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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My sister had a c-section this morning (she had placenta previa, so there was no other option) and because of this the baby had fluid in her lungs. The doctor said that she would be put in NICU for 24 hours for observation. They ran the tests tonight and baby is perfect, BUT they are now saying that baby cannot be released from the NICU until mother is released from the hospital (Friday barring any complications). In the meantime, my sister has barely seen her new baby, let alone held or fed her.

Does anyone know what rights my sister has? Can she go against doctor's orders, or is there some type of procedural waiver she can sign? She is ready to just walk out with her baby regardless of the risk to her. Help!
 

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Where are you? The country would certainly be important, and quite possibly the state/province. Also, is the baby's father in the picture? If he is, he would have legal rights/responsibilities.

Sorry, I missed the tribe. . . I see you are in the Maryland/DC area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Northern Virginia, right outside of DC. Daddy is in the picture (he's been with baby girl since she was delivered at 7:56am) and he is just as upset by the whole situation as momma is. But he is a little more practical and does not want momma to leave the hospital less than 24 hrs after a major surgery. They just don't know what to do.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lynn08 View Post
My sister had a c-section this morning (she had placenta previa, so there was no other option) and because of this the baby had fluid in her lungs. The doctor said that she would be put in NICU for 24 hours for observation. They ran the tests tonight and baby is perfect, BUT they are now saying that baby cannot be released from the NICU until mother is released from the hospital (Friday barring any complications). In the meantime, my sister has barely seen her new baby, let alone held or fed her.

Does anyone know what rights my sister has? Can she go against doctor's orders, or is there some type of procedural waiver she can sign? She is ready to just walk out with her baby regardless of the risk to her. Help!

If baby has been declared healthy then mother should be able to room in with baby until Friday. Call the hospital patient advocate office (they all have at least a person for this) and get them involved. Trust me this works. I got accomodations for my mother when she was in for surgery by pointing out the relevant parts of the patient bill of rights and working with the advocate. If their "census" is low in the NICU right now they could be trying to keep her so they have enough babies to justify their nurses hours. Believe me, this happens!
 

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I had a hard time at the hospital I used too. My husband just happened to know the hospital advocate personally (we didn't know that going into the hospital, just saw her info in the room) and she helped. It was a situation somewhat similar to your friends and like the other poster said, my hubby kind of laid down the law and had to threaten all the nurses just so I could see my baby. Things did change once we got the patient advocate on our side. I was also told because of surgery, she had to be in NICU overnight, even though she was perfectly fine when born

Also, is it the doctor's orders (her OB) or the hospital order? Make sure to ask the doctor personally, because my doctor let me leave whenever I was ready, and that seemed to over rule the hospital and the hospital pediatrician because they let me out 2 days after my c-section. I had it on Mon and I was released on Wed because my OB thought I would do better recovering at home.
 

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to your sister, I hope she can be with her baby very soon and wish her the best in her healing process.

Quote:

Originally Posted by homewithtwinsmama View Post

If their "census" is low in the NICU right now they could be trying to keep her so they have enough babies to justify their nurses hours. Believe me, this happens!
: definitely happens. I would make a huge deal up the chain of command. Often healthcare facilities are not used to people who speak up for themselves, and will let you have what you want if you stand up for it. They are used to people who go along with procedures without questioning, and often are taken aback by people who ask for something different.

Let us know how it turns out!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by homewithtwinsmama View Post

If their "census" is low in the NICU right now they could be trying to keep her so they have enough babies to justify their nurses hours. Believe me, this happens!

So sorry to hear about this! But please, PLEASE ask her to take the birth survey so others can perhaps be forewarned about this horrible treatment!
 

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I'm sorry to hear she is going through all of this.

I agree with the ideas already posted about contacting the advocate - hell, you can have her speak with the CEO of the hospital. She is a paying client and they should respond to her concerns. I think getting her ped involved is a great idea too.

In terms of leaving early - as much as I sympathize with the crappy situation being in the hospital is after your birth, I strongly recommend that she stay at least 3 if not the full 4 days allowed by law. Post cesarean complications can occur and even though hospitals aren't the best at always catching them, I'd much rather know a post-cesarean mom was in the hospital rather than at home where only untrained family members including an equally sleep deprived husband/partner are trying to watch for signs that something may be wrong.

If she and her partner aren't up for making calls themselves then you might be able to help them with that. I've called hospital administrators for patients on more than one occasion and been effective.

-Barbara
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for the avice and support!

She did not speak with the advocate only because a new nurse in NICU was a former lactation consultant and worked with my sister and her husband. With the nurse going to bat for them, my sister was able visit baby girl to hold and breast feed her every three hours or on demand. And baby was moved into momma's room today! Everyone is coming home tomorrow and we can't wait to get the family all settled into the new routine.

In a slight aside, I had a homebirth with a midwife for my first child four months ago because I had heard hospital birth horror stories and knew that I wanted a different experience. But no story could have prepared me for the reality of what my sister went through. It was beyond heart wrenching for me, and I was only a third party observer, so I can only imagine what it was like for my sister. I feel extremely blessed that I was able to have a homebirth the first time around and only wish that every woman could look back on their birthing experience with the same sense of empowerment and accomplishment that I do.
 
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