Phoenix, Arizona (NAPSI) - As expecting parents, visiting the hospital you plan to have your baby at helps you get familiar with the policies, procedures and technologies available in labor and delivery. Having the time to check out your hospital of choice with an eye toward comfort, safety, support and service can make all the difference in having the birth experience you want.

Hospitals today offer many new technologies and services in labor and delivery you’ll want to ask about during your tour:

Comfort: Some of the best labor and delivery suites offer private rooms with bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, satellite radio, refrigerators, rocking chairs, sofa bed or extra bed for birth coaches. Many hospitals have taken the extra step to offer rooms with cozy, more homelike or hotel-inspired decor and softened lighting to create a more comfortable atmosphere. While most hospitals have adapted to the use of cell phones and tablets, it is important to check the hospital’s personal electronics policy.

Support: From physicians using smartphones to monitor patients’ labor and childbirth professionals (doulas, midwives) on staff to having Jacuzzi tubs, birth balls and squat bars available, hospitals offer the people and equipment to support families in their birth experience. Most hospitals offer the option to have the baby room-in with the mother to support bonding, but you will want to know the hospital policies in advance.

Safety: Astonishingly, an estimated 22 percent of all incidences of retained surgical sponges occur in vaginal births, which has the potential for significant health risks to new moms. Today, many hospitals use new sponge detection technology in surgical procedures to prevent retained surgical sponges. The RF Assure Delivery System is the only sponge detection device specifically designed for labor and delivery.

Services: If you plan to breastfeed your baby, check to see if your hospital offers the services of a lactation consultant during your stay. Some hospitals also provide a private refresher on baby care (diaper changing, cord care, bathing, etc.) prior to discharge. Check to see if your hospital allows in-room delivery of meals from local restaurants, a particularly nice option to notorious hospital and cafeteria food.

Knowing your hospital has the latest services and technologies designed to ensure your comfort and safety gives you a lot of confidence in your choice of where you deliver your baby.

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