For my first pregnancy, I never took a hospital tour nor did I take a labor class. When people would ask me questions about the Labor & Delivery tours and birthing classes, I felt like a foreigner. I felt like I wasn't doing enough and I was missing out on a whole array of things. When I did go to Labor & Delivery to deliver my daughter, I just did everything that was asked of me. I was breathing when I needed to, push when I had to, and filled out paperwork galore.
With this second pregnancy, I made sure I made my reservations for the tour ahead of time. My husband and I attended the informational tour yesterday. The OB nurse who was giving the tour went through everything that you would need to know from the time you go into labor to the time you get discharged from the hospital. She went into great details about when to come to the hospital, what to bring, visiting hours, etc...I found it to be very informative, but nothing I couldn't learn on my own. My husband was falling asleep, which highly irritated me, but I completely understood why. We already had gone through the process before and it wasn't anything new, except a couple things because it was a different hospital. There were a lot of new parents and very few second time around parents.
One thing I learned from the tour, was when to go into the hospital, to be admitted for delivery:
For first time mothers: Strong 90 second contractions every 5 minutes for 2 hours. (You time from the end of the first, to the start of the next).
Second time mothers: Strong 90 second contractions every 5 minutes for 1 hour. (You need to be about 4cm dilated to be admitted or they will send you home)
If your water breaks, come in immediately, you will be admitted.
Personally, I feel that the Labor & Delivery tours are great for new parents-to-be. For me, it was just interesting to see where I would be delivering and where I would be recovering. I liked reviewing information that I already knew and also hearing questions asked by other mothers and fathers. It was also great to see the staff at hand and how personable they were. If you have any questions about labor and delivery, I would highly suggest going on the tour.