Reasons to Take a Hospital Tour Before You Give Birth

Couple in hospital hall on tour

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A hospital tour is a way to get your questions answered, learn the layout and policies and much more. It's also important to time your tour correctly. A hospital tour is something that some people will do later in their pregnancy as a get to know the area type of visit. Though more people are starting to do a tour earlier in pregnancy as a way to decide which hospital is right for their needs. The earlier you do a tour, the more likely you are to be able to use the information gathered.

Get to Know the Layout

When it's finally labor time, you may feel a bit discombobulated. Learn how to get there and which way works best. More importantly, learn about where to park and where labor and delivery are located.

Find out What Resources Are Available

Does the hospital you are looking at offer a lactation consultant, level III nursery, refrigerator in postpartum, hairdryer, etc.

Learn About Visiting Policies

Who can visit when or where is a very important thing to learn. Can you have guests in labor and delivery? Can they stay for the whole birth? What about if you have a c-section?

Explore Class Options

Many hospitals have class offerings. They may offer childbirth class, breastfeeding, baby care, and infant CPR. They are usually at a free or reduced rate for patients choosing to give birth in that hospital.

Find out What's Available in Labor and Delivery

Labor and delivery have many options, what does your hospital offer? Do they have birth balls, squat bars, showers, telemetry fetal monitoring, water tubs, etc.? Do they have policies about when you could have an epidural or other pain medication in labor? A tour is a good time to find this out.

Know Where to Go When It's Labor

Some hospitals want everyone to go to the emergency room (ER), while others want you to only go to the ER if it's after visiting hours. Some will have a triage or early labor room for you to be checked in, others have you go directly into a labor and delivery room (LDR).

Meet the Staff

While it might not be the same staff that is there the night you come in to give birth, it still gives your hospital a more human feel. It might also give you peace of mind.

Ask Questions

Asking questions is a great way to find answers and develop a feeling of ownership.

See About a Sibling Policy

If you have other children, learning about the sibling policy is a must. You will need to know if a sibling can be present at birth. What about after the baby is born? Do they need to stop at the nurse's station? How old do they have to be? Should they have a special class?


If you're nervous about going to the hospital, a quick trip can be very beneficial. It gives you a chance to look around and become familiar with your surroundings. If a group tour isn't your thing, ask for a private tour.

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