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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read an article in the local paper today saying that the little hospital in my town was holding an open house to showcase the new OB wing. The article boasted of the jacuzzi tubs in the rooms, and of the "alternative birthing suite," which had a tub that would allow for waterbirths to take place in the hospital. So I was cautiously excited, and made my husband and kids accompany me down to the hospital for a tour during the open house. The OB with priveleges at this particular hospital (and there's only one) gave us the tour, and it was very informative. I learned that the "alternative birthing suite" is not available to "high risk" moms, or FIRST TIME moms (!). I asked why a first time mom couldn't use the birthing tub, and he said, "Because she doesn't know what she's getting into, so she has no way of knowing if she could handle it." I also learned that this hospital, and the two or three others in its little medical alliance no longer allow VBACs. Not at all. Not if you had a c-section followed by 14 vaginal deliveries. This means that, for the average person living in my area, a VBAC will be completely out of the question.
I was talking with a nurse about the new suites and asked if, with the new "homey" environment (their word, not mine) and "alternative" equipment, they had talked about a new approach to labor and delivery. She said, "Oh, yeah, like, when we had our last orientation with the new stuff, the [whoever does the training] set up one room to look like a normal, stark, sterile birthing room that we're used to, and then in the other room, she had a "low intervention" type of woman wearing her own clothes, dim lights, aromatherapy, whatever, so we could see the difference." This caught my attention. I asked, "So, if a patient came in and said she preferred to remain in her own clothes, you wouldn't push her to wear a hospital gown?" And she goes, "Well, that's fine, but I'd make sure she knows that if we have to get that baby out in a hurry and we have to rush her into section, we're probably going to have to cut them off of her!"
I said, "But let's be honest: it usually isn't the "low intervention type of woman" who gets "rushed into section," is it?" And she said, "No--because if someone has any high risk factors, we're not going to let them go "play around" in the "alternative birthing suite." Sigh.

If I were an optimist, I'd probably say that this is a step, albeit a small one, in the right direction. As it turns out, I'm not an optimist, and I'm about to pull my hair out.
 

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Our hospital that has jacuzzi tubs won't let you birth in them and you have to get out of the tub for 20 minutes of monitoring out of every hour. And they're not really jacuzzi tubs, they're more like physical therapy tubs, so a size 12 pregnant woman carrying a 9 pound baby would have a hard time fitting into the tub comfortably (and I can say this because I've been that woman!).

In some ways, I'd love if one of our hospitals would jump on board just a little more, even if it was just for appearance sake.
 

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Quote:
I asked why a first time mom couldn't use the birthing tub, and he said, "Because she doesn't know what she's getting into, so she has no way of knowing if she could handle it."
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Wow, how do first-time mom's EVER manage to have babies?!?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Originally Posted by gemasita View Post
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Wow, how do first-time mom's EVER manage to have babies?!?
Exactly, and how--oh geez, don't get me started again--do first time mothers know if they can handle, say, Pitocin? They don't; but the average doctor or nurse sure doesn't mind letting them try it out.
 

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It's called marketing. It has nothing to do with a change in attitude. Our local hospital made a big deal about their jacuzzi tubs and beautiful birthing suites. However, no one is ever allowed off the monitor to actually use the tubs. Everyone has the Standard American Birth with tons of required routine interventions. Okay, I exaggerate, but it is rare to have a "normal" birth at this hospital.

Basically, it is a pretty package for a pretty ugly experience.

Ellen
Wife to G, homeschooling mom to ds13, ds11, dd7
Bradley Certified Childbirthe educator
 
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