Pregnant and deciding where you want to give birth? Here are 5 things to consider when choosing a hospital for your labor and delivery.
Finding out you’re pregnant is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming — especially when you start thinking about all the important decisions you’ll have to make over the next 9 months. Two of the first decisions to consider early on include:
- Choosing your pregnancy care provider
- Deciding where you want to give birth
“Where you choose to give birth has a huge impact on your childbirth experience overall,” says Jessica Lennon, certified nurse-midwife at Geisinger
Bloomsburg Hospital. “Be sure to pick a hospital with an environment and staff that makes you feel comfortable and safe.”
You may even want to choose a hospital that feels right to you first, then choose a provider affiliated with that hospital. But how do you choose? Here are 5 things to consider before deciding where to deliver your baby:
Location, location, location.This is probably the most important thing to consider before choosing a hospital for prenatal care and delivery. “You’ll be traveling to the hospital for prenatal care and, eventually, when you go into labor, so consider picking one that’s close to home,” says Ms. Lennon.
Do your research.Once you identify a hospital (or hospitals) near you, do some research. Check their website, talk to friends and family members who delivered there or schedule an appointment to meet with a pregnancy care provider.
Consider what you want from your childbirth experience, too. Do you want to see an OBGYN or midwife? Do you want a natural childbirth? Do you want an epidural to help manage pain during labor? Is there a breastfeeding specialist on staff? Learn the hospital’s childbirth philosophies and specific policies, then make sure they line up with your expectations and wishes.
Your personal medical needs.If your pregnancy is considered low-risk, or if you’re not anticipating any complications, you may have fewer needs than someone whose pregnancy is considered high-risk.
“If you’re older than 35 or younger than 17, are pregnant with multiples, have medical conditions or a history of pregnancy complications, you may be considered high-risk,” explains Dr. Brytanie Marshall, OBGYN at Geisinger Medical Center. If this is the case, you may want to look for a hospital that employs maternal-fetal medicine, or high-risk pregnancy, specialists. You may also want to choose one that offers a higher level neonatal intensive care unit (or NICU).
Insurance coverage.To reduce out-of-pocket expenses, be sure to look for a provider and hospital that accepts your health insurance. While you’re at it, you may want to familiarize yourself with what your insurance provider covers and start budgeting and planning, if necessary.
Take a tour.One of the best ways to determine if a hospital is right for you is by scheduling a tour, if possible. Meet the doctors, nurses and other staff. Check out the rooms. Ask questions.
“And don’t be shy,” says Dr. Marshall. “There are no wrong questions. Having a baby is an emotional, life-changing process, and it should happen in a place that you feel good about.”
Pregnancy care at Geisinger
When you choose Geisinger for your pregnancy and newborn care, you’ll be supported by a team of highly trained OBGYNs, certified nurse midwives, maternal-fetal medicine specialists, dietitians, breastfeeding specialists, nurses and other supportive staff.
And with two of our Central Pennsylvania-based hospitals — Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital and Geisinger Medical Center — recently being designated as Newsweek’s Best Maternity Care Hospitals 2020, you can rest assured that no matter where you deliver, you and your baby are getting the best care.
Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital, located in Bloomsburg, PA, is great option for those with low-risk pregnancies, while Geisinger Medical Center, located in
Danville, PA, provides care for moms-to-be with high-risk pregnancies. Both hospitals are in close proximity, too, just in case you (or your baby) need a higher level of care.
If you’re pregnant and looking for a healthcare provider, or interested in a tour, fill out the form on this page and a member of our team will be in touch to help you find pregnancy care near you.