Anyway, I'm doing my homework about my birth site options, and I'm curious to know people's thoughts, concerns, and reactions to giving birth in Twin Cities hospitals. Which pushed interventions the most? The least? Which welcomed doulas and which didn't? Which respected birth plans and which didn't (although Judith Lothian of Lamaze International stated in _Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care_ [Jennifer Block] that in many hospitals, birth plans only give women the illusion of control)? Etc.
In short, which hospitals should I avoid and which should I seek if I want the most intervention-free birth with the least amount of direct or indirect pressure to follow another's time schedule/protocol?
BTW, speaking of the Block book, although most of you (like I) already know and agree with its message, I found the book simply outstanding. It's well written, well argued, and should be read by anyone even THINKING about becoming pregnant in the US.
I had a pretty much intervention-free birth. Because of my skyrocketing BP, I did have fetal monitoring. If I would not have had the pre-e, I would have had to provide a baseline strip upon admission (took ~5 min) and that would have been it. But, my care provider believed that she could tell way more by looking at a woman than a monitor.
I did not have any pain meds. None were offered - my birth plan stated that I would ask for them if I wanted them.
Had I shown up earlier, I could have labored in a tub. I arrived about 2 hrs before giving birth. The hospital does not allow waterbirth at this time. FWIW, I know that Woodwinds does with certain care providers. Not sure about other hospitals.
If I had wanted to, I could have ate/drank during labor. Without the pre-e, I would have been free to labor in any position I wanted. With, I had to labor on my side. I did labor on the toilet a bit as well.
I had labor support, as well as my DF in the room. My labor support was the midwife that was supposed to attend my homebirth.
I was able to push in several positions. My care provider actually really likes to use the birthing chair. I wound up delivering in the lithotomy position, but that one worked the best for me. :
My care provider waited for the cord to stop pulsing before having my DF cut it. My ds went straight to me, skin-to-skin contact encouraged. I was also encouraged to nurse in the delivery room.
The nurses saved my placenta so I could take it home.
The l & d nurse that I has was awesome. You could tell that she really loved babies, loved her job. She even took pictures that she thought we would want later.
The room that I stayed in was different from the delivery room. My ds never left either my or my df's sight. There a fold-out chair-thingie in the room for DF. There is a "nursery," but not the type with a window and a room full of babies. It is a tiny room, where they do the first ped exam, hearing check and the first bath. We were present for all of these.
No one pressured us to do anything. We did not circ, do the hep b vax or the eye ointment. If we hadn't wanted to bathe him, no one would have cared.
We left 24 hours on the nose to the time he had been born - even though I hemorrhaged after birth.
The food was horrendous. That was my only gripe.
Otherwise, great experience. Amazing care provider. I really my midwife (both of them, actually). Pretty much everything in my birth plan was followed - anything that deviated I consented to (no coercion). From what I know, my labor support was treated with respect.
If you want the name of either of my care providers, pm me. I am more than happy to send people their way.
I birthed my DS a U of M Fairview; it's a teaching hospital I felt overall eh-ok about it. I had a good birthing experience, but I'm not gonna say it should be on your recommended list, mainly because some of the nurses there were not really um, cool. Like one told me 24 hours after DS was born that I'd better start pumping : and confused and bewildered, I agreed. She said DS was dropping weight and I'd better give him formula. Silly me didn't know that was normal, the weight loss. I was *not* about to give him formula, so I pumped. And pumped. And pumped. And got a whole lot of nothing. I was sooo stressed over it. It was terrible. I'd have some choice words for her if we ever cross paths again.
Everybody I've heard says go to St. Joes. Everybody.
Unless you're staying home, which next time, I will.
By far the best birth experience of my 3 (other 2 were at a different hospital)
My SIL had her DD 2 days before me at the same hospital but she had a prolapsed cord and emergency c-sec. (She was rushed by ambulance and the responder had to literally hold her open to keep the cord from bein gcompletely pinched.. babe wasn't coming out vaginally). They had more interventions after the birth but it was thier first child and they just "went with the flow". But I'm pretty possitive that if you want things done a certain way they are good about letting you, at least for me they were very good about it.
DS 2006 DiaperFreeBaby March 2010, DD 2011
Despite the undesired outcome, I have to say that the nurses at United did a great job in respecting my birth plan during the time when things were progressing normally: I was able to labor in a tub and walk the halls, eat a little, refuse an IV port and not be offered drugs until I agreed to the epidural. The staff gave me ample time and information to make decisions, too, so I felt they were respectful of my need to know what was going on and to ask questions, etc. A part of me will always wonder if I could have avoided the c-section (especially after reading your story!), but we did feel at the time that we had done all we could, and the c-section experience itself was joyful in its own way and really did feel like a "birth." (And they allowed our doula to be there with my husband and me.) So, anyway, I've moved on, and now I am focused on having a good VBAC experience with my next baby.
