Menu

The 10 questions to ask on your hospital tour

Here are some questions we like to ask on hospital tours-

The 10 questions to ask on your hospital tour

What labor coping tools do you have here?

The kinds of tools we're talking about include bathtubs (for water births or just to labor in), showers, birth balls, birthing stools, essential oils and space to walk, to name a few. And if they don't have what you want there, are you allowed to bring it from home?

If you're feeling a mix of excitement and nervous jitters as you approach your birth, you're not alone! Thinking about the logistics of how it will all happen is stressful for sure. Luckily, many hospitals (and birth centers) offer tours to parents-to-be so you'll feel more comfortable about where your little one will be entering the world.

Here are 10 questions to ask on your hospital tour.

I am planning to have a ____ birth. How would you support that here?

Whether you're planning to have an unmedicated birth, know you want an epidural or haven't yet decided, your birthing place should be on board and have the ability to support you completely in your choices.

For a planned epidural, find out whether there's an anesthesiologist available on the labor floor 24/7. But! The following info is really important for you too, because even with a planned epidural, it's awesome to have a big toolbox of coping skills.

For an unmedicated birth (and everyone else, too), ask whether there are nurses and providers who have experience with, and love, attending low-intervention births. Ask whether they work with doulas (see #3 for details) and what coping mechanisms they have (keep reading...).

Psst: Not sure what you want your birthing experience to be like yet? Check out Motherly's Birth Class to learn more about your options and decide what's best for YOU!

What is your intervention rate?

Interventions are any medical procedures done during your labor—this might be continuous monitoring, episiotomies and, of course, cesarean sections. The C-section rate in the United States is currently at about 32% (the World Health Organization estimates that it should be 10 to 15%). This percentage does vary a lot among hospitals. You are very much allowed to ask so you can make sure the hospital's tendencies are in line with your priorities.

How many people are allowed in the labor room with me?

Many hospitals have protocols that limit the number of support people allowed in the room with you, so if you're planning to have more than one, check first. And if one of those people is a doula, find out how your hospital staff feels about doulas (we think doulas are AMAZING, and it's always great when your birthing place agrees).

What follow-up support to do you have for parents after we go home?

Many hospitals have support groups, breastfeeding groups, access to lactation consultants, 24-hour nurse lines for answering questions, classes for new parents and many other resources available to help you get this whole parenting thing off to a good start! Don't be shy—they really of want you to utilize their services!

Are you certified baby friendly?

Many hospitals are becoming certified as “baby friendly." Essentially this means that they prioritize things like skin-to-skin bonding with your baby, rooming in with your baby and breastfeeding. If a hospital is baby friendly, it's more likely to have systems in place that support these goals, like routinely doing the initial post-birth baby care on your chest instead of in the warmer and having lactation consultants on staff to help you get breastfeeding off to a good start.

Don't lose hope if a hospital doesn't have the certification. It may still be unofficially very baby friendly. Just ask what their policies are and you'll get a good idea.

What makes your hospital unique?

Hospitals are often proud to tout their new initiatives—whether breastfeeding coaches, amazing food (score!) or top-trained staff. Make sure you ask what they think makes this facility unique as you decide where to bring your baby into the world.

Join Motherly

What exactly happens when I go into labor?

  • Is there a number I call to let you know that I am in labor and on my way?
  • Where should we park?
  • Where should we check in and what documents do I need to have with me?
  • Can you walk me through the steps I'll take from arriving at the hospital to being brought to my labor room?

What is the postpartum experience like?

After you give birth, you may spend the duration of your stay in the same room, or you may be moved to the postpartum unit. Ask to see one of the rooms if possible, and find out whether they are private or shared, whether your support person/significant other can stay overnight with you and what the visitor policy is.

Can you tell me about your NICU?

A photo posted by Emma Hansen (@emmahansen) on

Hopefully you won't have to worry about this. But if your baby needs to spend some time getting a little extra support in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit), you'll be comforted to know what the hospital has in place.

The Motherly Shop is here 🎉 (and it has exactly what you need, mama)

We did the hard work for you, hand-picking the things you want and need and ensuring we only bring you the best—so you can take one thing off that full plate of yours.

Since the beginning, Motherly has existed to help mamas of all experiences feel seen, understood and supported. Through expert and mom-to-mom advice and information we've been here to help you along the motherhood journey.

