Monday, June 21, 2010

Northside vs. Crawford Long Hospital

Okay so I know I was suppose to do this post like weeks ago but needless to say two little boys have me fully occupied!!! Aiden was born at Northside Hospital and Noah was born at Crawford Long (now Emory University Hospital Midtown). And I have to say that my experience was totally different at each one, but neither experience was what I would call a bad one. I will list my pros and cons for each one, but like I said....I did not have a BAD experience at either...they were just different.

Northside Hospital
1000 Johnson Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30342-1611

Planned to have a vaginal birth but ended up having a cesarean after 24 hours of labor due to developed fever. Was sent to the hospital by mid wife at 41 weeks due to low amniotic fluid.

Pros: One of the top Maternity hospitals in the country...they have nicknamed this place the baby factory!! Hospital was easy to get to from the freeway, but if you go into labor in the afternoon (as I did) it will be difficult to navigate through traffic. You can pull up curb side right to the Maternity center and father/coach can move the car once you are checked in...which was GREAT. Parking was FREE for the father!!!!

Check in was quick and painless. The Birthing suite was BEAUTIFUL!!! Very spacious and they were very accommodating to the family. They had all of the delivery menu's in a folder for easy reference. Standard gowns but they didn't provide those socks with the traction on them...but I had some of my own. The nursing staff was FABULOUS and I found it hard to decide which nurses got my Godiva Chocolate treats that I got for them. Thank goodness I has some nurses more than one day/night. The anesthesiologist was great and I felt NO pain while prepping for or recovering from my c-section. Paul was able to take pictures throughout the procedure which was great!!! I was in recovery FOREVER while waiting for them to take me to my room...FOREVER. They had one nurse in the recovery room so I had to wait for her to deal with people that got in there before me before she could get me sent upstairs...UGH!! But they gave Aiden his first bath and allowed me to hold him before they took him to the nursery.

Security was great for the baby and the photo people came the day after he was born. They did a good job and were good with Aiden. Window seat where Paul had to sleep was a little small and the mother/baby suite was a tad small, but we were on one of the older floors and not in a new mother/baby suite. Bathroom was a decent size but I don't remember them providing toiletries (even though I had my own). But they DID have these cute buttons for all of the family members that were free. Buttons that said "I am the Grandmother" "I am the father" "I am the auntie/uncle" etc...very cute!!!

Food was okay, but it was hospital food. Lactation people were great and I was able to rent a pump from my room!!! They showed me how to use it and got me the attachments that I needed. Check out was not slow but not fast either. But they were very accommodating and checked on Aiden and I often to see if we were okay or if we needed anything.

Pro's: GREAT facility, easy check in, good infant security, pump rental on site, free parking, GREAT nursing staff.

Con's: not close to our home, no extras like socks and toiletries, small mother/baby unit, small sleeping area for partner/father/coach

Overall I loved this hospital...the only reason I ended up not going back was because the OB that I wanted only has privileges at Piedmont an Crawford Long.

Emory University Hospital Midtown (Crawford Long)
550 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309

This was a 7am scheduled cesarean at 39 weeks 5 days after no dilation or cervical change.

Pre op testing that was done the day before took FOREVER and I had Aiden (20 month old) with me, but it made check in the next morning very quick. Facility is close to my home and very easy to get to from the freeway. But it is downtown Atlanta so the possibility of getting stuck in traffic is pretty high. Parking is not free nor is it cheap. You can get a week long parking pass for $25 otherwise you will average $7 per day in the parking deck. You can be dropped off in front but there is no area for idle parking so your partner/the father would have to leave you there and go park in the MASSIVE parking deck.

We were only waiting for maybe 5 minutes until we were taken back to pre op. In that area I was given a standard gown and SOCKS with the traction on them. They also gave me a garment bag for me to put my clothes in!!! That was a nice touch. Paul was able to stay with me until they took me into the operating room and he was allowed in there after I as prepped. Anesthesia was not as pleasant this time but that is because I felt them do the spinal this time. With Aiden I was in so much pain that I didn't feel when the epidural was administered.

When Noah was born they gave us this really cool certificate of birth (not official) that had his foot prints on it was on really nice paper. They did not allow Paul to take pictures until he was out of my stomach. The recovery nurses were great and I didn't feel like I was in there that long but I only got to see Noah for a few seconds in the operating room before they took him up to the nursery where he got his bath and was weighed. But I did have my own personal nurse in the recovery room that put a lot of effort to get me up to my baby.

Security at Crawford Long was just as great and in some ways better. In the new hospital wing they took your picture and had to see ID before you could go back. Our OB requested that we be taken to the old Maternity wing and once I got there I realized why. The room was HUGE!!! I mean HUGE. She was thinking of us and the fact that we had a 21 month old that is very active and the extra room came in VERY handy!!! They didn't take your picture in the old wing unless you went thru the new facility to get to the old. But you could not go past the nursing station without signing in. One problem with being in the old wing is that it was hard to find!!! Everyone that came to visit was like...dang it was hard to find you guys!!!

