any changes you need. You’ll also have time to be RELAXED AND PREPARED. Some options are The Bradley Method of Natural Childbirth, Birthing From Within, HypnoBabies, Hypnobirthing.
7. Choose the right caregiver for you.
It will be one of the most important decisions you make for you and your baby:
How to choose the right care provider for your baby and birth.
8. Download this free Healthy Birth Booklet-6 steps to a safer birth at Mother’s Advocate
9. Exercise every day:
walk, swim, yoga (get my free 25 minute prenatal yoga class on youtube or download more prenatal yoga classes at Yogadownload:
Prenatal Yoga Package – The perfect Pregnancy companion, only $40
Prepare for your Babies Arrival with PRENATAL YOGA
10. Keep track of your nutrition
Make sure you are getting 80-100 grams of protein daily.
Great Apps for this are: www.myfitnesspal.com, www.calorieking.com, www.livestrong.com