Labor & Delivery

Q&A: Should I Tour The Maternity Ward?

My friend went on a tour of the maternity ward before she gave birth. Should I do this?

Touring the maternity ward is a great way to boost your (and the mate’s) confidence as the Big Day approaches. Think of it as visual and mental prep — you sure don't need any extra surprises when baby’s coming out! A tour is a fun chance to check out places and spaces where you’ll be laboring, delivering and recovering. It should also include a nice run-down of hospital procedures and policies. This is a time for you to visualize the event and ask any lingering questions. (Do you know where you’ll be parking and entering the building? Even at 3 a.m.?) If you’ll be taking childbirth education classes at your hospital, the tour is probably included in the class schedule. If not, tours are generally free and routine — just call ‘em up and schedule a time to come in. Some hospital websites now offer virtual tours of the maternity ward, which might be more convenient for you. Just be sure to give them a call if all your questions aren’t answered.

By Paula Kashtan