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Memorial vs. St. Vincent's in Worcester MA

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi - I just found this site and am hoping for some enlightenment! I am pregnant (#1) and my OB delivers only at Memorial Hospital (Worcester, MA). I know little-nothing about their maternity center, but I have had some bad experiences in other areas of this hosp. before, there is a negative connotation for me...

DH & I decided to wait until seeing the birthing center, in case it's better than we anticipate. However, I have called numerous times for childbirth class/tour info & gotten no helpful info. Also, they CHARGE for tours of the birthing center! Oh, and the class schedule on-line is several years old...

I called St. V's and immediately the difference in "customer service" jumped out at me: recording with detailed class info, and no charge or reservations needed for tours.

SO, I am looking for feedback on Memorial - are the rooms private & clean, nurses professional & considerate? Has anyone compared the two hospitals side by side? As 'first-timers' we wanted to educated as much as possible beforehand, but Memorial doesn't seem too helpful! Thank you!
post #2 of 11
I birthed at St. V's in 2006...I don't think I'll go back. Nothing horrific happened, it just wasn't the birthing experience I'd want to repeat.
However, I know nothing about Memorial (charging for tours is ridiculous!) so I can't really compare.
post #3 of 11
a friend of mine delivered at st. V's. She seemed okay with her experience, but as she described it, I cringed...one unnecessary intervention after another. But it depends on what you want...
post #4 of 11
I delivered twice at Memorial. The hospital tour is included free in the childbirth class. Honestly, i found the hospital tour a waste - it only freaked me out and I don't think it served any positive purpose for me. I ended up crying on the way home! Looking back I wish I had to inform myself more on natural childbirthing methods etc but I didn't know any better.
With my 1st, I was induced - got there around 5pm in labor already. Ended up with c-section by 4am - as a 1st time mum, this was a very short time to let me labor. They were very quick to offer me drugs (which I took - mistake by me). The resident/training doctor was horrendous - she was clearly uncomfortable with what she was doing (or should I say trying to do). Every time she checked me for dilation, a 2nd dr had to double check her work - horrific. She once told me I was 5 cm dilated and I knew she was wrong - I was still only at 3cm. If I knew then what I know now, I would never have allowed her to touch me. I did not get much if any support from the nurse during labor - I was clueless, my husband even more so and the nurse was too busy monitoring the monitors. We had been happy to get her at first b/c she was the one who taught the childbirth course - she was nice but not helpful except to ask me if I wanted something to take the edge off - I would not recommend Nubain!
Nurses during recovery was great though I never saw the same one a 2nd time. Room was comfortable and clean, bathroom small.
2nd birth - scheduled c-section. Completely different experience. Nurse before c/s was wonderful. Such a relaxing experience. Recovery a breeze and I was in the South area - totally renovated - huge room, huge bathroom, quiet. Saw the same nurses every day (much better). Donna was a hoot. Annie is one of the best there (though she works pre-op now) but I was lucky enough to have her my last day. I had such a relaxing time, I wasn't sure I wanted to go back home to the chaos! But then my 2nd baby was a great nurser and sleeper so I got lots of rest.
Great support for breastfeeding - their lactaction consultant is wonderful. As a 1st time mum, make sure you have a nurse with you every time you nurse. You can take the breastfeeding class there.
I would birth there again. Nurses excellent, rooms large and clean, food ok. This is just a guess but I would think they probably intervene too much with birth (or maybe it was just my OB) and I would never again have a trainee use me as a guinea pig! They do have birth tubs. Good luck.

BTW - if I could go back in time, I would use a birthing center. Kinda stuck now after 2 c/s.
post #5 of 11
I have never delivered at Memorial just been to visit friends. Most recent was in the old part. I thought it was dark, smelly, really tell it needed work. I don't know how it is determined which section you got to.

I will soon be having a baby at St Vincent's. We take the tour next Wednesday. This is my 3rd. I really like my mid wife. I don't plan on laboring at the hospital. My experience has been all hospitals scare 1st time parents into unnecessary procedures. I was induced with my first. I will never agree to that again. With my second I arrived at the hospital just in time to push. DH is not comfortable with homebirth so this is our compromise. The midwife/OB gets to "catch" the baby after I labor at home.
post #6 of 11
I'll be having my 5th baby at Memorial mid to late March. I've been pleased with all 5 delivery/hospital stays. The maternity ward (or whatever they call it ) has been renovated over the past 10 yrs (since I've had my first). I've had 2 of the resident dr's delivery 2 of my dc and no problems with that either... of course I've gotten more comfortable the 2nd, 3rd, 4th time there then when I was a first time mom. I really like how they do the security check of baby ID to mom/dad ID.... even when you've had the same nurse, they always will do it. I don't mind the food either
post #7 of 11
Oh and I agree with pp about Memorial's lactation consultant Re classes and tours I don't remember taking a hospital tour with my first 10yrs ago but I must of...hmmm... I did take a bf class with dh about 5 yrs ago and I thought it was excellent
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the input! This is helpful. My first choice would be a birthing center, but my dr had reservations, based on health factors.

However, I have been wondering about how a midwife/doula might be of help (someone mentioned that in her reply, so I'll throw that into the mix!). One of my fears is being ignored by the nurses (so it's kind of relieving that several people mentioned the opposite!) or being handled with a one-size-fits-all approach.

I have a OB (who comes recommended, but I'm rather mezza mezza on him so far). Any thoughts on how a midwife/doula would fit in when there is an OB involved? I am looking for a "personalized" approach to the birth, but with dr. available if needed.

Thank you all again!!
post #9 of 11
I delivered twice at St. V's. The first was a forced c-section because of a last minute breech discovery (when I was 7 centimeters). Other than having to have a c-section, which I would have had to have at any hospital, my experience was outstanding. I had planned a completely natural birth and it didn't happen. But the nurses were amazing. Everyone supported my breastfeeding, left us alone about the no vaccines, etc.

My second birth there was a completely natural VBAC. It was very difficult for me, but NOT ONE person ever offered me drugs, as they knew my wishes. My midwife was amazing (Louisa through Fallon). She was calm, peaceful, and encouraging through it all. My hospital stay again was amazing. The only problem we had was with the pediatrician that they sent in to me while I was in labor. He gave me some crap about the no vaccination, but he was just one guy. No one else ever mentioned it. The same with the no-circ. Very supportive. I would deliver there again in a heartbeat.

Good luck!

post #10 of 11
A mid wife would be instead of an OB. Only being transferred to an OB if there were complications. A doula would stay with you the whole time. With my first I had a nursing student with me most of the time. It was a nice distraction.

Both of my children were born on busy days at the hospital. There were not enough nurses to go around. It only bothered me when I didn't get food. Once I had to send DH to the cafeteria to get me food.
post #11 of 11
I'm almost positive that you would not be able to have a midwife with you at Memorial. They are fine with doulas, though! They even let my doula stay with me during my c-section and afterward, so my husband was able to go with the baby to wherever they took him and I didn't have to be alone. I loved my stay there, though I was bummed that I ended up with a c-section. The nurses were all great, my room was nice and clean and private -- I think they all are private. I don't remember there being a birthing tub, just a shower in my room. I could've used the ball in the shower, but I wasn't in labor long enough to try it out.

My son slept in the crook of my arm most nights, and no one said a thing about it. He was having trouble latching on and had low blood sugar, so the nurse immediately got me a Medela PIS, covered by insurance (the name Donna rings a bell, so I think it was her). I plan to birth there again with my next baby... hoping for a VBAC!
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