Most parents opt for a hospital as the place of birth for their baby. Medical care before, during and after birth provides them with a justified feeling of security. Mother and child are well cared for following birth, allowing them to enjoy a few days of peace.
However, it is also possible to omit a stay in hospital and to give birth on an outpatient basis. Just a few hours after birth you can then go home with your baby – naturally as long as the doctor has given you the go-ahead to do so.
Most hospitals are now equipped with inviting delivery rooms, where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere. You should therefore find out in detail what a hospital has to offer.
Many hospitals host an “Open Day”, providing you with the opportunity to ask questions directly and to view the delivery rooms and maternity ward. You might want to ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it a “baby-friendly hospital”? (These hospitals are designated and listed as baby-friendly by the World Health Organization – WHO)
- How often are caesarian sections carried out?
- Can your partner be present during a caesarean section?
- Is there a paediatric ward at the hospital or a paediatric clinic nearby?
- Is “rooming in” standard practice? (Rooming in means that you and your baby stay together in the same room).
- Can you bring along your own attending, independent midwife?
- Which birthing aids are available? (e.g. birthing chair, bathtub, wide bed, ropes, etc.)
- Is it possible to be given pain alleviation during birth by means of epidural anaesthesia?
- What breastfeeding support is provided?