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Consumer How To Choose Guide 2015

Dalton Daily CItizen, Dalton Magazine

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8 The Daily Citizen ◆ HOW TO CHOOSE GUIDE 2015 Years ago, when it was time for a new baby to come into the world, the joyous event was treated like any other major medical procedure: by hurrying to the hospital and getting checked into an ordi- nary hospital room. Things have changed now, though. While the birth of a baby is still a major medical event that needs the attention of trained professionals, most hospitals and dedicated birthing centers are trying to create a more warm, personal and memo- rable environment. If you choose the right one, you'll feel as pampered as possible and be able to have a bigger say in your baby's birth experience. Here are some things to look for in a birthing center: A spa setting While hospital rooms are often seen as cold, sterile, industrial spaces that are any- thing but welcoming, a good birthing cen- ter will be the exact opposite. The best centers will have a spa-like feel, both in the facility's design and in how you're treated by the staff. Look for a birthing center with whirlpool tubs that can help soothe your pain both during and after labor, and pay close attention to how the facility is designed. Since labor is a long and often painful process, it's good to have places people can go to relax, such as comfort- able patios or garden spaces. Extra perks, like massages available the day after you give birth, can be big pluses, too. Medical needs Ask your birthing center about how many Caesarian sections they typically require. Some moms are worried about medical providers that might try to rush them into the operating room too quickly, so a low C-section rate will ease their worries. You should also make sure you know about all the medical services and equip- ment available on-site. Just because a birthing center is beautiful and comfort- able doesn't mean it skimps on hospital- like levels of preparation and technology. Find out what services can be performed at the birthing center and when you might have to be transported somewhere else. Find out about the nursing staff sched- ule as well. If you can interact with the same nurses from the time you arrive until the time you leave with the baby, that's a great thing. Finally, consider where your maternity doctor has privileges to work. Ideally, you'll want a center that will let your familiar health care provider deliver the baby in person at any time of day or night. Personal experience Just like every baby and every mother is different, so is every birthing experience. You should look for a birthing center that offers the flexibility to allow you to have the birth experience you've always dreamed of. Overly restrictive policies, or facilities that aren't set up for what you want, can put a damper on an otherwise perfect birth. Look for a center that will let you stay in one room for the entire birth process. Labor, delivery and recovery from the birth should all happen in one place, with- out requiring you to pack up and readjust to new surroundings. If you already have children, look for a birthing center that can let them be a part of the process, however you want that to be. Whether you want to give birth alone or in the company of family and friends, your birthing center should be able to accommodate your wishes as the mother. In the end, the birthing center you choose should do everything it can to keep the mother, father, children, family and friends as happy and comfortable as possible. The birth of a baby is one of the most wonderful, memorable experiences of life, and a great birthing center will go the extra mile to be a part of the joy. H OW TO CHOOSE A BIRTHING CENTER WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW k j The best birthing centers will have a spa-like feel, both in the facility's design and in how you're treated by the staff. Look for a center that will let you stay in one room for the entire birth process. k j Find out what services can be performed at the birthing center and when you might have to be transported somewhere else. Consider where your maternity doctor has privileges to work. You'll want a center that will let your familiar health care provider deliver the baby in person anytime.

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