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Non-homebirth natural birthers out there? - Page 3

post #41 of 64

I cosleeped (as much as I acutally slept) with E her first (and only night) in the hospital, in part because she decided she wanted to spend the night latched on. My nurse (male) was thrilled with her great latch and encouraged me to keep going.

Look at c-section and epidural rates. Look at how many babies are in the nursery (the hospital/birth center where my second was born, the nursery nurse' job was making the tiny hats because there were no babies). Ask when the lactation consultant makes her rounds. 

Ask about what birth equipment (birth balls etc) is available, and how many there are (not helpful if there is one, and someone else is using it).

Ask about where they do newborn procedures. My second, they only did the hearing test out of the room and it was expected that a parent went with.

 

Talk to any and everyone with recent local birth experience about their hospital. Really if you say you are expecting your first you can ask a mom you see at the grocery store with a baby.

post #42 of 64

This is kind of a random stream of thoughts here about what to ask at hospital, sorry in advance about that.

 

For some states you can look up C-section rates online, others you will have to ask the hospital.

 

You want to make sure the hospital is breastfeeding friendly.  You can look at the guidelines for baby friendly hospitals, although I think there are some very breastfeeding-friendly hospitals that are not officially "baby-friendly" hospitals.

The hospital I had DS1 at was very supportive of breastfeeding but not "baby-friendly".  They had this posted in all the rooms in L&D:

 

and we completely roomed in, all procedures/tests were done in our room and we had one nurse that would take care of us both.

 

I actually did not want to cosleep at the hospital (although I wanted to cosleep in general) because the bed made me nervous, it was elevated, narrow, in the middle of the room, and did not have full rails on it.  I fell asleep once with him in my bed after nursing and the nurse just moved him to the bassinet while we were asleep and never said anything negative to me about it.  I will be in a different hospital this time but I think if it is a similar setup I may try with baby in a ring sling.

 

Find out what they have for mom's comfort and moving around in the rooms - shower, tub, birth ball, squatting bar, etc.  If there is a tub, will they let you give birth in it (my guess is probably not for most hospitals).  Do they have telemetry units for monitoring so you can move around freely?  Do they allow intermittent monitoring?  When is continuous monitoring required?  What about IV fluids?  Do they support different positions for mom to push in?  Do they allow delayed cord clamping?  If you are interested in cord blood banking or donation, how is that managed? How is the 3rd stage usually handled?   Do they allow immediate skin-to-skin contact and baby-led latching (assuming no medical concerns take precedence)?  What standard procedures are done after baby is born?  Can they be done in the room?  If there are any health issues do they have a NICU unit or will baby have to be transferred?  If you do decide you want an epidural after all, do they have anesthesiologist on call the whole time?  How are emergency C-sections handled?

 

Do they have a template birth plan or will they accept your own written birth plan?  Can you have a doula there?  What is limit on number of support people you can have in the room?

 

What are policies on food during labor?  Can you bring your own snacks?  What will they provide?  If you have any special dietary needs, will they be able to accommodate those?

 

I found at our hospital that the nurses were very supportive of our birth plan and as much as possible left us alone to do our own thing, but not so much with the on-call OB.

 

More of a silly one, but do they have wifi available in the rooms?  Maybe less important now that we both have smartphones but it sure was nice last time to be able to email pictures to friends and family.

post #43 of 64
Cathy, Leigh & Somegirl,

Thank you for your advice n wisdom! I can tell that it will be a huge help! I know this is silly, but I have a real fear of hospitals because of their food. Today we discovered a really yummy Indian restaurant about 10 min from OB's hospital, so that assuages some of my (irrational) anxiety.
post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardigan View Post

Cathy, Leigh & Somegirl,

Thank you for your advice n wisdom! I can tell that it will be a huge help! I know this is silly, but I have a real fear of hospitals because of their food. Today we discovered a really yummy Indian restaurant about 10 min from OB's hospital, so that assuages some of my (irrational) anxiety.

I want to say thanks, too. This will be my second hospital birth, but my last one was a transfer and I didn't get to think much about it. I had a good experience overall, but I actually needed a lot of things like IV fluids (for dehydration) that I hope will be optional this time. I want to be prepared and be thoughtful in my plans this time since I know I am going to the hospital. Thank you all!
post #45 of 64
Thread Starter 

Cardigan - look up your local state's ICAN website.  I know mine (NJ) had all sorts of statistics on labor & intervention rates.  It doesn't tell the whole story, but it definitely helps if you have a choice between hospitals.

 

Also, a few questions to ask can include:

 

- Can you have solids during labor?

- How frequently do they want to do fetal monitoring while you're in labor?

- Are there any restrictions on birthing positions?

- Can you labor in the shower/in a birthing tub (if the hospital has them).

 

For mine, my midwives/the hospital wanted you to have a hep lock in case, and 20 minutes of fetal monitoring every hour.  They ended up not monitoring that frequently, though.  I mainly walked around the unit, and bounced on a birthing ball.

