6 answers

Northwestern Hospital and Christ Hospital

I'm 33 weeks pregnant and moved from Chicago to Orland Park at the end of February. I decided before I moved that I would change doctors (and thus hospitals) to avoid driving back into the city with my son for appts. and the slightly longer drive to Nortwestern. I picked a doctor's office down here based on the advice of friends and family and I've visited once. The office seems nice enough, but I can't quite comment on doctors as I am this late in pregnancy, they want me to see all the doctors in the office. I recently went on the L&D tour at Advocate Christ in Oak Lawn, which is Level 3, just like Northwestern, and the only hospital my new office delivers at. But I was not impressed. It made me want to run back to Northwestern. I know people have had great experiences there and they can handle any issues with the baby, just like Northwestern, so maybe I'm just looking at appearances. Northwestern's Prentice Hospital is brand new and has much larger rooms...just more comfortable looking in general. So should I make the trek to Northwestern for the few weeks so I can deliver at Prentice or should I stay closer to home?

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I understand that Christ may not be the prettiest hospital, but that should hardly be a reason to switch doctors again. If aesthetics mean that much to you maybe you should have taken the tour before you chose a doctor that delivered there. It is a liability for a doctor to take on a patient this late in a pregnancy and to ask them to assume that responsibility, see them for a couple weeks, and then leave again because the hospital isn't pretty enough is, in my opinion petty and wrong. Christ has a very competent and caring staff and I have known many women who have had great experiences there (especially since they made the postpartum rooms all private now, at least I think they have). You acknowledge that your only issue with the place is appearance, so I say you need to suck it up. You will probably be too distracted during labor to care and only looking at your baby after delivery. Make the mature and responsible decision and stay where you are.

2 moms found this helpful

I delivered my first child in the old Prentice, which was just before the new hospital opened so they weren't spending any money on the old place. The climate control was terrible, and the bathroom was the size of a broom closet. THAT was a bleak place. I delivered my next 2 babies in the new hospital and had only so-so care with #2 on the postpartum floor. My mother was hospitalized at Christ. It looks like a hospital, not a hotel like Prentice, and you'll probably get very good care. Unless you have a c-section, you'll be discharged soon enough. No matter the setting, I have never been that comfortable in the hospital after delivering - too many people always coming into the room, never feeling clean, hospital food, etc. - and was anxious to get to my own home. I would be worried about getting to Northwestern quickly once you're in labor...especially if it happens during rush hour! You will be fine at Christ.

You are at the hospital for such a short period of time (assuming everythng goes well, which I'm sure it will) and you will be so involved with your newborn, will you really even notice the aestetics of the room? Probably not. I live in northwest indiana but because I work at Northwestern in Chicago insurance wise I had to deliver both kids at Prentice - one at the old one and the other one in the newer building. To be honest both experiences were just as special in their own way. Sounds to me like Christ is a fine hospital other than it not being as "nice" as Prentice. If you feel comfortable with the docs there and the hospital in general I say go for it.

I was in the exact same position as you. I had my first at Northwestern and then moved to SW suburbs when pregnant with #2. I also looked at Christ and really wanted to like it (my brother is a doctor there). I was unimpressed with the smaller rooms and older facilities (my husband did not like the more restrictive visiting hours and the fact he'd get a chair, not bed, to sleep in). But the main reason that I decided to go back to Northwrstern was because at Christ, they do not have private recovery rooms. Therefore, if you have a C-section, you are placed in a room full of OB/GYN post- surgery patients and you CANNOT see your baby for 3+ hours, until you are put in a private postpartum room for the remainder of your stay. I ended up having an emergency Csection at Northwestern and am so glad I was able to hold my baby as soon as I was stitched up. If it wasn't for the lack of private recovery rooms, I would have switched to Christ because it is a very respectable hospital. I disagree that most of the patients are lower income because of the location (Oak Lawn is not a bad suburb). The bulk of ER patients may be low income because it is one of only three Level 3 hospitals in Chicago area. I don't think the bulk of OB patients are low income.
I will add that my sister-in-law delivered 2 kids there, via C-section, so she did not see the babies for several hours. She delivered at Christ because of insurance. She loved her doctor, and had no other complaints.

I have done a little work at Christ and it seems to be a very good, respected hospital. The part of town it's in means the average patient is lower income and there's probably more diversity than at Prentice. If you watch the news, a lot of gunshot victims, etc., end up at Christ because of its location, but also because it has a highly respected level 3 trauma unit. I found the caliber of doctors to be very high. They also have a very respected children's hospital attached, Hope Children's Hospital. So, I'd say go where you feel most comfortable as that's important. But if you stay with Christ I think you'll find your care is top notch though the hospital is a little more worn. I think you'll get great care at Prentice, too. Maybe ask to meet the doctors to see if that will sway your decision? My guess is you can't go wrong at either place. Go with your gut. Good luck with the delivery and new baby!

Hmmmm, I don't know... I worked downtown for years and saw my OB/GYN during lunch hours. Even though we lived in the west suburbs (Villa Park), I kept going to see her bc she was excellent, I loved the practice and I loved Prentice. I'm currently expecting my third and haven't worked downtown for quite some time. I still see the same OB/GYN and will commute to Prentice when the time comes (and naturally pray that 290 isn't backed up!). You should do what you feel comfortable - if you loved your old doctor and had a great experience at Prentice, then there's no shame in going back, especially bc you are this late in the pregnancy. There's no right or wrong answer here. Just follow your gut! Good luck!

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