I don't plan to have the next baby at United. I would like to use a midwife clinic this time (not an option if you deliver at United, unfortunately). My OB clinic with United is pretty mainstream, and I don't think they'd support my desire for a VBAC as well as a midwife clinic would. With the options I'm considering so far, it looks like I'll probably deliver at St. John's in Maplewood (with Generations, if they'll take me).
I birthed at Methodist Hospital with the midwives group and received excellent care...both prenatal and during labor and birth. My birth plan was followed exactly and pain meds were never offered or mentioned until I asked what non-pharmacological options I had and they offered sterile water injections. (I had back labor and while they were excruciating to have injected they were AMAZING!) The midwife never left during my late active/transition stage of labor until well after DD was born. I had WONDERFUL nurses...the entire stay and I had a home care visit after we were discharged. DD roomed in and they left us pretty much alone! We received a lactation visit in hospital and left with a "baby friendly" bag that included a baby bib, baby board book, information and breastfeeding supplies. Will allow alternate pushing positions! (I delivered on hands and knees) Birth balls available.
Fairview Southdale Hospital (2007)
Fairview Southdale has the highest rates of medical intervention in the state.
They are not very doula friendly and the last four births that I know were attended there ended up with c-section delivery. Birth beds have push/squat bars, but generally a reclining lithotomy position is utilized for birth.
North Memorial (2007)
Doula friendly, offer comfort measures, follow birth plans if prompted and will honor moms wishes for medication free birth as long as possible. They will also honor wishes for the least amount of medical intervention. Encourage active birth and positional changes. Bathtubs in room.
Mercy Hospital (2007)
Semi-Doula friendly, offer book in house of comfort measures with acupressure points, all LDRs have bathtubs, cd players. They are slow with interventions (if requested) will follow birth plans unless medically necessary interventions are required. May offer pharmacological pain management if mom doesn't seem to be doing well with labor. Encourage active labor. Pushing position is limited to reclined lithotomy position with foot rests occasionally stirrups...: Birth balls and rocking chairs available. Food is still withheld during labor.
I wanted to deliver in the birthing rooms, but got shifted to L&D as the birthing rooms were full, something I was later told was a common occurance. In the L&D rooms I had a midwife who mistreated me in every way you can imagine. I was not allowed to use the birthing tub which I went to the hospital for, and the notes in my chart were totally ignored. The nurses were specifically L&D nurses and very openly showed their disatisfaction with me, and the fact that I was bothering them in their well oiled machine. The nurses and midwife didn't like each other or get along, and the midwife didn't advocate for me, but simply allowed the nurses and the room I was in to set the tone for my experience. No aspect of the birth was "natural", the cord was cut immediatly, Ds was removed from the bed immediatly before I even got to touch him and then was subjected to 20 minutes of torture before I got to hold him. Then I only got 20 minutes with him until he was taken away again for my one hour stitching session with a doctor and another midwife who terrorized me throughout the experience. I was not given the opportunity to breastfead for three hours after the birth, and Ds was too sleepy by that time. The postpartum nurses in the midwife unit, which I was later transferred to, made it their goal to get Ds away from me and into the nursery, and to give him formula. Some were good and didn't do this, others not so much.
Overall it was the worst experience of my life. I suffered PTSD, Postpartum Depression and Anxiety from it, and now 2 years later am still on medication and in therapy because of it.
So, yeah, I do not recommend HCMC.
My sister delivered at Lakeview in Stillwater and her experience with the nurses and the accomodations were very good. Her midwife manually dilated her cervix without concent while she was saying "no" though, so I wouldn't recommend that hospital either.
Mother to Owen age 5 and baby Isla
Also, the night labor nurse at Abbott was less than personable. The day nurses were GREAT and I think it's mostly because of them that I was able to have a vaginal birth. I think if I have another baby at a hospital like Abbott I am getting a doula!
The practice is too large, although there are a couple good OBs. I was told I could have midwives care for me while I was in labor if male docs were on at that time but then was told I risked out of that due to b/p issues. So I do not feel I was accomodated well in that regard.
Induction pushed for a small upturn in b/p at end of pregnancy. Maternal Fetal Medicine had a lot of problems IMO (I ended up with extra monitoring due to borderline, not high b/p.) I felt like as a plus-size woman, I was treated like a ticking time bomb.
Very intervention-heavy. They wanted to do AROM but I pushed it off and membranes ruptured on their own. I got every type of cervical ripener there is, CFM, even the substitute OB and a brand-new OB, and a c-section when my asynclitic daughter wouldn't descend on their timetable, even though all was OK. It was honestly a real horror story. I've heard the midwives are better than the OBs, but if there is any whiff of complication they will risk you out to the OBs.
