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Philly area: any thoughts on Abington Mem. Hospital???

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My sister is giving birth in August, and seems to be set on going to Abington Mem. Hospital... anybody have experience with maternity care there? Are they any good, or should I try to talk her into Bryn Mawr(which I'm kind of doing anyway, but....)
post #2 of 18
I don't have any personal experience with Abington. Abington's c-section rate of 30.1% (2006 data) is a little lower that Bryn Mawr's 33.1% (2006 data).

I, personally, would not want to go to Bryn Mawr or Lankenau. I have heard too many horror stories about unnecessary interventions leading to c-sections. But that is just me, I am sure you will find plenty of people who can share other perspectives.

More and more I am concluding that in some ways (in this area) the hospital choice does not matter as much as the preparation and the support team once chooses. Finding a good fit with a OB or midwife, doing good birth education, staying at home as long as possible when labor starts and getting comfortable with refusing certain interventions (e.g., mandatory NPO, IV and mother/baby separation after birth. There is not one piece of medical evidence supporting taking a newborn from a mother and putting it into a well baby nursery. A woman has every right to refuse this, and insist that well newborn examinations, baths, and test be competed in the mothers room).

Sorry, went off on a bit of a tangent there....just my two cents

Good luck to your sister!
post #3 of 18
I had a c/sec there 8 years ago. I don't know that my experience would necessarily be predictive of anything. I think it is probably best to choose the health care provider she wants to be with when she births and work from there. It doesn't make much sense to choose a hospital and work backward from there.
post #4 of 18
In two words: baby mill. They are very proud of just how many babies they "deliver" there. I have no personal experience w/ them but the last person I know who delivered there via c-section due to "failure to progress." I don't know the situation, but I do know that she wasn't there that long before she had surgery.

If going to any hospital, I would say having a doula, waiting until the last possible moment to go & then leave as early as possible are a strategy that might get a better experience for mom & baby.

Sus
post #5 of 18
Ah, Sus, you said it and not me.

A few times a week, I have to drive by the sign they have announcing how many babies are delivered in the current month. I always gasp and swerve.

I have had 3 c/secs in 3 different hospitals and Abington was not the worst. The hospital where the nurses punished me for rooming in by refusing to empty my trash ... that was the worst. So my standards are not very high.
post #6 of 18
I had my first there, it was a c/s, FTP. My own ignorance on that one, though.
What was really bad about the whole thing was that they kept my in the maternity triage unit after the birth (at 10pm) and took him to the post partum floor becaue there was no room for me there and they HAD to do testing and he couldn't stay with me. 7 long hours later a room "opened up" (yeah, at 5am) and I finally got my baby 9 hours after his birth. And they didn't want to bring him to me because it wasn't yet time to bring the babies from the nursery around. Um, NOW! I have no idea what happened in there and I don't want to now, but I imagine he had some kind of bottle before I ever saw him.
And the help with breastfeeding, not so good. Every nurse had a different opinion and one forced my to give gim formula at 1 am the next night because he wouldn't latch right on and he was 'starving". I was all doped up and tired and was just crying. That said, the nurse who saw us before we left was awesome (she taught our BF class, don't remember her name) and was a huge help in teaching me how to bf, but that was 3 days after the birth.
Needless to say, I didn't go back. But I would have for my third because they are one of the few hospitals to do VBA2C. I would have just been so prepared with my doula and support people. I don't think they have midwives there, so I would have found the mosy supportive doctor and surrounded myself with people who would actually help me.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
thank you so much for all your replies, ladies! i'm going to forward my sister a link to these posts so she can hopefully go in with her eyes open. fortunately this is a second babe for her, so she has a pretty good idea of how she wants things to be, but she broke her tailbone with the last labour due to some bad advice on pushing position and i hate to see that repeated. anyway, i'm rambling, but thank you all again. any more thoughts on the "best" place for labour and delivery in philly would be most welcome!
post #8 of 18
Abington is crowded. Busy. I've been there a couple of times as a doula, and we did the thing of getting there late in labor - problem is we had to wait to get into triage area, wait in triage for a room to open, feeling pushy. Ugh.

In one case the nurse was fine, let us be. Another was super annoying about separating mom and baby after the birth.

Obivously if she'd consider the Bryn Mawr birth center (at least go to a free orientation! no commitment!) it's a world of difference. Can't even compare.

Or Montgomery County now has several cool midwives who transfered from Chestnut Hill, when it closed - formerly the area's best hospital option in my book. For what it's worth

Best of luck to her! Try starting her with one copy of Mothering magazine.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. B View Post
I had my first there, it was a c/s, FTP. My own ignorance on that one, though.
What was really bad about the whole thing was that they kept my in the maternity triage unit after the birth (at 10pm) and took him to the post partum floor becaue there was no room for me there and they HAD to do testing and he couldn't stay with me. 7 long hours later a room "opened up" (yeah, at 5am) and I finally got my baby 9 hours after his birth. And they didn't want to bring him to me because it wasn't yet time to bring the babies from the nursery around. Um, NOW! I have no idea what happened in there and I don't want to now, but I imagine he had some kind of bottle before I ever saw him.
And the help with breastfeeding, not so good. Every nurse had a different opinion and one forced my to give gim formula at 1 am the next night because he wouldn't latch right on and he was 'starving". I was all doped up and tired and was just crying. That said, the nurse who saw us before we left was awesome (she taught our BF class, don't remember her name) and was a huge help in teaching me how to bf, but that was 3 days after the birth.
Needless to say, I didn't go back. But I would have for my third because they are one of the few hospitals to do VBA2C. I would have just been so prepared with my doula and support people. I don't think they have midwives there, so I would have found the mosy supportive doctor and surrounded myself with people who would actually help me.
My experience there was in 2000. The ob was very unpleasant and while I was being prepped for the c/sec (my third unwanted c/sec) popped his head in and said, "This is a tubal too, right?" We had never even discussed that and I did not plan for that to be my last child. When I said, "No" he said, "You want to go through this AGAIN?" If I hadn't been in labor, hooked to an IV, and having a preemie (don't get me started on the crap the hospital put me through about my birth plan), I would have gotten up and punched him.

