Choose the Right Hospital for You and Your Baby
02/25/2009

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Unlike a medical emergency, pregnant women and their partners can do research ahead of time and select the best possible hospital to have their baby. While emergency situations can impact the plan, it is important to do research ahead of time about how the delivery ideally will proceed and what you want from the experience.

“Childbirth can be a stressful time for a first-time mother or a mother facing a high-risk pregnancy,” said Dr. Jean Paicurich, a physician on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. “Doing as much research as possible on the hospital where you will deliver your baby can help alleviate concerns and better prepare you for any unexpected challenges of labor.

“Mothers should also speak with the hospital about breastfeeding resources and other follow-up services that are offered.”

The Childbirth Connection, a nonprofit organization that works to improve the quality of maternity care, suggests asking the following questions when selecting a hospital:

  • Does the hospital offer childbirth education and other classes to help you care for your baby?
  • Does the hospital participate in my insurance plan? How much does a typical vaginal birth cost? How much does a typical Cesarean birth cost?
  • Would I labor and give birth in one room or would I be required to move before the birth? Will I stay in the same room after giving birth?
  • Are there any policies that limit the number of people allowed to be in the room for labor and birth? Are there any age restrictions or can siblings attend the birth?
  • How do you monitor the baby’s well-being during labor?
  • What routine care is provided to healthy newborns?
  • Could my baby stay in the room with me instead of a nursery?
  • Does the hospital have a newborn intensive care unit?
  • What follow-up care do you offer after we go home?

“Bringing a baby into the world can be a fantastic experience, but is definitely one where doing homework ahead of time helps increase the odds of a good experience,” Paicurich said. “Everyone — hospital employees, your physician, and family members — wants the birth to go smoothly and be a rewarding experience. Talking about your desires ahead of time can help make that goal a reality.”

For more tips, including how to choose an obstetrician, visit http://www.childbirthconnection.org/. A list of obstetricians that practice at Texas Health hospitals can be found at www.texashealth.org.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women and infant care, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and wound care.

Texas Health Stephenville has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, please call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. Texas Health’s system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospitals, Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information about Texas Health, visit www.texashealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.