I wouldn't recommend Fairview to anyone. I will go with Generations next time around if possible.
My first was born at Abbott NW in 2003. Like others, I had stalled labor, intense back labor, etc. and ended up with epidural, pitocin, and vacuum extraction ("hoovered out" ) at the end of 30 hour hours of labor. I thought the nurses were terrific and the midwives were good. My water broke at the very beginning of that 30 hours and they let me go a good long time without pushing interventions. In fact, I didn't feel that they were ever pushy. By the time the mw suggested vac extraction, we were expecting her to suggest c-section and were relieved that she didn't.
Next time: definitely having a doula. But Abbott was generally supportive for me.
When we had ds (2003), they had tubs for labor but I was apparently one of the first to request to use it so they had to call in a helper to set it up! But they did, happily. And the birthing class had talked about water injections in the back for back labor (I'm forgetting the term... acupuncture principles) so I asked for them. Again, they had to call in someone to give them because so few people asked for them but they did it. (And they are great!)
Honestly, I think midwife care vs OB has WAY more to do with it. (Had 2 hospital birth with OB=really bad; 1 hospital birth with midwife=wonderful.....but left me wondering if there was even more I could do; 1 birth at home with a lay midwife present= life changing!!! )
Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013. If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!
You know my hospital and homebirth stories already, so no need to go into details here. Just wanted to add my voice to those that say your caregiver makes a HUGE difference.
I also want to mention an odd quirk I learned about Fairview Riverside hospital, where I had kid #1. (This info comes from my own experience + the scoop from a couple of local CNMs.) Maybe it'll be helpful to others.
Apparently from time immemorial, one side of the hallway in their birth center has never had hot water (rendering their bathtubs/showers completely useless during labor). Everybody knows this, but no one does anything about it. They just stick laboring women in those rooms anyway, and only move them if they complain (and other rooms are available).
(baby sunnyside up, stalled labor, back labor, etc). I ended up with an epidural, pitocin, and the baby was hoovered out after 4+ hours of pushing.
Regions Hospital - May 2007
They were great about welcoming my doula. A birth ball was available. I labored in my room's bathtub for a while & one of the nurses came in with essential oils to add to the water. The midwife who did my intake was actually really excited that I'd brought a birth plan. (As she summarized it: "be nice to me & leave me alone.") That's what they did. They didn't offer pain meds or an IV until I'd gotten to the point where I was in so much pain that I couldn't manage & was still only 5 or 6 cm. They encouraged me to try multiple positions for pushing.
I was really upset when they said they thought I needed a c-section. The doctor who performed it was willing to spend 15 minutes on the phone with my father (a doctor) explaining exactly what was going on, which really reassured my husband.
Because of complications, I spent 6 days there. I'd say there were only 2 or 3 nurses I didn't like, out of a dozen or so that I saw.
After the birth, a lactation consultant came in 3 or 4 times to help us get started. They had a fold-up bed in the room so my husband could stay overnight.
The homebirth that I had four months ago blew that experience away, thank goodness. It was beautiful, peaceful, and (believe it or not) fun!
I've heard awful things about Fairview Southdale---that they don't even *have* lactation consultants! Lovely.
I have heard good things about the midwife unit at HCMC, which is completely separate from the regular L&D. As I understand it, they don't even share nurses.
mom to Aaron and Sam
Jen mom to three boys and partner to .
I'm definitely having a doula for the 2nd birth cuz we were left to labor pretty much on our own since the midwife was busy attending another birth until I was almost ready to push. I had back labor and my husband just tried his best to help massage and push on my back but I'm sure I would have done better with a doula.
Next baby is due in Sept. 2007 and we're going to St. Joe's again.
I've heard that Woodwinds is awesome, but it's too far away from Minneapolis where I live. But the atmosphere there is more like a birthing center than a hospital and it's very unique. They even do aromatherapy there.
Generations Women's Health Clinic has midwife Mary Hayes -- she has over 30 years of experience as a midwife. The other two midwives associated with that clinic are great as well.
As way of background, I was admitted into the hospital on a Tuesday and had my baby on Saturday. For the first three days, I was given drugs to ripen my cervix. I began pitocin-induced labor mid-morning on Friday and after about 24 hours of labor, I had a C-section because of the asynclitic position of my baby. Initially, I had to go with the OB group. Eventually, because the baby and I were doing well, I was switched to the midwife group.