 

Also, Ina May's guide to childbirth was very helpful in educating me to the types of interventions that could occur.  You may think of more questions there.  But, some of the information is a little old, so I don't think some of the "common" practices are as common anymore (like routine episiotomies).

 

Lastly, I think making sure your OB/Midwife group is on board with you is the most important thing.  They're going to be the ones who order the pitocin and IVs, so being able to trust that they're making the best decision for you is crucial.  I loved the MW who attended my son's birth.  And, although I ended up with a pitocin induction, she knew I wanted a pain med free birth and was fantastic (almost doula-like) in her support.  She just recently changed practices mecry.gif.  I'm so sad over it.  I hope the new midwife they hired will be just as awesome!

post #46 of 64

Keep in mind looking at C-section rates how many high risk pregnancies you hospital sees. One with a high level NICU is going to have a higher rate than a local hospital all things being equal.

post #47 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotYourBuddyGuy View Post

Cardigan - look up your local state's ICAN website.  I know mine (NJ) had all sorts of statistics on labor & intervention rates.  It doesn't tell the whole story, but it definitely helps if you have a choice between hospitals.

Lastly, I think making sure your OB/Midwife group is on board with you is the most important thing.  They're going to be the ones who order the pitocin and IVs, so being able to trust that they're making the best decision for you is crucial.  I loved the MW who attended my son's birth.  And, although I ended up with a pitocin induction, she knew I wanted a pain med free birth and was fantastic (almost doula-like) in her support.  She just recently changed practices mecry.gif .  I'm so sad over it.  I hope the new midwife they hired will be just as awesome!

My OB is onboard! She had home births herself, and I think not too many of her patients go down this route.

Where in NJ are you?
post #48 of 64

Hi, yup, I've had two unmed VBACs in the hospital and am planning my third.  Would love a birth center birth, but none of them will take a VBAC (even a proven one). :(

 

Oh, I've never had to fight for much because my labors progress pretty fast.  Both VBACs were born within an hour of arriving at the hospital.  I was disappointed last time in how the midwife wanted to manage the third stage.  She really wanted to use cytotec and I declined.  The nurses wanted pit and I declined.  I do NOT think I was bleeding out (but of course, hard to know that now).  She yanked my placenta and then aggressively massaged and reached inside to retrieve the parts.  It was terrible and it took me a while to even admit that I was traumatized.  When I did, my husband didn't believe me. :(

 

At any rate, I'm with a new group (new state, etc) and one of the big questions I plan to ask them when I finally get in is how they manage third stage.

 

Does anyone else "know too much about birth"?  I always wonder if OBs/midwives hate me because I know too much and ask too many questions. :p

post #49 of 64
Calladonna, I am so sorry you were traumatized and worse, that your husband didn't believe you. greensad.gif

I don't actually think I know that much about birth (I am always asking the knowledgeable mamas here what X, Y, and Z are), but I do think I was perceived that way by hospital staff because I knew a heck of a lot more than just what was in the "What to Expect" iphone app (!!!) when I did a transfer there the day of my son's birth (instead of having homebirth). The good thing is homebirth is SO rare here that I think they thought I might be a witch and didn't want to mess with me! LOL!

I hope you can find care providers that you trust (and that trust you) and respect that you're well-informed. My best to you and hugs for your trauma and birth injustice.
post #50 of 64

That sounds terrible Calladonna. To echo Crafty, I hope you find a provider that you trust.

 

My husband and I toured the 'other' hospital we were considering today. It is a Med School's hospital, and is 10 min from our house. It has a Csection rate of 25%, but is also a highly rated NICU. Our OB doesn't deliver there, so we will also check out her hospital (25 min from house). I don't know what I was expecting, but it was very ugly. The rooms we saw were hideous and institutional; I don't see how beige tones in cheap textures make labor more pleasant. Surely, white walls and a few nice prints would have been cheaper and psychologically more effective. From the tour, birth there seemed more 'medicalized' than how our OB talked about birth at her hospital, ie supporting your choice of positions. But, we can't really make a comparison until we tour.

post #51 of 64

That sounds horrible Calladonna!  hug2.gif

 

Not nearly as bad, but after DS was born, the OB just threw some pit into my IV and pulled the placenta out without asking me.  I did not have a doula, DH was my support person but he was with DS who had to be briefly seen by a pediatrician right after birth, and I didn't realize what she was doing in time to say anything.  One of the reasons I am going with a midwife practice this time, I hope it will be a bit better.
 

post #52 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardigan View Post

That sounds terrible Calladonna. To echo Crafty, I hope you find a provider that you trust.

