Comparison of Cincinnati Hospitals C-Section Rates and Reputations

I have been curious for a while about my cities c-section, and episiotomy rates for our individual hospitals. Up until the writing of this blog, I have just had the general statistic of Cincinnati hospitals having a 30% cesarean section rate and then each hospitals reputation. Their reputations would come to me through other birth workers and be passed around like a cute baby. I knew I had to share these reputations as a service to the pregnant population of Cincinnati. Anyone utilizing these hospitals should have all the information possible so they can make an informed choice. In this blog, I’ll share the general reputations and the statistics that I have been able to get my hands on.  As a warning, take my opinions with a breath. I understand that any woman can have an amazing birth anywhere and any negative comments from me, is only my understanding and is in no way meant to discount your experience. That being said, if you would like to share your experience, please comment below or contact me directly. You can help round me out, LOL.  

I know, as much as any birth worker, that the type of delivery a pregnant person has will depend largely on the provider, followed by the characteristics of the support team and finally by the practices of the hospital that is utilized (if she uses one of course). I can think of a provider I would recommend at most of my local hospitals who knows natural birth well and supports women making informed choices. As could be assumed, I highly recommend a laboring parent having a support team that will encourage her labor and delivery preferences. Ideally that will mean a supportive partner and a doula. But the statistics of our local hospitals, which give solid information about their tendencies, was new to me. Finding these statistics was challenging, and will be a work in progress. As I gain more information with my questioning, I will update this post.

Tri-Health Bethesda North Hospital: 10500 Montgomery Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45242

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 17.3%

Episiotomy rate: 4.5% (1.)

Bethesda North, or B. North, like we like to call it, has a pretty good name for itself, especially because this is the hospital that Dr. Daniel Bowen http://thebowencenter.com/ works out of. Bowen is the OBGYN who has a HUGE following of natural birth mommas, and a while back he was so kind as to even work as homebirth clients backup physician. Though he has moved away from being backup, his name is the most commonly mentioned as the go-to-guy for a natural birth. Too bad his office staff makes patients cry, #bekind.

Good Samaritan Hospital of Cincinnati: 375 Dixmyth Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45220

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 23.3%

Episiotomy rate: 4% (1)

Good Sam has a poor reputation for natural birthers but is the place to be if a baby needs intensive help. This hospital, along with only two others has a Level 3 NICU, with the highest level 4, being at Cincinnati Childrens, a few blocks away.

Christ Hospital: 2139 Auburn Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45219

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 27.2%

Episiotomy rate: 9.8% (1) YUCK!!!

Christ Hospital has a poor reputation for natural births, but… then there’s the respected Michelle Zamudio, CNM, who works with two others, Jacqui Martin and Jessie Bertsch. Michelle provides patients with incredible care. Search her on Facebook, with the key words ‘Cincinnati Midwife’ and the praises don’t stop. They are also certified as Bag Free https://www.ohiohospitals.org/ohiobagfree

Mercy Health- Anderson Hospital: 7500 State Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45255

Cesarean Section of first-time mothers giving birth to a single baby, at term, in the head-down position: 24%

The rate of women who pursue a vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC): 19%

The rate of women who are successful in their VBAC: 88%

Episiotomy rate: 7%

Epidural rate: 75%

All this information is self-reported to me from the manager of labor and delivery. It has not been assessed for accuracy by a third party.

Mercy Anderson follows the 10 steps for Successful Breastfeeding https://www.unicef.org/newsline/tenstps.htm, is Bag free and has a great reputation for those wanting a natural birth. It is also the home to Dr. Patridge and Dr. Varnau, http://bcwh.org/staff.htm who many homebirthers choose when they need a hospital birth. They are incredibly comfortable with allowing birth to unfold, while simultaneously being up to date on all the latest studies. Dr. Patridge is sure to keep the room laughing in the immediate postpartum, with her slightly crude jokes.

University of Cincinnati Medical Center: 234 Goodman Street Cincinnati, OH 45219

*Refused to answer my questions and does not self report to the public

University of Cincinnati has horror stories attached to its name and I have heard multiple clients say they would NEVER birth there again. It is a teaching hospital, but why does that have to mean they cant provide respectful care. They do have a couple redeeming qualities. They have a Level 3 NICU, and are certified Bag Free. They are also beginning a Centering Pregnancy program https://uchealth.com/womens-health/centeringpregnancy/  , which I am totally stoked about. Watch this YouTube video and you’ll see how transformative it can be to women’s prenatal care. With the idea that the care will be empowered and community based, Im hopeful that their reputation will only improve from here. https://youtu.be/oixaRbS9Tww .

Resources:

  1. http://www.leapfroggroup.org/hospitals/search/list/location/Cincinnati%2C%20OH%2C%20USA/50

Traditional Chinese or Raw Method for Placenta Encapsulation… You choose

I’ve began offering placenta encapsulation to clients in the greater Cincinnati area 8 years ago, when I was trained by a local home birth midwife. Since then I have undergone a more traditional weekend workshop on placenta encapsulation and I’ve learned tons through my personal experience.

I began by offering the raw method of placenta encapsulation because there’s a belief that none of the potential benefits of the placenta are cooked out. I am now also offering the Chinese traditional method.

I know that there are many reasons that clients might prefer this. Some of which may be because of their religious beliefs, that they want to share their placenta capsules with someone else, or they simply feel safer consuming a placenta that has been steamed. Either way feel free to tell me your preference when you book me. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have!

Here’s to a happier and more whole postpartum season!

How to Prevent Tearing During Birth: A Midwives Method

Almost every client is worried about tearing during the birth of her baby. Tearing is a real and legitimate fear women have and I am glad that I have the experience to address it! When I read blog posts I want writers to GET TO THE POINT so, I’ll go ahead and bullet out a midwives approach to preventing tears during birth now.

