Finding the Best Hospital for YOU + Super Helpful Packing Lists
Choosing a Hospital
Choosing a hospital can get tricky. Every hospital has its pros and cons. Not only that but what may be perfect for you, may be a con for your friend. The following are things to consider before choosing a hospital. In addition, you may want to speak to friends who have made the decision and ask them why they chose their hospital. As you read the list, *star* the ones that speak to you as being important. Then, when researching the hospital of your choice, you’ll have a clear direction on how to choose what hospital will best suit your specific needs.
- Location is definitely something to take into consideration. When you’re on the way to the hospital, you want to know that the hospital of your choice is nearby and easily accessible.
- Some hospitals are more crowded than others. This can make a difference in the kind of attention you’ll be receiving. If you’re in a crowded hospital, you may have to speak up more to have your needs met.
- If you will be requesting a private doctor, then knowing what doctor you want will determine the hospital of choice.
- Find out the kind of people you’ll be encountering upon your stay. Based on location, it can range from American to chassidish, Yerushalmi, or Arab. You may be more comfortable in an environment where the people you’ll be with are more your crowd.
- Research visiting policies to see if there’s an option for your husband or baby to be with you the whole time. Some hospitals have full room-in and some have a separate nursery for the baby that may even be on a separate floor.
- With regard to a Cesarean birth- does the hospital allow husbands or a doula in? Is there a special way they do the Cesarean birth
- Researching what benefits the hospital of your choice has to offer may strongly influence your decision as to the hospital of your choice. Hospitals offer varying special benefits such as:
> Free parking
> Free birth classes
> Free night in Beit Hachlama
> Food is a very important part of your stay. Much of your energy will be depleted and having the right food options and hechsheirim should not be taken lightly.
> Labor induction policies differ from hospital to hospital- some induce from 39/40 weeks and some are more relaxed.
- Having a hospital that is familiar and knowledgeable in the techniques you’ll be using (e.g.spinning babies, reflexology, aromatherapy, hypnobirthing, etc) can be very comforting and will ensure a more understanding midwife.
- What kind of pain relief is available? Some hospitals offer pain relief in the Cheder Kabala (the welcoming room upon arrival) while others offer only in the Cheder Layda (birthing room).
- What kind of birth do you want to have? If you’ll be birthing naturally, find out if the hospital allows for all positions and if they have a birthing stool. Some hospitals have separate natural birthing rooms with a private midwife– find out how much extra they cost. Some hospitals offer and assist in water births.
- What birthing equipment is available during labor?
- Wireless Monitor (you can walk around or go in the water and not be stuck in bed)
- Birthing Ball (you may want to bring your own if they don’t provide it)
- Did you know that in Israel, it is now legal to have a home birth? If home birth may have been your dream option, find out more! Now’s your chance! These home births are monitored and conducted by legalized midwives under specific guidelines and requirements.
Packing your Bag
Now that you know which hospital is best for you, you can get started on packing! The following are packing lists as a general reference list for before and after birth. Think: No need to be searching for the toothpaste in between painful contractions. This will keep you calm and prepared for whenever your baby decides it’s time to greet the world. Remember that your husband or companion will also need a change of clothes, toiletries, phone, snacks, and money. Have your suitcase or bags (and companion’s) ready 2 weeks before your due date…and make sure you and your husband know where you’ve stored it.
> Your husband/mom
> Toiletry: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, soft towel, your own shampoo or soap that you like, some soft toilet paper, glasses, lenses, solution, vaseline (lips get very dry and cracked during and after birth)
> Both parents’ ID cards, birthing notes, a printout of your medical history from your Doctor
> Reading material – novels, magazines, birthing books, etc.
> Fresh underwear-enough for the whole stay
> Comfortable slippers and slippers for the shower
> Comfy soft bath towel and face towel
> Tehillim, Siddur, and any other tefillos
> Phone, camera (make sure it’s charged), and their chargers
> Snacks for you and your partner (think dried fruit, nuts, energy bars)
> Music+earbuds to keep you relaxed with steady breathing
> Water bottle or two or three…lots of fluid
> A sweet drink (grape juice) and a chocolate bar (sugar to bring up the heartbeat when they monitor you)
> Fan or water spray or sponge to cool you down
> Any medication you’re taking
>A TENS machine (if using)
>Aromatherapy oil (if using)
> Hot water bottle, tennis ball in a sock, or anything else you may want for alleviating pain
> Bring along your own comfy pillow (Hospital pillows can be stiff) and a fuzzy blanket for comfort
> Earplugs or an eye mask to block out any noise or light when you’re exhausted.
>Birthing Ball (check if the hospital has one, or you may want to bring your own)
> Cash for any small purchases (think hungry Mom or husband)
> Set of comfortable clothes and a bag for dirty laundry
> Extra snood
> Nursing Gown/nightgown
> Comfy maternity-size set of clothing for when you leave
> Nursing pads, thick underwear pads
> Nursing clothes and undergarments
> Set of clothes for the newborn to go home in, including a blanket. This is the most exciting thing
> List or order of people you want called to let them know the good news!
> LOTS of snacks and liquids (the depletion of energy will leave you starving! Although the hospital
provides meals, you may not like it, and it may not be enough)
> Makeup – with all the pictures, you may want to freshen up and feel good.
Did you bring your Doula???
Q: Why are Doulas so important and helpful?
A) Doulas living nearby can assist while you’re laboring in the house to help the birth’s progression before you get to the hospital. If the birth stops progressing once you’re in the hospital, more intervention is usually used.
B) A doula can be with you when traveling and can help relax the fear and instruct positions to ease the pain.
C) Different doulas specialize in different kinds of births and pain relief and have lots of experience in the birthing process, to help and guide if different circumstances come up. They know the hospital’s policies and regulations and can advocate for you as needed.
Dena Peiser has been living in Israel for 18 years and privileged to give birth here in Israel to 6 out of her
8 children. She has been working in Reflexology and medical massage and specializes in prenatal care
helping women with their pregnancy – regular discomforts, preparation for labor, and general boosting
of energy and health. She accompanies women as a doula to help them work through the birth process
with a variety of tools -aromatherapy, massage specific to labor, reflexology, labor positions, specific
Shiatsu points -all of which help labor to progress and helps the mommy feel relaxed and able to continue
with energy and positivity. She can be reached at 054-535-4940 or email@example.com