Military Families

Experience at Madigan Hospital Fort Lewis JBLM

I am 28wks pregnant are going to delivering at Madigan Hospital... I'm weary because I haven't had the best experience with the OB there so far. Wondering if anyone has delivered there recently, their experience what they have you to go home with..

Thank you!

Re: Experience at Madigan Hospital Fort Lewis JBLM

  • I had DS at MAMC and will have this one there too. I see Family Medicine for my prenantal care. With DS, I went to triage when I went into labor, had to come back when I was more dilated and then they admitted me to a birthing room. The room itself was pretty nice and I HIGHLY recommend the birthing tub. There's only one and it's on a first come, first serve basis, so if you want to use it make sure and tell your nurse/OB when you get admitted. Overall the birthing experience wasn't bad, and my nurses were really nice. However, I specifically asked for no students to be in the room and still had an entourage of ppl watching me give birth. I should have been way more forceful about that, it's not mandatory for them to be there, but it is a teaching hospital so they'll try. DS had to be in the NICU right after he was born for 2 days, and everyone there is SO nice.

    The mother-baby unit however is totally different. You only get to stay in L&D for  a couple hours after the baby is born, then you're transferred. I'm not sure if I just got really bad nurses, but I was NOT a fan of being there. The food is terrible and you have a roommate, and the nurses won't watch the baby. So if you want to shower or do anything without LO being less than 5 feet away, you'll need someone there with you. Husbands are not allowed to stay the night. Plan on coming home really tired because inevitably as soon as your baby falls asleep, your roommate's will wake up. None of the hospital food has any source of fiber, so I would have someone bring you snacks or pack Benefiber. Trust me, you'll want as much fiber in your system as possible to make things "easier".

    Before you are discharged you have to watch a video on shaken baby syndrome and they'll check your carseat. There also are no baby wipes used in the hospital, they just give you dry cloths that you have to wet in the sink, so bring a pack if you want to use them. They don't give you anything to take home, but that doesn't mean you can't bring stuff from your room. The policy on that is a little fuzzy, and they don't search your bags or anything. If it's your first baby, you have to stay at least 48 hours after delivery, and depending on what time you deliver it could be longer. (I was there for 3 days).

    Overall, it's a military hospital and expect it to be at about the level of what you're experiencing now. There are very few frills and it's just basic care with very basic amenities. If you're there when they're really busy, that will also be a factor. I would go into it with medium level expectations. It won't be fancy, but you will come home with a healthy baby.

    I would recommend taking a hospital tour, they give lots of good enough and that way you'll get to see the L&D rooms. You can make the reservation by calling the Tricare appt. line. I hope that helps!


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  • My daughter was born at Madigan in October. I really liked the L&D nurses, but wasn't a huge fan of the midwife - I hadn't met this particular midwife before, but I did like the other 3 or 4 midwives I had seen previously, so that was just the luck of the draw. Since my water broke early, I wasn't able to use a tub, but a shower and birthing balls were available. The room was pretty decent and I was able to walk the halls a lot. It took me a while to progress and the midwife kept mentioning pitocin and c-sections, both of which I was adamantly trying to avoid. I didn't end up with either of those, but did get an epi, which was both a blessing and a curse.

    I'd been awake for nearly 24 hours and was finally able to sleep, but it left me stuck in bed after my baby was born. She went to the NICU because she was 3.5 weeks early, I was running a fever, and my water being broken for over 24 hours. (They knew she'd be going to the NICU, so there were roughly 12 people in the delivery room - midwife, several nurses, OB and student OB, a team for the baby - I lost all sense of shame that day.) Since she was born just before a shift change and I had the epi, I was stuck in bed and literally no one came back in the room for like an hour after I was cleaned up. I just wanted to go see my baby and was LIVID that I was stuck in there with no one telling me what was going on. I had my heart set on skin to skin and breastfeeding her immediately. Instead I held her for about a minute after she was born and then didn't see her again for nearly 5 hours. My husband thought I was going to stab someone. 

    The mother-baby unit wasn't too terrible for me. My daughter spent the first day in the NICU and I didn't have a roommate, so I was able to sleep a bit and shower. I was going down to the NICU every couple hours to feed her and frequently missed the nurses rounds, so I kind of felt a bit ignored - I had to seek them out to get my meds a few times. I did get a roommate on the second day and my baby was able to room in with me that evening, so that night was a different story - I didn't think I'd ever sleep between the two babies crying. Also, it's a little awkward to hear the nurses talk to the stranger on the other side of the curtain about their vaginal tears and bowel movements. I hope you don't have to use the NICU, but the nurses there were mostly all awesome, there was one that was sort of brash though and I had different nurses tell me completely different things and then question why I was doing something one way when the previous nurse had told me to do it :/

    The food isn't that great, but you do get to choose from a menu. I ate a lot of kraft mac & cheese, veggie plates and turkey sandwiches. If you don't choose off the menu, they'll send you the daily special, which never looked too appealing. I'm not sure when the above commenter had her baby, but they did have regular baby wipes for us and we were told that we could take everything in the crib - wipes, diapers, booger sucker, saline, dry wipes, etc. Like she said, if it's your first you'll be there at least 48 hours. I gave birth at 5am on Thursday and was home around 3 on Saturday - it takes longer to get discharged on the weekend. 

     Good luck! 

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  • I am so thankful I have try are remote. I can go off base and I am. I plan on delivering at Good Sam. I don't want to have to change rooms after I give birth and I've been so much happier with my experiences there. Plus I don't have to worry about family and friends having issues getting on base. However, if you do deliver at madigan I think you will be just fine. It's what they do most, deliver babies. Good luck!

    TTC since 03/2011
    BFP#1 spontaneous conception! 4/28/12 natural MC on 5/9/12
    IUI#1 with clomid and trigger on 9/12/12
    BFP#2 on 9/26/12 EDD 6/5/13
    Beta #1 143 14dpo Beta #2 343 16dpo Beta #3 920 18dpo
    Please, Please, Please stick baby!

    Baby Mackenzie born 5/28/2013!


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