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Midwife / OB / birth center / hospital / everything else rec. in Anchorage

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will be about 9 weeks pregnant when we move to Anchorage in mid-April (just found out! joy.gif ). Not sure if I'll be wanting an OB or midwife or what... Any recommendations for either (or tips for who to definitely avoid) would be appreciated! Also, any thoughts on hospitals or birthing centers? Iknow so little about Anchorage! Thanks!
post #2 of 15

You have definitely come to the right place! We know TONS about this stuff.

First, i'd like to suggest you join the Birth Network Meet-Up group.

www.meetup.com/Alaska-Birth-Network/

 

Once you get here come to some of our meetings. 

There are lots of options here. We have 2 free-standing birth centers in Anchorage and one in the Valley. I have heard rumors of a 3rd Birth Center coming soon as well.  There are lots of midwives and should be enough to go around. Anchorage and the Valley have about a 9% Homebirth rate which I think is about 8% higher then the lower 48!

 

The hospitals here are decent and we also have a good NICU for emergencies too.

 

Welcome!

post #3 of 15

 I had experiences at (OB) Regional hosp, (OB) Providence hosp, and a (midwife) homebirth... i would do a homebirth again without a doubt.

post #4 of 15

I live about 45 minutes from Anchorage.

The only place I have heard horrible things about is the Native Hospital.   Just Ugh, never heard anything good about it. But not an issue unless you are native & plan to use thier coverage.

Personally I have had my kids at an independant midwifery in Wasilla & it iw great!

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik-E View Post

I live about 45 minutes from Anchorage.

The only place I have heard horrible things about is the Native Hospital.   Just Ugh, never heard anything good about it. But not an issue unless you are native & plan to use thier coverage.

Personally I have had my kids at an independant midwifery in Wasilla & it iw great!



Really? that's odd. The only people that talk bad about the Native Hospital were those women that liked the medical model and were upset their OB"s and midwives were so hands-off and they used few interventions.

Anyway, I'm sure if you talk to enough people, you will find a bad story about every place and every thing.

post #6 of 15


Most of what I have heard is from extended family members going there. Thier births were horribly managed & the husbands were treated lower than dirt, excluded from everything & not allowed to even hold baby (unless mom took baby & passed to hubby).  After the first birth at the Native Hospital each one of the ladies I talked to chose to have thier kids elsewhere. The new hospital out here in MatSu is pretty good from what I hear, have a birth tub, babies room in,Dad encouraged to be involved.

 

Of course each persons experience will differ depending on thier wishes & the staff they have attending. But I have not heard anything good about the Native hospital, from family or others, in any area but especially birthing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfamily6now View Post





Really? that's odd. The only people that talk bad about the Native Hospital were those women that liked the medical model and were upset their OB"s and midwives were so hands-off and they used few interventions.

Anyway, I'm sure if you talk to enough people, you will find a bad story about every place and every thing.



 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you ladies! I've been seeing a lot of stuff about Geneva Woods for water births..... Anyone have any feedback on them? Looks and sounds super from their website, and my MIL says she has also heard great things. What are other places for water births? Anyone..? I am also definitely coming to one of the Alaska Birth Network Mtngs when I get up there! Holy moly.... We'll be there in less than 4 weeks! #freakout
post #8 of 15

You can birth at One Family in the water and at home.

I think you have to get out and birth on land at the hospitals. Not sure though.

 

Cannot wait to meet you!

post #9 of 15

 I know a couple of people that had their babies at the Native hospital, and in both cases they were encouraged to have an unmedicated birth, and both had midwives attending... now the OLD Native hospital- that is another story altogether..

 

one thing I like about the Native hospital is that I have never seen a hospital so supportive of breastfeeding.. they have a room for breastfeeding staff (and visitors too?) for example.. I don't think anyone else around here does..

post #10 of 15

Congratulations!!!  I will ditto Tammy's response and say that the Alaska Birth Network is a great place to start.  Their website has a nice list of mother-friendly providers that is a good jumping off point.

 

I was seen at Anchorage Women's Clinic, which takes most insurance, and they do deliveries at Providence Hospital.  The hospital is "mother friendly" because they strongly promote and support breast feeding, but after a tour we felt like there were some pretty large inconsistencies with what we wanted.  The tour nurse said that eating wasn't "allowed" but that you can sneak it with some nurses... etc.  It just didn't sound calming at all.

 

We switched our care to One Family Birth Center and ended up doing a home water birth with a rented tub. I have several friends who did home or birth center births there and were really happy with their experience.  I teach HypnoBirthing at the birth center, and they also have Bradly classes available there as well.  

