I'm exploring options for the birth of my first child. Definitely want to do it natural and was wondering if anyone knew how natural friendly Frederick, MD hospital or Washington Co., MD (now Meritus) hospital in Hagerstown was. I'm living in the Eastern Panhandle of WV so definitely know I'll have to travel to have this baby since Martinsburg City hospital isn't very natural friendly.
I'm still considering the home birth option but being my first I'm just not sure.
Things may have changed...so you might need to check up...but I don't think FMH is very natural friendly. If you want to use a doula it needs to be from their list of approved doulas, and they don't allow midwives. There was a VBAC ban for a while, I don't know if that has been lifted. I am sure you could get a drug free birth, but not sure how friendly it is for moms and babies. I took an FMH hospital sponsored yoga class and this is what was told to me from other students, this was almost exactly a year ago I was in the yoga class. The class was great btw, which seemed very odd because it seemed to conflict with what actually were the norm for the hospital.
I'm not familiar with your area or the hospitals you've mentioned, but I just wanted to drop in and encourage you to pursue more homebirth options! - I had my first and second at home (and we're preparing our 3 in January) I know MANY other mom's whom had their first at home (on purpose! :LOL)
Regardless of where you go: hospital, birth center, home or stuck in traffic! You're own preparedness is what's going to help you the most to accomplish your goal of an un-medicated, low intervention, natural birth. Where you go and whom you choose to attend will help in the ease (or fight) of accomplishing that goal.
Researching your local hospitals is SUCH a good thing to do. (I wish more new moms did it!) being picky about your OB or midwife is also VERY important. Don't ever be afraid of 'hurting feelings" if you decide to change your care provider. (even if it's at 30 weeks- like I did!)
I had the same considerations when I was pregnant with my first thinking maybe I should have my first in hospital since I had never birthed before - So long as you and your pregnancy are healthy, educated, informed, and prepared and properly supported. There's no reason I see that having a home birth wouldn't be a great option.
Creative - Wife to 1 mother to 4 , , , and always . (Learning Grace and patience)
Might I recommend the Meritus midwives? At a Hagerstown Regional Childbirth Resources meeting last week (I suggest you attend a few meetings, you make a lot of good connections), the group (of moms, preggie moms, and childbirth professionals) heard a talk by 2 midwives from Meritus currently practicing. The in-hospital birthing center is apparently rather progressive. Mom's are not pushed into using meds if they choose not too, they can labor and birth in a variety of positions (bed, ball, stool, hands and knees), showering in labor is allowed and encouraged, birth plans are accepted and generally followed (within medical reason), and they even allow dad to deliver the baby if you want. They support breastfeeding and can offer lactation support. The midwives are in the process of trying to get the laboring tub allowed (since they have one) but the hospital nixed that on grounds that it was a safety hazard with all the water and trying to get mom in and out.
If I wasn't having baby #1 at home in water, I would be delivering there. If you would like to know more homebirth options or recommendations feel free to PM me and I can give you some info. I am rather scared of hospitals, so homebirth was a wonderful option for my husband and I. Though MD is very unsupportive of homebirth, there are still a few CNMs that practice in this area.
The midwives at Meritus were very nice and accommodating and seem like a wonderful bunch of gals. If my baby #1 has a complicated birth, I will probably switch to Meritus for subsequent children as it is about 10 minutes from my house.
I have not heard terrible things about Frederick, but there is a reason many Frederick moms choose Meritus. My doula witnessed a very nice unmedicated birth at Frederick, but then again I have heard from other doulas that they find the staff harder to work with in terms of getting a natural birth. Hope this info helps!
Pagan mama, married to DH since 10/27/09. Had a wonderful with baby D in 2012!
I contacted the group mentioned today -
they have some bizaar policies, that even the slightest thing marks me as high risk I can't see the midwives.
I am already over weight, with chronic high bp and a VBAC (second vbac) - I have a feeling this practice isn't going to work out for me.
They also are refusing to even get me in for a medical history appointment until I am 7+ weeks, even after expressing my concerns since my last pregnancy was a missed miscarriage.
Last I heard the choices for ob/midwife care in Frederick was practically non-existent.
My delivery at FMH was 10 years ago and it was just ok, as far as how natural-friendly they were. I had high bp at the end and they confined my to bed, etc. I got an epidural after many hours of failure to progress (turns out my lo was posterior and that it runs in my family) but had no idea at the time. I was pushing before the epi even kicked in all the way!
I did have to fight them not to induce me when my bp went high. I had neither of the other two signs of pre-eclampsia.
This was w practice with Dr. Araiza. I never saw him but talked to him on the phone once. It was always the midwives. I think he has gotten rid of them since then.....
ETA: not sure any of this is actually hepful to you, althouh now I posted it I will do my due diligence and ask my sisters who are doulas in Frederick what they recommend.
I'm with MCA and go to the Frederick office.
So far I've been pleased. It's been very hands off, though I have no risk factors for anything.
The options around Frederick are SOOOOO limited. I find it very frustrating, especially considering how close we are to DC. Anyway, just wanted to say that I understand your frustration with the birthing options.
I posted this in the VA forum too :) I forgot to mention that the lactation consultants at Meritus were EXCELLENT in 09.
Hi I just joined and found your question. I don't know how "natural birth friendly" Meritus is, my daughter turned into a high risk pregnancy at 32 weeks and came early by induction at 36 weeks. Even though NOTHING went the way I wanted it to, it was the best it could have been. We currently use Women's Health Center at Robinwood in Hagerstown, md. I don't 'do' male doctors, esp OBs, if I can help it, and they have a huge team of midwives. You don't get your choice on who delivers, it's whomever is at the hospital when you go into labor, but if nothing is 'wrong' with your pregnancy you get a midwife instead of an OB.
What I can say about the old WCH (now meritus) is that the labor/delivery rooms (one and the same) were very large, with beds for hubby (real beds not cots) and the nurse staff was absolutely fantastic with me, but I was a high risk case so I got lots of attention. I don't remember there being lots of noise or anything while in the room, but I was kinda occupied with the stress of the whole situation. I've heard that the rooms in Meritus have deep tubs in each room and are just as large and nicer, they give tours every Sunday at 430p.
I have heard from one of the midwives at WHC@Rw that they do explore different positions to give birth and you can for-go the IV, etc.
I'm upset that I cannot travel, for various reasons and my husband's job, to one of the birth centers or have a home birth. Maybe with the next baby!
If you are looking for a birth center in MD there is one in Arnold, MD--it's the only one I've found so far within 2 hours of Hagerstown, md. There is a CNM practising out of Shepherdstown/Charlstown, WV named Nanette, Riverside something. She'll come to your home, other than her practise I have not found a mw for a HB in our area at all.
Let me know what you find/think, thanks!
The two midwives, Donna and Jessica, at the meeting you talk about are wonderful mw at the OBs office I go to. I hope to get either one of them with this 3rd child. :)