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

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.

Free Postpartum Depression plan 

I recently realized that I have something that others may not have when it comes to postpartum depression. I not only have personal experience and really understand it, I have tools that can help. I’m so passionate about this issue because I know how debilitating it can be not only for the mother but for her whole family. Psychologist agree that the mother and her child set the tone for their relationship within the first couple years of life and if that first year is wrought with postpartum depression it can be challenging to come back from. I’m offering my community a free document which I have titled, ‘Get out of my life: postpartum depression plan’. It’s a plan to create with your partner and I will be happy to pass it on to anyone who requests it! Placenta encapsulation can also really help, so feel free to ask me about that as well. Here’s to beautiful postpartum periods!

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

 

Pregnant Bodies

Reading Heat and Hands by Elizabeth Davis last night, I was reminded of how hard it was to continually accept my pregnant body as beautiful, as I gained more and more throughout my pregnancy. I went up 50-60 pounds (I no longer wanted my midwife to weigh me at the very end after I hit 50 lbs!)

Davis explains all the causes of weight gain in pregnancy and they are comforting!

Causes of Weight Gain in Pregnancy:

-Water retention due to hormones

-Increased fatty insulation over the belly and backside

-Increased weight in breasts (One reason i want to get pregnant : )

-Increased blood volume

-Weight gain of enlarged uterus: including the amniotic fluid, placenta and baby

Women lose an average of 15 pounds within the first few days of birth and the remaining weight used for sustenance during the first few months postpartum. Making breastmilk, getting up several times in the night to nurse, and dealing with the stress of caring for a newborn defiantly burn up the fat reserves.

End Heart and Hands.

Now i will tell you that all this is comforting but my pregnancy weight didnt leave until my son was 2!

**I bet you thought your face was blowing up just to keep your admirers away!

Another Reason NOT to fear Homebirth

I have attended a few homebirths lately, And i am continuously awed by the peacefulness, respect and trust that is flowing through the space. I just cant stop talking about it… even around those who i know may think its dangerous, etc.

I found this table recently and am thinking about making a wallet sized copy to flash at people as they scoff at my path of Student Midwife. Hahaha. Really, i know that the best defense will be to become educated, so i study away, every day. 

Check it out: 

MANA_stats_CDC_data

Thinking about a Blessingway…

Blessingway Readings & Chants

I’m looking through my files to choose a reading for a mother blessing this weekend, I felt like sharing some of them here for people who might be googling around looking for something to share at a blessingway:

From the book Joyful Birth: A Spiritual Path to Motherhood by Susan Piver

The path of motherhood has a beginning, but no end. It’s constantly changing and constantly challenging. Along the way, we encounter our personal limits over and over. We fall in love over and over. We ride the sharp edge of hope and fear. On this path of discovery, as on any spiritual path, our pretensions are shattered, our minds are blown, and our hearts are opened. We cry, we laugh, we bumble around and make countless mistakes. Through it all, we are gently—or abruptly—poked into greater honesty, lovingkindness, and understanding. It is a truly joyful path.

The memory of [my child’s] birth has become a talisman that I hold in my heart as I journey deeper and deeper into motherhood. For these moments come again in every mother’s life—the times when we are asked to walk straight into our pain and fear, and in doing so, open up to a love that is greater than anything we ever could have imagined: all life’s beauty and wonder, as well as all the ways that things can break and go wrong…Again and again, motherhood demands that we break through our limitations, that we split our hearts open to make room for something that may be more than we thought we could bear. In that sense, the labor with which we give birth is simply a rehearsal for something we mothers must do over and over: turn ourselves inside out, and then let go.

This is the reading we often use for symbolically summoning the four directions. It is from the book Mother Rising: The Blessingway Journey into Motherhood:

Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the East: communication of the heart, mind, and body; fresh beginnings with each rising of the sun; the knowledge of the growth found in sharing silences.

Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the South: warmth of hearth and home; the heat of the heart’s passion; the light to illuminate the darkest of times.

Blessed be this gathering with the gifts of the West: the lake’s deep commitments; the river’s swift excitement; the sea’s breadth of knowing.

Read more at: http://talkbirth.me/2011/03/14/the-path-of-motherhood/