 

I have heard many good things about Geneva Woods, but it seems like every story ends with being transfered to the hospital where they were fully supported by their GW midwife.  I don't know if they are just extremely cautious or I have just talked to people within the small group who had complications that warranted transfer.  

I suggest doing tours of all the facilities that interest you and making your decision then.  I'm also pregnant, due in September, and I have been shopping homebirth midwives and found one I'm really happy with.  It's okay, and encouraged, to shop around to find the person best suited to you.

 

I have heard nothing but good things about the care at the Native Hospital, but can't speak to it personally as I don't qualify for services there.  I did take HypnoBirthing with one of the midwives there and she was wonderful.

 

Good luck and congrats again!

 

 

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeatFreeMomAK View Post

Congratulations!!!  I will ditto Tammy's response and say that the Alaska Birth Network is a great place to start.  Their website has a nice list of mother-friendly providers that is a good jumping off point.

 

I was seen at Anchorage Women's Clinic, which takes most insurance, and they do deliveries at Providence Hospital.  The hospital is "mother friendly" because they strongly promote and support breast feeding, but after a tour we felt like there were some pretty large inconsistencies with what we wanted.  The tour nurse said that eating wasn't "allowed" but that you can sneak it with some nurses... etc.  It just didn't sound calming at all.

 


Providence is "Baby Friendly", not "Mother Friendly" unfortunately there is a difference. Baby Friendly refers to supporting breastfeeding and skin to skin, rooming in, 1 hour of uninterrupted contact / time with baby immediately after birth.
 

It's a start. :)

 

post #12 of 15

Thanks Tammy!  I couldn't remember the exact wording.  I love their Nursing Boutique and LC, but I also didn't find them "mother-friendly" when I took my tour.  I'm sure it just depends on who's on call.  

That's why I have mine at home.  I know which nurses are on call there- my doggy doulas!  

post #13 of 15

I don't know if Geneva Woods transfers much.  You could always just ask what their transfer rate is.  I had my son at their free standing birth center.  I had meconium so I was told I could labor in the tub but had to deliver not in the tub (which pretty much meant the bed).  I spent a lot of time in the shower (so much so they found the building maintanence person to turn up the water heater).  I liked that they are ANPs.  Maybe because my mom used to be a nurse and my dad is an MD.I felt safer in their hands IMHO.  Everything went as well as it could and I didn't get even get an IV.  I swear they pulled out the IV bag to scare me into forcing more fluids.  They were awesome about not telling me who was waiting outside and to only allow DH in.   Placenta delivery was difficult and I needed a pitocin shot but Trina was very concerned that I got what I wanted.  I was allowed to choose whether I wanted to do the Vit K and eye drops ahead of time and it was on their little sheet so I didn't have to tell them anything.  Now that I know more about breastfeeding, I know that they did everything to assure that it went well.  (In fact when when I used them as part of the state's free breast/cervical check program, I was gently reminded that it's okay to nurse my two year old and that there isn't an upper limit to nursing.) I highly recommend them.

 

I won't put what I thought of the One Family Center here except to say they weren't my cup of tea. 

 

One of my coworkers' wives had the first baby born in the birth tub at ANMC - by accident.  It was like boom, there's a baby.  I worked at an outpatient clinic for 3 years and I don't recall many negative experiences.  I was unhappy that circing seemed to be pretty normal there. (This from a USPHS employee's wife who had her baby there.)  I haven't heard any negative stories. I'm pretty sure they have the lowest C-section rates even though higher risk women come to Anchorage for delivery. 

 

No matter what though, it helps to have a good support person with you wherever you are.  I'm going to be a birth support person to my "high risk" friend since she has to deliver in a hospital since I "have a big mouth and know how to use it." 
Good Luck and have a safe move!

 

post #14 of 15

One Family has changed hands over the years. It's worth a call and consultation. :)

We also have a LOT of homebirthing midwives if you are interested.

post #15 of 15

I had a transfer hospital birth from Geneva Woods to Prov in 2004. I think my transfer was warranted as baby ended up in NICU for 2 weeks. I felt a little lost at that point - it was like when birth DOESN'T go well they kinda shrugged their shoulders. We had subsequent babies in the hospital (in Bethel, so not Anchorage). I didn't find Prov especially awesome but it's been 6 years since I gave birth there.

 

I know a couple of people who did not have good outcomes with One Family. I wouldn't go with them based on the people I know, but I have no firsthand experience.

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