Post # 1
This is a question that has been lingering in my mind for awhile now. I am planning on delivering at a small hospital. There is a total of around 80 beds in the entire place. I’m a little worried about this. I was born in a big city hospital and during my last pregnancy I was planned on delivering at a Birthing Center but was ambulanced 2 hours away to a big city hospital (actually back to the same city I was born in) because they were not equipt to deal with my condition and also did not have a NICU. I remember how the birthing center seemed almost blind sided by my condition and very panicked. Once I was at the hospital I delivered at things seemed very different. Everyone was very experienced and seemed to know what they were doing quite well. I did have a few problems with the fact that with larger hospitals you do tend to get alot of students fresh out of med school and sometimes the care isn’t too personal. All of that didn’t have any affect on me.
Now that I cannot deliver at that hospital again because its so far away (even though I would LOVE too) I’m very nervous about delivering at such a small hospital. This may sound niave but, I never even heard of “Birthing centers” before my first pregnancy and I thought every hospital was huge. Does anyone have any advice or knowledge of one hospital vs the other? Should I try and still deliver at my old hospital? My OB is making me have another C-section which doesn’t bother me all too much but I’m wondering if shes only doing that because of the risks and not having the equiptment to deal with me if anything goes wrong. Any advice ladies???
Post # 3
I have deliverd in a small hospital (20 beds total), with my first. She was actually taken to a large hospital and was in the NICU for 3 weeks. And then with my second we had moved and I delivered at the big hospital that my first was taken to.
Both and staff that were knowledgeable and were great. The smaller hospitals usually know their limits and really are eagar to transfer people before it is too late and they are more unstable.
Also if you had a c-section already it may be hard to find a doctor who would even let you try to deliver vaginally. It comes with its own complications, so add that on top of the ones you already have, it may just be safer to plan the c-section. Not just that your doctor doesn’t know how to handle it, but why risk anything.
Post # 4
I’m delivering at a fairly small hospital. They have a level 2 NICU, but basically if there are any problems you/your baby get transfered to one of the 2 level 3 NICUs in the area. I don’t know what your specific situation is like, but you should be able to deliver where you want to. Also, your OB should tell you why she’s recommending a C-section. She should talk with you in depth about your birth, possible complications, and when/why you’d be transferred to another hospital. My guess is that most small hospitals would transfer sooner, rather than later, to be on the safe side, and that they wouldn’t try to handle something that was beyond their abilities if at all possible.
I’m having my first, and I chose a smaller hospital because they have more relaxed policies, like I can eat and drink during labor and the standard policy is doing the minimum interventions possible, which is what I want. So far I’m having a normal, healthy pregnancy, so as long as that continues, the smaller hospital fits with my hopes for birth.
Post # 5
Maybe just get to know the capabilities of the hospital you’re planning to go to, and make sure you understand and are comfortable with their contingency plans in the event that you show an indication of needing care they can’t provide?
Re: large hospitals, my in-laws totally changed my perspective on this. They’re both physicians who spent their careers in academic medicine, and they are incredibly pro-teaching hospitals. They’ve pointed out that at a non-teaching hospital, decisions about your care are often made solely by a single physicians, whereas at a teaching hospital you have a whole team involved in ensuring that you’re receiving all of the care and follow-up and testing that you should get. They also think teaching hospitals are better about establishing standards and quality assurance procedures.
For normal pregnancies in health women (who aren’t crazy/anxious like me), I think good birthing centers are great, but I also now have a much greater appreciation for bigger teaching hospitals.
Post # 6
If you’re having a scheduled C-section, I don’t see why you can’t deliver at the hospital you had your first child at, if that is what you prefer.
I’d go tour the hospitals, though, and read up on them. Find out what they’re capable of and what happens under any circumstances that could pop up due to your current situation. Not that you can plan for everything, but you can certainly be aware of any limitations ahead of time.
Post # 7
I delivered at a small hospital (10 beds in labor/delivery; I don’t know how many in whole place). If something they couldn’t handle had happened, they would have transferred us by helicopter to a level 3 NICU a couple hours away. I didn’t have any complaints, but then again, my labor was pretty dull. Nothing happened that required any special attention. And I had nursing students in with me; they just asked beforehand if the student could practice/watch whatever procedure, which I was totally fine with.
My only complaint about the small hospital is that they can fill up fast. Our hospital was totally booked the day after I had my daughter, so we were glad we got in the day before. Otherwise, we would’ve had to share a post-partum room with another family.
Post # 8
@Lozza: I totally agree on what you said about teaching hospitals. Every day I did have a different resident doctor with the same “head” doctor. (I can’t think of the name..) The ONLY complaint about that was since I was admitted for almost 3 weeks before I delivered, every resident had a new plan for me. I was told I would deliver one day only to then get told once that residents shift was over that the new resident didn’t feel it was necessary. It caused ALOT of emotional stress. On the up side though was since they were right out of med school, they were very by the book and new their stuff. I actually didn’t meet the doctor that delivered my son until she came in introduced herself and said “Nice to meet you, I will be inducing you today.” Luckily I LOVED her and totally wish she could deliver my next baby. I love my new OB but I only have a problem with delivering at such a small hospital and how adamant she was about doing another C-section. During my first C-section the delivery doctor was telling me during the proceedure how she was giving me a bikini cut incase if I ever wanted to deliver vaginally. So I’m pretty sure she is pro VBAC. I’m not sure if this is normal or not but she even asked me during delivery if “While she is down there would I like a tummy tuck?” NO joke! I LOVED that lady! LOL
I’m just very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to deliver there if I wanted to since it is 2 hours away… =/
Post # 9
@MissFlipFlops:re: the tummy tuck, I used to work in Southeast Asia, and there’s a really popular (with pregnant foreign women) hospital in Bangkok that was offering a deal at the time: “Have three babies here with us, and we’ll give you a free tummy tuck!” I’d totally deliver there if it wasn’t 20 hours away 🙂
Post # 10
@MissFlipFlops: I went to nursing school at GVSU and worked in West Michigan before moving to Chicago. I have a lot of friends who work in the medical field, so if the birthing center is in West Michigan feel free to PM me! I’ll see if I know anybody who has delivered there or even works there.