Hospitals are not all the same. Deciding on the right hospital or birthing center can be just as important as finding the right doctor. Doctors generally have privileges (i.e., are able to admit patients) at one particular hospital. Ask your doctor where he/she delivers and make sure you are comfortable with the facility.
It is a good idea to schedule a tour of your hospital well ahead of your due date. You can check out hospitals in your area. If you don't like the facility, voice your concerns or consider changing doctors. Click here to view statistics (e.g., types of births, interventions, breastfeeding rates) and compare the hospitals in your area. Your hospital search will be a lot easier if you know what to look for.
Many facilities offer new parents classes on the birth process, baby care, sibling preparation, breastfeeding and parenting. Check out child birth classes...it's easier than you think!
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative works toward improving maternity practices in hospitals so that mothers can breastfeed their babies and ensure the best start in life. Hospitals must meet strict criteria to receive this designation.