Hospital Maternity Wards in Cleveland: Getting Admitted, Your Rights, & FAQs
Whether you’re a lifelong resident of “The Land” or you still consider yourself a tourist, you can rest easy knowing Cleveland offers a wealth of exceptional hospital facilities to support expectant parents. Whether you’re a first-time parent or a seasoned pro, these tips will ensure that you’re well-prepared to give birth in a city that rocks!
Choosing the Right Maternity Provider and Hospital in Cleveland
One of the most crucial decisions you’ll make during your pregnancy journey is selecting the right maternity provider and hospital to meet your needs. Remember, these decisions can influence your birth experience, so it’s important to take the following into account.
Research Local Providers
Start your search by researching obstetricians, midwives, and certified nurse midwives in Cleveland. Look for providers who are experienced, compassionate, and aligned with your birthing preferences. Reach out to local friends and family who have been through the childbirth experience in the area, requesting their recommendations and feedback.
Choosing the Right Hospital
Cleveland boasts several hospitals with topnotch maternity wards. Some popular choices include the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and MetroHealth Medical Center. Research each facility’s offerings, such as amenities, medical staff, and available birthing options to decide which one aligns best with your preferences and needs. When reviewing your options, consider the following:
- Location and accessibility: Consider the hospital’s proximity to your home and ease of access, especially during rush hours and in emergencies.
- Hospital reputation: Research the hospital’s reputation and ratings, taking into account patient reviews and word of mouth recommendations.
- Insurance coverage: Check if the hospital is within your insurance network and understand your coverage to avoid unexpected expenses.
- Birthing options: Explore the hospital’s birthing options, such as unmedicated childbirth, water birth, and epidural availability to align with your preferences.
- Facility amenities: Consider the amenities and comforts the hospital offers for both you and your support persons during labor and postpartum.
- Supportive services: Look for additional support services, such as lactation consultation, newborn care, and postpartum assistance.
- Hospital policies: Familiarize yourself with the hospital’s policies regarding support persons, visitation, and postpartum procedures.
- Personal preferences: Ensure that the hospital aligns with your personal preferences and birth plan, allowing you to have the experience you desire.
- Plan for multiple scenarios: Consider how well the hospital can accommodate various scenarios, from natural births to potential medical interventions.
Be sure to take a virtual or in person tour of the hospital’s maternity ward to get a feel for the environment and ask any questions you may have.
Getting Admitted to Labor and Delivery
Call Ahead: Once you decide to go to the hospital, call ahead if possible. Labor and Delivery can get unpredictably busy at any moment, and calling ahead will allow the hospital staff to prepare for your arrival and ensure a room is ready.
Check In Procedures: When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll typically need to provide your identification and insurance information. Some hospitals offer pre-registration, which can help expedite the process.
Medical Assessment: Shortly after checking in, you’ll be assessed by a healthcare provider. They’ll monitor your vital signs and check your cervical dilation, effacement, and the baby’s position. These factors help determine the stage of labor you’re in and guide next steps.
Labor and Delivery Process: Once you’re admitted, your healthcare team will guide you through the labor and delivery process. Remember, there’s no telling how long labor will take!
Empowering Your Journey: Understanding Your Rights as a Maternity Patient
One of the most fundamental rights you possess during your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is the right to informed consent. This means you have the right to make decisions about your medical care after receiving complete and accurate information about your options. Your consent and active participation are vital to ensure a positive and personalized birthing experience. Here’s why it matters:
- Empowerment through Knowledge: Informed consent empowers you with the knowledge to make choices that align with your values and preferences. Whether it’s deciding on pain management, birthing positions, or interventions, you should be actively involved in the decision-making process.
- Respect for Your Autonomy: Your healthcare providers should respect your autonomy and ensure that you’re comfortable with the choices made regarding your birthing experience. Your preferences should be honored, as long as they align with the safety of both you and your baby.
- Active Participation in Your Birth Plan: Your active participation is key to ensuring that your birthing experience is as close to your ideal as possible. You can actively engage in the process by creating a birth plan, communicating effectively, and asking questions. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification about any medical procedures, treatments, or interventions. Your healthcare providers are there to support you and should provide you with all the information you need to make informed decisions.
- Privacy and Dignity: You have the right to privacy and dignity throughout labor, delivery, and postpartum. Healthcare providers should maintain confidentiality and ensure you’re comfortable during examinations and procedures.
- Choice of Birth Support: Many hospitals in Cleveland support various birthing options, including natural childbirth, water birth, and more. You have the right to choose the birth experience that aligns with your values, as long as it’s safe for you and your baby.
- Pain Management: If you opt for pain relief during labor, discuss your options with your healthcare team. They should provide adequate pain management, such as epidurals, nitrous oxide, or other pain relief methods, while ensuring your wellbeing and that of your baby.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What should I pack in my hospital bag?
A: Your hospital bag should include essentials like comfortable clothing, toiletries, baby clothes, and any specific items related to your birth plan like music, photos, or LED candles. When in doubt, check with your CLEbaby doulas.
Q: Can I have visitors during my hospital stay?
A: Hospital policies regarding visitors vary, so check with your chosen facility. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, some hospitals may have restrictions in place, so be prepared for possible changes.
Q: Can I eat during labor?
A: Most hospitals do not permit food once admitted. Most allow clear liquids like water, ginger ale, etc. and popsicles or ice chips during labor. Some may allow light snacks, but always check beforehand! If eating during labor is important to you, discuss it ahead of time with your provider.
Q: What if I don’t feel supported by my healthcare provider(s) during labor?
A: If you find yourself uncomfortable or dissatisfied with your healthcare provider during labor, it’s essential to communicate your concerns. If you do not feel comfortable speaking with them directly, talk to a nurse or your doula. If the situation cannot be improved with communication, switching is an option — yes, even if you’re getting ready to push!
Q: When do I need to choose a pediatrician?
A: You should choose a pediatrician for your baby before giving birth, preferably before the 35-week mark. During your in-hospital recovery, you’ll call to make your first well-baby visit, usually when your baby is 3-5 days old. A hospital pediatrician will also be checking on your baby during your stay.
Q: Will my doula be able to stay with me the whole time?
A: Your doula will stay with you as long as you wish, provided the hospital allows it. Some hospitals do not allow doulas in Labor and Delivery triage or the OR during a cesarean.
Q: Are photos and video permitted during labor and delivery?
A: It depends on the hospital and provider. Some may allow photos of labor, but not the birth, while others may allow photography during the entire process. Be sure to check with both your hospital and provider ahead of time.
In the vibrant city of Cleveland, the journey to parenthood is an unforgettable adventure. With top-notch maternity services, supportive healthcare providers, and the right to make informed choices, you’re on the path to a birthing experience that aligns with your hopes and values. Cleveland rocks, and so does your childbirth journey! As you prepare for this remarkable moment, remember that CLEbaby is here for you every step of the way, giving you the freedom to embrace the incredible journey and welcome your little one with open arms and boundless love.
Ashley & the team
CLEbaby was established in 2015 to help Cleveland area families have positive, supportive experiences during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. Our wide range of services means that there's something for everyone. And our skilled, compassionate doulas, childbirth educators and sleep trainers deliver unmatched care, ensuring you're confident and set up for long-term success. At CLEbaby, we want families to not only survive early parenthood but thrive.