What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Choosing a Hospital

You’re expecting. Naturally, you want to deliver your baby in a comfortable setting, perhaps with some amenities. But more importantly, you want a hospital where the medical care you and your baby will need is available to ensure a safe delivery.

“Expecting mothers should look for certain attributes when choosing a hospital,” says Robert Starr, M.D., interim chief of obstetrics and gynecology, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.

  • Reputation: Make sure the hospital and the physicians who provide care have an excellent reputation. Ask your doctor, family and friends and spend some time searching online.“Expecting mothers should look for certain attributes when choosing a hospital,” says Robert Starr, M.D., interim chief of obstetrics and gynecology, Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak.
  • Medical Services: The hospital should have an ultrasound unit for exams leading up to delivery and include specialized medical services for your baby. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in eight babies in the United States are born premature each year. Some babies will spend weeks or months hospitalized in a neonatal intensive care unit. “If you are high risk, it’s important to have an NICU at the hospital where you choose to deliver,” says Dr. Starr.
  • Experts: While all pregnant women expect to have a normal or low-risk pregnancy, having access to high-risk obstetricians or maternal-fetal medicine specialists is both convenient and necessary should something unexpected occur.

For women expecting a “normal risk” pregnancy, the amenities of the birthing unit are important. “To help provide a comfortable and stress-free environment, look for a hospital that offers private rooms and comfortable sleep furniture for birth partners,” says Dr. Starr. “At all three Beaumont hospitals, the birthing rooms are private and have a place for dad or the birthing partners to rest.”

Different birthing centers offer different amenities. Here are some to consider – you should decide what’s most important when selecting a hospital to deliver your baby.

  • Labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum rooms – here mom stays in the same room throughout her hospital stay. Some birthing centers have separate delivery and postpartum areas.
  • Room service
  • Breastfeeding support services
  • Access to parenting support for new parents, such as Beaumont’s award-winning Parenting Program
  • HypnoBirthing® – the use of self-hypnosis to experience extreme relaxation, comfort and relief throughout childbirth.
  • Midwives – specialized nurses who provide care throughout the birthing process
  • Rooms with large, spa-like bathrooms
  • Refreshment center for birth partners
  • Hydrotherapeutic tubs
  • Professional photographer to capture photos of you and your baby in the comfort of your room
  • Parenting classes

If you’re having a baby, talk to your doctor and discuss what’s important to you when it is time to deliver. If you need an obstetrician, visit www.beaumont.edu or call Beaumont’s Physician Referral and Information Service, toll-free at 800-633-7377.

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