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What's the Best Hospital to Deliver at for a Natural Birth?

I'd like help choosing a hospital that is most likely to allow a natural birth without unnecessary interventions. From the few questions I asked at my current OB's office, I felt as though she uses "scare tactics" to get you to do what she wants...even about something as simple as whether to be induced at 41 or 42 weeks. I'm afraid I'll be vulnerable to an alarmist, especially during labor, so I want someone who is factual without being overly dramatic or manipulative. (e.g. Instead of "If you don't do X, you're risking the death of your baby" I'd rather hear, "If you don't do X, there's a 5-10% chance of..."). I know part of this is the doctor or midwife I choose, but I also imagine different hospitals have different attitudes (mom-friendly vs. cover-their-butts-at-all-costs) so I want to choose a hospital first, then a doctor.

I've heard that some hospitals have strict time-lines where if you haven't progressed at a certain rate, or you've been in labor for "too long" they want to take steps to speed things along. I'd really appreciate feedback from people on various hospitals in the area.

I'm leaning toward the ABC Center at Providence, but I wonder if I'll be happy with the "regular" side if I'm transferred. Does anyone have any experience with the "regular" Providence vs. other hospitals?

I've also heard from two people that they had a good experience at Crittenton. I wonder if a smaller hospital puts less pressure on the patients to progress at a certain speed (since larger hospitals may need the rooms turned over more quickly)?

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I planned on having my son at the ABC center at Providence but my son was a week late and I had to be induced because the aminiotic fluid was too low. I ended up having a c-section at Providence and the staff was awesome. I had my daughter there just a few months ago (via c-section again) and I just can't say enough good things about it. My doctor was Dr Marback from Metro Partners. She delivered my son and Dr. Lacoste delivered my daughter. They have an office in Livonia and one in Novi...yeah it's a bit of a drive if you live on the eastside, it's totally worth it!!!

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I was at the ABC unit and loved it. I went with Mary Gadbaw-Davis a Mid-Wife from Metro Partners for Women's Health. Awesome care. Loved her and all of the other Mid-Wives from her office. I have not been to the L&D of Providence for delivery but my mom delivered there five times (including my delivery) and loved it. She was always very happy with the care. Of course it is much different as far as the style of care but I am very confident that if you had one of the midwives and if you did have to transfer to L&D that they would make the transition for you feel very smooth. I don't think I could have felt more comfortable than with Mary:)

I would recommend checking in with some Doulas or therapists that specialize in Pregnancy Massage. They may know this answer also. Doulas are best as they assist you throughout your pregnancy and in the delivery room. Some hospitals will welcome them or try to 'out' them. I think they have a good idea on the ones as they are very natural!

Good Luck!

(I do not know of any off hand, but the Center for the Healing Arts does have one. Her name is Mary. Or you can search Local yahoo and research with a few calls.)

well i had my first baby at a birthing center that was in dearborn 11 years ago. it was a pleasant experience. it was warm and nurturing and no problems at all and the methods during contractions are more hands on and really work. the only reason i didnt go with my second child is because they closed the center. however i heard that they are doing homebirths. I do feel like i had a better experience at the center u may want to research on line reputable midwives,etc. u can look in the dearborn area because a lot of other cultures definetly have more resources in this. I have heard that hutzel hospital has a great midwife dept. Good luck

I was on the regular side at Providence for both of my boys. My first (June 06) was C-section under general anesthesia for fetal distress; second (12/07) was a VBAC with an epidural. I LOVED my OB (Metro Partners in Women's Health, Dr. Lacoste was my primary, Dr. Marback delivered #2). The nurses were WONDERFUL & AMAZING on both occasions! I cannot say enough about the staff there - even the housekeeping and food service departments were outstanding.
Best wishes to you - enjoy this journey!

You are a wise woman to be asking these questions and check things out. I had my kids many, many years ago during the natural childbirth craze; now it seems that everyone is getting epidurals; I admire your desire to go with what will work for your family and to look elsewhere when your doctors do not seem to be hearing you. Keep looking - it is SO worth it!

That is so awesome you are doing this wonderful research! A couple things... two of my girlfriends also delivered at Crittenton for this reason. One took the Bradley Method course & thoroughly enjoyed it. From my understanding it gives you so much information and insight to what to expect. The other was overdue and did end up being induced with water breaking and pitocin, but was completely satisfied with her experience & that's what's important.

I delivered our first here in Germany and am convinced that if I had delivered in the US I would have had a C. My labor was 36 hours in all, but my midwife (everyone here gets one) and the hospital I delivered at were VERY patient and not pushy at all with us. I loved it and have even thought about timing it to have just one more here right before we move home. Anyways, this experience has taught me trust my body and to appreciate midwives and that's what I'll be having when we move back & have our other children.

I've looked on the Internet and found some great sites to find a midwife. You can hire to support/advocate for you in a hospital. In my opion this is very important in a hostipal setting. Or you can have the baby in their facilities. I'm sure you'll research it in depth. Here are some links I found.

http://michiganmidwives.net/

http://www.nineshortmonths.com/index.html - I found this to be a great site. If you look in the About Us section you can also find other links of interests and other midwifes also.

Some other good reads were Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife, memoir by Peggy Vincent - I couldn't put it down. Also The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence by Judith Lotian. It's not a book on breathing but how your body was made to give birth and all of the natural things it will go through.

Here is some other information you might find helpful. A friend of mine who's a nurse told me the following... "So you want to do the midwife route, which kind of midwife, there are 2 ways, like we see on T.V. all natural in the birthing tubs, or some OB practices have midwifes and you deliver with them in the hospital, but no birthing tub, and you can still use epidural's etc.. A friend of ours is the number 2 midwife, and one of my girlfriends at work delivered that way. I think her practice has 3 midwifes an she only see's the midwife for her appt's. unless something is alarming, then she has to see one of the OB's. She delivered at Troy Beaumont with an epidural, just with a midwife. I know neither Beaumont's have a birthing tub, you have to go to a birthing center for one of those. I know Huron Valley is one in Commerce Township and I think Providence has one in Southfield. I do not think St. John's is one and I know St. Joe's or Henry Ford Macomb as it is now called has one. One thing to look into if you choose birthing tubs, is if there are complication where do you get transfered too. Providence you stay there, but Huron Valley, you are transfered to the DMC."

Hope this helps you. Good luck and best wishes for the delivery of your dreams!

Congrats on your happy news.

I went to Providence ABC and it was great. I too had my OB through Metro Parners. They really support the natural birthing way. If you feel your doctor is going to push you into having your baby in some way other than how you want to, then maybe you need to switch doctors. I would do it now instead of later.

You do only have 24 hours from the time you are admitted to the ABC to have the baby otherwise they will switch you to the regular L&D rooms. Then once the baby is delivered you have 24 hours from that point to leave the hospital. I wasn't progressing so they put me on a breast pump to naturally kick up the ocitocin instead of pumping me with pitocin to get the contractions going. I still had my baby within the 24 hours and didn't have to go to a regular L&D room.

There are different delivery methods out there. I decided to use the Bradley method and loved it. Start looking around now if you want to find a Bradley instructor near you. They start classes at different points but you need to make sure you will have enough time to complete the classes (I think it was 12 weeks long) before you have the baby.

My sister deliverd both her babies at the regular L&D rooms at Providence and those experiences were great too, although they do monitor you and the baby constantly (i.e. you have a strap around you to monitor baby's heart rate and contractions basically from the time you get there). At the ABC they periodically check the babies heart rate, but you don't have a strap around your stomach. At the ABC I was given food and drink as I wanted it, in the regular L&D you are limited to just ice chips for the entire time you are there.

Good luck.

Hi P. K,

I delivered my daughter just over a year ago at Providence Hospital. I was on the "regular" side and they were wonderful. They spent time with me during my labor and comforted me. It was my first baby and I was scared. I wasn't progressing so they had to induce me with pitocin. They checked on me frequently. When I asked for pain meds I received it without wait. When I received my epidural, I also didn't have to wait. The epidural wasn't painful either.

After I delivered they were great as well. The nurses were amazing and took such great care of me. I felt like it was my mom there when she couldn't be. There was only one nurse who my husband and I did not like. She was a young nurse and not very understanding or friendly. That was the only negative about the experience. We were visited by alot of staff in regards to education and having questions answered. I hope this helps you. Overall, the experience at Providence was a good one. Take care and good luck.

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