Baby Ticker

Tour of the Maternity Ward

Agnes @ May 8, 2005, 10:47 pm -- [Week 25, Day 6]

Today we went on a tour of the maternity ward at the hospital where we will deliver the twins. It was so much fun! We got there super late, but they had just sat everyone down in a large conference room, handed out some informational flyers, and served some tea and cookies. Just before we rushed into the room, they handed us a raffle ticket for some gifts that people had donated for the expectant mothers. There were about ten pregnant women there with their significant others. One woman also brought her two other kids.

The first part of the tour was spent going over the logistics of coming to the hospital, visiting hours, who can see the baby when, etc. Security on maternity wards is especially tight because of a rash of newborn abductions that happened in California in the nineties. They drilled us about how no hospital employee can be near your baby unless they have a special pink badge. Also, the baby will have two identification bands (wrist and ankle), and the mother and the father each get an ID band as well. Only the two people with ID bands can accompany the baby back and forth from the delivery room to the nursery. (I’m going to have to reinforce this with my mom, who will feel like she’s entitled to be with the babies as well.)

There was a lot of useful information given, like how to get a social security number and birth certificate for your baby, what to bring to the hospital, what to do when you get to the hospital. Basically, all parents should pre-register so that when you show up at three a.m. saying, “I’m in labor”, you can head right up to the maternity ward because you’re already in the hospital system.

At the end of the informational session, they did the raffle ticket drawing to give away some gifts, and, somewhat embarrasingly, since we had sauntered in so late, we won the biggest gift! You can see the cute gift basket on our “Baby Stuff” page.

Then, they started the tour. They showed us the emergency entrance (to use if you go into labor in the middle of the night), and the regular entrance (if you go into labor during the day). Then, we went up to the maternity ward. I couldn’t help but compare this hospital to the hospital where I work. All I can say is, there is a huge difference between a public and a private hospital maternity ward. At the private hospital where we’ll deliver, they have to work hard to attract insured patients to deliver there, so there are some really nice amenities. At the public hospital where I work, we serve mostly uninsured and Medicaid patients, who don’t really get a choice of where to have their baby, so it’s necessities only. The Labor and Delivery rooms are large, with fancy beds that come apart and have a squatting rod too, if you want to squat during your labor. Cold reality set in when they whipped out the hidden stirrups, i.e. the room looked like a nice hotel room before they did that. They also have this awesome lighting system for the doctors where these really bright globes in the ceiling move around to wherever the nurse points a small remote control. There’s a pull-out bed for the father so that he can stay overnight as well. One thing they emphasized is that the nurses under no circumstances want to see the father in his underwear, so make sure to bring clothes for him.

We then went to see the newborn nursery, the C-section rooms, and the post-partum rooms. One really nice thing was that there’s a ninety-five percent chance you’ll be able to stay in the same room during your whole hospital stay, i.e. the same room where you delivered the baby, so you won’t have to be moved to a post-partum room. At our hospital, as soon as you recover from your delivery, you’re moved to a post-partum room that you have to share with three other patients and their families. At this hospital, in the event that you do need to be moved to a post-partum room (because they’re overloaded with a ton of women in labor), it’s still a private room that you don’t have to share with any other patients. Overall, it was a very informative and fun afternoon, so I definitely recommend the hospital tour for you pregnant couples out there.