what's legally mandatory?

Amy - posted on 01/01/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I don't really want my newborn out of my sight in the hospital. Is it possible to keep him in my room or be able to see him/her the whole time while they do any testing? Also, are there any extra not really needed tests that they just "do" ? Our insurance is crap and we're having to pay out of pocket for the whole delivery and whatever tests they do [unless we go over five thousand. ugh. that's our deductible. insane, right?].

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Mary Renee - posted on 02/09/2011

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I put it all over my birth plan that I wanted my baby to stay with me, printed out 8 copies, came one to all the doctors and nurses, put one on the door, and verbally told everyone my wishes... and my doctors didn't respect my wishes at all about anything! I also said "No medical students" and my boyfriend had to literally walk over and put his finger in their face and kick them out (after I had repeatedly told them to get out over and over).

So, even though I wanted my daughter to be placed on my stomach after delivary and for me to breastfeed right away, they took her away! I told my boyfriend "Stay with her, don't let her out of your sight!" So even though I couldn't follow her (I was delivering the afterbirth and being sewn up where I tore) my boyfriend was able to stay with her the whole time.

I was only away from her for about an hour and a half, and then told them I was going to crawl to the nursery if they didn't let me go (they also tried to get me to wait ANOTHER hour for a shift change but I was jumping out of the bed at that point and about to drag all the IV shit down with me)

Even if the newborn ends up out of your sight, I'm positive that it can remain in your partner's sight or who ever you're bring with you for support as long as that person is adamant. The doctors (in my experience) will walk all over you, tell you that you need a C-section (I didn't), tell you that you have to do this and that, but you really have to be your own advocate and stick to your guns.

As far as unnessary test, I think you can avoid the mercury drops in the eye, they do them to prevent the newborn from getting an STD from the mother (even if the mother doesn't have an STD) but other test, like test for PKU you really want to have them done. PKU can turn into mental retardation if you don't test for it and get it fixed, but if you find out about and take the necessary measures the child will be fine.

Good luck. I would go to a prepared birth class (it's more money that you probably don't want to spend, but they're really good at educating you and telling it like it is)

Also, tell them you want to room-in with your baby. That just means she'll be in a basinett in your room with you all night, while some women have their babies go to the nursery so they can get rest. They will still come in and want to check your blood pressure and check on the baby. This doesn't make any difference cost-wise, but if you want to keep your baby in your sight, it's the option available.

Merry - posted on 03/18/2011

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Amy I'm doing a home birth. Mostly because I want to avoid having to argue the drs and nurses at every step of the way. Everything in my birth plan is against hospital policy. So I'm doing it at home. But if I couldn't find a midwife I would have gone into tha hospital ready to fight for my rights and get my birth the way I want it.

I want no cervical checks, no continuous monitoring, no iv, I want my son with me during labor, I want to push squatting or in the tub, I want to hold my baby instantly and not to have her suctioned right away, I want to leave the cord unclamped until the placenta is delivered, I want no drugs to hurry up the placenta, I want to not weigh measure etc her until she is done breastfeeding once, I want no vit k shot, no eye ointment, no hep b shot, no bath, I want cloth diapers, no foot prints, I want the PKU test to wait for a few days, I will be co sleeping with her, my husband would be with me overnight, as would my two year old son. On and on the list of my wants goes and all these are against policy.

So for my sanity I'm glad we can do it at home, but if I had to be at the hospital I darn well would fight for my rights to have the birth I planned.

The doctors are to me just there to watch and only to step in if my or the baby's life is at risk.



I'm what doctors call an annoyingly educated mother.

:)

Merry - posted on 03/18/2011

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Refuse the iv, refuse the monitoring. The nurse can come in and use a Doppler on you here and there. The continuous monitoring is just so they don't have to do the work!
If there's no iv then you don't have to worry about pitocin. And there's nothing keeping you in bed.
Just say no cervix checks please! I mean what are they going to do strap you down to feel you up?

