With so many hospitals available as birthing options, how do know which one to choose? Based on Consumer Report’s updated article from April, 2016, your choice of hospital can affect your cesarean risk. So choose a hospital with a cesarean rate that you feel is appropriate for you, then choose your provider. But it’s important to know what to expect at each hospital. If you know the lay of the land, so to speak, you will be more confident when labor begins!
Wellstar North Fulton 3000 Hospital Boulevard, Roswell
Parking is free (for now) at this hospital. Most other Wellstar locations have automated payment machines installed in their lots; but for now, free parking is a great perk at North Fulton! Follow the signs to Labor and Delivery and park right at the entrance. You will have to buzz the intercom for entry, and this is also where you would request for a nurse to bring a wheelchair to the door.
North Fulton has a six bed unit with one private triage room and a three bed semi-private triage area. This facility offers water birth, but a couple of the rooms aren’t optimal for this in terms of size. Remind the triage nurse you want a room suitable for a birth tub.
- IV access isn’t standard procedure unless you 1) are GBS positive, 2) want an epidural for pain management, or 3) are admitted for an induction. You most likely will be able to decline this procedure.
- Showers are available for hydrotherapy if water birth is not an option.
- The nurses on the unit are familiar with unmedicated labor and birth, and most of them get along very well with doulas.
- There is no restriction on eating/drinking during labor.
- Nurses and providers encourage movement and changing positions. They are quite hands-off but happy to come help if you need something.
- Skin-to-skin for mom and baby for one hour (minimum) after birth is the norm.
- There is an open pantry with ice/water machine, juice in the fridge, and crackers in the drawer. As always, hospital coffee is an “at your own risk” thing!
- There is an “on paper” policy that restricts labor support to three people including husband/partner. Sometimes this in enforced; other times it is not.
The hospital cafeteria is right outside the L&D/postpartum unit, but the hours are a bit restrictive, especially on the weekends. In general, the food here is pretty good. DO NOT eat the sandwiches in the vending machines. Trust me. Pack some non-perishable snacks for yourself in case you get hungry at 2 a.m.
Joyce and Mindy are the IBCLCs on staff at Wellstar North Fulton. They are compassionate, patient, knowledgeable, helpful women.
- The patient beds are a definite upgrade from the ones in L&D, but there is only a pull-out chair bed for partners. Bring good pillows and a soft blanket and make the best of it.
- Wellstar North Fulton is very conservative about postpartum discharge. If your baby has jaundice, a birth weight considered to be large for gestational age, or if the you had a fever during labor, it is likely your baby will have an extended hospital stay.