The photo people came in the day after he was born and he was sleep so I asked for them to come back later that day or the following morning. Well they NEVER came back!!! I had to call them on the day I was suppose to leave in order for them to come and take his picture. But they did a great job and did different poses that Northside's photo lady did not offer.

Once was But the lactation people had me on the fence. They DID come and see me like 4 times but for some reason they got the impression that I didn't want to breast feed (even though I asked about pump rental). so they showed me a lot but it was not until the last day I was there that I got a FAB nurse that brought me a hand pump then offered to bring me a real pump!!! WHAT!!! The lactation people told me they didn't have pumps!!! One thing I didn't like was that the hospital did not have rentals available. So as I went home, beginning to engorge, I had to have my mom go and get a rental pump!!! ugh...I was in so much pain!!!

Check out was SLOW and the nurse that was handling the check out was SO RUDE!!!

Pro's:Room size!!!! security was good...recovery nursing staff was great!!! Closer to home and family.

Con's: expensive parking, not a lot of food options (esp ones that deliver), no pump rental, nurses were just okay, don't get to spend any time with the baby after c-section other than the few seconds you see the baby in the operating room.

So when if I had to choose between the 2 hospitals I would choose Northside (if my OB had privileges there). But Crawford Long is the hospital you want to go to if your baby is a preemie and needs NICU support! But for a standard delivery/cesarean Northside is the place to go!!!!


  1. Glad you had a great birthing experience! I love the Northside baby factory! And this time Kaydence barely left my side only for us to be escorted to recovery. They're pushing this skin to skin contact stuff now so she was bathed right next to me as I lay in the bed. Then they immediately placed her on my chest. Chunky girl refused to wait for the lactation nurses and latched on right away. So I guess the big difference between Kinsley and Kaydence was the separation period which was pretty non existent with Kaydence but about 45 minutes with Kinsley.

  2. yeah the only time I was separated from Aiden and Noah was when I was in recovery but at least with Northside I got to see Aiden get a bath and stuff. That didn't happen at Emory. But I was not in recovery as long at Emory.

  3. My northside experience was much different. I had a C-Section and was never showed the baby until after they drugged me and I was unconscious. He was in perfect health, no low heart rate prior to the C-section. However since I was upset they sedated me and I didnt see him for over 2 hours. Not only did I not see or hold him but my husband didnt either. So he got no bonding with either of us.

    I just wanted to say Im glad that you got to see your baby after the C-section but from what I experienced that was not the case at all.

    We are delivering at Emory this time and I really enjoyed reading your reviews.

  4. This review was so handy! I was looking for someone who had an experience with both hospitals so I could decide where to have my next baby.

    I gave birth to my first child last summer at Northside and had to have a c section because I got to 4 cm and stopped dilating after that. I sometimes wonder if I would have been able to deliver vaginally if they had given me more time. I felt like the labor and delivery part was rather rushed and impersonal. The recovery part was wonderful though. My sister in law has had her last 2 children at Emory and loves it, and I was thinking of trying Emory next time. Thanks again!

  5. Thanks for the review! It really does help, I had my last son at North Dekalb, but I was not from the area I had to deliver him there because of his rare heart defect and I had an ok experience there until I actually had my emergency c-section and felt everything but the staff in Mother/Baby there were really friendly and that helped a lot. Unfortunately I got no bonding time with my son at all I got to see him twice before he was sent to CHOA-Egleston, but now I'm staying in Atlanta and I've been looking at reviews on both Drs. and hospitals and I've seen soo many good reviews on both hospitals but more on Northside so I decided I would choose the Dr. on my list that delivers at Northside but he also had great reviews but since this is the beginning of my pregnancy and I have a long way to go I hope it is as good of an experience for me as well. Again thanks sooo much this really does help!!!

  6. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes! Maybe I care too much about this stuff, but it makes me so sad that the majority of women don't seem to realize that the World Health Organization says the c-section rate should not rise above 15%. Anything above that is associated with increased risk for mother and baby. I see post after post of women in the Atlanta area who went to Northside, got their c-section (40% of births at Northside are c-section), and don't see anything wrong with it. They rave about the size of the room or the nurses or the food, but they have no clue that so many of these sections are unnecessary. The lack of bonding time is what kills me. I mean no disrespect whatsoever to this blogger. I realize this post was made some time ago and I'm sure that she is a wonderful mother to her two kids. But it just really made my jaw drop when she said they "allowed her" to hold her son. I wish that women realized that our lives and our children's lives are forever impacted by the circumstances of their births. And if every mom could experience holding her child close to her chest the very moment he is born, it would make me so happy. The world would be a happier place! