For those of you who had successful natural births in a hospital, what were your experiences with the hospital staff and pediatricians during recovery?
For example, was your baby "required" to go to the nursery for any reason? If so, why?
How soon were you able to leave the hospital, assuming you were trying to leave as soon as possible?
My husband and I are on the fence between home birth and hospital birth. We have been in the care of a wonderful midwifery group who attend births at our local Women's and Children's hospital, and they have a fantastic track record of supporting natural births and making the hospital labor as "home-like" as possible. However, the midwife's influence is over only the labor and delivery itself, not post-partum care of our newborn.
Thanks in advance for your replies!
I've had two successful natural hospital births. Our experiences were good with the medical staff. They clarified from the start, to see if we wanted our baby to stay in our room. Said they had no problem doing pretty much everything right there with us in our room.
There are the hearing test, screening for diseases/conditions (prick the foot to collect a small amount of blood), circumcision (if desired), reflexes test...there might be more I'm not thinking of. Also the required antibiotic ointment on the eyes, and vitamin K shot. The only things I remember they did in the nursery were the hearing test and circumcision.
We left the hospital a day and a half after my first birth, but I wasn't trying to leave earlier than that. I had pushed for 1 1/2 hours (my dumb fault for not waiting for the urge to push), and moving was difficult due to pain and swelling. Baby was a perfect 10 on the apgar score, so he wasn't the one holding us back!
We left 24 hours after my second birth. I felt great (she came out with one contraction!!), and baby girl was healthy, although she struggled with mucus she had breathed in during the delivery and was three weeks early. They wanted us to check back in with them, because they were worried about her weight. I don't know why though, because she was 7 lb. 4 oz., and my milk came in 48 hours after giving birth!
I, too, had been on the fence between home birth and hospital birth (for future births). I recently made my decision. I have a good relationship with my doctor, who has no problem with my desire to do things naturally. There is also the safety net of already being in a hospital for any emergency. But my primary reason for choosing to naturally birth in a hospital, is due to the fact that it's a possibility that CPS could step in and take away my baby and possibly my other children. I know it is legal to have a homebirth. But if something went wrong, even if we sought medical help at a hospital, we could get reported for neglect. I recently posted about this very thing happening. I simply CANNOT bear the thought of having my baby/children taken away. I couldn't handle that. Some will think, and I agree with them, that it is awful that I've been scared away from homebirth. I agree, it is awful! There is nothing, including having a comfortable home birth, that is worth the possibility of being separated from my kids.
I had a natural VBAC in the hosp w/a CNM. As far as hosp births go, it was great. I did have to argue a little about no IV, no BP cuff, & nurse kept trying to get me to stay in bed so she wouldn't have to keep coming in to adjust the monitor. But once my MW got there all the demands stopped & no more arguing was necessary. The anesth did come in my room to find out if I was ready for my epidural. I said wasn't getting one. He chuckled & told me to call when I was ready & he would come back. That kinda pissed me off cause of his attitude & I had spec stated that I didn't want to be offered drugs I would ask for them if I wanted them.
When my son was born they put him directly on my chest and didn't even try to weigh him or anything until about an hour later after he had nursed. Daddy went w/him to the nursery to get weighed & cleaned up. My MW was ready to release me within a few hours of delivery but the pedi wouldn't release my son. That nite my son was having hard time waking up to nurse (totally normal) but I just kept trying. The nurse kept telling me I may have to give him a bottle. Finally, she said if he didn't latch on "this" time she would have to give him a bottle. I explained that NB babies can go up to 24 hrs w/out nursing w/no ill effects and that he would be getting NOTHING unless a test showed that his blood sugar was low. I had the nursery nurse come in and she assured me he didn't need a bottle nor would they give him anything w/out my express consent. No harm, no foul but it was very frustrating (and if I had not known better my baby would've ended up w/a bottle he didn't need). He did have to go back to the nursery at every shift change (I could've refused but it wasn't that big of a deal) they let Daddy go with him every time. The next day the pedi tried to get me to stay another day, said he liked babies to be in the hosp at least 48 hours. I told him that if he could give me a medical reason why my son needed to stay we would, otherwise, I would like to go home & would follow up with his care by his Dr. The pedi didn't like it but since I had already had a kid, and had already BF one child, and could correctly ans all his questions about things to watch for in my baby, he let us go. I was in the hosp just about 24 hours.
