(Closed) would you give birth at a hospital that does not have a surgical ward?

posted 4 years ago in Pregnancy
Post # 3
46414 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@globalmargaret:  Do you have to decide now? Can you wait and see how the pregnancy progresses and see what the midwife recommends?

Generally first pregnancies are the great unknown.

Could you find a position housesitting in Anchorage to help offset some of the expense?


Post # 4
3082 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Hmmm I dont know. I’m glad I won’t have to make that choice. But it’s tough. my coworkers wife went into natural labor and then the baby went into distress and she need an emergency c, so you never know what happens. 

Post # 5
3692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Any chance of your mom traveling to Anchorage to spend those weeks with you?

Post # 6
763 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

@globalmargaret:  Gosh this would be tough… I would probably go with the “better safe than sorry” route, but you have to know what your are comfortable with and what you feel is best. Consult with your midwife. If you become higher risk, it might be better to go to the hospital that offers extended care should you need it.

Sorry you’re having to go though such a tough decision. That’s no fun 🙁

Post # 7
472 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@globalmargaret:  Ugh. What a rough situation.


I’m an ER nurse and I recently had a sad patient experience with a home birth that went badly- but most don’t. Statistically, it’s not as safe (in terms of baby outcomes) as hospital birth, but with a CNM and prenatal care it’s still, relative to birth globally and historically, quite safe. And of course it is safer in terms of avoiding unnecessary/unwanted intervention than hospital birth.

How much of an expense and a hassle would staying in Anchorage be for five weeks? I’m sure it wouldn’t be $15,000 but it certainly wouldn’t cheap.

I agree with the above post to wait on your decision to see how the pregnancy progresses- if you have any complications that will make the decision for you. But if you don’t, you have some soul-searching to do as far as what lengths you’re willing to go to eliminate a small but real risk (and whether you’re willing to pay a large amount of money for sure in order avoid a small risk of paying a much larger amount).

When you say the hospital near you doesn’t offer C-sections, do you mean even emergent C-sections? In the lower 48, most ERs are equipped to do a truly emergent C-section (ie, if waiting to transfer means you and/or the baby wil die) even if they would generally transfer a laboring patient out. If your local ER can’t do it at all, period, if staying home means air transport for ANY kind of emergent intervention, that seems much riskier than just the possibility of being transferred in the event of less serious complications (which would be expensive, but not lethal).

Also, is there any way for you to obtain some kind of transport coverage? I know in our area, the flight companies take subscriptions- they aren’t cheap, but they’re a LOT cheaper than uninsured transport, and many people in rural areas have them in order to offset the costs of almost inevitable transport for things that their local hospitals can’t handle.

Post # 8
3053 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I’d also probably rather be safe than sorry, esp for 15k! but it’s too early to worry about it now! just try to breathe & see how things progress =) best of luck!

Post # 9
1320 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

Honestly, I wouldn’t take the chance of having something go wrong and not having access to immediate help.  It’s your life and your child’s life, and I honestly don’t think you wouldn’t be able to forgive yourself if something did go wrong and that delay caused health problems.  When you’re at a hospital and there is fetal distress, you’re in c-section land within minutes with a team of providers.  I personally wouldn’t risk not having that safety net readily available.

Post # 10
12248 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

@globalmargaret:  That is a crazy situation! I say if your midwife feels safe with you attempting a homebirth, you should go for it! It’s not like your hospital is much better equipped. And if the absolute worst does happen (and there are complications), it’s a 2 hour plane ride whether you’re at the hospital or at home.

Post # 13
5547 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

Personally, I would figure out a cheap way to stay in the city with a real hospital. I am ALL for low intervention births, but not when there is no access to emergency care if you need it. Even perfectly healthy pregnancies can have issues in labor that require interventions and I wouldn’t want it to be a 2 hour ungodly expensive plane ride away to get it.  

Post # 14
6544 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

As someone her gave her BFF shit about having a tummy tuck in the doctors surgical office, even though there was a perfectly good hospital right next door….I vote for the hospital! I read once that 1 in 3 births end in a c-section, and while I don’t have any statistics on that (nor do I know if I’m remembering wrong) I Just don’t know that I’d take the risk. 

Personally, I’d let it go until about 3 weeks from your due date, and then head to Anchorage. That way you aren’t sitting there for 5 weeks, and you’ll have a better idea of what to expect. Depending on how I felt at 3 weeks, I’d maybe even let it go a little longer. I currently have a friend who hit her due date today with no signs of labor, while other went a couple of weeks early.

I’d make a nice reservation at the extended stay:


Post # 15
981 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2008 - A tiny town just outside of Glacier National Park

We are planning a home birth as well, but I would feel uneasy if I had no close option for emergency medical transfer if surgery were needed. I think you need to strongly consider your contingency plans (and plans for persistent breech, etc).

Post # 16
387 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’m a paramedic… I have seen too many people who have had home births that end up getting emergency intervention involved because of complications with mom, baby or both…. Your pregnancy can be perfect the entire way.. It isn’t until you start pushing that things could potentially go wrong… The cord could become wrapped around babies neck while he/she moves further into your birthing canal or shoulder dystocia could occur, your baby’s heart rate could drop.. Baby could flip and be breech and you might not know until days before your delivery date.. Meconium… Placenta not delivering properly… Placenta previa… Labour suddenly stops progressing

i don’t want to scare you and do think having a midwife if wonderful… But personally and professionally I would want the best immediate help in the off chance any of those things plus many more were to occur… If one of those things were to occur and most of them don’t even happen until you start pushing, seconds really do matter 

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