St Luke's-Roosevelt birthing center — The Bump
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St Luke's-Roosevelt birthing center

Hi, I'm a FTM and am planning on giving birth at St Luke's-Roosevelt in there birthing center. I've done my reading but there's a lot you can't tell from a pamphlet, website, etc. I was wondering if any other moms out there have given birth there and could offer any tips. I am familiar with other areas of the hospital but not the maternity ward and am curious what it is like. I'm not scared or nervous about the delivery, just hospitals. I had a bad experience last year at another hospital where I had to undergo a procedure when I wasn't fully aware of the situation and was coerced into signing forms and such and was left with months of issues because of it. Please no responses telling me that I will change my mind about the epidural when the time comes. It is something I am not open to since everyone I know that had one regrets it every time and my cousin was left in severe pain for weeks art wards. I want to have as natural a birth as I can manage and I'll only be using acrostics as a last resort. Here are my main concerns: I'm seeing Dr. Chuu. Is anyone familiar with her/used her before? I checked the website and with the birthing center, does your dr have to support it to give birth there? Have you heard of anyone being coerced into getting an unnecessary c-section or epidural (I have read horror stories about places where Drs. And nurses have told payients that they were inconveniencing them by not getting an epidural)? Does the hospital generally respect your choices as far as drugs go? I would like to have Demerol as a last resort or no2 if it is available. Again, some drs are known to grumble at a patient's choice if it is not their own personal belief about things. Case in point, morphine has no effect on me but at the other hospital I was at, they gave It to me anyways and called me an IV drug user because it had no effect on the excruciating pain I was in so obviously that makes me an addict as a result I was left in horrible pain for 12 hours until they gave me another opioid which I cannot have because of my asthma but did not respect my wishes not to have it because I am not a dr. How much freedom are you given to wander around? Are parents/partners allowed to stay while you are in labour or do visiting hours apply? (In other areas of the hospital certain liberties are sometimes taken with visiting hours so I'm wondering if that applies here,too) Sorr for the questions and the long post. Any help is appreciated

Re: St Luke's-Roosevelt birthing center

  • Hi there. With my first pregnancy, I planned on using the SLRH birth center. They require you to do a 1 time seminar about it at the hospital which involves a tour and gives you all the ins and outs of the center. Due to complications, I wasn't able to give birth there, but I did give birth in their maternity ward. The whole nursing staff was amazing. I can not say enough good things about them especially head nurse Mrs. Brown. My situation was incredibly difficult, and they did everything within their power to make me comfortable and keep the choices mine. 
  • How early would you recommend taking the seminar?
  • I took the class at the beginning of my third trimester. You sign up through the hospital. They are really great about answering all your questions and the tour is really helpful.

  • I am a cert doula and childbirth educator and the owner of City Births.  I also went to SLR and was hoping to Birth center but went past my due date.
    Here is are few things

    - your doctor has to support birth center births and as far as I know very few do.  So I would check on this if you want to use birth center
    - your partner can remain with you the entire time.  if however you stay longer at the hospital and do not get a private room they can not stay with you. 
    - in terms of epidural I always cringe when moms are so against either way either for having epidural or against it.  Labor can play out in so many ways and you never know what you will get.  you run the risk of setting your self up for failure when you become so strict and do not allow for flexibility.  what you need to consider is under what conditions would epidural be ok?  I have seen very long labors where moms stall at 6 cm, baby is not doing as great as they wish and they start talking csection, mom gets epidural, she sleeps (something she had not done in 2 days) and within 1 hr full dilated, in this case she had vaginal birth and saved herself from possible csection.  So please please give your self permission to be open to what happens. 
    -there are lots of reason you can't use the birth center and YOU MUST TAKE THE HOSPITAL BIRTH CENTER CLASS or you can not give birth there, but first you have to find a OB or midwife that supports birth there.
    - as with any hospital you can have bad nurses and staff, they are human and have good days and bad days.  I have had great experiences myself there.  I would look at Dr. Bradleys practive if your OB does not do BC
    I am happy to meet with you at my office City Births if you want to chat with someone further.
    city Births
  • Hi Andrea,

    I had originally considered an epidural or walking epidural but now want no part of anything like that.  My main reason for being so against it are the risks that go along with it as well as having 99% of women I know advising against it because it caused too many complications. In one insance, my cousin had had to have her catheter placed twice and was left in pain for many weeks afterwards  which interfered with her ability to care for her 2 other children while her husband and parents were at work.  I have also been advised against it because of its tendency to stall labour and the increased risk of episiotomies related to not being able to feel your own body.  

