I used to fantasize about a lot of things when we decided to plan a baby. The kind of room I would set up for him/her. The kind of nutritious, organic food I would give my baby. The kind of toys I would buy for my baby. My husband always chuckled saying – “Such long-term planning, when the baby is nowhere in the picture?” Back then, only a mother could understand my emotions and fantasies. However, the moment I conceived, the wish list became more realistic and short-termed. First of all, I wanted a doctor to who I could blindly trust with my life. A good gynaecologist can make your 40-week journey of pregnancy a real fun. Hence, choosing the doctor and the hospital where you would deliver is one of the first crucial decisions you take as a mother. I have seen that most of the times parents prefer to consult a gynecologist in the near vicinity and visit the hospital in the last trimester. I was suggested the same but as a family, we were surrendering two lives to a hospital, and I wanted to be 100% sure if the hospital is capable of handling any and every emergency to keep me and my lil one safe. Google played a vital role in doing the basic research about the hospitals but I strongly recommend to make a personal visit to the place which would welcome your baby to this world. After extensive research on the web and discussions with doctors, experienced friends and family members, I prepared a checklist of questions for choosing the right maternity hospital.
1. Does the hospital have pediatric subspecialties and experienced pediatrician : Few weeks after birth are very critical for the new-born. Make sure the hospital has proper infrastructure and an experienced team to examine the delicate health of your little one. God forbid, but in case if the lil one is born with some complications or minor problems, the hospital should be well equipped to provide timely treatment to the baby and save his life.
2. What is the success rate of high risk deliveries: This would give you a better idea of how well equipped the hospital is to handle traumatic cases.
3. Do they have reliable infrastructure to any handle emergency: The hospital should have in-house radiology unit with MRI, CT Scan, blood banks, NICU, PICU and ALS ambulance which provides critical care to children of all ages. At the time of delivery you don’t want to get into a panic situation whereby the doctors suggest to shift you to a different hospital, just because of their incapability to handle the emergency.
4. Is hospital NABH accredited :There are around 600 health parameters laid down by Quality Council of India to ensure lowest infection rates and best quality treatment. An NABH accredited hospital should always be preferred. the chances of you or my baby catching any infection are greatly reduced.
5. How far is the maternity hospital from my home : Babies always come unannounced!! So, it is advisable to choose a hospital that has ready ambulance support or that is 30 min away from your home, even in the peak traffic hours. If you have a high-risk pregnancy then all the more reason that you should consider a hospital in the near proximity.
6. What is the nurse to patient ratio of their obs and gynae department:The higher the ratio, the more personal care you would get. More nurses, means more hands to handle you in case of an emergency and no possibility of leaving you medically unattended at any hour. Max Smart Healthcare has a ratio of 1:5.
7.Availability of prenatal counselling and workshops: Such workshops are aimed at educating the new parents about the finer details of pregnancies, how to cope up with a difficult situation, breathing exercises, stages of labor lactation consultancy etc. Most importantly they mentally prepare you to easily handle the upcoming bunch of responsibilities.
8.In-house lactation consultant: Lactation problem is one of the first problems a new mother faces post-delivery. Most hospitals have lactation consultants who help with breastfeeding issues and clarifying myths surrounding it.
9. Post-natal assistance: As a new mother, your body undergoes a lot of changes post-delivery. To cope up with those changes without any hassle, you need trained nurses and dedicated care at the hospital. There should be well qualified dietitians who can take care of your diet and nutrition post-delivery.
10. Does your insurance cover the particular hospital: It is always better to opt for a cashless hospital as it is hassle free and doesn’t require filling up forms and maintaining a record of bills. However in case of unavailability of the same, don’t compromise on any of the above mentioned points.
Women wants her motherhood journey to be happy and wonderful. Considering the above points while choosing the right hospital will make your journey less stressful and more enjoyable. In the end, we all dream of a healthy delivery of the baby in a safe environment and only a well-equipped hospital and well-qualified doctor can ensure that for you.