21 answers

Natural Birthing Experience at Baylor Hospital-Dallas

My husband and I are trying to decide on delivery at Baylor Hospital with my doctor there or at the Birth and Women's Center birthing center about four blocks away. I like my doctor so far and my husband I think feels more comfortable with having our first child in the safety of the hospital, but there are other things that I wonder if I'll get at a hospital that I know I'll receive at the birthing center. Things like being flexible with birthing positions, walking around during labor, not having a million people in and out of the room during my labor, not being pushed to get pitocin or an epidural, and not letting me take my time through the labor and delivery process.

I was wondering if anyone out there might be able to give me their experience with a natural birth at Baylor Hospital/Dallas. How did it go for you? Did you feel pressured into inducing or receiving pitocin or an epidural? Do you feel like your needs were met and they were flexible with your requests? I'd love any stories or input you have to offer.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

I decided to go with my same doctor's office at Women's Health Alliance, but to use the two midwives there for all my prenatal care and labor and delivery - Jane Singer and Cecily Floyd. I love them both and am finally at peace with my decision. I'm at 21 weeks now and things are going well. I'm finally feeling the baby move, which is a wonderful experience and really helps the bonding process. Our first sonogram was a couple weeks ago and all checked out okay - we've decided to wait until delivery to find out the sex though, so we're super excited for the big surprise!

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I have a friend who had her baby 4 months ago at the Birthing center near Baylor. She loved it, had no complications and says she will do it all over again for her next child. Hope that helps.

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Hi and congratulations! I am a doula here in Dallas, so I have experienced birth at pretty much every location in the metroplex. Baylor Downtown (BUMC) is definitly my favorite hospital for natural births because they are open to many things. You may choose a hep lock over and IV, intermitent monitoring with a doppler, you may walk etc and the baby will not be taken away after birth. As to pit being pushed, this really has more to do with your OB or you and your OBs communications about when to use pit. Same with pushing positions...I have seen moms push in squats and even a water birth at BUMC. I see other OBs who won't do anything but laying down in stirups, so choose your careprovider well!

Birth And Women's Center is a beautiful birth center and offers some great birth choices. I will say that Cherie uses cytotec, another induction agent, more frequently than not, especially for first time moms. If that is something you don't want, you need to say so. She also prefers to have everyone push in a squat regardless of what you want at the time. I would not think twice about the safety of the birth center, you could probably be in an OR quicker from there than you could at the actual hospital due to the way they keep the floor staffed.

If you have any other questions that I could help you with please let me know and contact me here or at my doula website. I hope you have a great birth this Fall!

M.
greatexpectationsdoulaservices.webs.com

1 mom found this helpful

I haven't used the Baylor Hospital, but I will tell you NOT to use the womens birth center on swiss. Cherie has NO bedside manner. She is gruff, and I found her very detached and simply didn't listen. We had special circumstances as I was a surrogate. She refused to see the childs biological mother as her mother, and instead referred to her consistantly as an adoptive parent, even though we corrected her. She harped on me about what I was eating, even though I hadn't gained any weight, and even told me once that she didn't care if I didn't like cottage cheese that I needed to eat it anyway. Cherie has a really high transport rate. The Dr she refers you out to is her life partner, she has no problems transporting you to the hospital for a c-section, because her girlfirend will be filing on your insurance. Essentially they are double dipping.
I transferred my care to another birth center, and swore that I would never refer anyone to them, and would try to deter anyone from using them. I am not the only person who feels this way either.

V., I am a labor and delivery nurse. From what I have heard about downtown Baylor, they are probably the BEST place for natuarl delivery. I agree with you that being in a hospital for delivery is the dafest thing, but that doesn't mean you can't have a wonderful natural delivery. As far as the rest of your quetsions. Your Dr is the one that makes all of those decisions. If he says that you don't need continous mont and should be allowed to walk and move freely, then that is what will happen. Have you considered having a midwife deliver you in a hospital. This might give you the best of both worlds. As fas as people in and out of your room. AWHONN standards dictates how often your baby must be monitored depending on what labor stage you are in. If you have intermintent mont, it will be the same in a birthing center as in the hospital. Good luck with your delivery and new baby! Make sure you gets lots of education on natural delivery. I suggest you and your husband take classes. The more prepared you are for what happens during delivery the easier it will go.

I just gave birth to my first child at Baylor 2 months ago. The hospital staff were INCREDIBLE!

I recommend taking the childbirth class at Baylor. It will give you some peace-of-mind about their philosophies. My husband and I wanted to same expereience as you described above and were nervous about the pressures of "modern medicine". To our delight, Baylor was VERY forward-thinking and very supportive of unmedicated childbirth. Melissa Espey was a GREAT teacher!

