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What questions to ask on a hospital tour when pregnant with twins
Heading into your hospital tour soon? Unsure of what you need to ask?
Well, this post is all about the list of questions you should be asking in your next hospital tour when pregnant with twins.
Your hospital tour experience is a bit unique…
Because you’re carrying twins.
Yes, so many things will apply but there are some specific questions you need to ask that will affect your twin pregnancy only.
So as a twin mama myself and a nurse who has worked in the delivery and newborn area.
I have the questions you should consider asking before going on the hospital tour.
So before we talk all about the hospital tour I need to say that even though I’m an RN I’m not your RN nor part of your medical team.
Please make sure that you always consult with your provider and medical team.
Everything on this post is informational only. If you’re ever unsure make sure you seek a consult from your provider.
So now that I put that out there… let’s get back to it.
Is it necessary to do a hospital tour when pregnant with twins?
My short answer will be yes. Especially if you have no clue about the hospital setting.
Look if you don’t work in healthcare and have no idea what you could possibly expect the day that you meet your twins then you absolutely need some form of guidance.
A twin delivery can already be complicated so ease your brain by having the peace of mind that you have selected a place that has your back a 100%
Think of the hospital tour as a time to ask all of your burning questions about the hospital’s different resources and how they can best support you and your twins.
When should you take a hospital tour while pregnant?
Because again twins can be born earlier than a singleton. Is best to take the tour sometime before week 30.
Twins can be born as early as 35 weeks. So it’s better to be prepared earlier rather than later.
Things to consider before selecting a hospital to deliver
Do you live in the city vs rural area?
If you already selected an OBGYN, that doctor only has privileges in certain hospitals therefore your options will be limited.
Proximity to your house?
Hospital resources? Especially since twins are considered a high-risk pregnancy. You need to make sure there is a NICU and is top-notch
How many deliveries per month? This could be a good and a bad thing.
If they are busy it can mean that is a good place to deliver but what about when is your big day and they are low on beds?
More specifically have they delivered twins before and how many sets? Look being pregnant and delivering twins is a unique experience.
You need to know whether that hospital can handle twins or not.
Cost? Even with insurance, you will still have a co-pay and deductible. Depending on where you deliver this can vary.
There are many more variables to consider but these are just a few to think about.
Do keep in mind that if the hospital is super important to you. Then you might want to select a hospital first then an OBGYN.
Because as I mentioned earlier once you select a doctor they only have privileges at certain places.
Meaning they are only able to deliver at specific hospitals. For example, my OBGYN only delivered at two places. The hospital I chose plus another one.
So that meant that I only had two options.
So the point of my story is for you to figure out your priorities.
What’s more important to you the hospital or the doctor?.
Online research before the tour
The next step will be to read all about the hospital before your tour. Head on over to good old GOOGLE and search away.
Learn any and everything you can possibly learn from that hospital online.
- Look at reviews: Specifically, twin mamas that have delivered there
- Does the hospital take your insurance?
- Besides your OBGYN what other resources the hospital provides such as lactation consultant, nutrition, pediatricians, etc.
- What are the hospital’s policies and procedures?
- Rules and regulations?
- What the hospital provides vs what you need to pack in your hospital bag for twins?
- Does the hospital have any other classes available such as breastfeeding, birthing that you could take before delivering twins?
Can the hospital support a twin delivery?
You need to know if the hospital can handle twins. This is crucial and very important.
Being pregnant with twins means you’re considering a high-risk pregnancy. It doesn’t mean that complications will come about.
However, you do need to be ready for any and everything.
So the hospital you choose needs to provide all of the possible resources you could need while delivering twins and beyond that.
What should I ask at the hospital tour before delivery?
Does the hospital provide a NICU, where is it located?
You’re having twins you need to deliver somewhere there is a NICU. Even if you don’t go into premature labor.
You should still deliver somewhere that has a NICU.
Nothing worse than delivering and then having your babies be rush via plane to another hospital.
Being separated from them will already be harder. But then being in two completely different hospitals is even more difficult.
So having a NICU is nonnegotiable. For my soon-to-be twin mamas that live in more rural areas.
Look into this and find out where the closest hospital with a NICU is located.
If your twins have to go to the NICU for whatever cause. You also want to know where is it located.
You’re more than likely to take a tour through it but just in case.
Make sure you also ask how you can get to it.
What are the different levels of nursery/NICU?
You’re probably thinking what the heck does this even mean. But I’m going to explain it.
If you already don’t know the NICU has 4 levels. The levels are all based on the type of care they can provide and the type of babies they can handle.
Pretty much each level is based on your baby’s needs and conditions.
