SOS Hospital 411

K this is for all those Type 1 women who have ever had to give birth. Also for any doctors who feel they can explain things to me. Here’s my dilema. This is my 3rd pregnancy. The last two experiences giving birth to my children were horrible. They took my daughter from me without letting me hold her. I didn’t get to see her for an hour and a half. Which created huge bonding issues for me that I still feel guilt from and she’s now 5. She was perfectly healthy mind you too. Nothing wrong except jaundice. Then they told me how long I could hold her. They tube fed her without notifying me saying that otherwise her sugars wouldn’t stay up. Which I believe to be a bunch of bull. There are other ways to raise sugars, we all know that. They wouldn’t let me nurse her. They wouldn’t let me feed her even when I told them I wanted to do it. They would tell me she had to eat like 8oz of formula in a half hour or they would tube feed her. Which I read in a pregnancy book that baby’s aren’t even that hungry right after birth up to 3 days later. That’s why it’s not a big deal if your milk isn’t in immediatly. God did set up a system. (I eventually got to the point that I would secretly dump the rest down the drain, just so they wouldn’t have to tube feed her) They went extreme on everything, and not because she was sick, but because of the “what if’s”. They gave her a binki with glucose water on it without telling me and then they would tell me when my baby would be rooting and hungry that I couldn’t feed her without a perscription from the doctor. I eventually had to just insist that I was taking her home. Which they wanted to throw a fit about, but when I got her home she was fine and normal and healthy. They tried to tell me that she was too uncoordinated to take home. lol I asked them what they wanted an infant to do? Cartwheels? I have had a lot of the same issues with both my previous pregnancies and I am so afraid it will happen again. I really would like to hear about some other experiences women have had having a baby. I have huge hospital anxiety now and now there are some things coming up already that I am not sure how to handle. I want to know what I should have to put up with and what I shouldn’t. Help please.

Oh I should note also, that I have a birth plan that never seems to get any attention. I feel like my parental rights and opinions go right out the door cuz I’m diabetic. I also always have like 20 people in my room. Is that normal, cuz I hate it. I feel like I’m some freak on display. I am not sure I can go through with having the baby in the hospital, I’m a wreck cuz they make me feel so out of control. How can I make them understand that they are making me a nervous wreck and causing me anxiety attacks over the way they are handling things?

Oh Maleri, what you went through! Am infuriated reading it.

Have you discussed this with your endo & obstetrician?

Afraid I don’t have children to offer firsthand advice, but there are several things you could do to have your wishes respected. Make an appointment to speak with the hospital administrator. Before your meeting get the hospital’s statement of patient rights.

Explain to him/her what you experienced before & be firm that this not happen again. Give the hospital administrator a written list that clearly states your expectations & wishes. State what you want & don’t want regarding your care & your baby’s care. If you can get a letter from your endo to take with you, that would help. Would also be helpful if your husband goes with you to this meeting so you have a witness. If your husband can’t go, have a friend accompany you.

Nicely tell the hospital administrator that if you & your child are subjected again to the treatment you received before, you will file a lawsuit.

When you go to the hospital to deliver, take a copy of your letter to the hospital administrator & your endo’s letter with you. Tell the nurses & doctors you’ve already met with the hospital administrator. If your needs aren’t met, demand to speak with the hospital administrator immediately.

I was not diagnosed when I had my children BUT as a nurse I can tell you that if/when something like this happens you need to report it to your doctor (even if that means threatening his answering service), the hospital administration, and the state regulating board. There is no way these nurses should have treated you and your children like this. No, you should have your Dr visit when he makes rounds, the pediatrician may make rounds and come see you, your nurse should be rounding, and you should have a tech (aide) to assist you. Otherwise the only people in your room should be those you invite in. Now, if you are in a teaching facility that may mean you might have resident’s making rounds with your Dr or student nurses but both of these should be cleared by the staff with you prior tpo them coming into your room and assisting with your care. They are well aware that patient’s have rights, enforce yours. If all of your other children were born at the same hospital I would switch hospitals, during the tour I would bring up these very concerns and let the hospital know that your plan is this and that and you want to room in with the baby. If your OB does not go to a different hospital then switch OB’s and tell him why. He either does not realize how his patients are being treated, does not realize that if there is a reason for this behavior it was never explained to you, or he just does not care. You also have the right to request a different nurse at any time if you feel uncomfortable or feel the nurse is not looking out for your best interests (or any other reason).

