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Best hospital to give birth at in Michigan?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm new and am currently 27 weeks pregnant with our first child and considering switching in order to deliver at a different hospital.  We live in Fowlerville, MI and I'm currently with St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, but not sure I want to stay with them.  I'm hoping for a Med-free vaginal birth.  Anyone have any experience with them or have suggestions for a hospital (relatively) near us that you would recommend?


I've heard good things about Henry Ford West Bloomfield as far as their approach to Med-free vaginal birth.  I was hoping to do a waterbirth, but seems hospitals in Michigan don't do them?  Also if you do have a different hospital suggestion do you have an OB/Midwife recommendation that's relatively near us as well?  Thanks ahead of time for any and all help!  I know it's rather late in the game to be considering switching, but my current OB practice has 8 OB's that we rotate with and feels impersonal and I want to know the OB/Midwife when I deliver.  I also wasn't super impressed with St Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor from what I've seen so far.  Nothing bad, just not anything great either.

post #2 of 8
I dont think its too late at all. Go with your gut. I delivered at st joes with an 8 ob practice that may have been the same one. It was not awful, but not great either. I had to really fight for an intervention free birth and i honestly think it might have been the obs first natural birth since she seemed skeptical, bewildered, irritated and a little in awe by the end lol.
U of M has midwives and allows waterbirth but only has one tub. And any problems, you are in a teaching hospital experienced in high risk births; that can be a good or bad thing. I think there are a few midwives but it might be more personal? It seems like most places it is hard to know who will deliver you.
St john providence has an alternative birth center that is fantastic, nice tubs to labor in but they dont technically allow waterbirth. I Dont know about the regular L and D if you were to be risked out at some point. If you call or tour the ABC they can provide a list of care providers that work with them.
Ive also heard some possitive about HF but no personal exp. Best of luck.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply!  It has been really hard searching out hospitals and deciding so I definitely appreciate all input.  I should have thought more about the hospital as well as the OB when I was deciding who to go with.  When I found my OB I didn't realize they had 8 OB's total (Brighton practice, not sure if it's the same one you went to?) and that I would have to rotate or I would have kept looking at that point.  I realize I can't guarantee my main OB will be available when I go into labor, but 8 different options seems a bit much to me.


I have looked into the ABC birthing center as well, but was a bit bummed that they don't allow waterbirth.  So far I don't think I should risk out, but who knows how it will go during actual labor.  I did read a few positives about HF so that's why I was kind of considering them.  They have a small group of midwives there, but most don't practice anywhere close to me and I was kind of hoping for someone who did.  Right now I drive to Brighton which isn't bad at all, but with my schedule I don't know about driving 45-50mins for every appointment (especially as I'm approaching the every 2 week appts soon).  I did wonder about UofM as well.  Sounds like I have a lot of research to do in the next week or so!  : )

post #4 of 8
By the way, if you are healthy and want a first time natural hospital birth, i would really consider a cnm over an ob. With my first i realized that obs by definition are surgeons, trained to handle complications. Even if they support natural birth in theory, they are not trained to coach you thru it. Now i am experienced and could birth naturally despite an ob, but with my first i could have really used some support. She had zero suggestions other than meds.

Either way, please consider a Bradley class, doula, or being very well researched so you know what will be suggested and what is routine in a hospital (monitoring, iv, pushing on your back, etc) and how you want to respond, and have a bag of tricks for comfort measures and natural labor stimulators. Best!
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am healthy and definitely hoping to do a med-free vaginal birth.  : )  I was actually originally wanting a homebirth, but my husband is NOT comfortable with it so I said for the first birth we would do hospital and so long as everything goes as planned we will re-discuss homebirth for our second baby.  I had trouble finding CNM's in my area unfortunately (although after I picked my OB I discovered their office actually has two!).


I have been doing a LOT of research though in regard to different methods for natural childbirth and ways to deal with contractions without meds, etc.  I know I'm going to request a hep-lock vs an IV if they insist on me having something, I have no intention of giving birth on my back (luckily the hospital my OB delivers at seems to be familiar with squat bars so even if I don't switch I know they are cool with that, along with intermitten monitoring).  Realistically it's not a bad hospital that my OB delivers at, just not my first choice.


Yup I plan on having a rice sock, back massager, tennis ball, different positions that help depending on where it hurts, pressure points my husband could help with, etc.  I still need to keep researching, but I'm feeling fairly good about all of that.  I'm just finding it difficult to find information on common practices at hospitals and what they work well with regarding natural birth (I know it largely depends on the OB/Midwife as well). 


Here's basically what I want to do:  Hep-lock if necessary, intermitten monitoring, laboring in whatever position is most comfortable, no meds, give birth in whatever position works best for me (definitely not laying down on the bed), delayed cord cutting, baby right on my belly after birth and all their usual procedures like baths delayed for the first hour (preferably breast feed before weight, etc.), no pacifiers or formula, haven't decided on the vitamin k, etc. 

post #6 of 8
Cool, sounds like you know what you're dealing with:). Bottom line is you have the right to choose wherever you are, its just that with an ob/hospital setting you need to speak up more. And that can be surprisingly tough when you are in labor. I found that the staff answered me kindly but rather condescendingly and dissmissively, like because i was in pain i must not mean what i say.

This is off topic but i just had to put in my 2 cents about pushong positions. Not birthing on my back was easily the toughest hospital policy for me to overcome. All of my providers, including the midwives, insisted i be on my back when it came time to push, even though i had been assured otherwise prenatally. It is very entrenched in hospital culture and they freak if they cant see easily.

The problem was i was laboring well upright but had to lay on the bed for a cervical check. It is harder than you think to get back into an effective position from a narrow bed high in the air, ready to push and with the weight of your baby on you. Plus, while you are getting checked they drop the bottom off, pull out foot pedals, call in more staff to stare, and shine a blinding spotlight on you lol.

You mention squat bars....that was the only other option my ob gave me w the first birth.
Personally, i found it tough to pull myself up (no one would help me) and support my pregnant self by my armpits on a thin hard bar, balanced on a narrow bed. It didnt last long. And although st joes touted them, the ob and nurse said right out they'd never seen one used. I highly reccomend not getting on your back in the first place, and if you do, make your husband haul you back up on your knees and lean on him in a hug to give birth! The staff was veeeeery not happy but it was a great position....at that point i was almost done so i wasnt too worried about pleasing them:)
Edited by myra1 - 6/1/13 at 7:25pm
post #7 of 8
Edited by myra1 - 6/1/13 at 6:11pm
post #8 of 8
Edited by myra1 - 6/1/13 at 5:41pm
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