Here's my summary of the good and bad things about Regions:
(1) Most of the midwives/nurses and some of the doctors. The midwives were wonderful! I also had some great nurses (including one who had had a homebirth) and a few good doctors. Most of the health care people were good about reading my birth plan. Per my birth plan, very good about not pushing pain medications -- only asked once. (My birth plan said I would ask if I needed them.) Also, most were great re: my feelings toward the C-section, knowing that I really wanted to avoid that. Most postpartum nurses were great -- very supportive of rooming in, dh accompanying baby to nursery for checks, breastfeeding.
(2) Friends/Family in Room -- It was fine that I had a roomful of support, including my husband, homebirth midwife, mom, three sisters, two friends, and a partridge in a pear tree!
(3) Room/Equipment -- Big room, they have tubs and birthing balls and I was encouraged to switch positions. Okay that I wore my own nightgown, brought my own pillows, ate food that I brought from home, okay with IPOD docking station.
(4) Response to my water breaking -- My water broke on Thursday, and they were good about not being to concerned about it, other than to monitor me for infections.
(5) Until active labor started, allowed to have some "breaks" from the EFM, etc. During active labor, given a break from EFM and allowed to shower for a short time.
(1) Had a few bad nurses and a few bad doctors -- one doctor was talking about C-sections on the first day, another doctor was really negative when I asked more than one question about a procedure, one doctor performed the most painful vaginal exam ever! I had one nurse in particular that was bad. All she cared about was the machines, not me. Did nothing to help while in active labor, very negative about natural/pain medication-free births. In postpartum, one nurse balked when I said we weren't doing the Hep B vaccine (haven't figured out whether we're doing other vaccines, just knew that we didn't want this one), saying (incorrectly) that they were required to start school.
(2) All the criticisms of hospitals in general -- too much focus on the computer print-offs rather than the pregnant mom, thinking inducing labor is necessary if a person goes 1 day over the "due date," etc.
Hope this is helpful!
P.S. Before I agreed to the C-section, I made my homebirth midwife promise that she would do a VBAC next time (of course, if everything is going well)!
Different experience than most. I was admitted at 33 weeks for pre-term labor. Spent 2 days on the labor and delivery floor, and the remainder of my stay in the antepardum unit, including my c/s recovery. Since my experience was different than most, I can't say how intervention heavy, or not they were. They did consult me on every aspect of stopping my preterm labor, knew I wasn't crazy about using terbutaline and opted for magnesium instead. Nursing staff was great. OR team was very good too, someone thought to grab our camera and took some wonderful pictures.
Rooms on the normal L&D floor were small and old. Shared bathrooms too. If you get a chance to stay and or recover downstairs in the antepardum unit, do it! Rooms have private baths and are much bigger.
When I woke up from my post-c/s haze, the nurse came right in and said, "Oh good, you're up. Let's get you a pump (my babies were in the NICU)." Also the LC on staff, Shelly, is fantastic.
Never been, but my friend just delivered her baby there and is also a nurse there. I was REALLY impressed when 2 days after giving birth a nurse noticed my friend's nipples were in really bad shape, discovered her baby was tongue-tied and instead of suggesting a bottle, got her set up with a pump and equipment to finger feed. Never, ever suggested a bottle. Pretty cool imo!
Can anyone help clear this up?
(I s'pose I can call them, but feel silly since I'm not even pregnant right now.)
(I'm a planner )
Oh, and also, I just remembered... When I was PG w/ DD, my MWs (both independent CNMs who'd attended hundreds of births at numerous places) and I were discussing various local hospitals. They mentioned that St. Joe's is good, but that the midwives who have privileges there are stretched very thin -- apparently they attend births at multiple hospitals, which adversely affects their ability to actually be present for their clients' births. Don't know if this is still true (that conversation happened in early 2006), but thought it was worth mentioning.
The Healtheast midwives DO have restrictions on who they can take - I know they don't do VBAC's, and they probably don't do multiples. The OB's there definitely do though. Also, as far as I have ever heard, maternal age has no bearing.
When I had Everett at St. Joseph's my midwife from Generation's clinic didn't show up til I was about to push. She said they are usually always there from the point of about 5 centimeters on. They handle average of 20 births a month between the Healtheast hospitals.
Everett was 36.5 weeks - so early and he had severe jaundice. St. Jospeph's had him in the hospital for one week. I was allowed to stay in the room where I came in to labor - very nice and spacious - I went in to nurse him every 3 hours. There were lactation consultants and they helped me to do pumping and get him set up on the nursing supplementing with a tube. They helped me with latch on and I did this in a special nursing room attached to the special care nursery - the nursing room had rocking chairs, boppies, my breast friends, books, and a cd player. It was really great.
He got off the nursing supplementer after about 4 weeks. He had to have that to gain weight, but I'm glad they didn't suggest formula.