Maleri, I am so sorry to hear about these experiences. You may want to also post your question in the Oh Baby! group (click here), as there may be many there who can also give you advice.

Hi Maleri,
that is a horrible story. You should definitely go to another hospital (assuming that is an option) and talk about these things with the doctors there before you give birth. It is not okay to treat a new mother like that, but it sounds like they were genuinely afraid your daughter might get low blood sugar. This can happen when the mother has higher blood sugar than normal during the later stages of the pregnancy. The child has a functioning pancreas that can compensate for the mothers high blood sugar by increasing production. But after birth the child is separated from the mothers blood supply and the extra sugar is gone, but the pancreas is still in overdrive. So the child can go low and needs a bit of time to adjust. But why they didn’t just monitor her blood sugar to see if that was happening, instead of just force feeding her without any explanation is beyond me. I really hope everything goes well this time.

Thank you all so much for your helpful advice and concern. It’s been something that has just nearly brought me to tears everytime I think about it. It’s nice to have some support. I am seriously thinking about changing hospitals. I just need to find one that I am ok with. Thank you all again so much.

As a breastfeeding mom who’s given birth seven times, I read your post and went Grrrrr . . . .

Lots have given you good advice about having your reasonable expectations laid out ahead of time with your docs and the hospital . . .

HOWEVER - I strongly suggest that you have an advocate, someone who can speak on your behalf when your having to breathe through contractions, KWIM? That person (and make sure they AND a back up know EXACTLY what your expectations are) can keep a clear head and an even keel that a mom in labor may not be able to maintain.

Choose your advocate wisely. It can be your spouse, or not. A relative, or not. Make sure it’s someone you trust and someone who has both a backbone and diplomacy, someone who can EFFECTIVELY state your desires. You may even look into hiring a Doula.

Two of the many descriptions of a Doula are:

Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers

Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman’s memory of the birth experience

You can google Doula to get all sorts of info. My births were very fast (all but 2 under 2 hours), so I’ve not ever felt a need for a Doula, but your situation sounds like you might find having one very helpful. Do you have a diabetes team through your endo? I know there are several of the nurses at our children’s hospital who are T1 and have had babies. If you could find anyone like that maybe they could steer you in the right direction for a Doula or advocate, as well as give you good, accurate info on what reasonable expectations for post-birth bonding and feeding are.

Congratulations on your pregnancy and prayers for a smooth, safe (and pleasantly memorable) birth.

Grace and peace,

I wish I weren't three years late to this. That sounds so awful! Perhaps it's only because I had my babies later than yours (2009, 2010, and 2012), and hospitals have figured out that breastfeeding really is best, even for babies of diabetics, but I never had to deal with anything that horrible. I would suggest not letting them give the baby anything except a little bit of formula or sugar water by a syringe and ONLY if the baby's blood sugar is lower than 40 (which is what is normal for newborns). And they should let you try to nurse first, because colostrum does help stabilize blood sugar, even if it won't bring it up all the way!

I blog about trying to have fewer interventions in childbirth as a Type I diabetic at, if you're interested in reading more about my experiences.

I have no idea where you had your first 2 babies, but if it were up to me, this time I would make absolutely sure I didn't have it at the same hospital that did that to you with your daughter. I am so sorry for what you went through. I had my son 22 years ago at a hospital with a very strong maternal/fetal medicine program. They encouraged me to nurse him and would not have dreamed about feeding him without my knowlege. And he was only 5 pounds 1/2 ounce at birth. We took him home at 4 1/2 pounds. You should not put up with any of the crap you did with your daughter, and I would make absolutely sure well ahead of time that it didn't. You have rights as a patient and I would be sure your ob/gyn knows what you want and that you will fight them every step of the way if they stomp on your rights. There are also "patient advocates" at every hospital if you feel you are being mistreated. Avail yourself of every possible thing and make a big stink if you or your child is being treated other than how you specifically want. Be strong in your convictions because you need to stick up not just for yourself, but for your newborn as well.