With that same ethos, we've created The Motherly Shop—an online collection of products curated for every stage of motherhood. We did the hard work for you, hand-picking the things you want and need and ensuring we only bring you the best from brands and makers that really care—so you can take one thing off that full plate of yours.

To make browsing a little easier, we curate the products based on mama needs + pain points. For example, here's our newest collection created to gather everything a pregnant woman needs.

Check out some of our favorites from our Becoming Mama collection and get shopping!

The sleep support

Belly Bandit SOS pillow

Finding the right position for sleep can feel like an Olympic sport when you've got a baby belly to accommodate. Belly Bandit, masters of creating wearables that support pregnant bodies, also managed to create the ideal tool for side sleeping.

$80

The wear-anywhere maternity dress

Stowaway Collection Maternity Becca dress

Finding clothes that still make you feel like yourself isn't always easy. With their premium fabrics and universally flattering cuts, we can't get enough of the maternity wardrobe essentials from Stowaway Collection maternity. Even better? They sew everything in Long Island City, NY and source USA-made fabric whenever possible.

$80

The chic but practical shoe 

OSAY the label slip on

Bending over to put shoes on is so overrated. We've got you covered with the most stylish and obsession-worthy handmade loafers with a secret. Just fold down the back, and BAM! slip-ons. Additionally, the La Babouche Loafer + Slip-On OSAY the Label beauties are made from recycled leather that literally forms to your feet.

$135

The delicate reminder

Whether it's whispered sweetly, shrieked from the top of the big slide, or echoed through the phone from thousands of miles away, 'mama' is the name you'll respond to for the rest of your life. Like all the Tiny Tags necklaces, this sweet reminder is laser engraved by highly skilled artisans in the USA.

$105

The stylish diaper bag that doesn't look like a diaper bag

Mina baie vegan stevie

When leaving the house requires as much prep as an international flight (ah, remember those?) having a spacious bag you can depend on is key. Mina Baie bags not only deliver on a space for everything, but also manage to do it in style. They're the kind of bags you'll carry even when you manage to leave your little one behind.

$178

The elegant baby book

Echo Art Bindery Baby Memory Book

From the minute they're born there are so many milestones and memories to capture. We hand-picked the gorgeous clothbound baby memory book from Echo Art Bindery for its small batch-feel and attention to detail. Made from high-quality paper it features colorful custom illustrations, a silver-stamped endive cover, and questions and prompts to help you remember those magical first days and beyond.

$62

The empowering accessory

Sontakey 'I was made for this' bracelet

Words are powerful. Reminding yourself that you can do hard things can go a long way in giving you the energy and confidence to do so. The beautiful mantra bands from Sontakey were created by two mamas who have made it their mission to empower others with these words of encouragement.

$35

The most delicious way to celebrate

Tost non-alcoholic refresher

Time to raise a glass, mama! We've long since had a crush on TÖST's non-alcoholic sparkles. The gingery cranberry tea blend is delicious on its own or even as a mixer. From baby showers to toasting an ordinary Tuesday that went off without a hitch, we think you'll be crushing on it too.

$50

The pampering belly oil

Esker belly oil duo

Moisturizing, soothing, and totally divine, Esker's belly oil duo is formulated with only the cleanest botanical essential oils. One for morning and one for nighttime, they're ideal for pampering that beautiful belly of yours around the clock.

$75

The hydration-friendly water bottle

Welly traveler water bottle

Meeting those daily hydration needs can be a challenge. (So can making it to the bathroom 700 hundred times a day, right?) We're big fans of Welly reusable bottles which not only look super sleek with their stainless steel and bamboo combo, but also include a removable infuser to brew tea or flavor your water.

$30

The pre-packed hospital bag

Belly and Bag fully prepared

Leave packing your hospital bag to the pros. After all, you have plenty of other things to think about right now, right? The brilliant women at Belly and Bag have truly thought of everything and packed it up just for you.

$225

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop
Chrissy Teigen'/Instagram

As Motherly reported earlier this week, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are expecting their third child! We couldn't be happier this third-time mama!

The reveal came as part of Legend's new music video for "Wild", which is basically a celebration of the couple's love story.

Here's everything you need to know about Chrissy Teigen's third pregnancy:

Keep reading Show less
News