Help! Giving birth at Lankenau Hospital! Need Advise! - Mothering Forums

Thread Tools
#1 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
nannybutterfly's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 65
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is my first time posting here. It's so nice to find a board with like minded people. I would love to hear from moms who have given birth at Lankenau Hospital or in the Main Line Health System. I was planning on giving birth at a birth center, but had to transfer out because of gestational hypertension. We went on a tour of the hospital and were told that the baby would be taken away from us until his body temperature was stabilized, or “for a few hours.” Is this true? What have been your experiences with the nurses at the hospital? Can I keep my baby with me the whole time? We don’t want any vaccinations to be done at the hospital, nor circumcision. How do we go about declining these things? I will most likely have to be induced at 39 weeks, but I would like to give birth as naturally as possible. We were thinking about hiring a doula, but we don’t have much money. Is it expensive? Would it be worth it to have one there to make sure we get what we want? Does anyone have any recommendations of a doula that isn’t too expensive in the area? Thank you for any help, I’m absolutely terrified of giving birth at the hospital because I’m afraid they are going to do something without my consent to me or my baby. Is there any way to require them to have consent for every proceedure? Any help is much appreciated! Thanks!!

fly-by-nursing1.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFbelly.gifMama to 2 sweet little boys biggrinbounce.gif(May 2010) biggrinbounce.gif (Feb 2012)


Got myvbac.gifFeb 2012

nannybutterfly is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 12:16 PM
melisar's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Rego Park, NY
Posts: 7
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I too am a first time mom that hoped to birth at my birthing center but have been told it will have to happen at a hospital. So I understand the anxiety that comes along with it.

Do/can your midwives from your birthing center be with you? If they have a relationship with the hospital they may be able to be your best advocates. I was also considering a doula, but with tight funds, my husband and I are working on being prepared to be very clear, yet polite, about our birthing preferences.

The best advice that I have gotten so far has been from my hypnobirthing instructor, she said it couldn't hurt to bring a draft of our birth plan to the hospital tour to see if a nurse or anyone would be willing to discuss it with us in advance. I also read in another posting that a woman would visit frequently to get to know the layout and some of the nurses - that may be another tool to use.

I am sorry I can't offer any sound advice, but I do wish you the best of luck. Something I have been working on is letting go of my fear of the hospital and trying to visualize the peaceful birth we have been planning from the beginning at the birthing center.

Take care.
melisar is offline  
#3 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 02:00 PM
klk197's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 148
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As far as what you were told on the tour: from my experience, they tell you what is normally done. If you want something different (non-separation, for example), ask now to see their specific policy in writing. Its likely that your desires can be met. From a business perspective, many hospitals lose money on L&D, but want mothers to have as good an experience as possible so that they will choose that hospital for situations that are more profitable.

Definitely have a birth plan, and I've seen postings on this board about women in-training to be doulas as an affordable alternative.

Also, try this:
klk197 is offline  
#4 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 09:46 PM
August09baby's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We were at Lankenau after my babies were born (unexpectedly) at home. Here is what I experienced. The babies (who were healthy) were taken to the well baby nursery for assessment and to "warm up". I asked for them repeatedly but was told the nursery was "busy" and it would be awhile. I then basically (calmly but firmly) threw a fit, informed my nurse that every piece of medical evidence demonstrates that babies should be with moms after birth and the best place for my babies to warm up was at my breasts. I said "I will sign whatever release you need me to but I want my babies now". I had them both in less than 5 minutes.

The biggest problem with Lankenau is that they have eliminated dyad nursing so now your baby has a different nurse than you. What that means is that the baby's nurse will (@ 4am) come to your room and try to take the baby to do its assessment. It is easier for them to assess the babies when they are all lined up assembly line style in the nursery. It is efficient for them but not so great for you if you want your baby with you. I refused to let the babies be taken.

