Looking for provider and doula recommendations in the South Baltimore area - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 12-17-2012, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm newly pregnant with #4 - I had one c-section and 2 natural VBACs.  Homebirth isn't really an option for me unless I can somehow get it under $1000 (with military insurance).

 

Anyway, I just moved to MD this past summer, so I don't really know where to go around here!  I really want as low intervention of a birth as possible.  I haven't been really excited to look for providers, which is unlike me.  I think I am just bummed at the state of VBAC and dreading the interventions that I know are going to be pushed on me.

 

So, anyway, I live in Odenton right outside Ft Meade.  I have faster births (my VBAC babies were both born about an hour after I got to the hospital and most of that time was checking in and then pushing), so I'm not really interested in going down towards DC.  I'm not even thrilled with going up to Baltimore, but I'd rather do that then give birth in a bad hospital.  The hospitals that have caught my eye are:

 

Johns Hopkins Bayview - 32 mins (without traffic), 28% c-section rate, 26% of prior c-sections are VBACs

Maryland General Hospital - 34 min (without traffic), 26% c-section rate, 24% of prior c-sections are VBACs

University of Maryland Medical Center - 30 mins (without traffic), 29% c-section rate, 24% of prior c-sections are VBACs

 

Of the closer hospitals, these are really the only two that look remotely decent:

 

Howard County General Hospital - 22 mins (without traffic), 34% c-section rate, 9% of prior c-sections are VBACs

Laurel Regional Hospital - 23 mins (without traffic), 34% c-section rate, 13% of prior c-sections are VBACs

 

Ok, I know this is long - does anyone have experience at any of these hospitals?  Advice for me?


Susan, mama to Catherine (June 2008); Becca (April 2010); John (January 2012); and Julia (EDD August 2013)
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#2 of 12 Old 12-18-2012, 07:09 AM
 
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UMMC has a midwife group that is hands off, but I used them almost 2 years ago, so hopefully not much has changed. It looks like mostly the same midwives there, but I could be wrong. I don't feel the same for the OBs there, but if you don't need them, then the midwives are fine. If you want to talk the the head of the midwife group, she will meet with you during her lunch for free to go over any questions...at least she did for me.


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#3 of 12 Old 12-18-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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You might consider an ICAN meeting to get the low down.  I know women who have had VBACs at Howard County and Mercy.  Maryland General was recommended to me when I was looking for a VBAC. I ended up choosing the Upper Chesapeake Midwife Group, and then settling on an out of state homebirth.  My labor was long with a posterior baby so I am 100% sure hospital protocol would have been a repeat section for me.  If you have a history of fast labors, I think walking in ready to do what you know you want with a good support team, you're likely to be fine anywhere you choose.  


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#4 of 12 Old 12-19-2012, 12:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies.  I think I will try to make the next ICAN meeting here...  Good info! :)  My biggest concern more than the VBAC support is really finding a very hands-off provider. :)


Susan, mama to Catherine (June 2008); Becca (April 2010); John (January 2012); and Julia (EDD August 2013)
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#5 of 12 Old 12-19-2012, 10:08 AM
 
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Hands off providers are hard to come by.  Hopefully someone will be able to recommend someone that can accept your insurance.  PM me if you're interested in other out of the state options or non-covered providers who are hands off. 


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#6 of 12 Old 12-20-2012, 06:55 PM
 
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It's not South Baltimore, but I had a wonderful natural birth (my 2nd baby) at Sinai 3 weeks ago, with a fantastic doula from their free volunteer doula program. In my opinion my OB practice was pretty hands off though I don't know how they handle VBAC. They do take Tricare- it's Dr Pleeter & Jose in Pikesville.
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#7 of 12 Old 12-23-2012, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm cranky now....  They automatically refer to Bethesda.  I've actually heard good things about Bethesda, but given my faster labors, it just seems too far!  It's only 40 minutes in good traffic, which is right on my limit, but if the traffic gets bad - it seems like that could get closer to 1.5 hours.  From the time when I was sure I was in labor until he was born with my last was 2 hours - it was less than 1.5 hours from the time I finally got out of the house (had to pack up and wait on the sitter to come watch our girls) until his head was out.  I worry dearly that my next would be a car baby!!  Or close to it...

 

Going to call Tricare later this week and talk to them about how I might be able to get referred somewhere else...


Susan, mama to Catherine (June 2008); Becca (April 2010); John (January 2012); and Julia (EDD August 2013)
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#8 of 12 Old 12-24-2012, 01:43 AM
 
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Mercy Hospital has midwives and they do VBACs, 30 minutes from your house.  It's Kathy Slone's group.  University of Maryland is also a decent VBAC place (with the midwives), also 30 minutes from your house.  Definitely attend an ICAN meeting: http://www.icanofbaltimore.org/site/ 

Baltimore has one of the best ICAN groups out there. 

 

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#9 of 12 Old 12-29-2012, 07:03 AM
 
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I had a very good experience with both Mercy Medical in Baltimore - Hoffman and Associates were my provider there and Howard County General with the midwives of Signature OBGYN in Columbia. I think a lot will depend on your provider not so much the facility you deliver. Both births were non-medicated and hands off. I had a doula both times an she was very pleased with the medical staff at both places.
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#10 of 12 Old 03-21-2013, 03:10 PM
 
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I haven't read every word above, so I apologize if this is a repeat (I just skimmed) but I just wanted to say Bayview's care is not likely to be "hands off." I've been there with doula clients and I can't recommend it--and would not go there myself. I've heard good things about Mercy but haven't been there. Have you checked out Special Beginnings? I don't know what their VBAC policy is, but some people have said good things about their backing hospital (again, I haven't been to that hospital personally).

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#11 of 12 Old 03-22-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moxytocin View Post

I haven't read every word above, so I apologize if this is a repeat (I just skimmed) but I just wanted to say Bayview's care is not likely to be "hands off." I've been there with doula clients and I can't recommend it--and would not go there myself. I've heard good things about Mercy but haven't been there. Have you checked out Special Beginnings? I don't know what their VBAC policy is, but some people have said good things about their backing hospital (again, I haven't been to that hospital personally).


This may have a changed, a few years ago, the vbacs went to AAMC. They won't take vbac patients there. I don't know if they do care until birth, but the birth is at AAMC.


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#12 of 12 Old 04-06-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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Calladona, are you part of the Ft Meade Natural birth group on Facebook? :) 
I just had a fantastic experience at Baltimore Washington Medical Center, as have a lot of other local mamas. I was on USFHP at the time and it was covered fine. I was a HBAC transfer, though, so I'm not sure about who you would do for prenatals or how the referrals would work if you're on Prime. 

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