Choosing your maternity hospital
Motherhood is one of the most beautiful phases in a woman’s life. Although this phase is nothing less than a physical and emotional rollercoaster ride, what ultimately matters to any mother is the well-being of her baby once he/she is out in the world. And one of the most important things to plan during pregnancy is the maternity hospital. It is important that the maternity hospital is comfortable for the mother-to-be and the child, and thus, advance planning must be a priority. There are some things to keep in mind while zeroing in on a maternity hospital. We give you few points you should consider.
Obstetrician and staff credentials
This can be gauged in the first few meetings itself. The obstetrician must have time and patience, and be able to answer questions clearly and patiently. The mother should be comfortable and trust the doctor overseeing her. This is because an understanding obstetrician can assure her of a safe & normal delivery, especially if this is her first time being a mother.
Ensure that the doctor in the maternity hospital is open about any aspect related to pregnancy. He/she should be able to talk the mother through all stages of her pregnancy and clarify any doubts she may have. Feedback from known sources can help understand whether the maternity hospital is good enough.
Hospital facilities such as NICU and adult ICU
Although in most cases, the baby need not be placed in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), it is still important that the maternity hospital is well-equipped to handle any last-minute emergency. Having an NICU and adult intensive care unit aka ICU can take care of this.
Proximity to the house
It goes without saying that the maternity hospital should be as close to the mother’s house as possible. Throughout the pregnancy, there are many times when the mother would need to visit the maternity hospital for check-up and tests.
Staff in the maternity hospital should be available 24 x 7. This is because pregnancy is a condition where there could be an unexpected need to visit the clinic. This can even be at odd hours. Understand the lead time before the doctor takes charge of delivery and choose a maternity hospital where the staff can be reached out to any time.
Some other factors to consider are as follows.
Check if there is an on-call pediatrician available apart from adequate post-natal care programmes. There should also be a lactation consultant, nutritionist and physiotherapist at the hospital.
Cleanliness and hygiene of the labor room and the hospital in general.
Though it may not be important to choose a fancy maternity hospital, the one that is chosen finally should be clean and hygienic.
While these are just some of the considerations, what will ultimately help is one’s own instinct and how the mother gels with the doctor. The health of the mother and the baby is paramount during and after pregnancy and that should be the foremost criterion to choose the best maternity hospital.