There’s a seemingly never-ending list of things to do before your due date. Newborn clothes, the baby shower, putting together the crib, taking the crib apart to put it back together because you forgot to do step four … it all adds up!
Something to consider when preparing for your baby’s arrival that might not be on your to do list is to take a tour of the unit where you’ll be delivering.
We asked the maternity team at Bon Secours – St. Mary’s Hospital to talk through why it’s beneficial to take a labor and delivery unit tour before heading in to deliver your baby.
Touring the birth center before your delivery is important for several reasons. It allows you to become familiar with the facility before delivery day and reduces anxiety about where to go when you are in labor.
It also provides an opportunity to meet the nurses and ask any questions you may have that only a nurse can answer about what to expect from their labor experience.
Who leads the labor and delivery tour?
Labor and delivery nurses lead most birthing center tours. Their knowledge and experience are invaluable, and they can offer so much insight into the labor and delivery process. The nurses offer perspective on what to expect during labor, the options available and the support provided by the medical team.
How long do the tours usually take?
The tour typically lasts about an hour. During this time, you will be given a review of what to expect during labor, anesthesia options, fetal monitoring and possible intervention and the opportunity to ask questions. The tour ends with a walking tour of the OB emergency room, labor and delivery, the recovery room and mother-infant unit.
What are some benefits of touring before giving birth?
Taking a tour before labor can reduce anxiety and empower expectant parents with knowledge, support and peace of mind as they prepare for the birth of their child.
Patients and families should expect to feel more prepared for their labor experience after taking a tour at our birthing center. The comprehensive overview of the facilities, the care you will receive and a chance to get questions answered you have about your delivery.
Are there other tours or classes available?
At Bon Secours, we offer comprehensive education for all aspects of labor, birth, newborn care and breastfeeding. Some hospitals also offer a free virtual 24/7 parent education program online.
How often do the tours happen?
Tours of the unit usually happen monthly. You can visit the events page on our website to learn more.
Learn more about the maternity care services we provide at Bon Secours in our Richmond market.