Has anyone here had any experience with the midwives who practice at St. Agnes in Baltimore? Right now I am at The Women's Ob/Gyn Group in Columbia, and I am debating switching to a midwife. I was considering Bay Area Midwifery so I could give birth in a birthing center instead of hospital, but I was told my insurance wouldn't cover a birth at the center and I would have to deliver AAMC. I need to call the midwives at St. Agnes and talk to them myself, but I was just curious if anyone had any personal experience there. There are only two midwives that I see on my insurance who practice at St. Agnes - Jane Lattes and Gigi Moore. I haven't been able to find anything as far as reviews when I searched online.
Also, I want to sign up for a birthing class with Informed Birth Choices (I think that's what it's called) in Catonsville. Last time I checked the last class would be taking place the week of my original due date. Do you think that's pushing it? Has anyone done a birthing class there? I was planning on calling the instructor after my next doctor's appointment Wednesday, but I figured I'd ask while I'm here.
I don't know those midwives so I can't answer your question directly. I did tour St. Agnes this winter, however. I was not impressed by some of their policies--for instance, they require that the baby be taken to the nursery for routine procedures, and they could not guarantee that my partner would be able to stay with the baby while this happened--they said it depended on how busy they were in the nursery. They also seemed less comfortable generally with natural childbirth and parenting than say, Mercy (the other hospital we toured).
I'd certainly check it out youself, but that was my experience. Regarding your second question, I certainly can't speak from experience regarding the birthing class since I am a first timer myself, but I have been told that I should plan to complete birthing classes several weeks before my due date. I have known several first time moms who have delivered early, so I am taking that advice seriously :-)
I don't have any info @ st. agnes, but I would encourage you to ask a lot of questions on any tours you might go on. For me, I was interested in knowing things like:
-do I have to have an IV or heplock (I'm needle phobic so this was a big deal to me )
-do I have to have constant monitoring or could I have intermittent monitoring (I wanted to be free to move around a lot)
-can I labor in a tub
-can I deliver in a tub
-can routine newborn exams be done in my room vs. nursery (and if in nursery, can partner accompany baby at all times)
-can we leave early (this is a really big deal to some people but wasn't to me...we stayed 1 night rather than 2 and that was fine with me)
I ended up switching from an OB at Sinai to Kathy Slone's MW group at Mercy when I was 20 weeks and I'm glad I did. I had a very positive experience with Kathy's group and with Mercy (I had a gentle drug-free waterbirth...PM me if you'd like more info). Many folks here on MDC are big homebirth advocates and you can certainly search archives to find lots of info about that if you are interested. And I would recommend taking a class a little sooner than your 9th month . Congratulations on your pregnancy!
Mom to DD born March 2010, and someone new March 2012