Here are some questions to ask while touring the maternity ward:
1. What is the Cesarean Rate?
2. What is the Episiotomy Rate?
3. Do you have time limits on how long I can labor before intervention is suggested?
4. Do you automatically administer pitocin after birth? What if I don’t want it?
5. What birthing tools do you provide or allow? (birthing balls, birth stool, shower, tub, birth bars, etc.
6. What is the procedure for IVs when admitted? (Automatically start heplock vs wait until needed)
7. Do you allow women to eat and drink during labor?
8. What is your policy on cord clamping? If I want to delay, will you respect my wishes?
9. Do you allow immediate skin-to-skin before you do your routine checks on baby?
10. What does your routine checks of baby consist of?
11. Do you provide breastfeeding support? Is there a lactation consultant on staff?
12. How many visitors can I have at one time after birth?
13. How many people can I have in the room during the birth?
14. Do you allow women to move around the room freely during labor to help relieve pain?
15. Do you allow different positions for birth other than on my back in the bed? ( Standing up, hands and knees, squatting, etc)
16. Can my baby stay in the room with me at all times?
17. What are your policies on fetal monitoring? (intermittent or continuous) If continuous, is it wireless so I can still move around during labor?
18. What are the maternal and infant mortality rates?
19. If I need a C-Section, can my partner be in the room?
20. If I have a C-Section, do you allow immediate skin-to-skin?
21. Do you have students or residents? If so, how involved are they/could they be in my birth experience? What procedures do you allow them to do?
22. How often do you do vaginal exams?