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How to choose the hospital to give birth?: basic aspects that you must take into account

The birth of a child is the most important moment in a woman’s life. So much so that everything that happens during childbirth is deeply engraved in the brain of the mother and the baby.

Although there are many variables that are beyond our control and that can mean that the delivery does not go as expected, the truth is that there is a fundamental variable that we can control: the hospital where we give birth.

And it is that choosing a hospital that meets our needs and goes according to our wishes will help us face the moment of childbirth in a more relaxed and confident way.

But, what aspects should we take into account when choosing the hospital where to give birth?


The first thing you should do when looking for a hospital is to restrict the geographic search area so that it is relatively close to your home, and thus you can be calmer on the day of delivery.

But in addition to the distance, also take into account other important factors related to accessibility : complicated road (potholes, curves, a single lane in each direction, works…), many traffic lights, traffic at rush hour and during normal hours…

Once these parameters have been analyzed, stick with a small group of hospitals and continue your selection process.

Public or private hospital?

In Spain we have a vast network of public and private hospitals , and in most cases we are lucky to have great professionals in both.

Therefore, giving birth publicly or privately will depend on the personal circumstances of each woman, as well as her preferences.

Private hospitals have three main advantages over public ones:

  • They usually have spacious and comfortable rooms , which is undoubtedly a plus in terms of comfort and privacy for the woman giving birth and her companion.
  • At the beginning of the pregnancy, the woman chooses which gynecologist she wants to follow up on , and in most cases, this choice is based on recommendations and favorable opinions from friends, acquaintances and family members.
  • The gynecologist who monitors the pregnancy is usually the one who attends the birth, so if a relationship of trust between doctor and patient has been established within nine months, this provides a lot of peace of mind.

Regarding the advantages of public hospitals over private ones, we would highlight the following:

  • Public health has all kinds of essential infrastructure and resources to deal with risk situations (specialized unit for premature babies, neonatal ICU…), something that not all private clinics have.
  • If the pregnancy is not at risk, its follow-up is usually carried out by midwives , as is the delivery assistance. There are several studies that highlight that midwife-assisted deliveries reduce the risk of complications, caesarean section or instrumental delivery.

However, this type of advantage that we have pointed out does not always have to occur in all cases, so we cannot generalize either .

Investigate, find out and visit the hospital

Before deciding on a specific hospital, we recommend that you investigate, inform yourself and ask all your questions .

  • Collect information and opinions from women who have given birth in that hospital.
  • Research hospital statistics on vaginal deliveries and cesarean deliveries.
  • Arrange a guided tour of the hospital (most centers offer this service) where you can not only see its infrastructure, dilation room, delivery room or rooms , but also where they explain how they work, what protocols are followed in case of caesarean section, how breastfeeding is protected.

How do you want your birth to be?

Another question you should ask yourself before choosing a hospital is how you want your delivery to be . Doing this thought exercise will help you eliminate from the equation those hospitals that do not meet your expectations or wishes.

  • Do I want a natural childbirth without medical intervention, as far as possible?
  • Do I want to give birth in water?
  • Do I want to have resources at my disposal to help me in the dilation process ? (balls, bathtub, vines, cushions, mats…)
  • Do I want to give birth without epidural, with epidural or outpatient epidural?
  • If I don’t want an epidural, can I have all kinds of analgesic techniques for pain relief?

Also remember that no hospital can deny you present a birth plan if you wish (another thing is that complications arise at the time of giving birth and it cannot be carried out), nor prevent you from going accompanied by the person you choose. .

In the case of caesarean section, more and more hospitals allow the companion to enter the operating room, unless it is an emergency caesarean section or any other risk situation.

Once all these questions have been analyzed and clarified, it will be easier for you to choose the hospital that makes you feel more comfortable and respects your wishes when giving birth to your baby.

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