Question about Birth Center in Chapel Hill - Mothering Forums
North and South Carolina and Tennessee > Question about Birth Center in Chapel Hill
fit2birth's Avatar fit2birth 01:10 PM 08-25-2010
Hi!
I am contemplating having a baby at the Birth Center in Chapel Hill. Previously, I have had three homebirths, but am thinking I might want something different this time.

I was wondering how long they let you stay after you have the baby. I know that most people probably want to go home as soon as possible, and their website says that most people go home about 6 hours after birth. I have no desire to do that, especially since my babies have all been born after 8:30 PM.
What is the longest they will let you stay?

I have not exactly had easy labor and deliveries, and I am not the type to be up and around immediately either.

gemasita's Avatar gemasita 02:41 PM 08-25-2010
I think the longest they will let you stay is 12 hours. If a baby is born at an odd hour, they won't kick you out at 2am but I think they don't prefer people staying longer than 12 hours.
rhiOrion's Avatar rhiOrion 03:18 PM 08-25-2010
Yep. What they said at the orientation is that if you are unable to make it home after 12 hours for some reason, that something must be wrong, and if something is wrong, you're better off at the hospital.

You have to do a new patient orientation before you become a patient with them. So you can always go to that and ask any questions before you ever decide what you're going to do.
April Dawn's Avatar April Dawn 04:22 PM 08-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
What they said at the orientation is that if you are unable to make it home after 12 hours for some reason, that something must be wrong, and if something is wrong, you're better off at the hospital.
Yikes. That sounds like a pretty flippant attitude, like they don't want to deal with your needs once you've finished pushing out the kid. Scratch the birth center off my list of options if I have another baby...
rhiOrion's Avatar rhiOrion 04:30 PM 08-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by April Dawn View Post
Yikes. That sounds like a pretty flippant attitude, like they don't want to deal with your needs once you've finished pushing out the kid. Scratch the birth center off my list of options if I have another baby...
Ehh, I may have made it sound more flippant than it was. I can't remember her exact wording, but it didn't sound flippant at the time. It was more of a general, "if you're needing to stay more than 12 hours it's probably because something is wrong, and if that was the case we'd probably transfer you to the hospital"
April Dawn's Avatar April Dawn 05:13 PM 08-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiOrion View Post
Ehh, I may have made it sound more flippant than it was. I can't remember her exact wording, but it didn't sound flippant at the time. It was more of a general, "if you're needing to stay more than 12 hours it's probably because something is wrong, and if that was the case we'd probably transfer you to the hospital"
Oh, ok. The way you said it originally, it wasn't sounding to me like "we'll transfer you for needed medical care if there's a complication." It sort of sounded like "If you don't feel ready to go home in 12 hours, we'll make you someone else's problem." And clearly the second attitude is, well, not the attitude you'd want!

Still, I wonder what does and does not qualify as needing extra care - obviously emergencies need to go to the hospital, but what about if you don't have an emergency that needs treatment, but you simply need more than a few hours to recover from a difficult birth, like the OP was talking about?
obxbound's Avatar obxbound 05:34 PM 08-25-2010
The length of time is regulated by state. If they keep you for too long (and I think its 12 to 24 depending on state) then they would qualify as a hospital which brings into a whole realm of regulations that a birth center tending to normal birth would not need to meet for their clients.

Having attended birth center and home births as a doula I can tell you that most of the moms have been ready to leave or (be left if at home) around 4-5 hours after birth, some as few as 2-3. Obviously they aren't going to kick you out. They want to make sure you are stable and comfortable. Also various medical reasons may need you to stay longer, but the stay is typically no longer than 12 hours.
ncbelle's Avatar ncbelle 06:40 PM 08-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by April Dawn View Post
Oh, ok. The way you said it originally, it wasn't sounding to me like "we'll transfer you for needed medical care if there's a complication." It sort of sounded like "If you don't feel ready to go home in 12 hours, we'll make you someone else's problem." And clearly the second attitude is, well, not the attitude you'd want!