The only thing that Baylor does not offer is birthing tubs. They allow you to labor in the tub, if you'd like, but their bath tubs are not big enough for delivery. That's something to think about, if you are interested in water birth at all.

We had a wonderful experience -- and I plan to do the same with may next one (should we be so blessed!).

Congratulations and best of luck with your decision!

I have lots of experience with both Baylor, and some experience with the BWC, as a doula. And, as a mom, I had my second child at the BWC. If you would like to talk through the pros and cons of both options, feel free to call me tomorrow (Thursday) after 2:00 or anytime during the day on Friday. :-)

D.
http://www.cherishbirth.com

I just had a completely natural, completely wonderful natural childbirth experience at Baylor Dallas.

My main doctor is Dr. Sandra Brothers, but Dr. Melissa Crochet was on call when I was in labor and she was absolutely fantastic. I'm so glad she was there to deliver my baby.

Also, my fantastic doula was Jessica Douglas. www.mammami.com

I wrote about the experience here: http://lilbits.typepad.com/lil-bits/2011/02/the-story-of-...

(If the link doesn't come across, it's lilbits dot typepad dot com)

Good luck!

I've had two children at Baylor Dallas and have many, many friends who have had a number of children there and have all been so pleased they've been repeat customers. We all go to the midwives at Women's Health Alliance.

The labor and delivery staff at Baylor Dallas are very comfortable and supportive of natural childbirth and from what I've heard the hospital itself has the best set up for natural birth since the have birthing tubs, ball, etc. I've never needed to use them, but I know they're there! That being said, your doctor is still their ultimate boss, so you need to be on the same page with your doctor.

If you're not feeling like you can really trust your doctor but want to stay at Baylor Dallas, maybe you should consider switching to the midwives at Women's Health Alliance. There's a new one coming in May, but I've been seeing Jane Singer and she delivered my son in April 2008. My labors are so fast I didn't need to take Jane up on any of her offers to help me through labor but she couldn't have been more considerate and helpful.

In my opinion, midwives have more time in their schedules than an doctor because midwives don't do surgeries but doctors do and that doesn't leave a doctor much time to sit by your bed hour after hour to help you get through labor. A midwife has the time and knowledge to get you through labor with out going for interventions right away. A doctor's expertise is medicine and surgery, so he's going to go with what he knows and try to stay on schedule as much as possible. All doctors are different though--this is just a personal theory of mine!

Let me know if you might have any more questions. Congratulations and best of luck.

I had my only living child at Baylor Dallas, and they were very supportive of my choice to deliver naturally. I did end up getting pitocin (long story), but even with the pitocin, I was able to deliver naturally. It was just a bit uncomfortable for a while before the really active part of the birthing process kicked in. I used hypnobirthing and I had a great doula. Everyone was very respectful of my doula. It was a lovely experience.

[warning--rant follows!]

You did not mention your doctor's name. Since you're thinking about Baylor, I have no idea who your physician or midwife is, but I will say that you should be careful of the WHA practice. They're all highly-trained, but they were way too relaxed about my second pregnancy after my first pregnancy had problems. Sure enough, I lost my twins at 20 weeks, after some major bleeding episodes at 16 weeks (I mean, a MAJOR blood rush and a blood clot the size of a mango) that my physician and the perinatologist who was then at Baylor both sort of pooh-poohed. My physician even told me that he had had patients bleed for nine months straight, it wasn't that big of a deal, etc. When I did research after losing my babies, I found that it was indeed a big deal, that the bleeding could have caused my premature rupture of membranes, and that there were preventative measures we could have at least discussed. None were even mentioned to me by anyone at WHA. After my twins' funeral, they talked blithely about things we could try if I got pregnant again, but over three years later, I have not gotten pregnant again. As I am now over 40, it is not likely that someone with my history (15 years of TTC with my husband, two pregnancies, one living child to show for it) will ever be pregnant again. Just watch yourself if you are with that practice. Do your own research. Check out the March of Dimes website (which I so wish I had done).

[rant over]

Take care, and I hope you have a lovely childbirth experience, as I did with my first child.

