If you are expecting, I cannot stress the importance of taking a hospital tour.  It might be one of the most important things that you do before going into labor; it’s right up there with packing your bag, and choosing a pediatrician for your little one. 

These tours are all important because it gives you a chance to figure out things like the best way to Labor and Delivery.  A lot of hospitals have special entrances for Labor and Delivery so it’s a great chance to take a practice run so you know where to go.  You’ll also figure out the process of checking in, where you need to go first and what needs to happen (or what you need to have) when you finally arrive on the big day.  It may not sound too important, but knowing your way around the labor and delivery floor can be invaluable. 

There will be times when the hospital takes your newborn for first baths, or shots, or just their daily evaluation with their pediatrician.  It is absolutely imperative to know where the nursery is so you can send loving family to have a peek, and so you yourself can find it.  Don’t forget things like where the waiting rooms are so you or your spouse can find your family if they are in the waiting room.  I like to take note of where the nurses stations are if they aren’t completely obvious. 

During your tour you can ask questions and figure out their policies about mothers taking walks with their newborns, and where you are allowed or not allowed to go with them.  Most likely you will also learn all about check out procedures, which may not sound all that exciting now, but when it comes time you’ll be glad you know the information. 

-Stephanie Wright

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