Is it possible to interview L&D staff? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm moving to a new town and will have a choice of like 8 different hospitals for transferring (all like 2 miles from my new home) should that become necessary.

I've heard that the L&D nurses and such are what really affect hospital experiences. And that they are usually the ones to know how doctors actually are at births. Would it be at all possible to talk to people in L&D before picking a doctor? Would I get any useful information from "could you tell me the hospital's regulations regarding labor and delivery?"
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#2 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 12:56 AM
 
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It could be quite helpful to take the tours. Talking to the nurse who does the tour can be QUITE helpful in giving you info on what "standard practice" is on the unit. I would actually, instead of asking staff, though, find the CBE's, the doulas, and if they exist, the midwives in your area, and find out who they recommend (and why), who they send high risk patients to, who they would run from as fast as your pregnant legs can carry you.

There are two, perhaps three names in my area that would come up repetedly. You will probably find the same thing to be true.

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#3 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 12:59 AM
 
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I would interview all of the local midwives instead and see what they think of the hospitals and the experience you are likely to have there.

I can think of two or three hospitals in my area that I would not send a pregnant woman to EVER. The rest fall into some kind of middling ground between ok and good, but I bet you if you asked the staff at any of the big pack of hospitals they would all give the same answers. They all think of themselves as offering mother-friendly care, even when they don't. Also, L&D is only half of the story. You have pediatricians and NICU to worry about too.

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#4 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 08:55 AM
 
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Another thing to do is to call L&D in the middle of the night (it's less likely to be busy, plus you're more likely to get the "not so average" nurse that works night shift, and she might tell you more than a more seasoned day shifter) and ask about their policies.

You can even swing the questions to (help) get rid of bias. "Do most people get epidurals? Do you have to wait a long time for the epidural? Do you do c-sections very often?" Then see what they say. Oh, and definitely ask their preference on providers. I find that in many, many L&D units, almost all the nurses favor one or two providers to give their own care. You'll hear the same names over and over. And, more importantly, you WON'T hear the names of the providers that people wouldn't send anyone to.
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#5 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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Just call local midwifes and find out were they transfer in emergencies.
I'm sure it is only one or two hospitals.
That should be your only hospital of choice.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Defenestrator View Post
I would interview all of the local midwives instead and see what they think of the hospitals and the experience you are likely to have there.

You have pediatricians and NICU to worry about too.
I know of a homebirth friendly doctor in the area, but that doctor is now with a hospital that's not in network for my insurance. Asking about where midwives would be willing to transfer is a good idea. Would a birth center's transfer hospital be good too, there is a birth center right by me as well that transfers to Methodist.

I've got two pediatrician recommendations by MDC mamas that sound quite good so I'm not so worried about that. They both have privileges at all the hospitals I'm considering as well as the main children's hospital.

This is all in Indianapolis, by the way.
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#7 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
Another thing to do is to call L&D in the middle of the night (it's less likely to be busy, plus you're more likely to get the "not so average" nurse that works night shift, and she might tell you more than a more seasoned day shifter) and ask about their policies.

You can even swing the questions to (help) get rid of bias. "Do most people get epidurals? Do you have to wait a long time for the epidural? Do you do c-sections very often?" Then see what they say. Oh, and definitely ask their preference on providers. I find that in many, many L&D units, almost all the nurses favor one or two providers to give their own care. You'll hear the same names over and over. And, more importantly, you WON'T hear the names of the providers that people wouldn't send anyone to.
That's clever. Would the person at the phones find it weird to get a call at like 1am? Or is "middle of the night" more like 8pm 9pm?
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#8 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 11:48 AM
 
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I work nights on L&D...and we've gotten a few calls in the middle of the night from people telling us they just moved to the area and want to know about the providers. We are always happy to talk to people I will answer honestly if asked which practice most of the nurses choose. I will ask why kind of birth they are hoping for and say something lilke, "______practice does a lot of waterbirths, _________practice has two doctors will do waterbirths and one who will not" etc. I think for most part all of our practices are fantastic and our birth stats (epidural rate, induction rate, C-Section rate, OVD rate etc are awesome personally)and I trust all the docs as competent providers...but if I had to design my perfect practice, it would be a few from each practice...but I think that has more to do with personality to capability. So feel free to call anytime...evenin the middle of the night, you don't even have to tell them your name. We've had some interesting calls in the middle of the night, and any of us would rather field your type of call instead of "My girlfriend and I just had anal sex and...." Yeah, you can believe me when I say we've heard it all And if you don't know any doulas we can help you out there too. Good luck!

Laura...part-time OB nurse, and full-time mom to two sweet boysnocirc.gifintactlact.gif
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#9 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Asking about where midwives would be willing to transfer is a good idea. Would a birth center's transfer hospital be good too, there is a birth center right by me as well that transfers to Methodist.
yeah, there is a hospital right across the street from a birth center here. They transfer to the teaching hospital that is 10 min away. They took a mom who was hemorrhaging to the hospital across the street and they didn't even get around to seeing the mom for an hour because they don't like the birth center.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#10 of 11 Old 06-04-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I would ask folks from LLL as well, if you have a local chapter. They are often great sources of information on local providers and hospital experiences!
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#11 of 11 Old 06-09-2008, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Update, the lady I spoke to on the phone last night recommended the same doctors that MDCers had recommended in finding your tribe.
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