In my next PG, I wanted a water birth & the only way to get it was to do a HB--local hosp has WB facilities but since I was still considered a VBAC they wouldn't let me do it in the water and no local BC would take me as a patient cause of my VBAC status. I also was happy w/the idea of NOT having to argue at all about interventions or BF/supplementing and I didn't want to have to spend the night in the hosp or fight w/pedi to release my son. I wasn't worried about emergencys b/c my house is only about 10 min from the hosp and my MW has a great working/transfer relationship w/the hosp/OBs there.
While my natural hosp birth was great, much better than my 1st c/sec birth and way better than a lot of the stories I hear, my HB was so much better. More peaceful, I felt more relaxed, I actually felt more safe not less. I trusted my provider more than I felt I trusted the nurses that cared for me at the hosp. Because I felt more in control, I found it easier to surrender to my labor & birth. I delivered my son myself, my hands were the first thing he felt as he entered this world, his nose & mouth weren't suctioned b/c he didn't need it (this is routine at the hosp even though studies show it actually delays brining up the oxygen level in their blood, it is only necc in cases of severe meconium aspiration) so the first thing in his mouth was my nipple not some hard plastic bulb (I found this made a difference in how fast he took to BF compared to my other 2). Also, my MW didn't give me a routine shot of pitocin as active mgmt of 3rd stage of labor (which was great b/c the shot made me shake really bad when they gave it at the hosp) instead she gave my body a chance to stop the bleeding itself as my son nursed, she did have it ready though should I need it. These were interventions I didn't have to decline or argue about b/c she auto didn't do them as routine only on as needed basis (unlike hosp where both are routine) and since my baby & I didn't need them we didn't get them. **I didn't even know they were going to give shot of pit routine, no one told/asked me they just did it, I would have declined if I had been asked.) Thats the great thing about HB, all interventions are discussed & if they recommend them you can feel pretty sure they are necessary NOT just routine**
After I delivered the placenta I was tucked into my own bed w/my baby. My whole family climbed in bed with me & we got to marvel at our new love. While the MW cleaned up the mess. My MW asked for food to be brought to me, and my Mom brought me homemade bisquits & sauage gravy, scram eggs, fresh fruit, & OJ--one of my fav meals from childhood so it was very spec & comforting, much better than the food fr the hosp. We snuggled in bed for awhile then the MW checked, weighed, & cleaned up the baby on the bed next to me while I ate. He never left my sight. That was so nice to be able to see & talk to her about him while she checked him instead of waiting for him to be returned fr the nursery. Me, Daddy, sister & brother got to be a part of it. Very special.
As long as HB is not illegal in your state and as long as your MW follows the guidelines of the state law & the recommendations of the consulting OB (if your state requires one) it cannot be considered neglect. For example, in my state, Texas, HBAC, as long as it is supported by the consulting OB, is considered legal & safe. I met the criteria set forth by the state licensing board of MW and that had been agreed upon by my MW & her consulting OB so my HBAC was completely legal and could not be considered abuse or neglect regardless of how it turned out. If you live in a state however that considers HBAC illegal or you do not meet the criteria as reqired by the state guidelines and/or the consulting OB, for example if breech HB is illegal or HBAC is illegal or in your case isn't supportd by the practice guidelines and/or the consulting OB, then it can be considered neglect.
Recently, a woman was reported for having a HB after she sought medical attention for her baby that broke her collarbone being delivered breech by a MW. She lost her child for 5 mos. It's not b/c she had HB it's b/c state guidelines & consulting OB were not on board with a breech HB. So, before you let this make your final decision, look into your state guidelines for HB. Make sure that in your situation it is considered safe/legal and that the consulting OB is on board with YOU having a HB. If you are worried get it in writing. As long as you are operating under the guidelines set forth by the licensing board in your state, they cannot and won't consider it abuse/neglect.
