For those who *like* hospital births.

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Chimmy's picture
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For those who *like* hospital births.

I don't think this is a topic that we've really spoken about much here - although I first want to start out by saying that this thread is for those who DO like hospital births, so please don't turn this into a debate.

I was talking with a friend the other day who has had both home & hospital births & honestly prefers the hospital over home. I enjoyed our conversation because it allowed me to see & understand a perspective that I don't see very often. Most of those who I know who have had homebirths end up staying home with other pregnancies & births, unless medical needs call for a hospital birth.

I can relate to some of her thoughts - with my last homebirth I honestly did find it stressful with my other kids around, I think the fact that they were all sick added to that but I did like having a few quiet (well no kids quiet anyway) before I went home & faced reality. Of course you trade that with other things but some don't mind the intervening.

Soo this conversation has lead me here, I'm curious to hear from others who might enjoy hospital over home. Even if you've never had a homebirth - what is it about hospital births that you do like? Smile

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I haven't had a homebirth, and I think I would like it if it were feasible for us, so I really can't compare the two, but there were definitely things I liked about the hospital.

I appreciated the recovery time without having to worry about everything going on in my house (family staying with us, keeping up with housework, etc.) Of course not all hospitals are the same, but the one I had my daughter at was wonderful. The postpartum area is so quiet and peaceful, I had the same night nurse every night and the same day nurse every day and they were AWESOME. Sooooo helpful to a first time mom, especially with breastfeeding. They were extremely supportive. My night nurse, being a breastfeeding mom herself, took so much time to help me and was actually more helpful than the lactation consultant. Because the postpartum ward is small, one nurse took care of four or five moms, and one nurse took care of four or five babies (when they were in the nursery). So they could take their time and give you plenty of attention if you needed help with something. They never disturbed me at night unless it was absolutely necessary (I kept my daughter with me 99% of the time, but at one point I put her in the nursery, and they woke me up to feed her). They really did a great job pampering all the moms, so that all we had to worry about was resting and nursing! Once I got home, there was really no chance for rest. So I think that was my favorite part- being able to just focus on my baby and my recovery.

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I'm one of those mom's that is not able to do a home birth, so I'm rather stuck with the hospital. I will say though that there are some positives in the short time I'm there.

- First and foremost the control of visitation! Here in Calgary they changed the rules so only your significant other (aka dad), doctor/midwife, and coach are permitted to see you from the moment you've entered L&D to the moment you walk your butt out the next day. Most of us don't stay any longer than 8 hours (overnight) and are discharged the morning after your baby is born. In that short time you are blissfully free of MIL, Mothers, Brothers, sisters, aunts and cousins. You get that time to focus on meeting your LO and learning all the new and wonderful things about your new little joy!

- You don't have to cook... mind you the food is usually awful, but our hospital has a nice bistro in it so I can bribe hubby to dash down and grab me something edible before he gets kicked out for the night Blum 3

-You have nurses at your 24hour call, they can help with latching issues, help you through that horrible 'rinse bottle' phase hours after birth and are usually totally great at reassuring you that yes the swelling will go down and you won't be carting two half filled footballs around between your legs for life hehehe

- Family and friends that would normally have invaded your space were you at home and not under lock and key at the hospital find themselves waiting around your house bored... and often feel obligated to clean/cook/shop for you in your absence... usually you come home to a clean house, a full fridge and a warm meal... and you can sleep soundly that night knowing hubby hasn't burnt the house down trying to make himself food. (Ongoing joke in my house since our fire alarm seems to go off everytime he makes toast, even though we both know he's a fantastic cook!)

I know there are drawbacks to hospitals, but since I've no other options and to be honest for my own safety I wouldn't dream of trying to birth at home, but the hospitals can... if you try really hard be a comfort through the labor and delivery, and pp recovery the day after. I wouldn't want to stay there a week... but the night/day I get is usually rather nice. And of course there's the ultimate bonus... I am not stressed about rupture bleeds because I know they're ready and prepared for whatever I'll throw at them. (Last time they had the bleeding stopped before the Doctor had finished saying "we have a bleed")

... now if I can only get the L&D nurses not to be total wankers while I'm in labor... Blum 3

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I did miss the couple days of quiet at the hospital with my homebirth, but I didn't miss the nurses bugging me or the bed...or the food.

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Eirinn - I also live in Calgary!

I will not attempt a home birth. I like the piece of mind at the hospital.

I like that I will have help with breastfeeding if needed.

I never found that the nurses invaded my privacy or bugged me in any way.

