Hospitals are where most births have taken place in recent years. Teaching hospitals are somewhat less expensive than other hospitals because you, the patient, are providing students with a living example of what they need to know to become doctors and nurses.
Reasons To Choose A Teaching/Large Hospital
- You are a high-risk patient. You are most likely to need access to the latest medical technology that a teaching hospital has to offer.
- Your midwife attends births in a hospital and you prefer to use her for the birth over anyone else. Having a midwife-supervised birth in a large facility can improve the hospital experience immensely.
Reasons Not To Choose A Teaching/Large Hospital
- During doctor attended hospital births, labor is generally expected to conform to a certain pattern that the hospital has deemed “normal.” If and when labor begins to deviate in some way from that pattern, a series of steps are likely to be taken to attempt to bring the labor closer to conformity. For example, if your labor does not progress at a rate more or less in accordance with standard expectations, it is likely to be “sped up” with pitocin or similar drugs. One of the prime reasons for this conformity has to do with litigation. Hospitals are geared towards protecting themselves against lawsuits. Although the vast majority of births are relatively uneventful, hospitals treat all births as if something could go wrong and as if they will be called upon to show they did everything properly.
- A teaching hospital is where, statistically, a woman is most likely to deliver by a cesarean section.
- A large hospital is the birth setting in which you are least likely to have control. Hospitals come complete with long lists of regulations that may include who and how many persons attend the birth, whether or not you can walk around, when you can eat (hospitals generally forbid laboring women to eat because they want a woman to be prepared for general anesthesia, which requires an empty stomach) or a requirement that you wear a fetal monitor continuously. Some hospitals insist on whisking babies away from their mothers right away for a check-up. Some require infants to be in the nursery during visiting hours.
- There will probably be a lack of consistency. You may be moved to different rooms for labor, delivery and postpartum. You will have a changing array of nurses and doctors to deal with.
- Although hospital décor has certainly improved, you can expect your labor and delivery rooms to feel like a hospital. You will be surrounded with medical apparatus and most likely attended to by people in uniform.
- There is a lack of privacy. Anyone who spends time in a hospital will experience people going in and out of their rooms at all hours of the night and day. Many of these will be people you have never seen before in your life. They include nurses, technicians, janitors, dieticians- even doctors with a crew of students trailing behind them. Some will knock before entering and some will not.