As for unnecessary stuff on the baby.
Suctioning isn't usually necessary
Vigorous rubbing isn't usually needed
Diapering and wiping baby off isn't needed immediately
Baths are not needed at all in the hospital!
Foot prints aren't needed
Circumcision isn't needed
Hep b can wait til the drs visit if you want it at all
Eye ointment is preventative care if you have stds
Hearing test is a good one, but don't let them take baby away for it! Follow the baby.
PKU test is important, but not needed to be in the first few days, within a week is the recommendation.
Clamping the cord is your call. Most drs will do it automatically upon birth so make your wishes very loudly!
If you wish to delay clamping.
Episiotomies are not good, better to tear then to be cut.
Pushing on your back is bad news! This makes your pelvis smallest. Laying on your back causes baby to lower heart rate, this can cause stress on baby and stress can cause baby to pass meconium before birth
Internal monitors are bad news! It's a little screw they screw into the babys scalp!
Didn't tell me that, just did it to Eric and he had a scab before he was even born
Pissed me off to no end!

I've done a TON of research on all policies and procedures etc so ask me anything, but also I encourage you to search online and look until your come to your own decisions based on your body your lifestyle and your beliefs and your wishes.
Drs think we are all just women, but each one is unique and has different needs and desires.

I know money is tight, but hiring a doula is really helpful as she will be ready and willing to fight these battles for you.

Erin - posted on 02/17/2011

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I'm so thankful I live in Canada.

All I have to pay for is my pre-natal vitamins, and even then, there are ways you can get them for free. My daughter is 5, and her dental care is free, without any coverage from like, work benefits or anything. Its called the Healthy Kids program. I have yet to pay a cent for any medical treatment Ive received (MRI, ECG, CT scan, Mammogram, Biopsy, etc) England apparently has it even better than Canada! I don't know how they all compare to Australia, but from what I have read, Aussies have it made! Im so thankful because were considered low income, and we live paycheck to paycheck basically, after rent and food and bills, we are lucky if we get to go out once a month! I hope America gears up and pays better attention to their pregnant women, and the rest of the population for that matter. health care shouldn't be a privilege for the wealthy, it should be a right as a human being.



And to poster above me, Canada has the same!

We get two cheques from the Gov't. One is 100 a month per kid under the age of 8 to help cover costs of daycare and clothes and food, everybody gets it.

Second is the canada child tax benefit, for basically the same thing, dependant on your income. Mines 250 and will raise to around 300 when next kid comes, but for lower income families (under 40000 a year I believe)

Allison - posted on 01/18/2011

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all tests are optional, you usually have to sign some kind of waiver or an AMA form (against medical advice) if you don't want something they think is really important - but it's your body and your baby, so remember that you make the decisions - they are there to give advice, and have rules THEY have to stick to, but cannot MAKE you do anything against your will :) So no matter what the "rules" or procedures, be sure to do your research and only consent to things you think are safe and important :) I know about insurance, we had no insurance when my husband got sick, and they said they would only cover it if he quit his job. Oy. Also look into birth centers and midwives, as many give excellent care for a fraction of the price, and don't push as many procedures. I had a home birth for ~$3500 (for all checkups, birth, post-partum checkups, etc). I think the birth center cost was similar. That was in California, and it costs less almost everywhere else. Anyway, good luck!

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Erika - posted on 07/15/2012

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I just went and preregistered at the hospital I'm delivering at. The maternity coordinator told me that they strongly encourage rooming in 24 hours a day, but they will take the baby to the nursery for you if you need some rest. There are hookups for most of the things they'd need to do to baby, such as using a warmer, etc. Go to your hospital, take a tour, ask them questions, and make sure you have someone (spouse or family) to advocate for you and make sure decisions are made they way you want them to be, even if you're out of it. That is the single most important thing you can have with you...

Ana - posted on 07/10/2012

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When my daughter was born in 2010, she stayed in my room for everything, shots, bathing, etc.. she only had to leave once (and I waddled right out with her) to get her hearing test done on a machine of some sorts in another room..

I did not want my daughter to have all the newborn shots, so I asked them for the Vitamin K only and we returned for the Hep B at her 2 mth well baby appt. She didn't need jaundice. But She was right there in the room with me till we went home.

Erin - posted on 06/30/2012

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To whoever it was who said some tests are unavoidable, probably not.
My son had ALL his bloodwork, bloodpressure, weighing, bathing, and every little thing done IN our room. Our hospital does not even have a nursery, to further keep the children with their parents at all times. It has the nicu of course which is entirely different. They even have the lights for jaundice babies mobile, that can be moved from room to room. Anything that needs to be routinely done with your newborn can be done right beside you in your room.

