This pregnancy seems to be flying by. Between all the doctor appointments, ultrasounds, and classes I need to take to prepare for these babies I feel like the weeks are just zooming by. Since the birth of Lia (my 2 year old) we switched health insurance and are living near a new hospital. To me although it was not my first baby we needed to attend the maternity tour to know exactly where the heck these babies were going to be delivered.
Because we are having twins our tour was scheduled much sooner out (24 weeks) vs the recommended 32 for most singletons. Nonetheless we had a ton of questions that I felt were very important to ask and that I recommend you ask as well. Here we go!
1.What NICU level hospital is this?
There are 4 types of NICU levels to keep in mind.
The 4 NICU levels are:
- Level I: Well newborn nursery: This is your typical nursery and can care for healthy newborn babies between 35-37+ weeks. They can also stabilize newborn infants who are sick or those born less than 35 weeks gestation until transfer to a facility that can provide the appropriate level of neonatal care
- Level II: Special care nursery: A level 2 nursery can care for newborns starting at 32+ weeks gestation. These hospitals also have the ability to stabilize infants born before 32-weeks gestation low birth weights until transfer to a neonatal intensive care facility is possible.
- Level III: Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): These hospitals can provide care for infants born at all gestational ages & birth weights. These hospitals can provide imaging as well as respiratory support that may be needed as well as sustained life support.
- Level IV: Regional neonatal intensive-care unit (regional NICU): Regional NICUs have all of the capabilities of Level I, II & III units. In addition to providing the highest level of care. You can find a full range of pediatric medical subspecialists, pediatric surgical subspecialists & pediatric anesthesiologists here ready to provide any type of care necessary.
2.Who can be in the delivery room?
You want to know the number of people as well as any age restrictions they may have. For those of you wanting birth photographers this is also a good place to ask about their policy related to them.
3.What is your visitor policy?
If you have older kiddos-ask about the policy regarding siblings as well as their regular policy. This includes asking if other children are allowed to visit and the hours. Most hospitals have some time of the day blocked out where no visitors are allowed as some bonding time for babies and new parents.
4.Where do we enter upon arrival?
Super important! Our hospital is large however, the front doors will lock after 10pm. Now we now after that we need to enter through the Emergency room between 10pm and 7am. I would have never known!
5.Who can stay overnight?
You will want to know the number of people and the ages they must be. We were informed (as will come to no surprise) that our kids are not allowed to stay, only one adult over the age of 16.
6.Are circumcisions done during my hospital stay?
This time around this was very important to us as we are expecting twin boys. Some hospitals will do it during their hospital stay and others make you come back to the clinic, etc.
7.What is your discharge procedure?
Super important, you want to know what you need to do before you are discharged as well as what their typical discharge times are. Some hospitals will not discharge you past a certain time.
8.When should I come to the hospital?
This tends to be pretty uniform but maybe your hospital has some different procedures you want to be aware of.
9.What do I need to pack?
We tend to think about packing a huge bag with us for our hospital stay and then you come to find your hospital might have provided you with the majority of it. Make sure to ask!
10.What is the direct number for any questions?
Super important! If you can get the phone number to the labor & delivery department of your hospital you might even save yourself an unnecessary visit!
Overall, our hospital tour was very informative. I highly recommend one if you haven’t take one yet! I would love to know what were some questions you forgot to ask!