Natural birth (MI) UM Midwives or Alternative Birthing Care Unit? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 08-09-2011, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 8 weeks along and trying to figure out which provider I want to go with. I'd like to have a natural birth. I have a history of depression and would really like to limit interventions so that my baby and I have the best chance of bonding right after birth. I've made an appointment with the UofM midwives. I've also read a lot of great things about the Alternative Birth Care Unit in Southfield. I live about 30 miles from Ann Arbor and about 60 miles from Southfield but I'd be willing to drive down there if it's a better choice. Any information about either would be appreciated!

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#2 of 23 Old 08-17-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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Hi there!

Congratulations!   I can't speak much to UM, but I can give you a little info on the ABC.  We went through the midwives at Metro Partners In Womens Health for our first birth.  I really liked them, and our short time in the ABC was good. We had complications in birth, though, and ended up being transferred to the regular LandD in the hospital where we had a CS.  That experience was not great. It was not really anyone's fault, as much as it was the perfect storm of circumstances, though.  The nurses were nice, but really had no experience with natural birth and didn't have a lot to offer besides drugs.  So, if you don't get transferred, which you are likely not to, I hear great things about people having very satisfying births in the ABC. If you do get transferred, you're not in the most progressive of places, as far as routines and policies. Plus, the OBs who oversee the ABC seem to "crack down" more and more on the freedom and autonomy of the midwives, which is really unfortunate.  For now, though, if I weren't a vbac, (which they don't allow in the ABC)  I would try to give birth there again.  One recommendation I'd have, though, is to get a doula. We didn't think we needed one since we had a midwife and were in the ABC, but once we got transferred, we were really on our own.  We regretted not having a doula who is guaranteed to be there with you for the duration. We won't birth again without one. 

 

UM,  I know, allows waterbirth, which is one positive. I have heard, however, that it depends on if that room is available, and that sometimes women who wanted waterbirth end up being denied it for one reason or another.    The ABC has large tubs, but they are for laboring only. 

 

Hope some of that helps.  Best wishes! 

 

 


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#3 of 23 Old 08-25-2011, 07:17 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat you are... I delivered DS1 at Uof M and had LOTS of intervention that I didn't want, but I also was not very firm.  Everyone was very nice.  They are opening a new birthing center in November which will have 6 rooms with tubs.  I have also heard WONDERFUL things about the green house birthing center in Lansing. I'm not sure where you are but that might be better than driving 60 miles to southfield. I'm about 4 weeks now, and looking at where I'm going to be delivering at. 


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#4 of 23 Old 10-06-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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I'd actually LOVE to know more about birthing experiences at UM. I know they are opening their new hospital next month - but I imagine a lot of the staff will be the same.


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#5 of 23 Old 10-09-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Of course, with any hospital setting you are likely to hear both positive and negative experiences from the same setting.  That being said...  I think that there are more midwives at the ABC than at UofM.  From my experieces and those I know I would say the number of midwives and the length of there practice at a facility directly correlates with the helpfulness of the L&D nurses toward a natural birth - although not always.

 

I would second the doula reccomendation - that would probably go the farthest to ensure you have the most natural experience. 

 

Personally, my experiences were with the midwives at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.  I would highly recommend them if you are considering anywhere other than these two hospitals.  Either way you should try to be very educated as to what you want, and let them know what you are going for as far as "natural". 

 

At HF i had very hands off, no pain meds ever offered, only intermittent monitoring, no eye drops (UofM has threatened CPS for this before), no vax, they waited to cut the cord and they are very pro breastfeeding, there was no normal baby nursery, babies were expected to room in.  I also had a LOT of support with me and the nurses mostly watched and monitored occassionally, got towels, etc. It is not a new hospital and the setting is not as glamorous, but my midwives were great as well as the L&D nurses (which seems to be a varying factor from hospital to hospital). 

 

I know you only asked about the ABC and Uof M, but just know they might not be your only options.  Henry Ford also has a new Bloomfield Hills Hospital that is all fancy rooms and all, and the midwives practice there as well:)  Best wishes in your decisions - HTH :)


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#6 of 23 Old 10-09-2011, 08:44 PM
 
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I gave birth to DS2 at the ABC in Southfield back in February.  It was great.  We moved up to live with my parents at 36 weeks while DH traveled back & forth to Atlanta, so I barely made it into the practice.  I only saw 2 midwives there, Sarah and Mary.  Both are wonderful.  Sarah was very supportive when I got emotional during prodromal labor and I wasn't sure DH would be home for the birth.  Mary was at my actual birth.  They were very hands off, only intermittent monitoring, I labored in the tub for a while, DS1 was there (along with my mom) and he stayed in the room until pushing when it got a bit too intense for him.  DH caught DS1 in an accidental UC, so he wanted to catch DS2 and they were completely fine with that.  Then DS was brought back in as soon as baby was born and he helped DH cut the cord when it stopped pulsing.  DS2 was born shortly after 9 pm and we were checked out by 10 the next morning, 

 

I had a great homebirth the first time, but I think the experience with DS2 was just as good. 

