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.

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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.

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    These challenges from Nike PLAYlist are exactly what my child needs to stay active

    Plus a fall family bucket list to keep everyone moving all season long.

    While it's hard to name anything that the pandemic hasn't affected, one thing that is constantly on my mind is how to keep my family active despite spending more time indoors. Normally, this time of year would be spent at dance and gymnastics lessons, meeting up with friends for games and field trips, and long afternoon playdates where we can all let off a little steam. Instead, we find ourselves inside more often than ever before—and facing down a long winter of a lot more of the same.

    I started to search for an outlet that would get my girls moving safely while we social distance, but at first I didn't find a lot of solutions. Online videos either weren't terribly engaging for my active kids, or the messaging wasn't as positive around the power of movement as I would like. Then I found the Nike PLAYlist.

    I always knew that Nike could get me moving, but I was so impressed to discover this simple resource for parents. PLAYlist is an episodic sports show on YouTube that's made for kids and designed to teach them the power of expressing themselves through movement. The enthusiastic kid hosts immediately captured my daughter's attention, and I love how the physical activity is organically incorporated in fun activities without ever being specifically called out as anything other than play. For example, this segment where the kids turn yoga into a game of Paper Scissors Rock? Totally genius. The challenges from #TheReplays even get my husband and me moving more when our daughter turns it into a friendly family competition. (Plus, I love the play-inspired sportswear made just for kids!)

    My daughter loves the simple Shake Ups at the beginning of the episode and is usually hopping off the couch to jump, dance and play within seconds. One of her favorites is this Sock Flinger Shake Up activity from the Nike PLAYlist that's easy for me to get in on too. Even after we've put away the tablet, the show inspires her to create her own challenges throughout the day.

    The best part? The episodes are all under 5 minutes, so they're easy to sprinkle throughout the day whenever we need to work out some wiggles (without adding a lot of screen time to our schedule).

    Whether you're looking for simple alternatives to P.E. and sports or simply need fun ways to help your child burn off energy after a day of socially distanced school, Nike's PLAYlist is a fun, kid-friendly way to get everyone moving.

    Need more movement inspiration for fall? Here are 5 ways my family is getting up and getting active this season:

    1. Go apple picking.

    Truly, it doesn't really feel like fall until we've picked our first apple. (Or had our first bite of apple cider donut!) Need to burn off that extra cinnamon-sugar energy? Declare a quick relay race up the orchard aisle—winner gets first to pick of apples at home.

    To wear: These Printed Training Tights are perfect for when even a casual walk turns into a race (and they help my daughter scurry up a branch for the big apples).

    2. Visit a pumpkin patch.

    We love to pick up a few locally grown pumpkins to decorate or cook with each year. Challenge your child to a "strongman" contest and see who can lift the heaviest pumpkin while you're there.

    To wear: Suit up your little one in comfort with this Baby Full Zip Coverall so you're ready for whatever adventures the day brings.

    3. Have a nature scavenger hunt.

    Scavenger hunts are one of my favorite ways to keep my daughter preoccupied all year long. We love to get outside and search for acorns, leaves and pinecones as part of our homeschool, but it's also just a great way to get her exercising those gross motor skills whenever the wiggles start to build up.

    To wear: It's not truly fall until you break out a hoodie. This cozy Therma Elite Kids Hoodie features a mesh overlay to release heat while your child plays.

    4. Have a touch-football game.

    Tip for parents with very little kids: It doesn't have to last as long as a real football game. 😂 In fact, staging our own mini-games is one of our favorite ways to get everyone up and moving in between quarters during Sunday football, and I promise we all sleep better that night.

    To wear: From impromptu games of tag to running through our favorite trails, these kids' Nike Air Zoom Speed running shoes are made to cover ground all season long.

    5. Create an indoor obstacle course.

    Pretending the floor is lava was just the beginning. See how elaborate your personal course can get, from jumping on the couch to rolling under the coffee table to hopping down the hallway on one foot.

    To wear: These ready-for-any-activity Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are perfect for crawling, hopping and racing—and cuddling up when it's time to rest.

    This article was sponsored by Nike. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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    All I see is you.

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