    I am, however, open to other methods of pain relief that I know I respond to in a worst case scenario.  This is also another concern of mine since I am very limited to what medications I can have since many do not work for me.  For example, I do not respond at all to morphine.  I was given three times the amount usually given at another hospital prior to having surgery and it had no effect on me whatsoever.  Most other opioids make me violently ill and the only two that really work for me, of the many I was given, were fentanyl and dilaudid and even then they lasted less than half the time they were supposed to.  I also have to be very careful of what I take because of interactions with other medications and interactions with asthma.  
  • It is great you are taking the lead on taking charge of your birth, you are doing all the right things.
    There are lots and lots of things that factor into labor, each person has very different experience.  A few quick things - you can do whatever you put your mind to, if you want to go without then you have the power to do this.  If you want to have one halfway through then you have the power to do this as well.  There was a study recently in the ACOG that reported the opposite that labor can slow with epidural.  I am on the fence from what I have seen, I really think it depends on when you get it.  If you walk in at 2 cm and get it and sit for the next 12 hrs you are not going to help things and increase your risk of pitocin.  However if you labor at home, arrive in full active labor at around say 6 cm and get it then, there is very little chance of it slowing down at that point.  There are also lots of things to do with epidural, we teach them at City Births that you can help labor along, hands and knees, using the bed, etc. Keeping upright can all still be done.  I am not pushing for epidural just want to make sure you have options so when you get to labor you can make the choice right for you guilt free.
    As far as other options, what they usually give is Stadol, it is a narcotic given in early labor, so before 4 cm, and they do say this is an option at the Birth Center however it is unlikey to happen for a number of reasons.  Since it is narcotic it crosses blood/placenta so goes to baby, and they only give in early labor so it is out of your system by the time the baby is born.  What is tricky is that you can't go to birth center until you are in active labor, and once you are in active labor it is very very rare a doctor would give you stadol.
    There are risk with everything and yes using the epidural presents cetain risks, this is why it is important to have a good relationship with your careprovide, to take a class to learn what you can do, most people don't realize they can still squat with epidural and that there is no such thing as a "walking epidural", hire a doula to help you, get you into positions that help labor no matter what you are doing for coping.  You are doing great job doing your research!  Happy to chat off the board if you want
    [email protected]

  • I clicked on this for info about the birthing center but I will add my two cents here.  I had my first at Cornell and am slated to have my 2nd there, too (just curious about the SLR birthing center).  My hope was to have a non-medicated birth - most importantly to avoid pitocin and c/s but also hoped to be able to get through without an epi.  I had a long labor (30 hours) that began at 11pm with ctx never more than 5 mins apart.  So by the time DD was born, I'd been awake most of the previous 46 hours.  I labored at home until 6pm the following day, went to the hospital, was around 4cm if I remember correctly.  Refused any meds for quite a while, but eventually I was just so absolutely exhausted that I needed a break because the ctx were so close together and I'd been awake for so long.  I was also frustrated that I wasn't progressing as fast as I'd hoped.  At about 25 hours in, I asked for the epi.  They came quickly and gave me an epi that took most of the pain away but I was still able to feel the ctx and the pushing when it got to that time.  I was able to sleep for 2 hours, woke up more dilated, had zero side effects from the epi and don't regret it for a second.  Am I hoping for a med-free birth the 2nd time around?  Absolutely.  And I totally understand your concern that any intervention increases the likelihood of further interventions.  But I just wanted to tell you how it went for me so you know that not every epi is a bad experience.
  • I wanted to give birth at the birthing center but because my doctor did not support it, I didn't.  I also wanted a drug free totally natural birth but there were a number of reasons why this did not happen and I went with the flow (was not forced at all) in order to ensure the most healthy situation for me and my baby. I came in after my water broke and I was only dilated to 1. After the cervidel and the pitocin I still was at 1 and it had been almost 24 hours since my water broke. I'm over 35 and I had gestational diabetes and Group B Strep. The nurse explained to me that as a last resort the epidural could relax my muscles so that I could give birth naturally. So as a last resort I tried it and it still didn't work so I needed to have a c-section. This means I spent more time in the hospital than most people would and I must say that the staff was excellent and I had a very pleasant experience! I look forward to giving birth to my next baby there in October!

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