About 300,000 women give birth each year in Australia. One of the biggest decisions that each of these women made was where to deliver their baby. In this article, we explore what questions to ask if you decide to give birth in a hospital.
There are a few choices when it comes to where you give birth.It is important to consider what is safest for you and your baby, which is best done in consultation with a healthcare professional.
It may be interesting to understand what the most common places for birth delivery in Australia are.;
- 97% at a hospital
- 2% at a birthing centre
- 0.3% homebirth
- 0.3% born before they arrive in a hospital or birth centre
When it comes to hospital delivery, there are two common approaches. The first is to find your preferred obstetrician/gynecologist first and deliver at whichever hospital they practice at. The second is to find the hospital of your choice and then choose a doctor that practices there.
If you are considering a hospital delivery it is worth having a birthing tour. This will help educate you on the process, familiarise you with the setting and set up your expectations for the birth.
Here are some questions that you may consider while on your hospital birthing tour.
- What is the Newborn Intensive Care (NICU) Level? This can typically go up to level four. If it is below this level, then the baby may need to be transferred elsewhere to get special medical attention.
- Is it baby-friendly? With baby-friendly hospitals, generally, all tests and procedures are done within the same room as the mum.
Does the hospital offer classes such as parenting 101 or infant CPR? Sometimes these are even free of charge. They can also be offered virtually as well to stay within the social distancing guidelines.
- How many people are allowed in the delivery room? Usually, it is your partner and a support person. However, with the recent COVID outbreak, you should check with your hospital on their guidelines.
- Are there labour (squatting) bars, birthing tubs, or yoga balls? These can be used during labour to help ease through contractions
- Can I consume food or drink during labour? Some hospitals have strict rules against this, while others are less strict.
- What is the C-section policy? Can my partner be in the room with me? Is skin to skin done right away?
Choosing where you want to experience your pregnancy is a major decision. Seeking as much information as possible and checking out all the options will help you feel reassured and prepared for when the special moment arrives.
Written by Chelsea D.
Chelsea is a mum of one and pregnant with another. She writes about pregnancy, parenting, and body positivity.
 Dahlen H. What are women’s options for giving birth? 2016-07-04
 The Women’s. Neonatal care. 2020
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.