February 16, 2019

I’m not sick, I’m pregnant! Why should I deliver in a hospital?

Chandler Obgyn Tamar Gottfried discusses why you should deliver your baby in a hospital;

In past centuries, most of the babies in this country were born at home with midwives. Infant and maternal deaths were not an uncommon occurrence. Over the years, more and more births were done in hospitals by physicians, and labor and delivery became a medical event. The availability of safe cesarean delivery, antibiotics, epidurals and advanced neonatal care improved the safety of the labor and delivery process for moms and babies.

In more recent decades, there has been another shift in opinion to a care model that allows moms to have the safety of hospital delivery with some of the comforts of home. Long gone are the routine shaving and enemas and episiotomies of the past. Now, hospital based labor and delivery units can offer bedroom-like rooms, wireless fetal monitors, birthing balls and squat bars and nursing support and encouragement for a natural delivery with the safety of operating rooms and neonatal teams minutes away for the rare emergencies that happen.

While the majority of labors are uneventful and proceed without incident, emergencies can occur without warning. A perfectly normal labor and  delivery for an experienced mom can turn scary in minutes if the placenta stops working suddenly, a baby’s shoulder gets stuck, a baby doesn’t breathe at delivery or if bleeding doesn’t stop after the baby is born. While some women are classified as “high risk” during the pregnancies and these types of problems are anticipated, obstetric emergencies can happen to anyone.  For this reason, hospital delivery brings a level of comfort and security for expectant parents.

Home birth has been around since the dawn of humanity and, under the care of experienced midwives, continues to be an option for low risk women.  As my colleague puts it- if you ride on the freeway at 100 mph on a motorcycle without a helmet, you may make it to your destination, but you are taking a risk. It is the same with home birth- it can be safe, but when unexpected events occur, transfer to a hospital is a necessity and the time it takes to get there can critical for mom and baby.

In the instances when emergencies develop, I am always happy to be practicing in the safety of a hospital like Banner Desert Medical Center, with a a level 3 Neonatal ICU, a full children’s hospital, and 24 hour neonatologist on site , with advanced techniques to stop maternal bleeding available, with 3 operating rooms staffed and ready to go, with high risk pregnancy consultants and ultrasound right there, and with anesthesiologists assigned 24/7 to the maternity ward. My patients who choose to have a more natural, unmedicated delivery can do so in a safe and supportive environment. That is why, as an Ob Gyn in Mesa, I recommend hospital delivery for my patients.

Tamar Gottfried is a Board Certified Obstetrician/ gynecologist  practicing  general Ob/gyn in Mesa Arizona and affiliated with Banner Desert and Banner Gateway Medical Centers. She can be contacted at 480-545-0059. This is a general interest article only and is not intended to be medical advice. See a medical professional before making medical decisions




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