Questions to ask your Childbirth Care Provider

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Once you discover that you’re pregnant, the next step is to choose a healthcare provider to walk the journey with you. Now, how do you pick the right hospital for both prenatal clinics and delivery? As you shop around for a place to deliver your baby, here are a few questions to guide your search.

  1. Will you feel comfortable staying in that hospital? Remember that delivery is not a one-day event. So, it would help if you chose a facility that fits your taste.
  2. Is the hospital well equipped? Knowing that you have the right professionals by your side will boost your confidence. You should also check whether they can handle an emergency and have well-equipped labor, delivery, and operation rooms. It’s impossible to spend a whole day in the hospital checking out their emergency response team. However, you can find honest reviews online and among your friends.
  3. Know how fast you can get an ambulance to your house and how much it will cost. Get the telephone number.
  4. Meet their gynecologist, midwife, and nutritionist. Some hospitals in Kenya don’t have resident experts, but they will allow you to bring your own on the day of delivery.
  5. When you go to your first clinic, ask whether you can bring a birth partner for continuous labor support. (Husband, partner, sister, mother, doula, friend, etc.) Health centers in Kenya have different policies on labor, so ensure that you ask the following questions early enough:
    • What procedures do you follow during normal labor and birth in your hospital?
    • Can I walk and move around during labor? Walking makes delivery easier.
    • What the hospital policy is on eating and drinking while in labor?
    • Will the hospital shave you?
    • Will they give you an Enema (is a fluid injected into the lower bowel by way of the rectum for bowel cleansing before a medical procedure)?
  6. Breastfeeding support. Your baby will rely on you for nourishment immediately after birth. You also know how vital colostrum is. Hence, you should see the hospital’s policy on breastfeeding. Ensure you ask these questions:
    • Will they teach you how to breastfeed?
    • Are they committed to assisting you in initiating breastfeeding at least within 1 hour after birth?
    • Will you be allowed to stay with your baby throughout your hospital stay?
  7. Financial implications. Kindly don’t assume anything because you have an insurance cover or have seen the cost on a brochure somewhere. Find out how much the hospital charges for every possible scenario to see if it fits within your budget. Then know what your insurance broker covers.
  8.  Is there a pediatrician present to examine your baby or in case your baby needs more specialized care?

Conclusion

If you find that your healthcare provider is reluctant to answer your questions, please move to another. A pregnant mom is a client, not a patient. Therefore, the hospital should commit to giving you the best services for safe delivery. Don’t hesitate to ask any other question that comes to mind.