My husband and I toured the 'other' hospital we were considering today. It is a Med School's hospital, and is 10 min from our house. It has a Csection rate of 25%, but is also a highly rated NICU. Our OB doesn't deliver there, so we will also check out her hospital (25 min from house). I don't know what I was expecting, but it was very ugly. The rooms we saw were hideous and institutional; I don't see how beige tones in cheap textures make labor more pleasant. Surely, white walls and a few nice prints would have been cheaper and psychologically more effective. From the tour, birth there seemed more 'medicalized' than how our OB talked about birth at her hospital, ie supporting your choice of positions. But, we can't really make a comparison until we tour.

C-section rate of 25% is really good for the United States, Cardigan! Most U.S. hospitals have a 40% or higher rate.

Also, I don't know if I've ever seen any hospital room that doesn't seem vaguely institutional with ugly patterns. My mom had surgery recently and because they had some overflow rooms, they put her in the pediatrics wing. Big Bird was outside in the halls, but even the rooms there weren't particularly chipper. It's hard to see them in broad daylight, but I suspect you will be less concerned with the wall colors in labor. smile.gif I do remember my labor room had a rug with a rocking chair and a sofa, but I never sat over there. As for the walls, they had dimmed the lights for me so I could relax (well, as much as I could relax). Lighting, sounds, etc may matter a lot more than the visual. Of course, that's just my experience, but I tell you when I was really in strong labor, I don't know if I could see at all! LOL!
post #53 of 64
I'll be delivering at my local hospital (10 minute drive) with a MW practice. I had a positive experience there with DD although I was induced and got an epidural. Our of curiosity I looked up my hospital and found out that their csection rate is 22%.. Not bad! There is a large, university hospital nearby that handles a lot of the very high risk pregnancies (csection rate of 32%) so that probably compensates.
post #54 of 64

Thanks guys, it's good to know that it's not totally unreasonable to expect NOT to be treated like that.  Yes, hospital rooms are ugly and suck.  Ah well, that's part of the "fun" of the hospital.  I honestly am a bit "over" c-section rates as I really believe your provider's rates are the MOST important.  I'll be asking what the rates are for these midwives.

 

I know birth isn't perfect, I don't ask it to be.  All I ask is for a provider to be respectful, inform me of what they're doing, and attempt to be hands off when possible.  Expect things to go well and manage any complications.  Is that really too much to ask?

post #55 of 64

Oh I don't think I mentioned, but my first VBAC was with an OB I didn't meet until the day of the birth.  It was AWESOME.  She sat on her hands and just watched me give birth.  She backed me up on waiting on the placenta.  She rocked my world.  Too bad I can't get her again (for 8 million reasons).

post #56 of 64

I am planning a natural birth this time.  Number 1 was at a local hospital and was totally medicated - pitocin, nubain, epidural....but I was terrified and really didn't know what I wanted.  I wanted a healthy baby and I got one :).  The recovery was super fast and I literally felt great 2 minutes after he was born.  Number 2 was a scheduled c-section (she was breach) at a great hospital we found further away from home.  We chose it because we are an AP family and I was still nursing my then 3.5 year old and needed him to be able to sleep in with us after the birth, which that hospital was fine with.  I totally freaked the LC out - don't think they had had many tandem nursers before lol. For number 3 we stayed at the same hospital and my only goal was a successful VBAC, which I had!!! Then, we all stayed together in their gorgeous rooms (literally looks like a birth center - all the medical equipment is hidden under pictures - there are floral pictures on the wall - painted armoires in the room).  The OB we used then is no longer doing births, and I tried who they recommended so that we could stay at the same hospital and I did not like them AT ALL!!! So, we just started with midwives and I LOVE them.  They are super friendly to our AP lifestyle.  This means a new hospital - I have heard good things about them.  My goal this time is another VBAC, but natural this time.  The midwives seem super supportive and we were able to find another hospital that allows the whole family to be together at night.  :)

post #57 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cardigan View Post


My OB is onboard! She had home births herself, and I think not too many of her patients go down this route.

Where in NJ are you?

 

Cardigan - I'm in South Jersey, right outside of Philly.

 

So, a question for anyone - how long does it take (generally) for the placenta to deliver without "assistance."  I definitely was planning on delayed cord clamping this time - does the cord usually stop pulsing before or after the placenta is delivered?

post #58 of 64

I think I will be bringing my Humanity Family Bed with me to sleep on so I have a safe place to put the baby on the bed even if they do frown upon it.  At least I will feel safer knowing the babe won't be able to fall off the bed.  I need to make a "take to the hospital" list.
 

post #59 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by FarmerCathy View Post

I think I will be bringing my Humanity Family Bed with me to sleep on so I have a safe place to put the baby on the bed even if they do frown upon it.  At least I will feel safer knowing the babe won't be able to fall off the bed.  I need to make a "take to the hospital" list.

 

Good reminder- what all DO y'all take to the hospital? My trip was basically impromptu and I didn't have a "just in case" bag. Want to be ready this time!
post #60 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraftyMcGluestick View Post

Good reminder- what all DO y'all take to the hospital? My trip was basically impromptu and I didn't have a "just in case" bag. Want to be ready this time!
We should start a thread for this later on in the pregnancy! :-)
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