Monday, October 17, 2011

Questions for the Birthing Center

There are several things I didn't like about my birthing experience at the hospital:

  • waiting so long to go to the hospital (and almost had Cannon in the car) because we were afraid of having pitocin and an epidural pushed on us. 
  • having an episiotomy. 
There is one thing I LOVED about my hospital stay: the postpartum care.

For this baby we decided that we would at least "check out" the Allen Birthing Center as an option for our labor and delivery because if we were only choosing a hospital for the meals - well, that's pretty expensive room service.

A few weeks after finding out we were pregnant we toured the Allen Birthing Center. It was cozy, comfortable and warm with big jacuzzi tubs in the rooms. 

Since I shared the questions we asked our doctor and hospital last time, I thought I'd share the questions we asked when we toured the birth center.
  • Is the birth center licensed by the state.
  • Is it accredited by the American Association of Birth Centers Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers?
  • Are all members of the staff trained in infant resuscitation?
  • Does the center take Cigna?
  • Where is the back up hospital?
  • Who is the consulting physician for the birth center? When will we get to meet him/her?
  • Do midwives have hospital privileges?
  • How many women are transferred to a hospital while in labor? After the birth of the baby? Will the midwives get to stay with the mother in l&d?
  • What are the most frequent reasons for a hospital transfer?
  • How will the center help me manage pain?
  • What is the rate of episiotomies?
  • How often do moms have their water broken and under what circumstances?
  • What methods do midwives use to get labor to progress?
  • Generally, at what point in labor does the staff recommend I come to the birth center?
  • Are there restrictions that could prevent me from using the birthing center? Are there limits on the size my baby can be? Can a woman go past 41-weeks?
We liked the environment of the birthing center, we liked their philosophy of birth, and we liked their staff, so we have decided, should everything go smoothly this pregnancy, that this will be a birthing center baby. Some days I get a little scared at not having the "option" of an epidural there in case I want it, but we're very excited to have a place to labor (the minute I have a contraction this time) that we know will be on the same page with our desire to have an unmedicated childbirth.

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