Monday, April 23, 2012

Ask an OB: Hospital worries

Thank you for your questions! Dr. Molly will answer them as they come in and we'll post a couple to share here on the blog every Monday. Here are two to start us off . . . 

What are three common misconceptions that the NCB (Natural Child Birth) culture promotes about hospitals that you would like to dispel? - Mom of three

1. “You will be strapped into bed flat on your back the whole time you are there”. 
Actually . . . .we don’t want you flat on your back! Please walk, go in the shower, crouch on your haunches, rock on all 4s, roll on our birthing ball, etc.

2.  “The chance for a c section is 40 – 50%”.
Actually . . .  the chance for a c section in a mom who is term, low-risk, and in spontaneous labor is about 15 – 20%. Most of these are done because either the baby won’t fit, or the baby’s heart rate doesn’t tolerate the strong contractions in late labor.

3. “Your baby will be taken away from you and given meds, formula, pacifiers, sugar water and vaccines you don’t want it to have”.
Actually . . .your baby will be plopped right up on your chest at birth, left there till you want him weighed, allowed to nurse as soon as she wants to, room in 24 hours a day, and go home whenever you are both ready to go.

What is the No. 1 fear that women come to the hospital with that they really DON'T need to worry about? -Mom of three

For some reason some women worry they will be a bystander to their labor and delivery – that all decisions will be made without their knowledge or consent, that nurses and doctors have an agenda that they don’t share, and that what the parents want will be disregarded. This is absolutely not true! Please talk with your provider about your hopes and dreams for your labor and delivery – it is our strongest desire to make you happy. If there is a mismatch between what you want and what we think is safe – we WILL discuss this in as much detail as you need.

You can read more about Dr. Maude "Molly" Guerin, MD, FACOG, right here.


  1. I'm SO glad to see this post! Those are all things I was sure was going to happen to me with my first birth; of course, none of them did, and I had a completely wonderful, natural delivery at Sparrow (followed by two more).

  2. I asked my OB around 36 weeks if the hospital would allow me to eat in labour. He gave me the most hilarious confused look and said, "why wouldn't we let you?" It's funny, my biggest worry was being....hungry.

  3. I know of too many hospitals that will not let you eat during labor. I think some of these issues have to do with the hospital guidelines, the nursing staff, and your doctor. Some hospitals are much stricter and less mother/baby friendly than others.

  4. Yes, there are still hospitals that won't allow you to eat. With my second delivery, the nurse was insisting that the "clear fluids" my doctor allowed meant "ice chips only." However, I did find that *many* of the things that I worried about really didn't matter. And if you're going to eat, the nurses can't actually stop you. Don't ask permission, have your partner bring you something.

  5. I don't know the details on food in the hospital, but I thought it had something to do with anesthesia if you do need emergency care and concern for aspiration. There is a reason behind the "rule". My other point has to be that I'd rather be hungry and have my baby born safely. This seems like such a little thing to be concerned about in the scheme of things.