31 answers

Best Places to Give Birth: Chicago Area

My partner and I are planning a September birth at Illinois Masonic. We really like our OB so far (Silvia Bicalho) but I am starting to get nervous about childbirth horror stories: Gruff nurses, too much intervention, episiotomies, Doulas being rendered powerless over hospital policies. We aren't necessarily planning a natural birth, but we would like as little intervention as possible.

Has anyone had any experience at Illinois Masonic or elsewhere? Thank you!!

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Featured Answers

I gave birth at Prentice in April and had a good experience. My son was born 27 days before his due date, and came after a very fast labor. I was asked once if I wanted drugs (I didn't), and that was that. The only thing they did contrary to my wishes was take my son away for evaluation by the neonatal docs too soon, but since he was so early, that was OK with me. My husband did have to speak up and insist on going with the baby to the NICU, though.

I can't say enough about the lactation consultants. The one I had (Mary Beth?) was so helpful, and helped us get a good start breastfeeding.

The postpartum rooms are very nice, and you don't have to share them with anyone.

My friend gave birth at IL Masonic almost 12 years ago, and she had nothing but good things to say about her experience. I'd stay away from St. Francis, for anyone else reading this.

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I haven't given birth yet but I am planning on delivering at Prentice. I was at Prentice a few weeks ago when I had a little scare (everything was OK) and the nurses and the doctor were so nice, friendly, bubbly, and helpful. Not to mention the facilities are beautiful! Hope this is helpful!

We gave birth in IL Masonic last year and the nice nurses made up for the ones that seem there to do there work ony. We had a doula and she was allowed in with us and we were allowed all our requests. Have a great birth.

I had the most wonderful experience at Illinois Masonic, but it was with the midwives. I was able to deliver in the "ABC." And I believe that the midwives are pretty much the only ones who do deliveries there. The nice thing about delivering in the alternative birthing center is that all of the nurses present volunteered to be in the center. So they are usually more "earth mama-ish" than not.
I brag about my birth story all the time. My experience there was amazing. But my best friend is a doula (present at my labor and delivery) who recently attended at birth at Illinois Masonic and it was a nightmare because of the nurse on duty. But she has horror stories about doctors and nurses at nearly all of the hospitals. But those stories are always the exception. Most births go great. She prefers the staff at Swedish Covenant.
Good luck! Whatever you choose, just make sure you have supportive people with you who can speak up if things aren't going the way they should.

I gave birth last June at IL Masonic and have no complaints. I had a Midwife, a doula and my huband all there. Dr. Bicalho was actually the attending on duty and she was my surgeon a few years ago also. If/when you go there ask for Marilyn, the lactation consulant, she's great too. She also gave us our tour of the alternative birthing center (ABC). Unfortunaly, the ABC was unavailable when I got there but the hospital was good at letting my doula help me out and allowing me to make my own medical choices.

I will say that Prentice looks much newer and fancier than IM but the aren't very supportive of the idea of natural child birth. Good luck and best wishes.

As I read your concerns, I can tell you that I have had two kids at ill masonic & I'm on my 3rd at this very moment. The medication I have been given has been at my request only, I have had to healthty babies in the past & expect this one to be the same. I wish you the best of luck, as I'm about to welcome my new daughter into this world.

Hello,
Not to worry you about Illinois Masonic but the impression you are getting from them is what I went through. I had my first son at Illinois Masonic with the same doctor and I was not happy at all with how they handled any of the birth or afterward. The rooms were filthy, the labor and delivery was painful, andt the process was terrible.
We are about to have our second child (due June 13th) late!! Give vibes the baby shows up soon!! But we moved to St. Joseph Hospital. I know the nurses, the rooms are private, and they chose the most natural process as possible. Everyone there is wonderful. I have heard all great things about the place.
I do not mean to scare you about Illinois Masonic but...
D B

I gave birth to my son at IL Masonic and absolutely loved it! I found the nursing staff to be extremely nice and helpful and I had a wonderful experience. I am due with my 2nd baby in 2 weeks, and plan to deliver there again. I have honestly heard horror stories about many hospitals, the worst at Prentice, yet it still has a great reputation, so I think it must just depend on your personal experience. I think if you like and trust your OB, you should stick with her. I chose my OB BECAUSE he was at IL Masonic and I loved it there so much!

I gave birth at Prentice in April and had a good experience. My son was born 27 days before his due date, and came after a very fast labor. I was asked once if I wanted drugs (I didn't), and that was that. The only thing they did contrary to my wishes was take my son away for evaluation by the neonatal docs too soon, but since he was so early, that was OK with me. My husband did have to speak up and insist on going with the baby to the NICU, though.

I can't say enough about the lactation consultants. The one I had (Mary Beth?) was so helpful, and helped us get a good start breastfeeding.

The postpartum rooms are very nice, and you don't have to share them with anyone.

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