1. Slow down drastically at the birth of your babies head.

2. Support your tissues externally as they stretch during birth.

3. Get body work at term to keep you and your baby in an ideal position for birth.

For those of you who want more information about those bullets above I will go into detail now.

1. Slow down drastically at the birth of your babies head:

The whole purpose of this is to allow the vaginal tissues to stretch instead of popping open. (I know some of you just did a involuntary kegel with that word pop! Lol.) When a client reaches term, we discuss that when she feels a burning or stinging sensation during pushing (otherwise known as ‘the ring of fire’), she should communicate that to me. This is the point where the head is crowning, or where the largest portion of the head is at the vaginal opening. Its interesting to me that slowing down at crowning isn’t something that women naturally do. Its much more common for women to feel the intensity of crowning, think to themselves that they can finish the birth real quick and just blast the baby out. This is the point when your support people come in. When I see and hear that a woman is crowning I say a couple things. First, I ask her to take a breath, then open her eyes and tell her it’s time to slow down. Then we lock eyes and take a couple big breaths together. If she can just breathe through a couple contractions, allowing her uterus to push but not putting force behind it, that is usually all the stretching that the tissues need to be tear free!

2. Support your tissues externally as they stretch during birth:

Otherwise known as perineal support. See image below.

When I’m at a birth as a midwife, I use a folded washcloth to support the anus and perinuem as much a possible during every contraction once there is active head movement with pushing. This extra exterior support not only reminds mom to slow down but also holds the skin together to keep tearing from happening. Perineal Support is even more beneficial if the mom is providing it for herself because she can feel exactly where the support is needed, but alas, it’s difficult for her to reach! Providing perineal support can be discussed with your care provider to see what their practice is.

3. Get body work at term to keep you and your baby in an ideal position for birth:

An ideal baby position at birth will keep the diameter of the head the smallest it can be to lessen the likelihood or tearing. This means your babies chin will be well tucked and the babies back is towards your belly, on the left hand side. Body work can align YOU, so the baby is free to move to the best position. I always recommend a deep tissue massage therapist who is comfortable working on pregnant moms for body work.

Notes to know:

There are degrees of tear depth, that go anywhere from just a scratch all the way to through the anus. See the image below:

Questions? Feel free to contact me or comment below.

This one goes out to Cincinnati’s pregnant women of color

As I move deeper into my journey to become a midwife, I’m struck by the disparities that are faced by women of color in the Cincinnati Area. It is not for socioeconomic reasons like education or their yearly income that makes their statistics so much worse than their white counterparts, it’s the sheer fact that racism is prevalent and far reaching. It causes such undue stress on these women that they are more likely to give birth prematurely, and experience other pregnancy complications that could ultimately result in maternal or infant mortality.

Check out the following for more information. https://www.marchofdimes.org/peristats/tools/reportcard.aspx?frmodrc=1®=39

https://www.npr.org/2011/07/08/137652226/-the-race-gap

https://www.theroot.com/why-giving-birth-is-deadly-for-black-women-and-why-1797763052

I am newly impassioned to do what I can to change these statistics. This will include offering the following to women:

-low cost birth doula services for those that are inhibited by the cost of my services

-being available via phone for questions or concerns

The above are my ideas and I understand that I may not be addressing the greater need. If you have ideas about alternatives please contact me. I am open to feedback.

The hardest part of birth

There is no doubt that you will work hard during a natural birth. We all know it! Any of us who have done it have heard comments like, “I could never do that” and “You are way stronger than I am”. The thing is that those comments aren’t true and I think it gives the wrong idea to New Moms who are considering a natural birth. What really is the hardest part? It’s not that contractions are so incredibly painful, it’s that you have to LET GO. Some of you reading this will know exactly what I mean immediately but I’ll explain for the rest of you.

Letting go is a process that ideally you will begin at the beginning of your pregnancy and continue working on until your birth. It means letting go of expectations of exactly how your birth will go, letting go of fear, and allowing your body, heart, and mind to do exactly what millions of women’s before you have done. Allowing a baby to pass through you and out into the world. That’s the hardest part! Letting go and allowing trust of the process in.

Getting Partners involved in Birth

As a doula and midwifery apprentice I see a lot of dads and other partners at a birth who are standing around awkwardly, just lost, and not knowing what to do. And thats okay, I know how hard it is! I started out that way too, but now I’m deep in this process of supporting women during birth here in the Greater Cincinnati area and have learned some things. I want to prepare you, as partners to a pregnant woman, to be your very best self, one who is prepared, willing to work hard and will meet the mom right where she is.

So there are a couple things I want to talk about…

First: If you get nothing else from this post, I want you to remember that during a birth, you should be calm, grounded, peaceful and know without a shadow of a doubt that she can birth her baby. Everything else after your grounded energy comes second.

For those of you who are list people, here are the top things i think you should have under your belt.

Before the birth, its incredibly valuable if you, as the partner…

  • have met the care provider and established a relationship of trust and respect
  • are friendly, grounded and aware of others in the birth space
  • know the mothers birth plan and a little about each aspect
  • share the mothers expectations of you during the birth experience
  • have practiced different positions and ways to touch her during her labor
  • are familiar with the stages of labor
  • have 2-3 encouraging phrases that you know she will like to hear during her labor
  • know that its inappropriate to be on your phone in her line of vision during the labor
  • are able to establish boundaries around the mom if she needs a it
  • be open to having an experience too

Luckily for you… I have midwifery classes, which means I have to make client handouts, and then want to share them with all of you! So here is mine on supporting moms as partners during her labor and birth : ) PS: its a trifold in case you want to print it out. Partners at Birth.pdfbuiltforbirth-1