As a parent, there are going to be trips to the hospital that you can't prepare for (read: your kid lodged something up his nose … again). But the birth of a new baby is that rare exception when you're allotted plenty of time to make a plan of action for your hospital visit. You have time to scope out the facility you’re planning to deliver at and ask questions so you feel prepared when the big day comes.
For Lisa Schavrien, a registered nurse at Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital, giving expectant parents the grand tour is all in a day's work. Schavrien started The Lenox Hill Hospital Childbirth Experience five years ago in response to the common questions and concerns she often heard from soon-to-be parents who planned on delivering at the hospital. “As a labor and delivery nurse, I always felt strongly that we should have a personal approach to care,” says Schavrien. Especially since, in this scenario, patients have months to prepare. “We created this tour not really knowing what kind of turnout we’d get, but when over 40 people started showing up each time, we decided to formalize the program.”
Based on Schavrien’s experience with expectant parents, here’s what she thinks you need to know about labor and delivery—from what to get done ahead of time, to what will happen in your baby’s first hours of life.