Thoughts on Presbyterian Plano

Before I forget, I want to write down the details of my impressions of the Presbyterian Hospital of Plano’s maternity department.

We joined a tour group today to see what the facilities were like and to ask any questions we might have.

Some of the good points:

  • They strongly encourage breastfeeding.
  • You don’t ever have to send your baby to the nursery if you don’t want to.
  • All rooms are private; thus, insurance must pay for the private suite since there is no cheaper option.
  • After delivery, they leave you with the baby for about an hour, so you can bond and begin the breastfeeding process. They they take the baby to the newborn nursery while they move you to a postpartum room; this is where they evaluate him, make sure he can hold his body temperature, bathe him, give him a vitamin K shot (for blood coagulation) and a PK test (I think that’s what it’s called), and put on a diaper. Then they bring the baby back to you in your new room. Dad can accompany the baby to the newborn nursery.
  • They suggest that you limit your visitors, especially right after birth and on that first day, since you will be very tired and you need time to bond with your baby. 
  • They encourage walking around during labor, not necessarily lying down.
  • Fetal monitoring does not occur all the time; just intermittently (she said maybe 20 minutes each hour)

Some of the things I’m not so sure about:

  • The hospital policy does not allow you to eat or drink during labor, but what they don’t see won’t hurt them.
  • They do not provide birthing balls or squat bars. It might be possible to bring in your own birthing ball. I do not want to be made to lie flat on my back on a table while in labor and pushing… it seems like my body will tell me what it needs to do at the time, and I don’t know that I want to be forced to do something different.
  • There just seemed to be a LOT of scary medical looking equipment for a process that is so natural… what did women do before hospitals? We had our babies ourselves without help from men in white coats with metal implements (and, of course, had a greatly increased maternal and infant mortality rate; I am aware of some of the upsides to Western medicine).

This week I will make an appointment at Baylor and also at the Birthing Center, so we can get some idea of our different options. Pretty soon we’ll need to figure out what exactly we want, and write a birth plan.

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