Questions to Ask About Your Inpatient Stay
**Please note, these are questions to ask if you live in the United States. These questions would also pertain to other countries who allow inpatient monitoring, but you'll need to talk to your doctor/perinatologist about your options.
Questions for the Doctor or Specialist:
What is your recommendation for when I'll be admitted? - The typical answer is between 24-28 weeks, but your doctor might have a specific recommendation within that timeframe based on experience, research, or capabilities of the hospital. Reminder: when/if you go inpatient is ultimately your choice. It is highly recommended to go inpatient if you can, but some mamas choose not to based on their situation at home.
Will I receive steroid shots, and if so, when? - Steroid shots are typically administered during the inpatient stay to help the babies' lungs develop and also prevent brain bleeds.
How many times and for what duration will I be monitored a day? - Some doctors recommend 3x a day monitoring for 1-2 hours, while others recommend continuous monitoring. It's important to discuss the pros/cons of both situations to see what's best for you.
Barring no emergencies, when is your preference for when I deliver? - The typical answer is between 32-34 weeks, but your doctor might have a specific recommendation within that timeframe based on experience, research, or your unique pregnancy.
Will you require an IV catheter be in place at all times? - If your doctor says yes, make sure to ask if it is medically necessary. A lot of momo moms have an IV in their hand for their entire inpatient stay, which can be extremely uncomfortable and also cause an infection. If you're in good health and won't be needing medication through IV, it's a good idea to explore your options for not having one placed unless there's a medical emergency.
What level NICU is there at the hospital I'll be delivering? - You want, at the very least a Level III NICU, but Level IV is best. These babies can be delivered as early as 24 weeks, which would require a Level IV NICU. You wouldn't want your babies to be transported to a different hospital than you.
Will I be given a tour of the NICU? Can I speak with a NICU consultant about what to expect?
At what frequency will I have ultrasounds? Specifically: biophysical profiles, dopplers, and growth scans.
Can I bring my own prenatal vitamins to continue while inpatient? - The hospital will likely supply you with a prescribed prenatal if you don't ask. Only ask if that's important to you, if you don't care then it's just one less thing to worry about on your list!
Questions for Hospital Management
Will I have my own refrigerator or have access to one? - Things have been trickier since COVID with access to a refrigerator, but it's important to find out if you'll have access, and how easy the access will be. That way, your family can bring you some groceries or food they've meal prepped for you. Currently, I am allowed to refrigerate things on my L&D floor, but I'm not allowed to access it myself. So, if I have leftovers I'd like warmed up I have to ask my nurse to do it for me, which I find very annoying for both of us!
What is your visitor's policy? - When can your support person visit? Can I have other visitors? Can my children come to visit?
Will I have the capabilities to work from my room (desk/good WIFI reception) - If you're like me and want to save your FMLA for after the babies are born and have the ability to work remotely, I highly recommend working at the hospital! Not only does it help to pass the time during the week, but you're also getting paid while you're inpatient and are able to save as much time as possible for loving up on your littles after you deliver!
Will I be able to go for walks outside?
Will I be able to leave the hospital floor (to go to the cafeteria, gift shop, pharmacy, etc.)
How many support people can I have during birth?
How many people can visit after the birth?
How many support people can I have for NICU visitation? - This is an important one to find out, especially if you have a long drive to the hospital and/or have other children at home. If you are allowed additional people in the NICU, they can drive you to the hospital and help you love up on your the babies while your partner is home with your other children and vice versa.