Top 10 Hospitals To Give Birth At
By Julia Lee • 10/2/10 • Filed In: Alternative Medicine
Top 10 Hospitals To Give Birth At
Julia Lee, is a contributing editor at http://www.theultimatebabyshower.com. Julia has written more than 200 articles for new mothers and freelances for her local newspaper. She is the mother of 3 year-old Karsyn and is expecting twins later this year.
No one can predict what childbirth will be like, but you can control many circumstances by carefully choosing where you have your baby. After all of your efforts and planning, like reading books, attending childbirth classes, amassing diapers and baby clothes – ther’s no way that you’d want to leave those all-important final hours of pregnancy to chance. That’s just one reason we decided to take a look at identifying some of the best places across America to give birth.
We realize that not every woman has the freedom to select where she’ll give birth.You may have chosen your obstetrician first and will deliver wherever your doctor has admitting privileges.
Or your health insurance plan may limit your choices. But knowing what qualities in a hospital to look for and learning what options are possible can help you work to effect positive changes in your own area.We looked at a variety of factors and found a wide range of policies, perks and philosophies when it comes to childbirth. Please remember that hospitals provide many choices.
Ask for a tour and inquire about the features that you’re interested in. Check hospital websites for virtual tours. We found that many hospitals will negotiate with families who have sspecial request – such as allowing the baby’s sibling to attend the birth- even if there is no specifically policy on the issue. There are many excellent hospitals in the United States; narrowing them down to our top 10 was difficult.
With that said, based on the criteria we looked at, here in alphabetical order are the facilities that stand out. We’ve also singled out five excellent birth centers in our next review, because the person who delivers your baby is at least as important as the place where you give birth.
BETH ISRAEL DEACONESS MEDICAL CENTER
What makes for an outstanding OB unit? Well, the team at Beth Isreal Deaconess belive it’s the nurses:
Many of the hospital’s obstetrics nurses have a master’s degree in nursing. Continuity of care is valued too. Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center, prefers to see that the same nurse or nurses cares for a patient throughtout her stay. Creature comforts abound as well. Postartum rooms have refrigerators, VCR, wall safes and hair dryers.
FLORIDA HOSPITAL ORLANDO
Flexibility is the watchword at Florida Hospital Orlando’s maternity unit. For example, the hospital lets families negotiate with their physician or nurse-midwife over who can attend the birth. They will work with the mother to develop a birth plan that will give her the experience that she wants. Within minutes of a birth, a lullaby is piped over the public address system.
HENNIPEN COUNTY MEDICAL CENTER
Like the progressive city it’s located in, Hennipen County Medical Center’s birth center is forward-thinking in many ways. The hospital first granted midwives admitting privileges in 1971 and now has a seperate midwife-birth unit. Patients who need high-tech services also receive thoughtful attention. For example, all obstetric nurses are trained in C-section care so patients can have the same nurse before and after surgery. Serving a diverse population of Spanish, Somali, Hmong and Russian ethnic groups, the hospital makes every effort to repect the cultural birth traditions.
MAGEE-WOMENS HOSPITAL OF UPMC HEALTH SYSTEM
Despite its large size – about 8,000 babies are born there each year on average. Magee celebrates birth with each family. For example, the hospital offers room to patients and their families, and new parents can enjoy a candelight dinner on their baby’s birth day. But Magee also emphasizes research and technology: An intensive -care unit that is designed for the most high-risk deliveries. For low-risk
deliveries, the hospital stives to achieve vaginal birth for women who want it. In fact, Magee’s rate of primary C-secection was 12.3 , well below the national average. Families receive complimentary memory books and may buy photos, video, keepsake jewelry and personalized baby books at the hospital.
SHARP MARY BIRCH HOSPITAL FOR WOMEN
SAN DIEGO, CA
A woman who gives birth at Sharp has a diverse staff of professionals – including lactation consultants, social workers, clinical specialists and clergy at her disposal, all part of the hospital’s focus on family-centered care. Its Mother’s Milk Depot allows nursing women from the community to donate breast milk to premature or sick babies in the hospital’s neonatal intensive-care unit or other local hospitals. Moreove, families can take hospital expertise home in the form of written materials and baby-care videos or CD.
ST. ELIZABETH MEDICAL CENTER
While part of a large, fully equipped medical center, St. Elizabeth’s Family Birth Place strives to operate like a small community hospital, with all the warmth and personal care that implies. During the pregnancy, each family meets privately with an obstetrics nurse to discuss delivery options and childbirth classes. Once mom arrives, she checks into a private room, where she stays until discharged. St. Elizabeth’s is a designated Baby-Friendly hospital (an honor awarded by the World Health Organization and UNICEF). Such hospitals are required to follow 10 steps that help mothers successfully breastfeed: they include encouraging the mother to nurse her baby within one hour of birth.
ST. JOHN’S HOSPITAL
St. John’s hold a World Health Organization and UNICEF Baby-Friendly designation, which means that breastfeeding support is a priority. Its highly regarded birth center, located in the hospital’s Carol Jo Vecchie Women & Children’s center, reflects its nakesake’s commitment to family life. Additionally, Doula services are offered, and certified massage therapists from the hospital’s Center for Mind-Body Medicine can help ease patient’s labor pain.
ST. LUKES’S-ROOSEVELT HOSIPTAL CENTER
NEW YORK, NY
Maternity patients can enjoy both high-tech hospital care and the homeyness of the city’s first in-hospital birth center at St. Luke’s Roosevelt. The Birthing Center is staffed by midwives as well as obstetricians, and patients who experience complications can be transferred to fully equipped operating/delivery rooms only one floor away. Comfortable family rooms are right next to birthing rooms
and there are few restrictions on who may be present during the birth.
UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL OF CLEVELANDÂ MacDONALD WOMEN’S HOSPITAL
Attention to safety as well as comfort is the hallmark at University Hospitals, where 30 percent of maternity patients are high risk. MacDonal Women’s Hospital has an attached level III neonatal intensive-care unit, and doctors or residents are in-house at all times. When babies need to stay for medical care, parents can remain close by in special sleep rooms. Midwives are allowed to deliver babies on site, doula services are available, and mom and baby are cared for by one nurse whenever possible.
WOMEN & INFANTS HOSPITAL
Women & Infants offers a range of birth options to personalize care. Women can give birth in labor-delivery-recovery rooms or at the in-hospital Alternative Birthing Center, where midwives assist.
Breastfeeding is encouraged by on-staff lactation consultants, and the in-hospital retail store, Nursing
Moms, Ect, gets praise from moms for its convenience and selection. A toll-free telephone Warm-Line is available for parents who want advice or support after they go home. Additionally, complimentary valet parking is provided by a staff member certified in infant car-seat installations.