Most hospitals offer pre-registration, which allows you to fill out all the required paper work before you arrive at the hospital with your baby on the way. You’ll be able to show up, quickly be admitted, and go directly to a labor room. Things to check on when you pre-register:
Health insurance – ask about any out of pocket costs or limitations.
Accommodations for you to stay with your wife at overnight.
Your baby’s social security number application (called “Enumeration At Birth”. It will arrive several weeks after your baby does, and can be a cool confirmation that you are really a father.
Become Familiar with the Place
Many hospitals will also include a tour of the hospital, including the labor/delivery rooms and postpartum areas. It will enable both of you to get familiar with the surroundings. Fear is often the result of not knowing what to expect, so getting a handle on what’s going to happen goes a long way in reducing anxiety for both of you.
You will probably get to see the birthing rooms, surgical center, and post-delivery/recovery rooms for Cesarean births. Some hospitals have sleeping facilities, whether it’s a cot or fold out couch, and some have showers or even Jacuzzi tubs. The tour leader may also have literature with ideas on what to bring and comments about what will happen throughout the whole process.
The employees associated with the hospital’s mother-baby floor like to help people so don’t hesitate to ask. You can get detailed information on everything from policies and procedures, parking, where to enter the hospital (this can vary at different times of day/night), and what reception desk to see.
Also, get an idea about where food is served. While mom will have meals brought to her, dad usually does not. So get info on the cafeteria facilities and hours of operation.