Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital Birthing Center Tour

A few years ago I attended a tour of the Birthing Center at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital just in case I needed to transport to a hospital during my home birth. I ended up having a quick and peaceful home birth, but I am still glad that I took the time to see what area hospitals were like. Here are my impressions from a few years ago. Please let me know if any changes need to be made.

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I signed up for a tour by calling the number provided on the website. I was able to speak to a Labor & Delivery nurse, who told me the days and times that tours were given. All I needed to do was show up during one of the designated times, and someone would show me around. I did not need to register to take a tour.

When I arrived, a nurse showed me a Labor & Delivery room. I noticed the bathroom had a tub with a shower, so I asked if they could be used during labor. She said that the tub or shower could be used during labor as long as the care provider was okay with it. The monitors at the time were not water proof, so she mentioned that the shower could only be used while the monitors were off.

How your baby will be monitored during labor is an important question to discuss with your care provider long before your big day. There are two options when it comes to electronic fetal monitoring: intermittent or continuous. Unless your doctor agrees with intermittent monitoring, continuous monitoring will be used. If Pitocin or any pain medications are being used, you must be on continuous fetal monitors.

A wonderful reason to have water proof monitors is, not only can you use continuous
monitoring in the shower, but if you are hooked up to Pitocin, you can still get in the shower. A few hospitals in the Houston area allow women to labor in the shower while hooked up to Pitocin because they have water proof monitors.

Upon admission, you will be given an IV with fluids. Discuss with your care provider ahead of time if a saline lock is an option. This allows for more freedom of movement.

Everyone except the partner/spouse must leave the room when an epidural is being administered. Most hospitals in the Houston area require everyone, including the partner/spouse, to leave when an epidural is being administered, so this is a rare treat.

There are some birthing balls available, but it would be best to bring your own to be sure one is available during your birthing time.

There are no squatting bars available.

There are mirrors available to use during pushing. Some women are motivated by being able to see the progress they are making during the pushing stage.

You will stay in the same room for labor, delivery, and recovery. You will be moved to a postpartum room for the remainder of your stay.

In the event of a Cesarean delivery, your baby will spend some time in the nursery. Only one support person is allowed in the room with you during a Cesarean delivery.

Babies who are born vaginally will be placed directly on your chest for immediate skin to skin contact. Immediate skin to skin contact is unlikely to happen during a Cesarean delivery. However, check with your care provider as more places are beginning to offer more Family-Centered Cesarean deliveries.

Most women will deliver in the supine position with their feet in stirrups. Sometimes women have support people to help hold their legs instead of using the stirrups. If you are interested in giving birth in any position other than the supine position, discuss options with your care provider ahead of time. Although it is possible, birthing in other positions is not typical in most Houston area hospitals.

No matter what kind of birth you are planning on having, you will need to be prepared to advocate for yourself. Birth Boot Camp classes are a wonderful option for preparing couples to have an amazing birth. I teach the 10 week childbirth classes in Sugar Land on a regular basis. Check my website for upcoming class dates.

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