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Comparing Providence's Alternative Birth Center, U of M, and Hutzel

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi Ladies,


I am not yet pregnant, but I want to have as many things in place as possible.  I've been doing a lot of research on hospitals in my area that say they have great natural, midwife assisted births.  Although I would love to have a home-birth, I'm going to have to go with what my insurance will pay for.  Can anyone briefly tell me of your experiences with midwives/natural births at Providence (southfield), U of M (Ann Arbor), or Hutzel (Detroit)? 


I'm hoping for a med-free, midwife attended birth.  If you were not happy with any of these places, can you please give me a quick reason why?  Also, if there was a midwife (or exceptionally great female OB), who you loved, please give me their name. Thank you! 

post #2 of 6
The Providence ABC is a natural birth oasis within the hospital. It felt almost like a freestanding birth center. It was already the assumption there that I wanted all aspects of a natural birth, instead of the other way around. The nurses are used to it and supportive.

However, it is fairly easy to risk out of (probably easier than a homebirth midwife would risk you out, because being connected with the hospital they are quite skittish) and you end up in the general L&D, so I would make sure you are comfortable with there as well. My understanding is that it is very different.

All the midwives at Metro Partners are good. They tend to have long wait times (maybe 45min- an hour for appts), and the front desk staff is unpleasant, but for me it is worth it for pregnancy care since our births in the ABC were so much better than the typical hospital experience.

Wish you the best in your research and journey!
Edited by myra1 - 7/25/13 at 11:54am
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response myral!  I appreciate it.

post #4 of 6

Out of those three options I would go with UofM.


The Metro Partners MW's do have extremely long wait times, they will risk you out of the ABC for minor things and the regular L&D is disgusting and old.


Hutzel Womens Hospital L&D looks like a jail lock down facility. The only MW in their group I liked was Mary Lewis. One of the other MW's told me I had a tired uterus because I am a grand multip and because I was a redhead I would most likely need a transfusion because we bleed so much.


I haven't had a baby at UofM since 2001, but even back then it was nicer. I do believe they have upgraded their rooms since then. The MW's in Canton were nice, but I remember waiting long times there also and it takes about 6-8 weeks to get in to see them (called this pregnancy too).


Henry Ford West Bloomfield is a lovely hospital if you are looking for a nice facility and they do have MW's. I believe they have an office in Dearborn by Fairlane Mall.


Of course there are also  wonderful home birth mw's, and I wish I could have afforded it this time around.


Good luck.

post #5 of 6
Yes I should add, if I had been risked out of the ABC prior to going into labor, I would have absolutely switched care providers (probably UofM if I thought the concern was warranted, homebirth if I didn't) instead of knowingly going to L&D at Providence.

I decided that my risk of being transferred was low enough that it was worth it, but I would imagine that with most of the natural births taking place in the ABC, the L&D there may be especially complication/C-section oriented.

I have heard UofM's new Womens Center is aesthetically nice, but still very much a medicalized, teaching hospital birth vs. a birth center.

Frankly, no hospital gift-wraps a natural birth. Managed is infinitely more convienient, profitable, and legally defensive not to mention it is just the norm and most women don't make a peep. In my experience, the most important factors are educating yourself, avoiding unecessary interventions, being willing to advocate very strongly for yourself, having a knowlegeable, supportive birth partner and possibly doula to advocate for you, and staying as healthy as possible. You sound like you are already on that path:)
Edited by myra1 - 7/25/13 at 11:58am
post #6 of 6
I had a wonderful experience with the Providence midwives and the ABC unit. I can't say enough good things about it. my birth was completely natural and really felt close to a home birth as my midwife let my husband and I labor as privately as we wanted & I rarely knew she was in the room. unlike the posters above, I actually never waited long in the office. I had all morning appts so maybe that helped? never once during my labor was any thing mentioned about drugs, moving to l&d, risks, timing.... I never felt any pressure about anything. it was a beautiful natural experience and I was so happy to have chosen it. I was 41 weeks 3 days and was still able to deliver there. you can also get a midwife on call any time of day using the answering service and I still find that helpful and use it even though my baby is 3 months old. SO happy with our choice & really love the team of midwives! also, if you did have to move to l&d for some reason (unlikely scenario) your midwives go with you. they really try and help you achieve the experience you want to the best of their ability.
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