My husband escorted them to the nursery for weights and brought them right back. I insisted that the nursing assessment be done in the room. We also had a problem because our pediatrician was not at Lankenau (we were supposed to deliver in another hosptial) so we got the staff doctor. He also wanted to take the babies. I informed him that doing the assessment in front of me was educational and I did not want to miss the opportunity. He complained about the "bad light" a lot but gave in (because he really had no choice) Good thing too, because he was going to retract my son's foreskin before I told him not to.

Basically, like any hospital, Lankenau does what is best for staff efficiency and that is not always conducive for you. I suggest that you write your desires down, review them with your OB and fax them to the nurse manager of the post partum unit. Then, once you get that baby in your arms, say no to having anyone take him/her for any reason. Just say no. They are not going to pry the baby out of your arms. You will get a lot sighs and rolled eyes but who cares?! I might also print some medical research showing the beneifits of no mother baby separation and hand it to who ever gives you a hard time.

I found Lankenau managable, but my husband and I did have to be very firm in our desires and put up with a lot of sarcasm and eye rolling.

Mama to DS 10/06, DD & DS 08/09
August09baby is offline  
#5 of 10 Old 04-05-2010, 10:48 PM
mommyshoppinghabit's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: On the verge
Posts: 608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
I gave birth to ds1 @ Lankenau four years ago. I was attended by a midwifery practice that is now broken up. Don't think they have one there anymore. First I would adivise you to work on your fear. I was doing the whole hypnobirthing, natural childbirth thing but the hypnobirthing didn't work at all b/c I had not let go of all my underlying fears. It was sooo painful until I asked for the epidural. Second, about the doula, I hired a labor and post-partum doula for ds2 and I think the post-partum part is sooo much more important than the labor part as far as hiring a doula, so save your money for the post-partum. She can come right away after the birth and advocate for you to have all the things you want: roomin-in, no vaxes, breastfeeding. As far as not vaxing, it's just a simple release form you have to sign for not giving your babe the Hep-B vax. Neither of my kids were born without any epidural so I cannot advise you if a non-medicated birth is what you are looking for (is that possible with an induction?).

I used to be a shopaholic, now I'm a create-a-colic! (Mother to two boys)
mommyshoppinghabit is offline  
#6 of 10 Old 04-06-2010, 08:59 AM
MamaPhilly's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 414
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi! When are you due?

If you have the time, I'd take a really good birth class (PM me and I can suggest some to you). This is cheaper than a doula, and would give you and your husband information and confidence going into the hospital. If you did Bradley Method, your husband would become a very confident coach---but BM takes 12 weeks, so you would need the time.

If you can't get to a good class, I would definitely try to hire a doula. Having a trained doula with you will greatly increase your chances of a natural birth---there are lots of great ones in the area, and I even know a few who are trying to get their certs finished and are cheap and/or FREE. They will help make sure that any birth plan you have is actually followed, and they can do wonders in helping you feel confident and relax. AND if any interventions (during labor or immediately following delivery) are attempted, they will make sure that there is time for you and your husband to have genuine informed consent.

And if you have a good friend, sister, etc. who has had a natural birth, they can also be a great (and free) advocate for you.

I can't speak specifically to Lankenau, but your best bet heading into any hospital desiring a natural birth is to be prepared. Then if interventions do happen, at least you know what is going on, and you and your husband are still able to remain in control and have a say in how things happen.

Send me a PM if you want me to suggest a few options for classes, doulas, etc!

Happy SAHM Mom and CBE to three jumpers.gifboys:  DS1 (11/06), DS2 (7/08), DS3 (11/10) and D?4 (12/12)!


MamaPhilly is offline  
#7 of 10 Old 04-16-2010, 12:15 PM
amys35's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 55
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have a sister who is a doula in training who needs some more births to complete her certification. She would charge you just enough to cover gas, childcare. She is experienced in hypnobirthing and had two successful natural births herself. PM me if you'd like her contact information.

