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Safety First

Your choice of hospital matters. An expectant mother needs to feel secure and protected when she delivers. Not all institutions provide the same services. Different hospitals have different procedures. Some routinely perform an episiotomy (surgical incision of the perineum), others offer epidural anesthesia during the birth. Some clinics are firmly committed to breastfeeding and promote early bonding, while in others rooming in (placement of the baby's cradle in the mother's room) is not permitted.

There may be various kinds of hospitals where you live. Take the time to visit a few months before the baby is due. This will tell you which one you feel most comfortable with and which one best fulfils your wants and expectations. Call the hospital or clinic and make an appointment for a tour. The labor or delivery room will probably be occupied and you will not be admitted, but it is still worthwhile to get an idea of the surroundings and ask any burning questions you may have.

Public or Private?

Large public hospitals are certainly better equipped than private clinics to handle high-risk births and care for premature or sick babies. In contrast, private clinics have the advantage of offering direct contact with gynecologists. Normally this would be the same gynecologist that a woman has seen throughout her pregnancy. Private clinics are also likely to be more open to your wishes. They have fewer routine procedures and more freedom to act and make decisions. A tour of the hospital and advice from your doctor can be helpful in choosing the clinic that is right for you.
Page created on: 03/09/2012
Last modified on: 03/09/2012
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