Kate - posted on 06/27/2012

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Check out various hospitals in your areas. The hospital where we are delivering has a birthing center- so midwives, water, no "you need to stay in bed", but if (god forbid) something were to go wrong there is an OR and a surgeon on standby, as well as the nicu team. Best of both worlds :)

Jennie - posted on 06/12/2012

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Laura I have read ur posts on other questions & u r of the same thinking on so many issues, I moved to Virginia 6 months ago from England where birthing babies is very different to the states! I am pregnant again & will b having babe in the states this time, would u mind if I picked ur brains on all hospital/birthing matters? I wood love to have a homebirth but we live to far from a hospital just in case there were complications. My doctor has said I have autonomy & can always say no to anything but since I don't know what the standard protocols n policies are I could b having to argue while in labour if I do not have a comprehensive birth plan in place!! The doctors etc are not going to give me all the info i need as some of it will seem unimportant or obvious to them but for a woman that wants to birth her baby with as little interference as possible in a country she doesn't know all info is needed to make the best decisions.......eg: we do not vaccinate new born babies but it appears in the states they do, not something I will b wanting! Sorry for the long one but you seem to b the lady in the know! ;o)

Amy - posted on 03/18/2011

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oh laura, i WISH I was doing a home birth. no midwives around my small town. I have to drive an hour and a half just so I can do a VBAC.

I wish you lived by me too. I'd pay you to come advocate for me! lol. I have tried to call the hospital a few times and no one really gives me any information or answers. Getting frustrating. I think some of the eye stuff is why my son ended up with clogged tear duct.

i am planning on staying in the lobby or parking lot with husband until i feel like i'm getting close to pushing. I hate all the checks that aren't needed and they want you to lay down. like THAT's the way women birth best.

don't know if i said on this one or not, but after i had my son i had to tellt he nurse she was NOT putting pitocin in my iv. she just casually goes...this is what i'm gonna do..uh, no you aren't or i'm ripping out the iv. she wasn't happy with me. all the monitoring makes unneeded worry and more likely to c section. i never want a c section again!

Merry - posted on 03/18/2011

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Almost nothing is legally mandatory, even the things that are law can usually be avoided if you do your homework.
All medication, all inductions, all policies in labor, blood pressure cuff, monitors on your belly, iv, internal monitors, etc all those are policy, NOT law!
Baby can not be taken from you unless it's a life or death situation, and even then there is no law to keep your husband from following the baby anywhere they have to take it.
If it's not life or death, baby is totally allowed to be with you 100%
Policy might be to take the baby to the nursery for weight and temp readings, policy might say baby has to be taken to the nursery for hearing test, policy might say allot, but it's NoT law.
Hepatitis b shot can be waived
Vitamin k shot can be waived
Eye ointment can be waived
Heel stick PKU test can be waived
(in most states in USA)
Policy might say you can't be discharged for x amount of hours or days but not law
Policy might say you can't have your kids in the labor room but it's not law.

See a trend here?
The nurses and doctors will say it is ,mandatory, but always ask, is this policy or law?
And if it is law you have to do research on your states legality with religious or personal waivers.

Remember you are paying the doctors and paying the nurses and paying the hospital to care for you, they work for you. They are not there to order you around unless your life depends on it. Even then people have refused treatments due to religious reasons.
They can't make you do much with your baby.
It's your child and your decision is the one that counts.

Amy - posted on 03/13/2011

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I think there are a lot of "tests" that aren't required, though. And if home birth women don't get all these tests on their kids, do mine need them? Obviously they cannot do everything in the room, but we should be able to keep our children in our sights, I'd think.

Chrissie - posted on 03/13/2011

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They are required to do the tests that hey are doing. And unless you or someone else can follow the nurse around (my sons dad and my mom did this for me) they cant do everything right there in your room.

Lady Heather - posted on 03/07/2011

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My daughter was never out of our sight. They did tell me that if I had a c-section (we had one scheduled but she had other plans) that I would probably need an hour in recovery without her. But in that case she would have been with my husband and the midwife and not in the nursery. The nursery here is only for mothers who ask for a rest. Parents are encouraged to keep their baby in their room. They even have a nice big double bed for the dad! And private bathroom with jetted tub. Yeah...we have it pretty good here.

