5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Hospital Tour

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If you plan to deliver at a hospital you’ll likely be invited to take a tour of the maternity wing at some point during your last trimester. Though most women aren’t exactly sure what they’re going to see on the tour, they’re often excited to check out where they’ll get to bring their baby into the world in just a few weeks or months. Check out the tips below to make the most of your hospital tour.

1. Plan and time your route

Starts making the most of your hospital tour before you even arrive. The day of your tour is the perfect opportunity to plan your route and time how long it takes to get from your home to the hospital. Depending on the time of day you end up needing to head to the hospital when you’re actually in labor you may have to account for traffic, but it’s still a good idea to have a general idea of which route you’ll choose and how long it will take to get there on the big day. 

2. Prepare a list of questions in advance

While the nurse giving the tour will likely cover a lot of what’s on your mind, pre-writing a list of important questions ensures you’ll walk out the door with all the information you need. Be sure to bring your list along so that you or your partner can take notes as your tour guide answers questions. 

3. Make sure to see it all

Your hospital tour should cover everywhere you might be from when you’ll check in to when you’ll check out. Make sure to take note of the different spaces and rooms you and your little one might occupy during your stay. At many hospitals that includes the check-in or triage area (where the nurses will assess whether you’re really in labor), the delivery room (where you’ll labor and your baby will be born), the recovery room (where you’ll spend a couple of days and nights recovering before you head home), and possibly the nursery (where your baby will sleep if you need a break). Taking notes on where you’ll be throughout your stay will help you feel comfortable as you move through the hospital during your stay. 

4. Learn important policies

When you head to the hospital during labor you’re probably not going to be calm and collected enough to ask about the hospital policies that will impact you during your stay. Many moms want to know how many people can be in the delivery room, when guests can visit after the baby is born, and how long they’ll stay once their little one has arrived. Make sure to ask ahead of time so you can plan ahead and share any relevant information with the important people in your life.

5. Check out the check-in procedures

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When you’re in labor you’ll probably have a lot on your mind, so much in fact that it will likely be tough for you to remember to your health insurance information and spend time filling out forms. Many hospitals have pre-registration policies that allow you to complete all your paperwork in advance so that when you head to the hospital all you have to do is walk through the door. Make sure you collect anything you need to fill out your paperwork in advance. 

Good luck to all the moms-to-be out there! 

{ MORE: Don't Leave the Hospital Without Answers to These 4 Questions! }

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5 Tips to Make the Most of Your Hospital Tour

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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