Before you choose your caregiver, decide where you want to be when you give birth.  Is there a hospital that you want to be at more than another in your area?  Do you want to give birth at a birth center or in your home? Answer these questions first, because the caregiver you have chosen may only be able to practice at specific hospitals or birth centers.

In deciding on where to give birth, don’t just look at the pretty wallpaper and the bedspread.  When it comes down to what is important for your comfort during your labor and birth, you won’t be looking at the wallpaper!   Here is a list of things you want to look for during a tour of the birthplace and questions to ask:


  • Is there a rocking chair?
  • Does it have a footstool for added comfort?
  • Is the rocker hard or does it “give” with your body? 
  • Does the room have a chair or a love seat that makes into a bed for your partner?
  • Do I have to be monitored all of the time or can I have intermentent monitoring?
  • Do you have an ambulatory monitor? (This is still a monitor, but it sends radio signals to the monitor base and allows you to walk around your room or the hall.  It give you more freedom to move.)
  • What is the rooming in policy?   What does this mean?????
  • Are juices, ice, water, tea, pop cycles and other food available for me to eat? 
  • Are they available to me at all times? (Many times food and drinks are kept locked and you have to call a nurse each time you need something.  Sometimes the nurse is busy with one or two other laboring women and you will need to wait.)
  • Is there a lactation consultant?
  • Is she available every day or just on call?
  • Is there a number you can call when you get home for additional help with breastfeeding?
  • Can my baby be with me all the time?
  • Is the baby taken to the nursery for observation?
  • What are you observing when my baby is in the nursery?
  • When the baby is born, is the baby placed on my belly or is it taken straight to the warmer?
  • How long can I hold my baby before they will “check” him/her out.
  • Can my other children be present?
  • How many people may I have in the birthing room?
  • What is your induction rate? (This is a number every hospital knows)
  • What is their cesarean rate? (This is a number every hospital knows)
  • If I have to have a cesarean, can my partner be with me in the OR?
  • Can my doula be with me too? (In most hospitals, only one person is allowed to be in the OR with the mom.  Your caregiver and or anastesiologist can make an exception.)
  • Are VBACS allowed?  (VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean)