Giving Birth at a Out of Town Hospital Without Your Regular "OB" Is It Ok?

Updated on April 20, 2011
S.2. asks from Bakersfield, CA
14 answers

I'm so close to my due date (7 days out) The hospital in the town I'm in has a really low Maternity Ward rating and that info is available online and I've heard it from several people I've spoken too in this area. So, I'm pretty scared to deliver here. I'd rather go to a bigger hospital 30mins from here where I've heard nothing but good things. I have my medical records, and I know they work with the clinic I've been being seen at very closely. My only fear is that they'll not be happy to work with me or might feel like I'm a liability because I haven't been seen by a doctor in that specific town.

But, I also know they can't turn you down. So... Has anyone ever delivered in another town where they didn't get to see their primary OB? Were they treated rudely or was it a big hassle?

In my mind this must happen all the time since know one can predict labor. I just don't wanna give birth here people have scared the you know what out of me.

Thanks for the responses. I have spoken to my doctor today he says that it is fine if I want to deliver there. All they have to do is request my medical records. I trust the doctor I've been seeing but I do not trust the nurses and other medical staff. This hospital also doesn't have a lactation consultant on hand just one on call. I've heard from other people that they didn't get one only nurses to try and help out. Also, this big hospital does take my insurance, I have called and they say they don't reccommend it but I think that's what they have to say. I've had a textbook normal pregnancy. So, I can't imagine why this would be a hassle or big deal. But, that's why i'm reaching out to you mothers!
Thanks MamaPedia!

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So What Happened?

Thanks all!

I got a call back from the hospital I want to deliver at. Yesterday I called and left a VM with one of the admin people. She assured me that it was my choice as a woman. The only downside is that I would see a doctor on call but nobody would treat me rudely or different because my doctor wasn't in that area. She said that they are flattered that I feel that way and the best thing to do is bring whatever medical records I can and if I can not get what they need. They will be able to get my medical records from the clinic I've been seen at my pregnancy.
I'm nervous but can't wait to get this over with the anxiety is killing me!

Featured Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

You are very lucky that the bigger hospital will do this for you. The hospital that my sister was supposed to deliver at was horrible. I took her to a "main line" hospital near me. They were not very nice to her. They sent her back to her hospital. Fortunately she was not in heavy labor and her hospital did an ok job. I guess they are all different :(

More Answers



answers from New York on

I switched to a midwife and a different hospital in my 8th month so it can be done to switch late in the game. Maybe call and see which obs deliver at the hospital you like. In my area there are so many hospitals within 30 minutes there were a lot of choices and many doctors delivered at several hospitals not just one. You might consider a doula who is there to support you and stays in the room with you the whole labor (doctors and nurses may be busy and come and go). I had a really good one with my second baby and it made things go much smoother (she worked with my midwife all the time).



answers from Chattanooga on

Definitely go to the better hospital!!! I had a 'normal' textbook pregancy too, and wound up being in the hospital for 5 days after birth... I had chosen a hospital an hour away because I really liked their maternity ward -they had a very small nursery, because they feel that Baby needs to be with Mommy. They had a lactation consultant give a class to all nursing mothers who wanted it every morning, and a nice NICU just in case. I felt VERY comfortable putting my own and my infant's lives in their hands. I only saw my doctor 3 times... when I went into labor, when I delivered, and when she checked in on me the day after. Most of my interaction was with the nurses, who were quite amazing. I was sooo glad I had chosen NOT to deliver at the 'closer' hospitals. (there were about 6 to choose from that were closer.)



answers from San Francisco on

If you feel more comfortable with the other hospital, no one can deny you access to that. Freedom of choice is very important and in order to have a happy, healthy mama, you have to have a mama who is comfortable where she will be birthing! Get your records over to the other hospital and see if you can take a tour--you will feel better knowing you met at least a few people there before going into labor--trust me, it will help! Happy birthing to you~ :)




answers from Detroit on

The other thing to think about is your Strep B test. If you tested positive for this make sure you let the hospital KNOW this when you get there so they can give you the anitibotics so you dont pass anything onto your newborn. Good luck!!!!


answers from Dallas on

My OB was on vacation when I went into labor. The midwife did a wonderful job and I had a great experience.


answers from St. Louis on

With my son, I delivered at a hospital I had never been a patient in (had my daughter at a different one). I didn't see my doctor nor the on call doctor - because I got there and had him 20 mins later. The resident DR was the one who delivered my son and when the on call doctor got there, he stitched me up. The nurse acted kind of annoyed that I was 'freaking out' about needing drugs and wanting to push...but I guess having him 20 mins later shut her up. They said they've never had anyone come in and deliver that fast! So to me, it's great to have your primary OB but I didn't have either of my children delivered by mine. My first delivery I chose to have them call the midwife instead of the OB because I didn't really like her.



answers from Eugene on

My mom delivered us all at the "big" hospital that was an hour from our ranch rather than the "little" hospital that was 30 minutes away (granted, this is rural MT so even the big hospital was pretty small). My brother's labor lasted about 65 minutes and luckily they started early; my dad tried to go to the closer hospital and she threatened to jump out of the moving car...and he believed she'd do they arrived at the hospital and my brother was born 3 minutes later :)...I've always loved that story...



answers from Austin on

You are healthy and your baby is healthy so find a midwife and stay at home. Safer and healthier for you and the baby.


answers from Minneapolis on

I was diverted to a different hospital last minute because my hospital was full. The new hospital wasn't even one of theirs. My regular clinic/hospital was Fairview. The one I delivered at was Alina.

I'm not sure if it was because I was diverted there last minute or what, but they were VERY nice to me. They made sure I was comfortable with everything they did (Since they didn't know anything about me). They followed my Birth Plan as best they could (I was actually the changing things... In the birth plan, I wanted a mirror to see the baby being born... In the throws of labor, I wanted to keep my eyes tightly closed and refused to open them until after he was born. Lol). They made sure my experience was as perfect as possible. I loved it.

So, I don't think it really makes a difference where you go.



answers from Milwaukee on

I delivered at a different hospital with my second daughter than where my ob was from. The hospital was closer to us,I also had my medical records, and with my first daughter, I went to the hospital that my OB was part of, and he didn't deliver me anyway, so I figured, what's the difference. I had a couple comments about going there, but they weren't horrible. When you are in labor, I really don't think it matters where you go, as long as you have your records and are comfortable where you are. Good luck!!! And congrats...


answers from Los Angeles on

We live an hour from my preferred hospital. There are four in my area and the "best" one has a really bad reputation. So when my water broke at 2:20 in the morning, we packed up the kids and drove an hour to Grandma and Papa's house and then 10 minutes to the hospital. (My contractions were minimal still, so it worked fine for us. If things had been progressing faster, we'd have had my dad meet us at the hospital.)

You will be dealing with enough as it is. Worrying about the quality of care shouldn't be even on your mental radar.

Happy birthing!



answers from Chicago on

Hi S.,

First - congrats on the baby!

I have a couple questions for you -
1. Your Dr may have 'privileges' at the bigger hospital - ask him/her.

2. Is the new hospital in your 'network' for insurance purposes? Not all hospitals HAVE to take you - they only have to provide lifesaving measures and get you stable enough to transport you to the hospital that DOES have to take you - there is usually a 'county' hospital that serves this purpose.

3. Call the hospital annonymously and ask what will happen if you are 'visiting' that town and go into labor and your Dr isn't at that hospital.

4. Any time you go to the hospital that is not planned in advance there will be a hassle. My Dr called ahead and I didn't even need to check in - they knew I was coming. You won't have that benefit. But that might not matter.

5. I don't know how "big" the "big" hospital is. Some "big" hospitals are still small enough that they don't have an OB/GYN or an anesthesiologist on staff 24 hours a day and instead these Drs are "on call" which means your baby might be delivered by an ER dr or a general physician. Not necessarily bad - unless something goes wrong.

I encourage you to talk to your Dr and see what s/he says. I would rather deliver with a Dr that I trusted rather than take my chances with someone I have no idea who they are or what their strengths are as an OB.

Good Luck.



answers from Pittsfield on

Congratulations on your new baby!!!!

I would recommend you call the hospital you are interested in and tell them that you would like to deliver there because you heard such wonderful things about them. Tell them also about the doctor situation and see what they say. I can't imagine they'd want to turn you away- it is a business, after all ;)

A possible alternative (although, admittedly, this might be a bit of a stretch) is if you know someone who has delivered at that hospital, ask them who their OB was, and did they like him/her. You could call and see if you can switch. I don't know if they'd want to take a new patient that is so close to delivering, but you won't know if you don't ask.

If you plan on having other children, you should find an OB that is affiliated w/ the hospital you want to go to. Same goes w/ all your other doctors. If you ever get sick, and need to be admitted, you don't want to be stuck @ a crummy hospital. I have to drive 30 min. to see all my doctors for just that reason, but it is so worth it to me.

Very best wishes to you and your family! :)

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