12 Questions To Ask Before Choosing Your Maternity Hospital

Maternity Hospitals in Singapore

Choosing a maternity hospital can be an exciting experience – a step you take to prepare for welcoming your baby into the world. Maternity hospitals offer tours to their premises and some have virtual tours. It is best to go down for a tour with your spouse to get a sense of the environment, whether it is warm and friendly and look at the choice of rooms.

Here are twelve questions you should ask during the hospital tour!

#1 Cost

Hospital offers delivery packages and the prices differ depending on whether it is normal or caesarian delivery, number of persons per room and the length of stay. While it is relatively easy to compare delivery package rate, it is trickier to find out the other rates such as
(i) additional day rate
(ii) rate for assisted delivery
(iii) rebate for shorter length of stay

If you are cost conscious, be sure to find out the other costs involved during the hospital stay.

#2 Company during labour and birth

Different hospital have different policies on who can stay with you during labour and birth. While it is common to have your spouse accompany you throughout, it may not be allowed for your parents, your children, other family members, friends and any expert person you hire (for labour support). If you intend to have more than your spouse staying with you during labour, it is important to find out ahead if it is allowed.

#3 Rate of caesarian births and assisted delivery

It is good to find out the rates of c-sections and also assisted delivery – these procedures carry higher risk than natural birth and it may mean that their procedures during labour are not conducive for natural birth or that the hospital prefers a shorter labour time. While the underlying reasons for a higher rate are not known simply by looking at the statistics, it will alert you to ask more questions about the labour and delivery practices.

#4 Labour process

To understand the labour process better, you can ask under what circumstances they will induce labour, conduct an episiotomy, decide on the use of vacuum and forceps or c-section. Also ask about pain management options and how the hospital typically manages pain for the mother at different stages of labour. If you are considering having an epidural, ask how soon the hospital can administer one upon your request.

#5 Mobility

You can also ask about whether the hospital encourages movement during labour, and what position and facility they have to support you in a certain position. Also ask if they have birth aids such as floor mats or birth balls to help with labour.

#6 Comfort

What procedures do the hospital have to increase your comfort during labour? For instance, some have a tub that you can shower or soak during labour while others have a sofa bed for your spouse to rest. Is massage and music offered during labour? Will there be heat packs if you need them?

difference between maternity hospital in Singapore

#7 Baby monitoring

Also ask about the infrastructure and facility they have to monitor your baby. Are you expected to be connected to a fetal monitor all the time or can you move around and the midwife monitor you regularly. Also ask about the frequency of such monitoring.

#8 Breastfeeding

If you have decided to breastfeed, it is important to get it off on a good start right after delivery. Research shows that the first 48 hours after delivery make a difference to your breastfeeding success. The hospital should have an available lactation consultant for you during the first two days, allow you to hold and breastfeed your baby as much as possible. It is important to ask this as some hospitals may be more comfortable with monitoring the newborn babies in a separate room rather than encouraging baby and mother bonding. Also ask about their policy on formula feeding and whether they will first seek your permission.

Find out more: What First-Time Breastfeeding Mothers Need To Know

#9 Facility

Facilities to find out range from those that provide convenience (such as wireless network, TV, ATM and phone) to those that allow emergencies to be handled quickly (such as handling premature births or medical emergencies).

#10 Postpartum

Also find out about the procedures after delivery – does the hospital practice delayed cord clamping? (Delayed cord clamping has been shown to increase the iron reserve needed by the baby.) How soon do you have to move out of the delivery room? Where will the baby be placed after delivery and how soon can you room with your baby?

#11 Policies

Find out about policies relating to visiting hours and number of persons visiting. Also find out whether they can help to keep visitors away at your request or you’d have to do so yourself. If you are into photography and videography, check whether these are permitted.

#12 Classes

Some hospitals offer classes during the hospital stay, such as how to bathe and breastfeed your baby. Check out the timing and availability of such classes and whether both you and your spouse can attend.

As it is very difficult to find out about many of these details when you are actually in labour, it is best to do so ahead to give you the comfort and confidence during labour. A hospital tour is the best time to ask questions as you have yet to commit to the hospital and the staff are there to help with your questions!

Written by Mei

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