While it is a personal choice and you need to be comfortable w/HB if thats what you choose, I am so happy that I made the choice...it was everything I wanted and MORE!
Congrats & good luck!
My original reply got erased because I accidentally clicked the 'back' on my browser. I hate it when I do that! Yes, thanks! I left out the hep b vaccination when I was re-writing my note, and completely forgot about the PKU! We refused the hep b ''lifestyle'' vaccine (not required here). But I'm not going to refuse something required by state law--PKU.
Thanks for your added input on following state guidelines for home birth, to hopefully have no issues with charges of neglect and the involvement of CPS. Definitely a big part of the issue to consider!
I had a natural birth (with a nurse-midwife) at our local hospital and had no problem with post-birth care. The baby was encouraged to stay with us and there was no issue with when we wanted to be discharged. We live in WA state about an hour north of Seattle. Very supportive and relaxed environment.
Although the hospital experience was a good one I am due with my third in 6 weeks and have decided to do a home birth this time.
I'm a mother/baby RN at a large metropolitan hospital, so I may have some insider perspective for you. Our hospital was recently awarded the WHO "Baby Friendly" designation. This means we encourage breastfeeding as much as possible, try to do as many procedures/routine things with mom and baby at the bedside instead of the nursery, and just generally keep mom and baby together as much as possible. We RNs care for mom and baby as a couplet, which is why we're trained as mother/baby nurses, and not just postpartum or nursery nurses. That being said, there are only a handful of Baby Friendly hospitals in the U.S., although many hospitals share these policies but don't have the designation.
I would encourage you to research the specific policies and procedures at the different hospitals you might be giving birth in, take their tours, and ask as many specific questions as you can, to get a better idea of what's the norm at the hospital before you're there as a patient and in a more vulnerable position. If you're under the care of a group of natural birth-supporting midwives, my guess is the hospital will have more holistic, mother/baby friendly policies already in place, but you never know. When you get to the hospital, make your wishes clear to the staff, both in L&D and the mother/baby or postpartum unit.
Above all, as others have reiterated, whether during labor, delivery, or your postpartum stay, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ANYTHING YOU DON'T WANT/FEEL IS NECESSARY. I wish more people realized this, as I feel it could cut down at least some of the unecessary interventions performed in maternity care. I know the last thing you want when you give birth is to be focusing on other matters and feeling like you constantly have to be on the defense against your providers and what they may do to you, but it's your body and your baby. Ask questions and don't be scared.
Congratulations and have a beautiful birth!
I'm sure everyone has different experiences depending on their hospital. Here's mine:
The birth was fabulous for a hospital. I think it's still sad that I have to qualify "for a hospital." But I was able to push in a variety of positions and out of bed---it just had to be when no one else was in the room.
The birth itself was pretty smooth. The few things that I did NOT like about the hospital were having to fill out loads of paperwork while nearing transition (I labored at home for a while) and being "scolded" for pushing on the toilet. But what I hated the absolute MOST was the pediatrician! He insisted that my baby had to be in the nursery every morning by 10 for his checkups. The doctor took forever each morning to "return" our son, and he never would tell us anything about Asher's health. He'd just say, "have any questions?" How in the heck can I have questions without knowing anything at all about how my baby is doing?
The pediatrician also took FOREVER to discharge Asher. I was released long before my son. We kept hearing that the doctor would come by and release him---it just took him like 12 hours! Talk about a long wait. And there was absolutely no reason to keep us for 3 days. Asher was unbelievably healthy. I know the doctor was thinking that since I only had one round of antibiotics (group b strep) that we needed to stay longer. But Asher never had any signs of infection, so that drove me nuts.
If I had it to do over, I wouldn't have been tested for group b strep. But who knows...that might've not changed anything in my experience.
Also (forgive my rambling---watching two toddlers atm), I bled a lot with the birth and they didn't do a darn thing to treat it besides prescribe iron pills. My levels were so low I should've had a transfusion but it wasn't offered. Knowing what I do now (how horrible those first few months were), I would insist on a transfusion before being discharged.