Giving Birth at UM Health-West Means Natural Options, a Nursery and Incredible Staff

Expectant moms don’t fit into a box – we are all different, with different plans and hopes for our new baby. But we all share one thing in common:

We all want our babies born safe. 

Whether we want natural birth or epidural, whether we have cesaerean or give birth vaginally, whether we use a doula or not, we all crave a safe, low stress delivery. 

University of Michigan Health-West’s labor and delivery is one of those safe places to deliver your baby. 

They pride themselves on being open to pain-free births, doulas, and one of the hospitals in Grand Rapids that consistently offers a nursery for your baby. (That is my personal #1 selling point.)

4 Things UM Health-West’s Labor & Delivery Has that You Need

Their combo of highly trained medical staff with the latest technology, along with a “deliver your baby how you want to” vibe, makes it one of the favorite birthing facilities in West Michigan. 

Veteran Ob-Gyn, Dr. Susan VandenBosch of UM Health-West, agrees. 

“I have delivered babies at all the West Michigan hospitals over my career and I feel UM Health-West is the most balanced as far as caring for the mother and the baby, both before and after delivery,” Dr. VandenBosch shares. 

So what makes UM Health-West’s labor and delivery experience unique? 

1 – UM Health-West Advocates for Natural Birth, If That’s What You Want

I have a few mom friends who opted for home births because they are passionate about having a natural birth. I always thought the idea was cool, but the practical side of me always won out.

I chose hospital births every time because I didn’t want to run the risk of suddenly needing medical assistance and not having it. 

I wish I had known about UM Health West’s program when I was giving birth. 

“We encourage patients to deliver their babies the way they want to,” says Dr. VandenBosch. 

“We are big advocates of patients who want to avoid medication. Our nurses are skilled in helping laboring moms with position changes and finding alternatives for labor discomfort.”

And they even work with you on birth plans! 

“During the third trimester we work with moms-to-be on their birth plans which includes the type of birth they prefer,” adds Dr. VandenBosch.

That was not offered to me when I had my babies. I had to specifically seek someone out and tell them my birth plan when we arrived on the big day. Yet UM Health-West specifically addresses these plans with moms, because they know how important they are.

2 – They Have Always Offered a Nursery

While other hospitals have waffled on their nursery offerings, UM Health-West has always recognized the need for one.

“Not all labors and deliveries are the same,” says Dr. VandenBosch. “Some are exhausting or require major surgery, so we feel the option of a nursery is still important.”

I can testify to this one! 

The nursery options kept changing at the hospital where I had my babies.

By the time my third child was born in 2013, I had to push to have him stay in the nursery overnight while I slept. And after a really long, hard delivery, both he and I were beat. I also have a sleeping disorder, so it was crucial for me to even have that one night in the hospital where I could count on a nurse to help my baby in the night so I could sleep. 

Even if you don’t have a medical need for the extra rest, having a nursery available as a backup is so comforting, isn’t it? There are trained, caring nurses and a safe space for your baby if you need some shut eye before you take your child home.  

Other local hospitals have reinstated their nursery offerings, but I love how UM Health-West has always been dependable here. No guesswork when you have your baby if the rules have changed – nurseries are here to stay!

3 – UM Health-West Allows Birth Supports Like Doulas and Birthing Balls

UM Health-West adapts with new birthing trends. They realize they can still offer their all-star medical assistance, while also letting moms-to-be try new things. Afterall, a lot of the medical staff are parents, too, and they know what it’s like! 

When you give birth at UM Health-West, you can bring in outside support like doulas, which Dr. VandenBosch says are popular with many patients. 

They also have large showers for patients who want to be mobile during labor. They’re large enough to accommodate a partner or to simply move around. 

Want a birthing ball or something else for your birth at UM Health-West? Bring it on! They have items like this, but patients are also welcome to bring in their own.

“We are seeing a big trend right now in using different labor techniques. Many moms use birthing balls or chairs to get comfortable or aid in their delivery,” says Dr. VandenBosch.

4 – The Staff is Skilled at Anticipating Your Needs

Many moms worry about feeling like a number when they give birth at a hospital – after all, there are many women giving birth at the same time. 

UM Health-West, though, loves to love on new mamas and their babies! 

New mom Ashley Barton recently gave birth at UM Health-West and was amazed by her experience. 

“As a first time mom, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect during the delivery process. Everyone from the labor and delivery team, postpartum, and even the nutrition and housekeeping staff made my stay wonderful and stress free. 

“All of my needs were anticipated before I even knew I needed anything. I can’t thank the staff enough for keeping all of us healthy and happy.”

Because having a baby isn’t just about the birth. It’s about all the things leading up to and following the birth. You’ll want experts watching your baby for jaundice, making sure they have the healthiest stats, and helping you with breastfeeding. UM Health-West does all of that, and more. 

Want to know more about UM Health-West’s amazing birthing experience? Learn about their Labor & Delivery here

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