We went for our tour of Northside's Women's Center yesterday. This hospital delivers more babies (around 20,000 a year) than anywhere in the country and 40% of them are delivered by C-section (not a high point in my book). I'm glad we did the tour just to find out where is the right spot to go in when you're in labor! I was hoping that seeing the place where we would deliver would help with some of my growing anxiety around the birth. It did and it didn't. I'll try to explain.
We heard and saw some good things that I was pleased about:
The labor and delivery rooms are very large with plenty of room to move about.
You don't have to wear their gown, if you don't want to.
The rooms have wi-fi, so we can update everyone the blog on our progress.
There are a lot of measures in place to prevent someone taking her out of the area where babies should be (i.e., stealing her).
There are controls on the bed to work the lights and the temperature (sounds convenient).
There were some other things that made me feel like maybe a home birth really is more of what I wanted:
Moms in labor can only have ice chips and popsicles.
When you arrive, you need to get in the bed and start the monitoring. I am going to inquire further about this rule because I was led to believe that I would not have to stay in bed.
When she is delivered, she will immediately go over to be checked out, measured etc.; meaning she won't be in my arms or breastfeeding in those first few minutes.
If there aren't any complications, 2 hours after delivery you have to move to another, smaller room.
There are lactation consultants, but if you have a normal delivery they probably won't get to you before you go home
I have been doing a lot of reading about natural childbirth and things like being able to eat and drink during labor will help you stay hydrated and give you energy and also help baby to endure the stress of labor better. I have also read that birth is painful for babies and one of the most soothing things for them is to be able to nurse right after delivery. This also helps to immediately establish breastfeeding and release hormones that help with Mom's recovery after delivery. Knowing myself, I think that I will be able to cope with labor a lot better if I can move around and keep trying different things rather than be stuck in that bed. I am also nervous about them wanting to turn over the labor and delivery room because that may mean that you get pushed into a C-section if they need the space and your labor is progressing slowly. I know you think it wouldn't happen, but from the research I have been doing, it happens rather often.
Hopefuly at my next appointment with the midwife I can bring up some of these concerns and we can identify a work around or something.