Unless your kid is born really premature or with problems and requires help from the NICU, I don't see why they would have to take the baby away from you. Surely you must be able to demand the baby stays in your room?

Amy - posted on 03/03/2011

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I was only in the hospital for a bit over 24 hours with my last baby. Hopefully no c section so we can get back home asap. the less I'm in the hospital, the less I'll have to fight with it all, I think. And hopefully less I'll have to pay.

We had a horrid nurse with my son. Told me if we signed the AMA and took our child home that they'd send social services after us. I was like, for what? Not wanting to be in a hospital an hour away with a toddler and newborn solo because daddy has to go back to work? She's the same one who thought my son's belly was a great resting spot for her clipboard. I just said, my son's not a table. She evil glared me. So, I'm probably not the best at staying nice with some nurses. My child is a person. I do want her to stay with one of us the whole time.

Tori - posted on 03/01/2011

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My daughter stayed in the room with us the entire time except for when they had to check her blood pressure, (her arm blood pressure and leg blood pressure were slightly different at birth but regulated out by day 2) and when they tested her for jaundice and gave her a bath. However, my husband and I were with her when they took her to the nursery. I really like the hospital I deliver at, all the babies get their "alarms" so they cannot be removed from the area till they are ready, and it is completely locked down, so nobody that the moms do not want there cannot just show up. We are looking forward to that with baby number 2 and being able to know that people cannot just show up at the hospital and in our room and we can bond with our new son and have time for our daughter to adjust :)
Also alot of my good friends family members working in the labor and delivery area so I feel so comfortable. But no I do not believe that they should be able to take your child with out your consent

Terilee - posted on 02/15/2011

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wow! that is crazy, paying to have a baby.... Here in New Zealand its totally free, midwife, hospital and all, and to top it off, we get up to $1200 for every born baby.... In Australia I think it's $1500. You poor thing. They shouldn't be able to do anything to your child without consent, usually signed? That's what it's like here anyway...

Cyndel - posted on 02/08/2011

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I had my baby at a maternity center (i'll be delivering this baby at the same one), the only test they did was the blood sugar test because he was so big they worried he'd have sugar problems for the first few days, and another test to see his likely hood for certain disorders that crop up later in childhood when he was a couple of days old. The second was unnecessary but we chose it so we could keep an eye out for signs that he was developing anything or get early treatment etc. But you don't have to get this test if you don't want it. Also you can choose not to get most tests done during pregnancy, the only test we did was the Gestational Diabetes test, and the ultrasound. We don't care if our baby isn't physically perfect, it is a blessing anyway.
I let my midwife know that I didn't want my son to recieve any of the shots or even the eye ointment, which is to protect a child from eye infection that can sometimes lead to blindness if the mother has a viginal infection from yeast or STD. I was a virgin when I married as was my husband, neither of us was in danger of STD, and I didn't have a yeast infection when I gave birth. I'll let them give the eye ointment if I have a yeast infection. But I refused the vacinnes as I feel uncomfortable giving vac's to a child who is unable to clearly communicate, unless the child is going into daycare at an early age. My kids will be staying home with me until they are older.
Any way, I would ask about the tests and which ones are law, which ones you can opt out on (it should honestly be all of them) what they test for and why, do some research on the tests and then decide which ones your willing to spend your money on.
Sorry if this is a bit rambling!

Laressa - posted on 01/31/2011

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Here in Canada the hospital delivered at last time and the one I'm delivering at this time DO NOT EVEN HAVE A NURSERY!!! I'm not sure if I like that or not. Last time I was bawling my eyes out after 2 days with no sleep. Hospitals are not designed to get any rest, from my experience. Last time the nurse took my baby for a few hours when I just couldn't handle it anymore. This hospital didn't even promise to do that much. They said if I think I need help, make sure hubby is there to help. They provide a comfy recliner for dad. Sigh. I don't know if that helps me. My hubby owns his own business and unlike dads with an hourly wage there is never any time off. Not even on weekends. So I think it would be selfish of me to ask him to give up his nights too. But it might be something you could check into is if the whole family can stay together for the duration of your stay.

