10. How do I choose a hospital for delivery if I'm expecting multiples?
Finding the right hospital to deliver your higher-multiples is an important decision, exspecially since they are likely to be born prematures. The best hospital may not be the closest; a family expecting triplets or more should seriously reveiw available hospitals. The mother may need to move closer to the hospital before labor beings, and if the family is some distance away, it is best to move by 24 weeks gestation.
When choosing a hospital, parents should check the level of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Level III are the highest meaning they have the most sophisticated care for babies born preterm or who have problems soon after delivery. Unless an emergency requires immediate care at the closest medical facility, mothers should deliver higher-order multiple births in a hosptial with a Level III NICU.
First begin by asking your doctor about his or her affiliated hospitals, and check whether the hospital has experience managing higher-order multiple births.
Other Ways to Find a Level III Neonatal Center or NICU:
MOST provides information about NICU’s and what a parent needs to know prior to delivery in the our book Expecting Multiples: A Comprehensive Guide as well as more detailed information about the NICU and infants born preterm in our Infant Multiples Packet.
For information on premature infants visit PreemieCare, a division of MOST.
See the PreemieCare NICU Glossary (PDF) for a list of acronyms and terms related to premature infants.
For information about the different NICU levels, see the AAP's 2004 Policy Statement "Levels of Neonatal Care".
Copyright MOST 2005 Updated 7/23/10