Still, I wonder what does and does not qualify as needing extra care - obviously emergencies need to go to the hospital, but what about if you don't have an emergency that needs treatment, but you simply need more than a few hours to recover from a difficult birth, like the OP was talking about?
I just did the orientation and it is 12 hours. They also do follow up care though - an in home postpartum visit (at 24-48 hours depending on your need) plus they are on call (and call you frequently) - so they aren't exactly kicking you out the door unattended. And they did say that sometimes folks stay a bit longer (especially if the birth is at an odd hour), but in general, mamas want to go as soon as they can. That's actually a big reason I want to deliver there vs. the hospital - I'd much rather recover at home than elsewhere (I'd rather birth at home too but DH isn't on board with that )
Curlyfry7's Avatar Curlyfry7 06:57 PM 08-25-2010
I never felt like they were "kicking me out" at all. As a matter of fact, they were pretty busy and we ended up waiting around to get things finalized so we could leave and I was getting impatient! We stayed just over 8 hours.

I think the birth center is designed for, not just women who want a natural birth, but those who just want to get on with settling into their babymoon. When I gave birth at a hospital, they were forever coming in and waking me up to do this or that...like the 4am CBC they drew-c'mon, I am all for being safe, but I had absolutely no problems, and they couldn't wait 3 more hours to draw a little blood?? And on top of that, in my experience, and also from what I have commonly read, you reciver quicker from a natural birth, so you ARE ready to leave. And the follow-up from the BC is excellent, as previously stated-you may get to stay a bit longer in a hospital, but then you're on your own pretty much.

As another who's DH is not up for a homebirth (plus living in JoCo, the hospitals are not as good IMO) if we should be blessed with another baby I will be returning to the BC for sure.
SeekingJoy's Avatar SeekingJoy 10:39 PM 08-25-2010
I think this might be one of the most difficult things to conceptualize if your only experience with birth was a medicalized one. With most natural births without compications, moms feel ready to go home much sooner than one would expect if the only reference point was a medicalized/pitocin augmented/epi birth. It is just different.

OP, if you feel comfortable posting this, what is leading you to explore a non-home birth after three home births? We might be able to provide more insight into how the birth center or other settings would meet the health care experience you are looking for.
rhiOrion's Avatar rhiOrion 10:44 PM 08-25-2010
And then there was the hospital where we had to wait and wait and wait to get them to all come together to release us! We were told we could go home in fewer than 24 hours, and it ended up taking them several more hours to get us ready to go. I swear it took them an hour just to get the wheelchair up there after I was discharged!

I'll definitely be going back to WBWC if I have another baby. I doubt DH would be up for a homebirth, and honestly, I'm not sure it's really the right thing for me, either.

Their PP care is great. I got the home visit even though I ended up delivering at the hospital. Plus having a midwife on call to talk to me if I needed her (and when I got a stomach bug at 2 weeks PP, I did need her!)
fit2birth's Avatar fit2birth 12:42 AM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by SeekingJoy View Post
I think this might be one of the most difficult things to conceptualize if your only experience with birth was a medicalized one. With most natural births without compications, moms feel ready to go home much sooner than one would expect if the only reference point was a medicalized/pitocin augmented/epi birth. It is just different.

OP, if you feel comfortable posting this, what is leading you to explore a non-home birth after three home births? We might be able to provide more insight into how the birth center or other settings would meet the health care experience you are looking for.
I don't have a hard time conceptualizing it, LOL. I have had three natual, unmedicated births. They are just hard, and recovery is just hard for me. I have to have someone help me sit up and walk to the bathroom for the first 24 hours. I am not up and around immediately. Honestly, I have known moms that have had C sections that are up and around quicker than I am after a birth.

Anyway, I am trying to decide b/w the birth center and the MW's at UNC
rhiOrion's Avatar rhiOrion 10:40 AM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by fit2birth View Post
I don't have a hard time conceptualizing it, LOL. I have had three natual, unmedicated births. They are just hard, and recovery is just hard for me. I have to have someone help me sit up and walk to the bathroom for the first 24 hours. I am not up and around immediately. Honestly, I have known moms that have had C sections that are up and around quicker than I am after a birth.

Anyway, I am trying to decide b/w the birth center and the MW's at UNC
Do you have plenty of help at home once you get there? Because then you could get help out to the car, and back to your house, and then have help at home. Unless your whole point of going away from a HB was to be somewhere with help after you deliver.
pinky's Avatar pinky 11:01 AM 08-26-2010
Speaking as someone who had two babies at UNC (c-section), I wouldn't assume that even in a hospital there is lots of help right there. Of course, there's help if you ring for it--but I found that with baby #2, since my dh was home with my older dd, it was very hard being in the hospital. (If I were to have another baby there, I would make sure that there was someone who could stay with me 24/7 to help with things like sitting up and picking up the baby!) I went home something like 48 hours after my c-section just because I wanted to be home where I actually had some help.