I have no experience to answer the question you have, but have you seen The Business of Being Born? Wow! All my babies were sections, but seeing this film made me feel like I missed out on something. I also think it would be quite empowering to watch, as a woman wanting to give birth naturally. Check it out & good luck!

another vote for the BWC.
i had soren there a year ago and am so glad i did.
my husband was weary, but we did the tour and spoke w/cherie and he was put more at ease. also know that cherie & carol are fairly medically-minded and are not as ... "hippy-ish" as other midwives. i don't mean that disparagingly b/c i myself would have been okay w/a hippyish midwife, but i had to consider dh, too. cherie and carol are a good middle-ground for those folks who are a bit more weary. right across from baylor and not against minor medical interventions.
my labor stalled last year, just like it did 5 years ago w/my first. they gave me plenty of time to go home, walk, eat lunch, walk more, come back. in the end b/c i had meconium in my water they opted to give me Cytotec, which worked like a charm and 90 minutes after that dh was catching our son.
5 years ago at presby in the same scenario i got pitocin, at that point NEEDED an epidural ... bed-ridden and ended up w/forceps, etc.
i'm not here to knock ob's or anything -- but i was far happier w/soren's birth experience than with zachery's at presby.
BWC was also more in-tune w/post-partum depression and helped me w/measures before-hand aimed to help prevent (high doses of omega 3's, etc.). they prepared the food i'd brought and fed us in bed, they were completley non-judgmental when i requested my placenta to take home and cherie kept my butt on track w/good nutrition.
my physical recovery after that birth was amazing. i bled for less than two weeks and felt normal FAR SOONER than after my hospital birth.

okay, i'll stop now. hth.

I have a friend who had her baby 4 months ago at the Birthing center near Baylor. She loved it, had no complications and says she will do it all over again for her next child. Hope that helps.

We had both our children at the Birth & Women's Center with amazing experiences. I highly recommend you talk to BW about your concerns. They will show you how they are as fully medically fit as a hospital. My son was born with breathing issues and they dealt with it immediately and the during the second pregnancy my wife had bleeding issues. All the midwifes have years training as ER nurses and some neo-natal. Feel free to talk to my wife as she would be happy to answer the specifics.
T. M.
Wife: Virginia M., ____@____.com

Twelve years ago at the ripe old age of 41 I used the Birthing center. They took me to Baylor after pushing for 5 hours ( I was just worn out) . My birthing center "team" went with me and made the experience almost as good as it would have been at their establishment.
I was not forced into anything. I felt like I had my "posse" with me!
NEVER forget YOU ARE THE BOSS. This is YOUR delivery and YOU are the client.
The hospital is at YOUR SERVICE.

The birthing center is a more intimate experience. You can always get over to Baylor if there is an emergency. It took all of five minutes to get me there and it was NOT an emergency.

That was years ago. Baylor is a terrific hospital with a wonderful staff. Their labor and delivery suites are all fabulous. Just go with your gut instinct and don't listen to anyone.
You know in your heart what sort of experience you want. Your doctor will let you know if you are at risk and should be in a hospital.
(Remember , giving birth is not a medical emergency.)

i live about 7 blocks from baylor and delivered at home with midwives...student midwives at that. i went into labor about 3 days early when my water partially broke and decided to sign a waiver and stick it out. i went through most of the heavy labor without my midwives because i was afraid of another "false alarm" and my daughter was born shortly after the midwives arrived. that being said, i think you would be much happier giving birth at the birth center with confidence that if an emergency arises you are just 2 blocks away (not 4). you will be grateful for the freedom you will have during labor, and satisfied knowing that the midwives helping you will be patient and caring, which can be hard to find at a hospital. after all, the doctor is only present towards the end of delivery, if even at all. good luck!

There is a wonderful lady named Melissa Espy (sp?) who does the hospital tours---you might call and talk to her-she has had 5 natural births at Baylor and was able to answer all of our questions.
Go with your gut instinct if you feel you need to be at a hospital. You just never know.
AND you are in charge of your body---have a birth plan and the birth experience you want. Baylor Dallas is the most natural birth friendly hospital of anywhere in Dallas.
(my personal story---I wanted that experience and chose it over the birth center---but ended up w/ a C-section--couldn't have been helped, would have happened regardless)

Sorry for such a short answer...
1st-Baylor baby w/ epi
2nd-Baylor baby-natual

Dr. Sandra Brothers and her practice have all had natural deliveries and she's fabulous. They are the perfect practice to go to.

I even said I wanted an epi at first w/ my second. They had opened the needles and everything when I decided I was going to go natural. I backed out of the epi and they encouraged me!

It was great. I was walking around 15 minutes after birth. It was much better than the epi and better for baby.