 

All that to say, I'd totally recommend the ABC.  :-) 

 


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#7 of 23 Old 10-10-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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Thanks sarahlynne, I knew the HF was a great hospital for high risk babies and they have a great NICU - but I didn't know they had midwives on staff. I live pretty far from HF and my current OB/GYN is at UM. So I'm mostly interested in how they do things.. but am open to looking at other places. So - thanks.. I'm going to investigate HF a little more now.

 

Wow LoveLife, I'm glad you had an awesome experience. I have heard nothing but good things about ABC.


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#8 of 23 Old 10-10-2011, 07:57 AM
 
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I keep hearing about the "procedures" that hospitals automatically do when a baby is born.. outside of vaccines and eye drops, what are some of those other "procedures" that hospitals tend to do automatically that birthing centers shy away from?


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#9 of 23 Old 10-10-2011, 08:00 AM
 
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ooops - my first post is missing. I thanked sarahlynne for all her info about HF. I had no idea they had midwives.

 

yay LoveLife, I'm glad you had such a great experience at ABC. I keep hearing great things about them.

 

I'm a little far from both places.. but I'm open to traveling. I keep reading where some women travel 2-3 hours for midwives.

 

 

*hope my other post shows up - it was more eloquent* redface.gif


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#10 of 23 Old 10-10-2011, 12:25 PM
 
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Some things to consider if you are naturally minded are: when the cord is cut, if they will allow you to hold the baby/put baby to breast BEFORE weighing, measuring (this is considering everything went "normally"), of course the eye drops, which can be delayed even if you choose to have them done - they don't have to be done right away, how supportive they are of breastfeeding - this really still varies in how well hospital staff support women and work to promote, not hinder a proper start, if the baby will room in or will they "encourage" you to "get some rest" by putting baby in the nursery- where he/she will likely get a paci and may or may not receive formula, and also how the pediatric staff will treat your desires concerning their routine tests like PKU.  There might be more, but this is what came to mind.

 

yep, thought of one more - will they bathe the baby, some choose not to do this at first, but to make sure the baby can absorb all it's natural "moisturizers".


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#11 of 23 Old 10-10-2011, 12:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebyr View Post

ooops - my first post is missing. I thanked sarahlynne for all her info about HF. I had no idea they had midwives.

 

yay LoveLife, I'm glad you had such a great experience at ABC. I keep hearing great things about them.

 

I'm a little far from both places.. but I'm open to traveling. I keep reading where some women travel 2-3 hours for midwives.

 

 

*hope my other post shows up - it was more eloquent* redface.gif


Sorry about the missing post. Sometimes our "security" system grabs post of new people that it thinks are spam and locks it away until a moderator looks at it! I think it grabbed it this time because there were links in it. I undeleted it for you, so hopefully you won't have any other problems!! smile.gif

 
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#12 of 23 Old 10-12-2011, 08:27 AM
 
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ahh - thank you Queen, I see it now. smile.gif


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#13 of 23 Old 10-12-2011, 08:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahlynne View Post

Some things to consider if you are naturally minded are: when the cord is cut, if they will allow you to hold the baby/put baby to breast BEFORE weighing, measuring (this is considering everything went "normally"), of course the eye drops, which can be delayed even if you choose to have them done - they don't have to be done right away, how supportive they are of breastfeeding - this really still varies in how well hospital staff support women and work to promote, not hinder a proper start, if the baby will room in or will they "encourage" you to "get some rest" by putting baby in the nursery- where he/she will likely get a paci and may or may not receive formula, and also how the pediatric staff will treat your desires concerning their routine tests like PKU.  There might be more, but this is what came to mind.

 

yep, thought of one more - will they bathe the baby, some choose not to do this at first, but to make sure the baby can absorb all it's natural "moisturizers".


Got it..see - these are exactly the things I didn't know. Thank you.

 


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#14 of 23 Old 01-16-2012, 08:33 AM
 
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I love the CNMs at U of M, but merebella is right, even with the new hospital a doula friend of mine just had a client who wanted to labor in water but a room still wasn't available for her :( but at ABC, since every room has a big tub so you'll have no issues there. I love U of M, so I don't mean to discourage you from them because I certainly think you can reach your goal of natural birth there.

