Expecting? At the top of your list of questions is, “which hospital is best to have my baby”? In the last month alone, I have seen this asked multiple times throughout all of my local pregnancy and parenting groups. And the answer is simple. All can be best. It depends on what kind of birth you want and envision.
Figure out what you want first
What do you see as optimal for your birth? Are you strict in your goals? Are you more go with the flow? First, determine your wants and needs, if you have them. Then, you find an OB practice who aligns with those goals and who delivers at the hospital that aligns with those goals too. This means you have to ask questions and do a little digging. You need to interview your doctor and you need to see what the hospital’s policies are.
Are you not sure what your options even are? Like, what does that even mean? Does it seem strange to think that you can choose when to go to the hospital? Or that you can choose to have an epidural? Does it surprise you to know that there are different ways to push or that you can ask for a cesarean? If that’s the case, a birth class might help you with this first step! In order to pick your favorite color, you gotta see a rainbow first!
Any hospital can be a great place to have your baby
Now, let’s say you don’t have much of an option. Maybe you are military or maybe you’re insurance says “you can only go here”. No worries! Seriously. Any hospital can be a great place to have your baby. Truly. Remember your favorite colors and those goals you set. It is true that some hospital policies and some doctors are not as open to change or going off protocol, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great birth. It just means that you must communicate and compromise.
At the foundation of a great birth experience (or any relationship) is effective communication. The ability to talk about your needs without shame and with confidence is crucial to being heard and walking away feeling satisfied. Learning these techniques means that you can be at any hospital and have a great birth, even if things might go off-script.
I truly believe that there is more to just knowing the whats and whens. The how and why is crucial. “How do I say what I am feeling and thinking so that I am heard and respected? Why is my team saying these things?” are important questions that not only lend to more clarity, but allow you to delve into possible solutions and have a great birth at any hospital.