Honestly, I think I like being pampered after labour (which I very much felt like they did after DD). It couldn't have been a better experience!

On the other hand, those people whom I know who have had home births often say the same things - each to their own I guess.

I do love reading home birth stories though! kudos to you ladies!

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I didn't read the other replies yet so I'm sure I'll repeat some stuff, but I do like hospital births. I would consider a homebith in different circumstances but as it is I don't see any reason to not have a hospital birth. I love my CNM, the hospital I will be delivering at now does water births, it's a small hospital so you get a lot of personal attention from the nurses (I think most people in my area choose to deliver where I had my first two, the nice, big, new hospital with awful nurses Lol ), the nurses at the hospital were WONDERFUL when I had DS. DS received a personal birthday card from the nurse who delivered him last year. I never felt like I was pressured into anything when I delivered there last year and I felt like I made my own decisions even though I didn't end up delivering with my midwife.
Plus, my dh works a LOT, he'll likely have to work a bit while I'm in the hospital and he doesn't get much time off. Honestly, staying in the hospital after giving birth is almost like a vacation to me Lol I am fed 3 meals a day right in my bed and the older kids are taken care of and get to come see me and the baby once or twice a day. I get to take a shower and have someone available to watch the baby while I do so. I had MIL come last year when DS was born to 'help' and I found it so stressful, I just don't have naturally helpful people in my life. She actually commented on how my laundry baskets were all full and I should fold it all/put it all away right out of the dryer, great advice for someone who doesn't have a 3 day old newborn Wink when she wasn't giving housekeeping advice she wanted to hold 'her' baby. Almost forgot another bonus to being in the hospital. My nurses were great with reading my cues, better than my family! When we had visitors who lingered a little too long on that first night when I was exhausted it was nice that I had a nurse who could come in and be the 'bad guy' and tell everyone I needed my rest.

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haven't had a home birth myself either- so i think these happy thoughts to content myself with the hospital birth.

- can you say housekeeping? if i were at home i'd have to change my OWN sheets... and wash them.... and remake the bed......

- this hospitals food only kinda sucks, and as long as you dont have dietary restrictions you can have ice cream with every meal

- pantry area where SOMEBODY ELSE makes the jello... and does the dishes!

- LC on staff, instead of making a call, making an appt etc, you just mention it to a nurse and she appears! the nurses here were not very helpful at all with BFing. but thats ok, i know the LC by name Smile

- they hand me ibuprofen on time, i dont need to go hunting for it. and they refill my water. and they kick people out if i want them to.

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DH would never sign on for me to have a baby at home and I don't know if it would be for me anyway. All of my births have been hospital births and all but one have been a good experience. I feel that I am strong enough to fight for my birth wishes so I don't worry much about interventions. What I do like about the hospital is the mess is there and not at my house. The biggest thing I like is being taken care of for a day or two before heading home to "real" life. I feel that once I get home regardless of the fact that I have just had a baby I still have to do things for the kids, etc. I was talking to my mom yesterday about this very thing. She had her last two at home and she did agree that having all the other kids there needing to be taken care of was extremely overwhelming.

I am fed 3 meals a day right in my bed and the older kids are taken care of and get to come see me and the baby once or twice a day. I get to take a shower and have someone available to watch the baby while I do so.

This is great too!!

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I totally understand and support a woman who prefers hospital. I'm not pro-homebirth, but rather pro-choice.

However, I would like to argue that a homebirth done right, you wont have issues with unwanted visitors, feeling obligated to clean/cook/care for other children, lack of help (breastfeeding or otherwise) etc. A proper support system set-up will make these points moot.

If you truly can't do it this way, then by all means, enjoy the hospital stay! Most homebirthers *do* get pampered, cared for prenatally, cooked for, no obligations to clean and proper childcare as well as no unwanted visitors.

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I totally understand and support a woman who prefers hospital. I'm not pro-homebirth, but rather pro-choice.

However, I would like to argue that a homebirth done right, you wont have issues with unwanted visitors, feeling obligated to clean/cook/care for other children, lack of help (breastfeeding or otherwise) etc. A proper support system set-up will make these points moot.

If you truly can't do it this way, then by all means, enjoy the hospital stay! Most homebirthers *do* get pampered, cared for prenatally, cooked for, no obligations to clean and proper childcare as well as no unwanted visitors.

