Whether your delivery is scheduled or the day of the birth comes as a surprise, it can be difficult to know what to expect. Try to tour the hospital beforehand and ask your doctor about the hospital’s policies. Keep in mind that the situation could change if your labor or delivery involves an urgent medical situation.
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Become Familiar with the Hospital’s Visitor Policy
Each hospital has a different policy about who can be in the labor and delivery room. If you are having a C-section, you may only be allowed one guest, such as your partner or another adult. Most hospitals will not allow your other children to be in the labor and delivery room with you. Visiting hours in your regular room might be limited to people who are not your partner.
Talk With a Lawyer about Birth Injuries
If you or your baby has a birth injury, be sure to seek legal counsel. Talk with a lawyer about birth injuries as soon as possible. The lawyer may need to gather information or evidence that could otherwise be destroyed by the hospital, such as the printout from your heart rate monitor. A lawyer can advise you of your rights and provide you with legal representation.
Understand How Your Body Will React to Anesthetics
If you choose to have an epidural, you might be surprised that the numbing effect lasts for several hours after the intravenous line is removed. Most hospitals will not allow you to stand on your own until the numbness has worn off. Some women experience dizziness, nausea or headaches from the anesthetics that are used to block pain during delivery.
Know That You Could Be Ravenous After Delivery
Most hospitals do not allow a woman in labor to eat any food. You may only be allowed to eat ice chips or drink water. If you have a long labor, this could make you quite hungry and tired by the time your baby is delivered. As soon as your baby is born, ask the hospital staff to bring you a snack of protein and complex carbohydrates. Do not eat too much right away. Any medications could make your stomach sensitive.
Remember that your health and the health of your child are the top priorities. Even if you have to toss your birth plan out the window, the goal is a safe and healthy delivery. Be flexible and stand up for your rights and your child’s rights.