I'm having a homebirth with local midwives and if we have to transfer, we'll have to go to MM and I'm okay with it (and just plain hoping that we won't stumble upon a reason to transfer).
The lactation support for me was spotty. Some were WONDERFUL, but one nurse (not a lactation consultant) was very short and abrupt with me and caused a lot of confusion and doubt.
They gave me back the nurses who had seen me in previous days so they became familiar. The lactation support was also great. All the nurses were trained to support me and they encouraged me to call when baby was hungry to have her latch checked and offer whatever help and info I might need. If they couldn't answer a question they found someone who could. The lactation consultants checked in on each shift and provided a nice packet of info that I referenced once home and second guessing myself. They called the day after we were home to check in and make sure we were ok. (If we weren't they were able to call again, they also invited me to the support group which I did attend many times and really enjoyed it. I still meet up with some of the moms). Nurses who saw me in the first couple days came back to meet my baby when they were back on after a couple days off. The food was really good, everything was clean, staff was respectful and friendly... barring the decision to have a home birth I will absolutely give birth there again.
I chose Mercy of MM for a truer birth center experience while in a hospital (for insurance coverage rather than free standing birth center). Mercy has 3 surgical suites on the floor so in case of emergency you can still be with baby at all times and recover together back in your room. Waterbirths are not an option at Maine Med- you can only labor in the water. At Mercy you can birth wherever you like. I spent most of my labor on the toilet and the midwife sqautted right down to check me when I was pushing and crowning- not a lot of places or providers who will do that in a hospital.
Then I delievered at SMMC 7 years ago. (horrible)
So finally I decided to switch OB's so that I could go to a different hospital. I chose Mercy. I've had three children at Mercy in the past 5 years. Every single one was a great experience and I have had ZERO problems with anything there! They were respectful and never slipped a vax or batted an eye when I turned it down. They were happy I chose not to circ and didn't even consider that I wasn't going to breastfeed. (this could be a good or a bad thing I guess.. for me it was a good thing.)
One of those babes was born almost all the way in the car, and they handled that situation as well as they could. (he was born in a wheelchair and I still had on my pants. My husband caught him. LOL)
They always allowed me to go home as soon as I was ready. They made themselves very scarce and it was perfect for us. They were there if we needed them, but they didn't sneak in and take vitals in the middle of the night unless we were awake already. They really worked around us. One thing I can say is that there is a nurse there that I requested every single time, and once told I was there.. she would swap out so she could be my nurse because I requested her. Her name is Candy, and she is super awesome. She listens to you, and she was motherly and kind in that supportive type of way. In my personal opinion, its often the nurses that make or break a hospital... and she is superb! She goes above and beyond to make you feel special and listened to.
I have not had a birth experience at MMC so I can't judge that one, but I would thing its more technical being a higher level NICU... so maybe not as relaxed as Mercy.
I know my review is kind of late, but just in case its not. I'd go with Mercy. But if its a homebirth and you're thinking of a transfer then MMC is the better choice for complications.
Autistic pagan mama with five kiddos on the spectrum, learning through living life.
I delivered at Mercy in May 2009 and it was a WONDERFUL experience. I birthed with Back Cove midwives, who I absolutely loved. I also found the nurses at Mercy to be helpful in answering my questions, they were not pushy at all and let me guide the experience. They also gave me lots of space when I wanted it during the birth and after. I thought the lactation support was pretty good, I think the nurses did a good job trying to help me, but the LC seemed a little rushed. The birth center they have there is new, so every room has a tub and a shower you can use, and you can birth in the tub if you want (I had a placental abruption and so I was in the tub up until the time I started pushing, then I got out to push). I had worried about having a natural birth in a hospital, but it worked out great and I would highly recommend Mercy. I haven't given birth at MMC but others I've spoken to have noted that they felt a little less support for a natural birth there (i.e. epidurals suggested, etc)