(Closed) Small Hospitals/Birthing centers compared to Big Hospitals?

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
1763 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

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
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

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
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

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
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

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
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

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 # 9
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

@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
544 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

@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.


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