Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Last night while having dinner with some favorite friends, I got to catch up on all the baby gossip from her office (side note: despite logical indications that birth rates should slow way down, I personally know more women now who are pregnant than ever before). One of them had initially decided to go the uber-medical route and chose a "high risk" provider as her OB. But, recently something changed and she determined that she would much prefer a birth center setting. Sometimes, I get so excited that I forget to take off my doula hat, so I thought that an appropriate way to deal with my overly-helpful suggestions would be to offer this situation to the blog-dom. Here are the small hurdles in this particular case: 1) the mom is about 28 weeks 2) she feels most comfortable in a hospital setting (i.e. is not opposed to interventions) but prefers the comfort and vibe of a birth center 3) her insurance will not cover a private room 4) she lives in New York City. Apparently recently she looked at the birthing center at St. Luke Roosevelt and was told that all availability for July is already booked.
- Check out Long Island College Hospital or Bellview Hospital- both have birth center options.
- Check out the Brooklyn Birthing Center. They are very good about accepting late transfers.
This is a good resource about Birth Centers in NYC.
- Talk to your provider about the availability of a bath-tub or shower, if you are "allowed" to eat and drink, and how fetal monitoring is done. I feel like these rules are some of the biggest differences between hospital birth and birth center birth.
- Get a doula. Her calm and nurturing presence will help mitigate some of the bright, busy hospital energy. The Metropolitan Doula Group has an extensive list of doulas with all experience levels and range of prices. Birth Focus is a doula group that offers a once a month "meet the doula night".
-Pack a BIG birth bag. Include beautiful objects that remind you of home. For example: comfortable slippers, pictures of your family or favorite places, a sheer scarf to put over some of the bright lights, extra pillows, a CD of your favorite music, Bach Rescue Remedy, a soft pashmina, a pretty colored washcloth, etc. Also, bring snacks for both you and your partner. Even if you're not allowed to eat in a hospital, someone can always "accidentally" give you a small handful of almonds.
- Make a birth plan. Pick three things that are important to you in the management of your birth. Tell your provider that these issues are very important to you. My favorite one is asking to wait to cut the cord until it stops pulsing. That way no one can run away with your baby.
What is your advice for this woman? What are other scenarios that you might like to discuss in this space?
Posted by Kate Zondervan at 7:39 AM