Between doctor appointments, childbirth classes, choosing a name and decorating the nursery, there’s a lot to do before your baby arrives. And while every new parent hopes for a smooth delivery, learning about the hospital and asking questions are two of the most important things you can do for peace of mind and to help you make the right choice.
The team at AdventHealth for Women can help narrow down what else is important to consider when choosing a hospital for your baby’s birth.
1. Does the hospital provide care for high-risk pregnancies or babies, like preemies, who need extra care after birth?
If your pregnancy is high-risk, you want to be sure your hospital has experience with cases like yours. Factors for a high-risk pregnancy include maternal age under 17 or over 35, preexisting medical conditions like high blood pressure or heart problems, and medical conditions that occur during pregnancy such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes.
No one likes to anticipate problems during labor and delivery, but depth of expertise and advanced technology can make a crucial difference when unforeseen emergencies arise. AdventHealth for Children’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides the highest level of care. Additionally, Level II NICUs are available in Altamonte Springs, Celebration and Winter Park.
2. Is there an OB/GYN, anesthesiologist and neonatologist available at all times?
If you’re in labor for a while, what happens if your OB/GYN gets called to another case? What if an emergency arises with you or your baby and you need surgery, or the baby needs medical intervention? It’s important for your hospital to have experts on-site at all times to address any of these situations.
At AdventHealth, even if your doctor is called away, you will still have 24/7 access to trained OB/GYNs and midwives available to assist with your labor and delivery.
3. Is a pediatrician available in the hospital?
Even if you’ve selected a pediatrician for your baby, it’s ideal that one is available at all times during your hospital stay. These doctors, known as pediatric hospitalists, work with your regular pediatrician and other providers involved in your child’s care.
If your baby is born full-term and healthy, but develops a health issue, the pediatric hospitalist will update your pediatrician and be part of your child’s care team. When your baby leaves the hospital, the pediatric hospitalist will give your pediatrician a detailed overview of your child’s hospital stay and thorough instructions for any necessary continuing care.
4. Does the hospital offer support for moms who want natural births or VBAC?
You want your hospital to be on the same page with you when it comes to your desire for a natural birth or a vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC).
At AdventHealth for Women, expecting moms work with the Birth Experience Team to complete Birth Wishes so the care team is on the same page with their preferred delivery options. Our labor and delivery units are equipped with a variety of amenities to accommodate natural birthing options including peanut balls, squat bars, and jetted labor tubs or walk-in showers.
If your OB/GYN determines you’re a good candidate to attempt VBAC, then AdventHealth experts agree you will want a hospital that can accommodate that. Some hospitals may not offer VBAC because they don’t have the staff or resources to handle an emergency C-section. An OB/GYN must be on-site during the entire labor in case a C-section is required, and an operating room and anesthesiologist must be available as well.
5. Is breastfeeding support available?
While natural, convenient and beneficial for baby, breastfeeding can be tricky, so the more support and guidance new mothers have, the more likely it is that breastfeeding will be successful. Breastfeeding support should include lactation consultants, and on-site lactation services, such as private consultations, breast pump sales and rentals.
6. Does the hospital offer education classes to prepare for our baby’s birth?
AdventHealth experts agree that parent education classes are designed to give you and your family the skills and knowledge you need to embark on this new phase of your life with confidence. Even if this isn’t your first baby, you may find that there are new techniques and tips available for parents since your previous birth experience.
The Baby Place Academy® at AdventHealth for Women addresses topics such as childbirth, breastfeeding, bringing baby home, ways to soothe your baby, and even safe practices for introducing the family pet to a new baby. All of our classes and tours are now offered virtually and led by our team of experts to prepare you for baby’s arrival from the safety of your home.
While sometimes making plans to bring your child into the world can be stressful, AdventHealth for Women is here to help guide you and help you feel comfortable each step of the way. To take a virtual tour, schedule a consultation to get your questions answered or learn more, visit BabyPlaceTour.com.