Saturday, November 22, 2008

Deciding where to find the best hospital to give birth

Recently, we toured a labor and delivery unit at a large teaching hospital in the Detroit Metro area. Although the nurse unit was clean, well staffed, and the processes as explained seemed fairly efficient (moving you from LDR to postpartum and then home), it appeared to us this may not be our first choice. The impersonal nature of a high volume hospital to a first time mother who is looking forward to this very important life event was a turnoff. Unfortunately, large hospitals commonly use the number of patients as an excuse to not offer services and TLC typically found in a smaller community hospital.

According to 2006 HCUP (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project), "Pregnancy and childbirth (12 percent) and newborns (11 percent) ranked second and third among reasons for hospitalizations and, combined, were responsible for one out of four stays in hospitals." With the average cost for a uncomplicated vaginal birth ranging from $9,ooo to $17,000,is it unreal that a first time mother would expect to see amenities that exceed the basics of a birthing ball, tv and showers?

As more and more hospitals place focus on the patient experience by offering 5 star service to patients with room service, free valet parking, and in-room movies/ internet - isn't it time that expectant moms see an increase of services as well ? Offering massage therapy throughout labor (or a Doula), free first photos, water birth tubs and Aromatherapy are just a few ways the overall experience can be enhanced.

To search for obstetrical hospitals in your community - select your zip and service = obstetrics at


  1. Wow, I never heard of Doula, but I sure wish I had that when I was in labor.

  2. Personally, the only thing I wanted in labor was to be left alone. There were too many people, too many distractions, etc.

    Most of what I wanted was in the form of "Let me do what is natural". Not to deliver on my back, etc.

    Amenities are great, but I agree that services are more important. Not just "extra" services, but things like "letting" a woman birth squatting.. Having multiple GOOD lactation consultants on staff.. Stuff like that.

  3. Lil, so true, services and doing the basics well is important.

    I hope you're able to rate your hospital so others can see how it did in those areas.

    Thanks for your input!

    Barbara ~