Quote from CTRN1
I was wondering if anyone can give any insight in the differences between delivering and the postpartum stay at Military VS non military hospitals. I am interested more in the patients perspective, like do they have to same options for monitoring, mobility, showering and tubs, are iv optional, etc. Also, are hospitals different on miliraty bases abroad as opposed to here in the US. Any insight either personal or if you have family/friends who have delivered in one would be great. My sister just married into military and I want her to be able to make an informed decision when the time comes to choosing where to have a baby. Thanks!!!
It has been almost 8 years since I had my son at Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital in California, but I will try to tell you what I can.
I know they had advanced technology at the time and I have heard from several people that military hospitals tend to have newer techniques/drugs before other hospitals (I had Cervidil used on me there and 2 years later in Wisconsin, they said that they just started using it, although that could be just be CA vs. WI)
I remember the epidural placement going quickly. I had an intrathecal before the epidural, which allowed mobility. Before I was on Pitocin I didn't have an IV and was able to walk the unit as well. I did have continuous monitoring when I was in bed. I was an induction and all about pain relief, so I couldn't really tell you about refusing interventions. I was able to shower early on also.
Where I was there were a couple of Certified Nurse Midwives that I saw regularly and I really liked that care and attention they gave. I felt there was a multitude of education and resources available to me. They set me up immediately with WIC and childbirth ed classes. There were many different free classes offered.
I felt since it was a teaching hospital that I usually had a lot of attention and caring people at my side. I also felt that being a military spouse, rather than an actual member, I received a lot of respect from everyone, no matter what their rank.
There was a home visit during the first week from a nurse to check on my recovery (I was ultimately a C-section) and answer any questions.
It was a teaching hospital so I had many different people checking my cervix and failing to start my IV on multiple tries. I had many different caregivers come and go throughout my long labor and postpartum stay.
They were strict about the baby rooming in and I practically had to beg them to take him for an hour or two so I could sleep a little that first night. They were very big on getting you to care for yourself and your baby immediately, which was hard after a primary C-section.
I don't think there was any private rooms although I was lucky enough to be without a roommate. They didn't have anywhere for my spouse to stay.
Those are the highlights that I remember. Many things may have changed over the last 8 years and I am sure that others have had different experiences. Now that I am an L&D nurse and have seen the good and the bad that can exist, I think overall I had a very good experience there and I retell it fondly. Best of luck to your sister no matter what she chooses.