I don't think we were trying to say that a homebirth didn't include these things... just what we liked about the hospital. I certainly didn't mean for it to sound like a homebirth couldn't have them, so I'm sorry if it came off that way. I was only trying to describe the helpful support I received during my hospital stay. I'm quite certain that you could receive the same support in a birth center or at home. Unfortunately, I personally wouldn't be able to have the support system for a homebirth. My family lives 1000 miles away, and any friends who I would comfortable having there either work full time or have small children of their own and so wouldn't be able to help, even though I know they would want to. With my daughter, I was completely on my own shortly after coming home from the hospital, and that was challenging. I wish circumstances were different so that I could have that kind of support at home, but at this point in time it isn't an option, so I will make the best of what I can get!

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the only 2 things I preferred about the hospital/birth center birth was having the LC on staff, and having hot meals brought to me in bed. DH doesn't cook and so the only meal we had after the HB was good ol' Wendy's.. lol.

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"JorgieGirl" wrote:

I totally understand and support a woman who prefers hospital. I'm not pro-homebirth, but rather pro-choice.

However, I would like to argue that a homebirth done right, you wont have issues with unwanted visitors, feeling obligated to clean/cook/care for other children, lack of help (breastfeeding or otherwise) etc. A proper support system set-up will make these points moot.

If you truly can't do it this way, then by all means, enjoy the hospital stay! Most homebirthers *do* get pampered, cared for prenatally, cooked for, no obligations to clean and proper childcare as well as no unwanted visitors.

All of that, exactly. I have had 3 hospital births and 2 home births. They both had pros and cons. Also, I am the type of person that really feels uncomfortable and out of control when people do things for me. After Daniel's birth, I had to go to the hospital because of BP issues. Being waited on felt so weird. Also, in the winter here, the hospitals have a "No visitors under 12" rule. I couldn't imagine my older kids NOT being a part of the baby's first 24-48 hours.

Hmmm..The pros to my hospital births:
Diapers and formula supplied to me
The birth certificate, newborn blood work, and newborn hearing screen were taken care of for me
No sheets, blankets, or towels to wash.

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"emommyof2" wrote:

- First and foremost the control of visitation! Here in Calgary they changed the rules so only your significant other (aka dad), doctor/midwife, and coach are permitted to see you from the moment you've entered L&D to the moment you walk your butt out the next day. Most of us don't stay any longer than 8 hours (overnight) and are discharged the morning after your baby is born. In that short time you are blissfully free of MIL, Mothers, Brothers, sisters, aunts and cousins. You get that time to focus on meeting your LO and learning all the new and wonderful things about your new little joy!

OMG, that would be my worst nightmare! :eek: The only thing that made being in the hospital after Tiven's birth relatively tolerable was having visitors. The whole experience sucked, the LC sucked, there was one ICN nurse who was so clueless that I had to wonder if they just dragged him in off the street, they didn't keep up on my pain meds unless I threw a tantrum, they forgot to feed me twice, it was just awful and I knew I was stuck there for at least the three days Tiven would be in ICN. Having family visit was my saving grace! We had about 25 family members come out on Saturday & Sunday, we had pizza delivered, it was like a little party in my room and it saved my sanity.

At the same hospital, after Weston's birth, I had a much much better experience. Probably part of it was being on the postpartum ward, whereas with Tiven they kept me in L&D so I was close to the ICN, and it wasn't a holiday weekend so they were fully staffed, with no temps. Because of Weston's birth weight (10'10") they wanted to do blood draws every two hours to check for sugar issues, but after the first four were good, I said no more & didn't get any argument. The nurses were great, they brought my meals & pain meds on the dot, they really read my cues & helped when I needed it, but mostly stayed away since that's what I wanted. At night, the nurse wore a headlamp so she didn't even turn on the lights to check my vitals! My room setup included a beautiful big cushy bathrobe that I got to take home, two glasses of chilled champagne (which they'd swap for sparkling cider if you asked) and the most incredible shower massager thing I've ever experienced. I have to admit that I did pretty much enjoy that stay, and wouldn't feel too bad if I ended up there again. Blum 3

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There were things about my hospital birth that I enjoyed. I've not had a homebirth yet but do want to go that route next time (if there is a next time).

I liked my nurses and I liked that they cleaned up the bathroom after I bled all over it while I was going to the bathroom after a very heavy post partum gush. I liked that the nurses were strangers to me so I didn't feel embarrassed about things, had my mom or DH been cleaning up after the gush I wouldn't have felt comfortable about it and would've done it myself.

I liked that DH and I could hang out undisturbed with our new baby and he didn't have to go cook supper or anything. He would have and is a great cook, but it was nice to have him at my side instead of running the household.

