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Finding out a hospital's ratings/reviews/statistics?? (kinda long)

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM
  • 3 Replies
ok, I'm currently 14 weeks along in my 6th pregnancy which will result in my third labor/birth and am exploring my options... I live in Alabama, where only CNMs are licensed and there's only ONE practicing in the Northern half of the state, delivering babies at only one hospital (Athens-Limestone Hospital) I'm trying to find out as much information as I can about the hospital & staff with regards to breastfeeding, newborn policies, and basically how difficult they would be if I choose to deliver there.... here's the thing, with dd1 I was trying to breastfeed, I didn't have enough knowledge or support so I went along with the nurses and gave formula too.... by the end of a month we were no longer nursing at all. with dd2 I was determined, got the knowledge and support I needed and when the staff at Helen Keller Hospital started insisting on formula I felt much more confident declining.... she was exclusively breastfed for 7 months and then we added some solid foods. never a drop of formula. still nursing about 2 or 3 times in a 24 hr period now at 2 yrs 4 months but I'm pretty sure our nursing days are numbered, as we're following her lead on this.... however dd1 was kept 4 days due to jaundice dd2 was kept 7 days due to jaundice - even though she woke on her own by every 2 hours like clockwork, latched & nursed beautifully & had plenty of wet diapers... I have been able to find the c-section & vaginal birth stats fairly easily on the state public health website, fyi the hospital in my town (ECM) has a 37% c-section rate, the next one over (Helen Keller) has a 37.8% c-section rate with both hospitals having roughly 1000 births that year and the one I would have to use in order to have a CNM deliver my baby (ALH) has only a 26% section rate (slightly promising?) their hospital website claims they encourage rooming-in, and a family centered maternity care experience but they also mention the stupid diaper/formula gift bags. Two different ones!! I am so nervous that I'll choose this route (instead of saving the money to pay a CPM & go out of state where she's legal) and then wind up stuck in the hospital for a week again with no reason!!! Is there an easy way to find out this kind of stuff? any suggestions? thanks ladies!!
by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 6:13 PM
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by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I think one of your best bets is to call an speak with both the Charge Nurse and the Nurse Manager in the Maternity Recovery Ward.  I've found that they are happy to share information.

You might want to say that you are reseaching Pediatricians and you are trying to stay away from one that diagnoses jaundice at the drop of a hat.  Let them know that you are aware that jaundice does indeed exist, but so many pediatricians seem diagnosis-happy.  Hopefully they'll tell you which pediatricians to stay away from.

And just so you're aware, you CAN check out at any time.  If it goes against what your OB or the Pedi believe, you'll have to sign a form saying it's Against Medical Advice or AMA.  They cannot force your child to stay!

You can request (demand?) that a bili-blanket is sent home with you.  You can agree (if you really want to!) that you'll return to the hospital for the heel pricks.

Remember that you can also ask for a second opinion!  I was on the phone with my Pediatrician 400 miles away when the hospital pedi wanted to send my newborn to Primary Children's for a frivilous reason.  She talked them into admitting him to the hospital NICU instead.

You have the last say in the treatment of your child, even though at times it doesn't feel like it!

Good Luck, mama!

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 8:49 PM

If the thought of going out of state for a CPM is a serious one, I have an amazing midwife for you in Franklin, TN. I know that she has had ladies come up from Alabama before. Let me know if you want her info.
And of course, there's always The Farm in Summertown.

by on Apr. 3, 2013 at 9:17 PM

 I think you would have to speak to someone like a nurse at the hospital directly.  Legally I believe they must give you that information.  It shouldn't be to hard to get.

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