V.,

I'm currently 6 mos pregnant and had my first child at the Birth and Women's Center and will be having my little girl there sometime in July/Aug. I would highly recommend having your child at the Birth Center because it's like being in the comfort of your own home but with the convenience of emergency back-up if needed. I was able to guide my own birth experience, eat if I wanted to, get into the shower, squat, etc. I wasn't hooked up to an I.V., they didn't make me labor on my back and my husband got to catch the baby. I didn't have to be transferred to the hospital, but I was present for a friends birth that did. They always have an OBGYN on call when a birth comes into the center. Her transfer was calm, and her room, the OBGYN was ready by the time she walked through the doors; it literally took all of 3 mins to transfer her there. Every thing went just fine. The only complaint she had with Baylor was that they took her baby away for 4 hours to "process" him. Basically he was in the nursery waiting to be weighed, measured, etc. by the nurses. Other than that she said that they were very nice. My husband was the same way about the safety of the hospital, but when when met Cheri, the nurse midwife at the Birth Center, we felt very comfortable and our experience was memorable and calm. I encourage you and your husband to at least take a tour of the Birth & Women's Center. Any further questions, just email me directly at ____@____.com Bless and congrats!

V.,

The practitioner is important, so do your research there. Get one who understands and promotes natural birth. Ask them - what percentage of your births were natural in the last year? If the number isn't very high, you might want to think twice.

Make sure you have a doula in the hospital. Again, one that does A LOT of natural births. Doulas are great for birth centers too.

Environment is also important. Some women succeed naturally in the hospital environment. However, it is not the norm. Many women have less "normal" labor patterns. If this happens to you, the hospital rules kick in and you will be medically "managed" in accordance with their rules, procedures, policies and conveniences. You and baby take a back seat. Your chances are MUCH greater to have a drug birth or c-section when you go to the hospital. Many would dispute your understanding that there is anything "safer" about the hospital. The hospital causes a lot of problems for a lot of women because of the conventional model of medical care. Disease oriented model of care doesn't do much to help healthy women and healthy babies.

Birth centers are more likely to support you. The birth center you mentioned has a VERY good reputation and a HIGH rate of success with natural birth. They are experts in this at the birth center. Hospitals absolutely DO NOT specialize in natural birth.

And don't forget about baby. Birth centers and midwives will do MUCH more to promote bonding between you and your infant, assist with breastfeeding, etc. Hospitals don't get paid extra for that stuff. That's why a recent panel committee of the AAP recommended hospitals be spanked for their gross lack of support for new moms in breastfeeding. They credited the hospitals with helping trash women's breastfeeding relationships.

Personally, I had my daughter at Baylor Dallas. I wanted natural, but with the lack of support inthat environment, I ended up with a drugged vaginal delivery. Also, the staff was absultely incompetent when it came to breastfeeding support. After that, I chose to have a home waterbirth with my son with midwives from the Allen Birthing Center. What a joyous and amazing experience! Wouldn't trade it for the world!

People say I was brave to have a homebirth. I say they are brave to go to the hospital! Birth center gives you a compromise.

Good luck and congratulations!

I delivered two children via natural childbirth at Baylor. If you decide to go to Baylor versus BWC, I would highly recommend you use a doula. Dr. Audrey Graham delivered my first baby and Dr. Melissa Crochet delivered my second. Both are huge proponents of natural childbirth.

My friend works in L&D. Baylor is suppose to be good with natural labors but I believe they require you to be on a monitor for something like 20 min every hour so they can get a strip of your contractions (I am not exactly sure about the time). It may not seem like a long time but when you are laboring those contractions hurt way more laying down. I also believe it is much easier to have a natural birth outside the hospital. The people at Birth and Womans Center (where i had my first baby) are great at supporting you through the whole process. They are more able to be completely supportive because they dont have others to take care of like at the hospital. It is also an incredible setting, very comfortable. My husband was very hesitant to deliver at the BWC for our first but once he went to the tour and then met with the midwives he was positive it would be OK, and it was great. Now he says "I cant believe everyone doesnt want to deliver that way".
I did have 2 girls from my birth classes who tried natural delivery at baylor (we are still friends).The first was not supported at all and gave in. She had been in labor for a long time but no one offered to help her squat or do any positions to help move the baby down. My other friend had her water break at home and the doctor immediately gave her pitocen when she got ther so that the baby would deliver "quicker". She was in so much pain from the pitocen she could not relax and the baby did not come down until she had the epidural. She is very sad and now wishes she had asked to wait on the pitocen but you do what your doctor tells you. I am sure there are pleanty of women who have had great experiences in the hospital but for the BEST experience I think you should go to the BWC.
Good luck!!
A.

V.,
I'm sure you will be getting a lot of responses about the hospital vs birthing center. I have not been to either. But what I wanted to say is talk with your doctor. Let you doctor know your concerns and ask your doctor what her/his practice is... Most hospital/centers are great for delivery... I have 3 children and gave birth in hospitals...however, I had a mid-wife for my first child and loved her to death, they stay with you during most if not all your labor, unlike most doctors just come in and check you and pop in when it's time to push... however nurses are usually very good...
Again, talk with your doctor, you might even want to see if you can check out the facilities at both places, will give you better in site...
Congrat on you precious baby!

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