Since it was a hospital, my mom felt like she could trust them with me and didn't feel the need to be with me 24/7. Whereas if I homebirth, she is going to be a problem. I know I can take steps to get around that, but when it comes to my mom I am passive and trust me, it's gonna be a problem Smile

ETA: I did like the security also. I VBA2C'd and I knew my risks were minimal, but they were still there so I did feel more comfortable having my excellent surgeon OB on hand just in case.

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"Spacers" wrote:

OMG, that would be my worst nightmare! :eek: The only thing that made being in the hospital after Tiven's birth relatively tolerable was having visitors.

I thought it would be rather horrible too, but I guess I just lucked out with my timing with my kids because other than DD#2 I've never spent more than 18 hours in the hospital prior to giving birth. Evening babies mean you get transferred to the other unit just in time to eat and pass out for the night, and your discharged in the morning!

With DD#2 I was there for 2 weeks, most of which unconscious... but they allowed me visitors because of the situation. (or the rules were different back in 2001.. I can't remember) With my last I had from 4pm to 10am to recover, relax, and worry about breastfeeding rather than if MIL was going to show up and give me another 2 hour lecture on the proper British swaddling techniques of the 1970's! Blum 3

I guess you just have to have a MIL like mine to really need a hospital staff to give you a few hours peace! LOL

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I had DS at the hospital and found the experience nice enough.

Hot food delivered 3 times a day was a BIG plus. I had no idea I would be so hungry. By the time my tray showed up I would inhale the food without even tasting it. Once i got home I had to find food, make it and then clean up. Family helped but it was still nice to have magic food appear at the hospital.

Most of my stay was not uncomfortable, they let me labor in any position, no one badgered me about drugs or intervention (though it was a 2 hour delivery so maybe they didn't have time? Blum 3 ) Will stayed with me until the second night when the nurse came in, took one look at me and asked permission to take him ot the nursery and assured me she would bring him back in 2 hours to nurse (by the 2nd night I was a wreck, the nurse was a good person).

All in all it wasn't a bad place to have a baby, and if a home birth weren't available I would birth there again happily. In fact, if we had an in-between option here, like a birth center I would prefer that to home.

This will be an interesting question to re-visit after my home birth in a few weeks.

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I really had a good hospital birth. It is so nice to have everything provided and convenient. No worry about clothes, they just took the dirty ones away and gave me a new gown. I didn't have to rent a birth tub or anything like that, there was one there ready for use if wanted and jacuzzi tubs for labor in every room. There was nothing to do for the first 24 hours except bond as a family. They even gave us gifts to take home such as baby bag and spaghetti dinner.

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"Melissa1223" wrote:

This will be an interesting question to re-visit after my home birth in a few weeks.

It's certainly a question that I have been playing with & also why I began talking to my friend about her reasons for going back to the hospital after three homebirths. Having had 4 hospital births myself & 1 homebirth. I absolultley loved the birth itself, it was soo wonderfully nice to stay home while in labor. The birth itself was very quiet & peaceful and quick. The postpartum time was incredibly stressful for us though - the night I went into labor my daughter started throwing up, and for the first month afterwards all 5 kids were sick. I never got to rest & the family I did ask to come help, didn't help. When I've been in the hospital for some reason my family is more helpful. Frustrating, but it is what it is. So I've honestly thought of having a hospital birth this time just so I can rest for a few days - although I have thought of other ways to combat that - geting a pp doula to help, but my family really aren't that great at helping & the pp doula care is limited.

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My family is the same way. Would your family be offended if you talked to them about it now? Maybe asked if they could take the kids to their home(s) for a few days for a sleepover if that's possible?
I do like my hospital births, and I just don't know that having a homebirth for me would make the experience any better. You already know you like the birth experience better so it'd be worth asking for more help and maybe if they took the kids for a sleepover it'd help more than asking them to help at your home. A doula could help with a lot of the things the hospital nurses would if you just had your newborn at home.

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I was a home birth turned hospital birth... I would have much preferred to birth at home, but there were a few things I enjoyed about my hospital birth:

My Mom was with me through my whole labour (all 28 hours of it) and delivery and she stayed for a few hours after William was born too. But then she went home to sleep. So during that time while she wasn't around I had nurses and a LC to help me with breastfeeding. It was nice to have the nurses on call to help me when I needed it.

I HATED the delivery bed. The bottom part of it detached for the pushing phase, but the whole bed was so uncomfortable.
I LOVED the recovery bed! I could move it up and down how I felt and it made it easier to get up and out of bed. When I got home I had some trouble getting in and out of bed on my own and wished I could have brought the hospital bed home with me!

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For me a home birth sounds ideal as far as the labor and delivery portion. However, I enjoyed having my hospital births for the postpartum phase.

