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Old 02-13-2013, 09:24 AM   #1
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Small hospital = more personalized care?

I'm not sure where to post this but we live very rural, the closest hospital is about 45 minutes. I'm using a midwife that works there, and will deliver with her at the hospital. They are starting to offer water births in March so thats what I'm hoping for.
The clinic attached to the hospital is pretty big sized, and it's all new. They always seem pretty busy but she's only been late to my appointment once because she was delivering a baby. My next appointment might be the only one DH makes it to so I decided to call and see if we could tour the birth center. So I called the floor and they said no problem, come before your appointment. I got to looking more at their website. It's so little, like sometimes they go 2 weeks without a single baby being born! Last year 200 babies were born there.
Now I went with a midwife to get a more personal experience, and I'm really hoping that since its such a small hospital that the nurses are just as great and personal.
With DS I delivered at a huge hospital with an OB, it was horrible, the nurses told me I had no pain tolerance(I had a natural birth, no pain meds), acted as though I was an inconvenience. The LC basically just gave me a breast pump and said goodluck.
So I'm SOOOO hoping for a better experience thing time.
So opinions, smaller hospital=more personal care?

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Old 02-13-2013, 01:01 PM   #2
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Re: Small hospital = more personalized care?

I don't think size has as much to do with it as adequate/educated staff and policies. I go to a large hospital and they have a great staff and awesome reasources.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
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Re: Small hospital = more personalized care?

I've delivered at 4 different hospitals. We definitely had the best experience at the smallest hospital. That's not to say that you can't get a good experience at a larger hospital. But, in my opinion, the reason the experience was so much better at the smaller hospital had to do with 3 factors. First of all, they could afford to give me more 1-1 nursing care since they didn't have a high nurse-patient ratio. Secondly (and maybe more importantly?), they were able to be more flexible. This ties to factor number three, which is that I was a real person instead of a patient ID in a room number. In a big, urban hospital with many patients day in and day out, it is hard for them to make exceptions to "rules" and though they often try their hardest to give personalized care, that is difficult when you have a "conveyor built" of patients moving through your floor all day long every day. A lot of the time, in a larger hospital, the nurses are really used to hooking patients up to the monitors, getting them their epidurals, and checking in on them periodically. They can handle a larger number of patients this way. But if you don't want that experience and "require" more care due to your unmedicated birth plan, this *can* be harder to get accommodated at a larger hospital.

That's my opinion based on my experience, anyway. I think if you have good, supportive care providers, that's the most important factor. But having them at a small hospital *can* give you a better, more personalized experience, I think. I hope it works out well for you, mama :-)
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Old 02-13-2013, 11:04 PM   #4
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Re: Small hospital = more personalized care?

We live in a very rural area as well...closest hospital is 1.5 hours away. The hospital has about the same number of births as your hospital, but mine doesn't offer water births. I haven't had a baby at that hospital yet, but so far all the interactions I've had there have been much better than at the large hospital where I delivered DD1 (in the Chicago suburbs).
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:28 PM   #5
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Re: Small hospital = more personalized care?

I had both of mine at a small hospital and both were great, with the second being amazing. My nurses were wonderful and supportive. All of them were LC's, so we got a great start with nursing. I adore my small hospital. They have jetted labor tubs, but do not offer water births. That didn't bother me because I have no interest in that.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:01 PM   #6
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Re: Small hospital = more personalized care?

I have seen it both ways. Often smaller hospitals are more open to less-intervention simply because they don't have the means to offer all that stuff.

I have also seen them take more conservative measures whereas in a bigger hospital that issue wouldn't have been of particular concern.

In my opinion, and from what I have seen as a doula with over 150 births at many different facilities, I would always take my chances with a smaller hospital because I see better things happening there .
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