Birth Options in Nashville
Nashville gives a pregnant woman many birthing options that are wonderful, but can be overwhelming. Which is best for you? A Hospital? A Birth Center? A home birth? What is the difference?
Nashville area has several hospitals to choose from. The hospitals that do the most births are Vanderbilt, St. Thomas Midtown, and Centennial. Other hospitals outside of Nashville are Northcrest, Hendersonville Medical Center, Summit, Dixon Medical Center, Williamson Medical Center, St. Thomas Rutherford. Each hospital has different amenities they offer and policies for labor and delivery. Which one you pick probably will depend on your insurance. If you want to see how they compare visit the Hospitals page.
In the hospital you can choose to have a midwife or an OBGYN care for you in pregnancy and deliver your baby. The hospital is the only place to get a c-section, if you are needing one. When you are in labor, you go to triage. They check you and decide if your labor is at a point to be admitted to the hospital. You are them put in a room on the labor and delivery floor. There you an use the tub (for labor only), get nitrous gas, or an epidural. After birth, you will be moved to a postpartum floor to stay with baby until you leave to go home.
There is only one free standing birth center currently and it is staffed by Midwives. It is called Baby + Co. You can choose to see them for your prenatal care, but deliver at Vanderbilt Hospital or you can get prenatal care and deliver at Baby + Co. The midwives offer births in a spa like atmosphere. Free tours are given and they will write you a quote before starting care. Many insurances will cover births here. Baby + Co only accepts low risk clients that want to deliver without medication or want a water birth. They do have nitrous gas (laughing gas), but can not give epidurals. After birth, you stay about 4 hours and then head home to settle in while you are still on your oxytocin baby high. Several hours later a midwife comes to your home to check on you and baby. If there is a medical emergency during labor, you will be transferred to Vanderbilt hospital to continue your great care there.
St. Thomas has opened a birth center as part of the hospital. They take low risk moms who don't want an epidural. The room looks less like a hospital and is a little more cozy. You still have all the hospital amenities of labor tubs, etc. If you want medication in labor, you will get moved to a normal labor and delivery room.
In TN home birth is legal. There are many CPM's (Certified Professional Midwives) to choose from. Insurance does not normally cover it and the parents pay cash. Prenatal visits are either done in your home or in the midwife's office. It all depends on the midwife. At 36 weeks they visit your home to make sure all is ready and to be familiar with the setting. These moms then labor, give birth, and recover in their home.