That being said, I had a pretty good experience with UNC. I used Family Medicine as my providers and they were really great--if you are thinking of UNC I would definitely consider them. Incredibly kind and caring docs, and very patient-centered. They could not have been more supportive of my desire to have a VBAC/natural birth.
arielelizabeth's Avatar arielelizabeth 11:28 AM 08-26-2010
Have you thought about maybe hiring a postpartum doula? That may give you the help you need afterwards. I know sometimes money is an issue, but almost everyone I have talked to in the area is willing to work with their clients, and some even barter. And there are some fantastic doulas out that way!!

I definitely understand you wanting to have more support... it sounds like you are fairly experienced in that department () and know what you are going to need.

I can't really give you any info on the BC, but just thought I would run the idea of a postpartum doula by you if you hadn't thought of it already.
April Dawn's Avatar April Dawn 03:13 PM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by fit2birth View Post
I don't have a hard time conceptualizing it, LOL. I have had three natual, unmedicated births. They are just hard, and recovery is just hard for me. I have to have someone help me sit up and walk to the bathroom for the first 24 hours. I am not up and around immediately. Honestly, I have known moms that have had C sections that are up and around quicker than I am after a birth.

Anyway, I am trying to decide b/w the birth center and the MW's at UNC
I've heard good things about UNC (I wasn't there myself, but several friends were). And maybe that would be a good setting, because you could decide when you felt ready to move around more? I definitely get not wanting to count on being able to move around, get in a car, etc less than 12 hours after giving birth!

Edited to add - also, if you want another natural birth, but just not at home, I have one friend who has had 3 babies at 3 different hospitals in the area (UNC, Rex and Wakemed Cary), and she said UNC was the friendliest to natural birth of the three. Her kids are school age now, though, so her experiences were a few years ago and I don't know if that's still the case. Good luck wherever you go!
ncbelle's Avatar ncbelle 04:17 PM 08-26-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by fit2birth View Post
I don't have a hard time conceptualizing it, LOL. I have had three natual, unmedicated births. They are just hard, and recovery is just hard for me. I have to have someone help me sit up and walk to the bathroom for the first 24 hours. I am not up and around immediately. Honestly, I have known moms that have had C sections that are up and around quicker than I am after a birth.

Anyway, I am trying to decide b/w the birth center and the MW's at UNC
I delivered (med-free) with the midwives at UNC last time - they were very supportive and I had a great experience. The only reason I'm switching to the birth center this time is because I don't want to have to hang around at the hospital.

Honestly, if you don't think you have the support at home that you need, I'd go with the UNC midwives where you can have an extended stay. Although the post-partum doula idea is good too!
maotmsmi's Avatar maotmsmi 05:50 PM 08-26-2010

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Jayray's Avatar Jayray 04:20 PM 08-27-2010
I gave birth at 4:30 in the afternoon and by the time we were contemplating leaving, there was only one nurse left there. She told us that we could spend the night if we wanted to. So probably in reality, there are a bit more flexible with the 12 hour deal than they say. I can't imagine the nurse would have woken us up at 4:30 am and kicked us out. (We ended up going home around midnight because I just wanted to be in my own bed!)
newtonscricket's Avatar newtonscricket 10:54 PM 08-27-2010
I've had four babies there. My first two births both had MAJOR weirdnesses and both times I stayed longer than 12 hours.....(though it is entirely possible that I am the reason they are firmer about that 12 hours ). I think "in the moment" they are flexible, depending on how calm/crazy the birthing center is.

My second two births went really really smoothly and both times I was riding that post-birth euphoria and ready to float out the door in about 2 hours and they were trying to slow me down.

And they do come visit you at home the very next day.
Carhootel's Avatar Carhootel 09:13 PM 08-30-2010
For some reason I remember them saying at my orientation that it was really up to the mom but that 6 hours was the average. I thought it was more of a 'when you're ready and you've met certain criteria like nursing your babe, eating something, using the bathroom, etc...'

I transferred to UNC through WBWC and it was definitely frustrating to be at the hospital and wanting to go home but having to wait on so many different people to have to check us out... good luck with your upcoming birth!
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