Choosing the Right Hospital
In this chapter
- Should I look for the doctor first or the hospital?
- Questions to ask the hospital when you visit.
- Important criteria that your hospital should fulfill.
- Extras that might appeal to your fancy.
Many women have never been a patient in a hospital before the birth of their first baby, so they have absolutely no idea what to expect. The idea of even going to a hospital as a patient can be daunting. Fortunately, today's hospitals try to make the experience as "painless" as possible by offering all the comforts of home, and then some.
Should the Cart Come before the Horse?
If you have insurance (and here's hoping you do), then you may not have a choice of hospitals. Chances are good that you are limited by a specific list of preferred providers as to which hospital and health care provider (i.e., doctor) you can choose. However, being limited doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have a choice. Even if you have only two hospitals to choose from, go visit them in advance to see what they have to offer. Sometimes, women fall in love with a particular hospital that their doctor doesn't deliver in, and they choose to switch doctors in order to go to the hospital of their choice. You are the consumer here. Make sure that you get what you want within your means. If you have multiple choices for your hospital, then visit them all. The differences might be subtle, but you should still make the decision as to what kind of environment makes you comfortable. And even if you only have one hospital in your area, thus negating a choice, you should still visit to see what you will get for your money.