1. Someone to wash my sheets and clean up all of the mess.
2. Warm showers that I didn't have to clean and towels that I didn't have to wash.
3. Food brought to be on time that I didn't have to prepare or clean up after.
4. Visits the second time from DD1, but having the responsibility to care for her full time for a few days while I became acquainted with DD2.

5. Everyone primarily visited in the hospital so once I was home I didn't have tons of visitors.

However, by the time I was discharged I could not wait to get out of there! It was great for about 36 hours and then it started to feel like a prison. Smile

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I've had two hospital births and they both went well.

L&D aren't an issue in my hospital as there is a natural birthing room and the nurses/staff assigned to that room understand what you are trying to do with a natural birth.

As far as the post-partum in the hospital - what I liked:

1. 3 meals a day that appear at set times and no clean up afterwards
2. Someone to help with the baby 24/7 if needed
3. I personally don't have anyone who can help afterwards at home, so DH and I would be totally on our own if I had a homebirth
4. Not having to take care of DS immediately when DD was born was a relief. I was able to bond immediately with DD. Because they are so close in age I often feel torn between the two of them and their needs at this point and can't imagine dealing with this in the first 24 hours.
5. No clean up of the birth, clothing, towels, blood ect. from the birth (though some midwives help with this, right?)
6. birth certificate, blood draws etc. all done at the hospital and you don't have to go out for appointments to get these things done.
7. Hospital provides diapers, wipes, maxipads, witchhazel pads, ice packs etc. that you get to take home with you. (minor, but still a plus!)

Good luck with your decision! Wish you had somewhere the older kids at least could go for a day or two. That sounds like it would be ideal for you.

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I'm quite sure that if i properly planned a home birth i could have more people to help for the next 4 days than i could possibly need! Heck, if they were all in the living room i might make them sign up for shift for post-partum assistance Smile MWA ha ha ha...i have a plan now! for everyone who comes to visit in the hospital, i'll have a list- sign up and write your # in case i can't remember it when i'm tired, pick a day and what you can help with- or better yet, i'll just put 3 slots in the day and one will be food, one will be cleaning, and one will be errands, so i can make a list of what i need each day and it will just HAPPEN. That way if someone has to work they could make me casserole, sandwitches and snacks and make sure i have cereal and milk- they helped for a whole day and could drop it off and leave! mwa ha ha ha! i'm evil Smile then daily the next person could look at my cleaning list and spend some time starting laundry, doing dishes and taking out trash, then they could be done or stay and "visit" and for Errands i could have a shopping list and some $ set aside for what i need, and DD's carseat so they can take DD to the park while they are out!

i'm an evil genius!

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i have never had a homebirth but i can honestly say, i feel more at ease during labor knowing that IF something goes wrong, i'm there in a hospital. i've heard and seen too many horror stories of women having 6 normal, healthy homebirths and then the 7th turns out wrong, that thought just adds to any uneasiness i have about homebirthing. that's just not a chance that i personally want to take. but mainly, like i said, i just feel more at ease, believe it or not, in a hospital. i WOULD, however, go to a birthing center probably. our birthing center is right down the road from our hospital but my insurance isn't covering that right now. Beee

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I absolutely loved my hospital birth and have no desire for a home birth. Here are the reasons why:

1) I was actually very uncomfortable laboring at home. I am a worrier by nature, and I really did calm down once I was out of my house and was able to labor more effectively.

2) I adore my midwives, and they don't do home births.

3) Our house isn't really set up with a good place for a birth pool, and I loved loved loved laboring in the water. I tried laboring in bathtubs early on in labor and it was not fun. The difference between a bath tub and a birthing pool is night and day.

4) It gave family time to drive up here after I went into labor. I wasn't worried that my MIL and FIL would show up at the house while I was still in labor (which happened to my sister), but I also wasn't worried that I would be spending the first day or so without family there to help out.

5) My doula lives an hour away from me. The hospital is just about halfway between us.

6) I liked having nurses take care of me. I like what someone else said - I wasn't embarrassed because I didn't know the nurses. Once I got home it was different - I kept trying to do things myself because I didn't want to ask my MIL for help (my MIL is great, btw... she was a tremendous help and I don't want to make it sound otherwise - but it was nice to have nurses for the first day).

But there were things I didn't like so much: the LC was awful; because there was meconium in the fluid, there were hospital regulations that I found annoying; etc. But overall it was a great experience.

Now, there's been some talk about building a birth center here. I think that would be the best if both worlds, and would have a baby there in a heartbeat! But home just isn't for me - at least, not now.