Good luck on your search! :)

 


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#15 of 23 Old 01-17-2012, 10:19 PM
 
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I gave birth at Henry Ford West Bloomfield with the midwives(I saw Lynn prenatally), and she(along with my nurse) was really great about listening to my preferences, and easily agreeing to most of what I asked for (very low amounts of monitoring(mostly doppler), incredibly limited cervical checks (maybe 2-3 total?), laboring in the water, delayed cord cutting(until the cord had stopped pulsing), no IV, no hospital gown(I wore my own normal clothes), freedom of movement, no eye antibiotics, no bath, skin to skin contact, nobody even suggested an epidural or any kind of pain medication until the morning after the birth when I was offered a motrin by a nurse. AND the facilities were great.       

 

My biggest complaint were the hospital pediatricians and postpartum nurses and how they treated me and my newborn. I could have signed us out of the hospital early, but I really had no energy for that.

 

If I had to give birth in a hospital again, I would probably go back to HFWB.

 

But for you, I suggest meeting with the different practices, or at least touring the hospitals, and get a feel for the different environment and styles of the providers. Go with what feels right to you.

 

Also, once you schedule a prenatal with a provider, that doesn't mean that you're stuck with them. As long as you are receiving prenatal care, most providers will accept you as a client, assuming that they're not booked. I transferred to HFWB at about 33 weeks pregnant when I realized that my previous provider was not the type of practitioner that I wanted to trust my body, birth, and baby to. 


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#16 of 23 Old 01-22-2012, 05:30 AM
 
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If you're going to quote c-section rates for comparison, just make sure you are comparing apples to apples.  The UofM CNMs serve a lot of women who would never be able to birth in the ABC, including VBACs, women with pregnancy induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia, etc.  The ABC risks out a lot of women both before and during labor who would still remain in the care of the CNMs.  I bet if you tied the ABC's c-section rate to women who started their pregnancy with them and then also took the VBACs out of the mix for the UofM midwives, the numbers would be a lot closer.  

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I love the CNMs at U of M, but merebella is right, even with the new hospital a doula friend of mine just had a client who wanted to labor in water but a room still wasn't available for her :( but at ABC, since every room has a big tub you'll have no issues there. I love U of M, so I don't mean to discourage you from them because I certainly think you can reach your goal of natural birth there, but the C-section rates are also something to think about…. U of M is at 14% and ABC is at 4%.

Good luck on your search! :)

 



 


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#17 of 23 Old 01-22-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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Yup excellent point; I agree with you; I'm sure it would be lower. And it's too bad ABC doesn't take VBACs, I know there are a lot of people fighting for that so I hope that will go through soon


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#18 of 23 Old 01-27-2012, 08:32 AM
 
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I'm working with the CNMs at U of M, I can post an update after I have the baby (two months to go!), but so far it has been a really great experience. I really like my midwife and definitely feel like she is looking out for me and is totally supportive of the type of birth I want.

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#19 of 23 Old 01-30-2012, 11:11 AM
 
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Be sure you do Danger. I'm currently with them too. So far - no real complaints. I kinda like their hands off approach more for some things than others - ie - I like that they didn't push the NT scan, amnio or CVS. But when I had some severe pain last week - it took over 24 hours for me to get some relief. The system of talking to the receptionist, then the nurse, then the midwife on call is a little slow and having to do it ALL again if the problem still persists. You can avoid all of that if you just go to emergency - but I don't like emergency that much - and I'm not sure if they automatically transfer you to L&D triage - which is where I ended up.


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#20 of 23 Old 03-11-2012, 01:17 PM
 
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there's more midwives at UM than the ABC, but it doesn't really make a difference bc at both places there is a midwife on-call 24/7

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#21 of 23 Old 05-16-2012, 12:42 PM
 
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I'm working with the CNMs at U of M, I can post an update after I have the baby (two months to go!), but so far it has been a really great experience. I really like my midwife and definitely feel like she is looking out for me and is totally supportive of the type of birth I want.

 

So I had my baby :)

 

Everything went really well and I am very pleased with my birth experience. I had to be induced (which I was really freaked out about) at 42 weeks due to low fluid levels. The induction went much better then I worried it would, We were able to have the natural birth I wanted and everything went well. The midwives and nurses were all really great and everyone who assisted us read my birthplan and did their best to help us have the birth I wanted, including lowering the pitocin levels when I was having trouble coping with the intensity of the contractions, Also swapping rooms so I could be hooked up to the cordless fetal monitors and labor in water.

 

Still would like a homebirth if I have another but for having a hospital birth I am really pleased with how everything went.

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#22 of 23 Old 05-24-2012, 01:08 PM
 
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Congrats! Your experience is really consistent with what I usually see there---they are AWESOME about reading births plans. love it. :)

Glad you had a wonderful experience!


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#23 of 23 Old 04-04-2013, 04:38 PM
 
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The ABC at Providence is fantastic, and I agree with everything merebella said!
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