Choosing a hospital is something very important to consider when pregnant with multiples. Can you choose the hospital you want to give birth at? Do you need to choose a hospital experienced with high-risk pregnancies? What other questions should I ask when choosing a hospital?
Choosing A Hospital when Pregnant with Multiples
Most of the time you will deliver at the hospital your OB/GYN is associated with so you will want to keep that in mind when choosing your health care provider. If your health care provider has admitting privileges at more than one hospital, you can ask to request your hospital of choice.
Keep in mind when choosing a hospital that some physicians and hospitals automatically consider a multiples pregnancy high risk. This may be the case even if you have had no complications with the pregnancy so far. Being pregnant with multiples does have more risks associated with it and complications can happen at any time.
When I was pregnant with my twins I went into premature labor at 24 weeks gestation. I had no other complications, except being pregnant with multiples, that caused the premature labor. My body was just deciding it was time.
I had decided early on in my pregnancy to choose a hospital with a NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). I had made this decision solely on the what-ifs. What if my babies came early? What if they needed special care? Sadly, if a premature baby needs to be transferred from a hospital without a NICU to a hospital with a NICU their survival rate can decrease.
Five weeks after my first trip to the hospital for preterm labor, I fully dilated and my babies were born at 29 weeks gestation. I was happy I chose a hospital with a NICU. My babies required the care of the NICU after they were born. If it wasn't for the NICU, my babies would not have survived.
Of course, there are many other questions to consider when choosing a hospital.
- Will I be able to labor and deliver in the same room?
- Is there an anesthesiologist on site around the clock if needed?
- How many support people will be allowed in the room with me?
- What is the hospital's policy on siblings in the room after delivery? Are there any age restrictions for the siblings?
- Are there private rooms available? What, if any, is the extra charge?
- What accommodations does the hospital have to my partner?
- Can my baby stay in the room with me 24/7?
- Are there lactation consultants available if needed?
- What is the hospital's visitation policy?
These are just a few of the questions to consider when choosing a hospital. I believe it's always best to be prepared with as much knowledge as possible before going to the hospital.
If you have questions, make a list and bring it to the next appointment with your physician or you can call the hospital and speak to the labor and delivery desk.
Don't wait until the last minute to get answers to your questions. If you're like me, you may be thrown into a whirlwind of chaos delivering weeks before you planned to.