Choosing the Right Hospital for Me

The hospital where you birth plays an important part in your first step to parenting. The staff and the philosophy of the maternity ward can make your start to family life either blissfully wonderful or an absolute nightmare – so important issues need to be considered when making the decision of which hospital it is to be. Many people just go along with where their doctor suggests delivery, but few look into what is really available out there.

Take your time and look around before making the final decision – look early on in your pregnancy so it doesn’t become a last minute panic. In making this decision, you need to consider the following and decide what issues are important to you and look for those features in the hospitals under choice.

  • Are you encouraged to have a tour of the maternity unit as a couple
  • Is there ample time to ask questions of the maternity unit staff
  • Are they open to you bringing in your own birthing plan
  • Can you be mobile during labour
  • What is the environment like where you will be labouring
  • Is the ward environment cold and clinical or home-like
  • Do they offer an alternative to a regular labour ward
  • Do they allow you to create your own birthing environment and bring in your own music and pillows
  • Is there a birthing pool or bath for relief of pain during labour
  • Do they encourage breastfeeding
  • Is there a breastfeeding consultant as part of the team
  • Do they encourage or allow your baby to room-in with you
  • Do they make you feel at home and part of a family in the ward
  • What are the rules for visiting
  • Do they allow partner access at any time
  • Do they promote partner participation in looking after the baby
  • Do they charge medical aid rates
  • What are the costs if not on a medical aid
  • What education is carried out in the ward

Remember the right choice can give you a memorable birthing experience as well as the best start to parenting

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