Allison - posted on 01/19/2011

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All the posts I read about Australia make me wish I lived there sometimes :) In the US, unfortunately the hospital staff usually feel they have the right to call the shots - they sometimes stomp on a mother's autonomy in labor, and many see the baby as their patient who they have a right to treat as they see fit.



It's important to keep a positive relationship with them (nurses, doctors, admin) while realizing that they really are YOUR decisions, despite how they may phrase it or try to "scare" you into doing things their way. There are good and bad care providers, some who are very knowledgable and some who do dangerous or unnecessary things (usually because they truly believe it best) - so I always think it's of the utmost importance to do your own, solid research and consult different providers to get multiple opinions on things before making important decision. I'm a scientist and a questioner, though, so that comes natural to me :) Anyway, I just know too many first time moms who get coerced into decisions they later regret, or which cause other problems (think "cascade of interventions" - like a domino effect) simply because they didn't have the knowledge and/or felt they should just blindly trust a single doctor or nurse. I did a lot of research on this ahead of time, and that's why I had a home-birth (with an experienced, certified midwife), but have since learned even more about hospital care from family who work there. You CAN have a great birth at a hospital (or birth center), but knowledge is certainly power! All the best to you and your family :)



To your original question, I think most US hospitals now encourage you to keep your baby with you at all times unless you ask someone to take them. My SIL is a L&D nurse, and she still encourages all moms to give up the baby to the nursery for a while to "get some rest" - I told her this would really bother me if she was my nurse!!! They often expect you to "stay put" while they take the baby out for procedures, so make it clear that you or partner WILL be coming along any time they take the baby for procedure that YOU have consented to :)

Kaleena - posted on 01/18/2011

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in australia the hospital staff are not allowed to take your baby away without either your consent or a court order no matter the reason

Sammie - posted on 01/11/2011

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Oh wow, that's insane! We have Medicare here, every one automatically gets it when they are born and you always have it. So to go into the hospital publically, it doesn't cost you a cent. If you choose to go private, through your own private health fund you pay part of the bill.

Amy - posted on 01/11/2011

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health insurance is crazy here. you get what you pay for and with our insurance, it doesn't pay for much. We are on one income and can't afford insurance with a tiny deductible. A fair piece is out of pocket. I don't get it. I called and a natrual birth is about $2,600.00 yet if I HAVE insurance, it magically hopped up at my son's birth to about four thousand. I am trying to figure out how in the hell they can get away with that. Seems sometimes like it's not worth having insurance. ??? Only if something MAJOR happens is it good. It's the worst gambling racket ever.

Sammie - posted on 01/11/2011

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Here in Australia, the baby is ALWAYS in the room with the mum, the only time they move baby is when they bath or do an injection, both times Mum/Dad has to bring baby to them for them. As for the delivery, do you not have a public health system? Your health insurance seems ridiculous compared to ours!

Stephanie - posted on 01/06/2011

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At the hospital where I had my firstborn, we weren't allowed being away from the baby at all. Not necessarily a bad thing but it was a pain trying to bring baby, bassinet, and myself all into the tiny washroom.

Stifler's - posted on 01/06/2011

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i had logan the whole time i was in hospital. any tests they did in the ward and any other tests we were allowed to go with. i made them take him away at night though because i was bawling my eyes out and exhausted and he wouldn't stop crying.

Nikki - posted on 01/03/2011

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When they take the baby to the nursery for exams and such you can go with them ( I was even present for my son's circumscision) Also they should give you a list of tests that they do. you can also look up what your state requires on theur public health website.

Amy - posted on 01/02/2011

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Thank you, I will certainly call the hospital. [why on earth didn't I think of that? lol pregnant brain.]

Becky - posted on 01/02/2011

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You have the right to be with your child at every second.. They cannot take you child away from you if you do not wish it.. In my record I had it writen down that the baby would not be taken out of the room unless myself or husband was present. At our hospital they brought everything into our room but I know my sister had them wheel her in a wheel chair so she could stay with her child.

Jannelle - posted on 01/01/2011

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I would suggest looking up information at the hospital you plan on delivering at. They may have some terms on their website. If the website isn't useful you may be able to call and find out what tests they do on newborns and then do some additional research to find out if they are necessary.

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