In many ways, this pregnancy has felt like it was the first time around for me. There were so many symptoms that I forgot women experience during pregnancy. Considering my last pregnancy was almost 9 years ago, it makes sense that my body and my mind have completely forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant. For example, at almost 37 weeks pregnant, I am hoping that I remember feeling the difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and actual labor contractions. Just because I am a third time mom doesn’t mean I have all the answers. Luckily, my husband is in medical school so he is learning everything having to do with the human body and it’s physiology. He’s quite knowledgeable at this point. I also google a lot of what’s going on in my body. I have to stay informed so that I don’t lose my mind which is another reason why I opted to take a tour of the hospital where we will be delivering our baby.
So this will be my third time delivering a baby, did I really need to take a tour of the hospital? The answer is yes and I will explain why. We are a military family so this will be my third time delivering in a different hospital. My first was born in California. My second was born in Japan, and this little bundle will be born in Maryland. All different places, all different hospitals. Even so, if we weren’t a military family and I gave birth at the same hospital all three times, I would be more at peace knowing that I took a tour especially because of the big gap between my pregnancies.
My husband and I took the tour and it felt a bit like deja vu, but we did leave with some great information on how the Labor and Delivery team runs their department and what accommodations they offer for both mother and baby. We learned that this particular hospital is a “baby friendly” hospital which strongly encourages mommy-baby bonding immediately after delivery.
Whether you decide to take a tour or not, it’s always a good idea to research the hospital and their Labor and Delivery department. It’s good to know what type of accommodations they offer and what type of postpartum care they practice in terms of mommy-baby bonding. It’s also a good idea to call ahead of time and ask questions that you may have. For example, what they recommend you bring to the hospital. Should you bring diapers, wipes, etc? Will there be a couch/bed for your partner to rest while you recover? How many visitors are allowed and what are visiting hours? How many people are allowed in the room during delivery? These are questions that are normally answered during the tour.
Even though this is our third time around, I am glad we took the tour. We now know where we have to go when I am being rushed into the hospital. We can call L&D ahead of time to let them know we are on the way so they can prep a room for me. We also don’t have to run around wasting time asking for directions once we are in the hospital. Overall, although some aspects of the tour were very “been there, done that”, I think it was worth taking.