Having a baby is a unique experience every time; no two pregnancies or deliveries are ever quite the same.
Since there are so many factors outside of your control, it’s nice to know that the hospital where you’ve chosen to deliver (as well as your OB!) can provide much-needed consistency and reliability. And of course, choices!
While there are many factors to consider when choosing the best hospital to have your baby, here are 6 of the most important:
Clinical excellence in labor and delivery.
You may not agree on baby names or whether you want a boy or girl, but it’s safe to say the No. 1 priority of every parent is to have a healthy baby … and for mom to be healthy, too.
Look for a hospital that offers two skilled medical teams — one for mom and one for baby. That tells you they take the needs of baby and the expectations of mom seriously.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit — NICU.
The level of neonatal intensive care a hospital provides is one of those things that many parents-to-be forget to consider, which is precisely why it’s near the top of our list.
Knowing the NICU level of your hospital (1 is the lowest level of care; 4 is the highest) can provide peace of mind if your baby needs a higher level of care.
Delivery and baby options.
What will your delivery day be like? No one can say for sure, but creating a birth plan will give your OB and hospital staff a map of what you would like to happen.
Do you want custom music? Soft lighting? Instant skin-to-skin contact? Baby in-room or in-nursery? Are pacifiers and formula allowed? Do they offer designated quiet time for mother and baby bonding? Your hospital should offer these choices and more, and the staff should be able to help you decide what’s right for you.
Postpartum room amenities.
Where you spend the first few nights with your new baby is something you’ll never forget. Make it memorable by choosing a hospital that has everything you’ve ever dreamed of, whether it’s a VIP luxury suite, a celebratory meal or an extra large room to have lots of friends, family and gifts. It’s your day, baby, so make it special!
Most hospitals offer tours of their labor and delivery departments, so be sure to sign up for the ones you’re interested in.
Childbirth classes and support groups.
In addition to labor and delivery tours, look for a hospital that offers the childbirth classes and support groups that meet your needs. Class choices can include childbirth preparation, breastfeeding, infant CPR, daddy boot camp, yoga and prenatal massage.
New moms and lactation support groups can help with the transition to becoming a mom.
Labor and delivery pain relief options.
In addition to the traditional epidural, there are now more childbirth pain relief options than ever.
Look for a hospital that offers a wide variety of pain relief choices, such as aromatherapy (essential oils), nitrous oxide, meditation, hot and cold therapy, and more.
Don’t be shy about trying more than one technique, especially if your labor is long. What works during one stage of labor may not in another.
No matter where or how you choose to have your baby, we hope you rock your delivery day with our customized Spotify playlist.