I had my son close to 17 years ago. Born C-section, we got to hold him immediately after his birth, and then they took him up to the nursery for the regular newborn stuff...monitor him a short bit, clean him up, weigh and measure him. About 30 minutes to an hour later he was back in the room with me. I fed him, ATTEMPTED to breast feed him... he fed on about an ounce to maybe 2 ounces. Never did he have tube feedings, or any other kind of glucose.

If it were me, I'd look into a differnt doctor for my prenatal care, and explore different hospitals. If there is no medical reason to be doing all of that it shouldn't have been done. Talk with your doctor, and let your wishes, wants and concerns known. Medicine is consumer driven. You are the consumer, you have choices and options.

I wish you were around 3 years ago too. =) My baby is now almost 3, but I have to say, I am a little gun shy to get pregnant again because of all the crap I had to go through. I really am kind of surprised how little some doctors still know about diabetes and pregnancy. It always felt like they had NO idea what they were talking about or doing. It was highly frustrating. It's good to know that there are people out there like you who DO know what they are talking about. =D Thanks for the comment. =D

Sometimes I think are advancements in technology, etc have become detrimental to us. =) I sometimes think it gets in the way of what is natural. I've told my husband that a thousand times. I just feel they get involved when they don't need to be. If it wasn't such a risk I would have all my babies at home. But I do like the doc there in case something is wrong, but I hate that they always assume there is. They were really good at making me feel like an alien. =D Thanks so much for your comment.

I wasn't a dx type 1 until 2 yrs after I had my last child (just dx April of this yr) but I was a medicated GD with both of my pregnancies, which should have been my first clue that I was really late onset type 1 but that's a whole other story.....anyway with my daughter she was born naturally on her due date at a healthy weight and had no complications with regard to my diabetes. My son on the other hand was induced 2 weeks early because of my GD and other complications, I was being monitored 2x per week minimum and it caused me a great deal of stress and anxiety. the birth itself went fine, almost too easy after I heard so many horrible induction stories I was prepared for the worst lol...he was a tad biggish for 38 weeks just under 8 1/2 lbs but not a huge kiddo, he did however have a lot of low blood sugars and the "shakes" the first 24 hrs post birth in which they simply had me feed him which corrected it and by day 2 he was stable with the blood sugars. I bottle fed him from the start (my own choice because of nursing stuff with my first it was just a decision I made) and they never took him away from me or mentioned tubes or IVs or anything like that. And they simply said he either had to nurse or take a bottle right away because of his low blood sugar. all in all the experience of his birth was a good one, the nurses were fabulous and my OB is maybe one my most favorite people on the planet, I feel blessed by that!

I am sorry you had such a bad experience :( I would also suggest looking into other drs and facilities. I am also a nurse and I can say with certainty that not all drs are created equal some are fabulous and some well....not so much!! Just remember you are your own best advocate and if you have to be beotchy (for lack of a better word ;))to get your point across so be it! good luck!

I am so glad things worked out for you. =) Thank you for the advice. I appreciate it. =) My second child was 5 weeks early (came on her own) and was 9lb 4oz. lol Yep she was a biggin. But it worked in my favor with my son, cuz he was 7 weeks early and was 5lbs 4oz. Which is big for 7 weeks early, but it was good cuz he was only in the NICU for like 1.5 weeks. So the big benefit him there. =)

As a health care provider I have one very important sOlution for you. You MUST talk with your OB, express these concerns and have a birth plan written up. Tell your OB if he/she isnt willing to help you come up with a birth plan everyone’s comfortable with then get one that will

Junior was in NICU when she was born, as they gave her antibiotics as MrsAcidRock had a temp during delivery. We put the breast milk into shot glasses and dumped it into her. She was *extremely* healthy, like 8 lb 4 oz and looked very out of place w/ the preemies but still had to wait a week to get out, to get back up to her birth weight.

That was in 1998 so I would figure every facility would at least consider trying that method of feeding before an invasive one? I hope you can shop around for a different provider, maybe talk to the people managing the NICU about these sort of issues?

Yes, I hope if I have another baby I will have a better experience. =D

Thanks for the advice. =) I had a birth plan but they weren't too good at sticking with it. Especially the nurses. =( But I think I could have stuck to my guns better too, but I really do hate confrontation. =D lol