Although I was only in the hospital for 12 minutes by the time my baby was born, I have some thoughts about birthing in a hospital vs other locations. Of course, I've only had a baby in the hospital, but I suspect a birthing center or home birth would be better in the following ways:
- There were no less than 5 nurses in the room when my baby came out. Yet, they were all really busy with their "jobs" (ie strapping on a fetal monitor, sticking me with an IV) and not a single one was paying attention to me as a patient when I involuntarily shot my baby two feet across the bed. She nearly fell off the end! My husband was the one calling out that the baby had crowned, her head was out and that SHE was out. I would like to think that at my house, protocol would take a back seat to catching the baby.
- I went to the hospital 100% healthy and my baby and I left with a cold.
- I noticed a rash on my abdomen the day I was checking out. I asked the nurse if she had any idea what it might be. She said that sometimes you can pick these things up in a hospital. Eck!
- My insurance and I paid almost $1000 per day to stay there.
- I had to ask permission to take ibuprofen and pay $12 for one pill when I had a $3 bottle at home.
- Those beds are terribly uncomfortable.
In an effort to be fair, I can also think of 6 reasons I am glad Lily was born in the hospital:
- She was covered in meconium and if it had been in her lungs, we would have been minutes from the NICU for treatment.
- I definitely left a bit of a "mess" in the labor and delivery room that I'm glad I didn't have to clean up.
- Lily had really low glucose and needed food asap at birth. They gave her formula right away and through a tube so she didn't have to have a bottle.
- Room service took my order for three solid meals per day. No limit on dessert, even at breakfast... :)
- Despite the strange ones, I had several very caring nurses to help me with any need, concern or question that arose (including breastfeeding). And, two of them wrote notes in a Congratulations card I received in the mail!
- Birth is natural, but sometimes things go wrong. I am glad that we had a staff at the ready just in case anything had gone wrong.