My son didn't need to be in the NICU thankfully but was jaundiced. The pediatrician (I never saw the ob after the surgery) pushed hard for me to supplement with water (!?) but the nurses brought me lots of literature about exclusively breastfeeding jaundiced babies. It helped in my insistence to the ped that I would exclusively breastfeed that all the hand-out literature AGAINST giving the baby anything but breastmilk was, ironically, published by formula company Ross.

And, yes, there are no longer midwives allowed at Abington.
post #10 of 18
That's sad to hear that it's gotten bad at Abington. My MIL had 4 natural Leboyer births there in the 70's/early 80's. Lights were dim, natural childbirth, and even 1 natural vaginal breech baby. So sad they've gone so far from that.
post #11 of 18
My SIL had a baby there in 2000. She was a cytotec induction. I always thought she was a bit dramatic about her birth b/c she would go on and on about how her baby was in distress and they were shoving c-section consent forms under her nose (my niece came out too fast for a c-section though). She told me several month ago about how they inserted a pill into her vagina to start labor. I knew they gave her pitocin but I had no idea they started her with cytotec. Now I know she wasn't being dramatic. My SIL did actually have a midwife but not on purpose. She used a practice that happened to include a midwife and she was the one on call that day. That practice broke up though.
post #12 of 18
i just had my twins at abington and have to say that the hospital is incredibly pro-breastfeeding now... i was/am so pleasantly surprised with the level of support there. apparently it's a new thing, as of october. speaking with the nurses, i found out that they're not allowed to give out any formula-company freebies anymore. after i had the boys (truly an emergency c-section, not a typical scenario), i was visited in my room every day, sometimes multiple times, by a lactation consultant - all of whom were super helpful.

so i don't know what it's like to have a normal labor and delivery there, but my experience with post-partum was actually pretty good i have to say!
post #13 of 18
congrats on your babies! glad you had help in the hospital!

Sus
post #14 of 18
i had both of my children at abington and had great experiences both times (c sections b/c i had uterine surgery a few years before i got pg)
you definitely have to speak up (like they tried to eep owen in the nursery after birth b/c his body temp was down) I said bring him to me and I'LL warm him up. I also made a birth plan with my dr before the section and she was wonderful about sticking to it. I have only good things to say about them- and the nurses are great!
post #15 of 18
I had my Dd at Chestnut Hill in sept just before they closed down the maternity unit. I LOVED it there and am so depressed they closed down. I plan on finding a birthing center for my next. I have heard that Abington is just too crowded...you dont get individualezed care and they will inevitably end up trying to get you in & out as fast as possible to make room for the next
post #16 of 18
I had my twins there in 2007. I knew going in that it was going to be a c-section (they were both breach...anyway). I had a good stay there. The lactation consultants were AMAZING and the nurses were kind. I chose it because it had a level 3 NICU and were CHOP affiliated so that if something were to go completely wrong, they would be transferred to CHOP no problem. I know they are crazy busy due to the shutting down of Jeanes Hospital, which had a huge maternity ward, and of Chestnut Hills Maternity Ward.
HTH.
post #17 of 18
I switched to the Bryn Mawr Birth Center after taking the Abington tour. The atmosphere was just too medical for me (I know, I know, what did I expect in a hospital?) and the nurse who gave the tour pretty much laughed in my face when I said I was having a natural delivery. I have heard from several friends who delivered there that the care was certainly competent, but they did feel like a "number."

That said, I understand they are the best in the area for high-risk pregnancies and births, so that's definitely something to consider if your sister's pregnancy has been problematic. Best of luck to her for a happy second delivery!
post #18 of 18
My experience was similar to Mrs. B's. I developed complications at 39w and had to be delivered that day to stop the progression. They tried cytotec+pitocin for 12h with no luck, then did a c-section under general. Afterwards, I was taken to a different area than usual (I think it was the M.O.M unit for monitoring bedrest pregnancies) and kept on various drugs, so the first 48 hours are a blur. They gave my son a bottle in the nursery before I ever saw him and pushed formula on me after that -- threatening at one point that if I didn't give him formula or get him to latch properly in the next 3 hours, they were going to call the ped. The first lactation consultant I saw was not nice or helpful. Later, when I tried to do skin-to-skin, a nurse came in, took my baby away, did an underarm temp, said he was cold and sent him to the nursery to lay under a heat lamp. I hobbled out of bed to follow and was angry to discover that his rectal temp was plenty warm.

All in all, it was a traumatic experience.

Two bright spots in the experience were:
* One very empathic nurse (Heather maybe?) who did her best to listen and help me through my breastfeeding troubles
* A wonderful lactation consultant (Ellen) who I saw on the last day who gave me hope that it would all work out

I am pregnant again and likely to return to Abington for lack of other great options. I'd like to VBAC, but haven't talked to anyone about that yet, so I have no idea if they allow it. I think a birthing center would be too risky given the unknowns in my case, and Doylestown doesn't seem to promise private rooms.

I do hope to be more in control this time instead of having everything happen to me. I was scared and drugged the first time. This time, I'm going in with an attitude.
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