Level 1: The nursery for healthy babies and stable babies that are born at 35 weeks and beyond. Also knows as the postpartum unit.
This is why if your twins are born at 35 weeks and are stable enough they can stay with you in your room.
So a level 1 is very basic and what you will find in any hospital setting.
Level 2: A little more intensive care for premature babies. Premature babies are born at around 32 weeks.
Level 3: In-depth/comprehensive level of care. Babies that are born at less than 32 weeks.
Level 4: Require surgeries, intensive treatments.
These types of NICUs are usually found in Children’s hospitals. So if your twins need surgery right away regardless of when they are born, they need a level 4 NICU.
The moral of the story is the greater the number the more in-depth the resources get.
So to keep things simple and not go so medical you need to find a NICU that at a minimum offers a level 2.
This means they can attend to twins born before 35 weeks and provide basic breathing and feeding support.
If you want more in-depth information on the different NICU levels, requirements, and criteria.
This post covers than in greater detail. It was also written by a NICU RN and NICU mom.
Where is the entrance to OB area?
Some hospitals are huge and they have many different entrances… So you need to know which area is the delivery center.
Make sure you ask where the triage/labor floor is, where can you park, etc.
You might even want to take a drive one time to see how long it takes you to get there.
There is nothing worse than having contractions and being lost about where to park and what entrance you need to be taking.
Where should you check in?
Once you finally found the entrance to the labor or triage floor. Where do you check in? Who checks you in?
What do you need to bring? What about after hours?
What paperwork is required before and after delivery?
When and where to register? If that’s such a thing
Who do you need to talk about hospital fees?
Do they give out any type of discount for delivering twins?
What paperwork is needed to bring the day you go into labor?
Is there a triage process that you need to attend before going into a labor room?
Is there an anesthesia team available 24 hours? Would they be available when you’re ready for an epidural?
What other types of medications would I get?
How many labors rooms are there? What happens if there are no rooms available?
Would you stay in the same room after delivering the twins?
Who is allowed in the room?
Are you allow to walk around, move around in their room, or outside during labor?
Birthing tools such as birthing balls, stools, etc.
Are there visiting hours? What would visitors need in order to visit?
What’s included in the labor room? What does the hospital provide for labor care?
What type of security does the hospital offer? How easily or not can people get in? Do you need to be buzzed in?
This also applies to twins because you most likely be delivering in the OR due to the high risk of ending with a c section
Who is allowed in the OR?
Besides the OBGYN and nurse who else will be in the OR?
If it’s a plan c section do you require pre-admission paperwork, labs, etc?
Would the twins be with me the whole time or in a nursery?
Can my spouse stay with me? Do you offer a place for them to sleep?
What about food? What food options are there? What about if I have food allergies?
What’s in each postpartum room? What does the hospital provide for postpartum care?
Would the pediatrician I chose come to visit the twins? or would my twins be seen by a hospitalist?
Would I get help with breastfeeding twins?
Are they allowed to stay in the room with me?
What medications would my twins get while in the hospital?
If I have a boy when and who would do the circumcision?
Do you need to bring the car seats?
Where is the NICU located?
How soon can I go visit my twins in the NICU?
Are there visiting hours for the NCU?
How long would they be in the NICU?
Can a parent stay in the NICU?
Would they be in the same room?
Is there any extra staff that would be part of the labor?
Is the hospital a teaching hospital?. Would there be residents, students, etc?
What if I don’t want students, residents, etc in my delivery? Can I refuse it?
Does the hospital provide lactation consultants that can come and help with breastfeeding twins?
Last words for hospital tour while pregnant with twins
These are just a handful of the questions to keep in mind before going on your hospital tour.
There is nothing wrong with having a pen and paper so that you can write down key points.
Remember this is your time to really get to know the hospital with its policies and procedures.
So ask away. No questions are too dumb. Is better to be safe than sorry.
Always ask specific questions about your unique situation AKA twins.
The better informed you are the smoother things will be when it comes to the day of the delivery.
So I hope that these questions give you an idea of some of the things to keep in mind when selecting a hospital as well as the questions to ask while on the tour.
Who knows you might even get inspired to come up with even more questions.
If you’re scheduled to visit a hospital soon let me know how the experience was. I would love to hear in the comments below.
Other twin related articles
- Tips to stay healthy in a twin pregnancy
- Tips for surviving a summer twin pregnancy
- Preparing for twins checklist
- Hospital bag for twins
- Digital twin baby shower invitations
- Twin baby shower ideas
- When to start buying stuff for twins
- Best online breastfeeding resources and courses for twins