I'm an IBCLC. I would suggest contacting one of the LCs at Lankenau beforehand and have them advocate for you. (I don't know them, but I haven't gotten all positive feeback about them but I could be wrong!)
amys35 is offline  
#8 of 10 Old 04-16-2010, 12:21 PM
RN-Mommy's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 57
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

PALS - Phila Alliance for Labor Support is a good resource for finding free or inexpensive doulas in the philly area.

Good luck!
RN-Mommy is offline  
#9 of 10 Old 04-16-2010, 09:32 PM
callieollie's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,097
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
I would definitely recommend a doula. I had one at my first birth center turned hospital transfer birth for my son and then at my birth center birth for my daughter. I plan to have one when/if we get pregnant again for a homebirth. Having a doula at a hospital especially would be so helpful, I'd definitely find a way to try to make it happen.

As for Lankenau specifically, I didn't birth there but my SIL did twice. I personally have a pretty negative view of them, but take this with a grain of salt since I'm coming at this as an observer and as a birth center/home birther. For my SIL's first birth, they ended up inducing her, on her due date for absolutely no medical reason. They had done a non stress test, everything was fine, and they proceeded to induce her anyway. She had a bad reaction to the pitocin and epidural and her heartrate and the babies heartrate started going down. They did nothing to try to alleviate it more naturally (turn her on her size, give her oxygen) and just told her, "we need to get the baby out now or we're doing a C-section." My SIL is now a nurse and has looked back over that birth and feels that they didn't do a lot of things they should have done. She went there again anyway for her second birth. She got there at 4 centimeters, was 7 cm 2 hours later but gave her pitocin anyway, despite progressing nicely. She again had a bad reaction to the picotin and epidural but there was slightly less panic this time and she was born with a good apgar score and was fine. But, they did take the baby away for a long time. I kept asking, "where's the baby?" to my SIL and she kept saying that they were just doing tests. It didn't seem to bother her much (although it was driving me crazy!) and then once it started to bother her, she started to ask for the baby and said they'd bring her back then. Another hour passed and they still had not brought her back. Finally, they brought her back. This has been immediately after her birth. SHe held her for about 15 minutes after she was born and then didn't see her again for another 3 1/2 hours. I've also seen stats on C-section rates in PA hospitals and Lankenau has one of the highest. So, I personally don't think too highly of them and would absolutely have a doula if I had to birth there. On the other hand, my SIL Is very passive and is uncomfortable stating what she wants so I don't know how they would react to someone coming in saying what they wanted and being more forceful about it.

Good luck!
callieollie is offline  
#10 of 10 Old 04-17-2010, 08:18 PM
mom2tatum's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: outside of Philly
Posts: 1,271
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I am an area doula working on finishing my certification through Birth Arts International, here is my website I am lower cost and willing to work out fee arrangements based on your situation. But, I wholeheartedly believe in the worth of doulas - we are trained and most of us have been building on a great knowledge of birth for years and we know what it takes to help you get the natural birth you desire. I don't think it is something us women should be looking to get for free unless you are really and truly in a place where you don't have dollars in the bank. But, usually you get what you pay for, for the most part, if ykwim. Try not to view it as an extra cost for your birth, though. I think if you're giving birth at any area hospital, a doula is necessary. At Lankenau, especially. My own .02. Oh also, insurance companies are now reimbursing all or part of the fees now as well because they are finally seeing the benefits. Email me if you have any more questions...and best wishes!

Already!?!?! cold.gif  ~ Lori, doula, childbirth educator, wife to Jermaine 6/04, and mom to two happy and energetic boys - Tatum 6/06 and Keegan 3/09

mom2tatum is offline  

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 14,125

20 members and 14,105 guests
Deborah , emmy526 , girlspn , happymamasallie , hillymum , jamesmorrow , kathymuggle , Kelleybug , lhargrave89 , MarieGoAround , Mirzam , moominmamma , MountainMamaGC , RollerCoasterMama , Skippy918 , Springshowers , zebra15
Most users ever online was 449,755, 06-25-2014 at 12:21 PM.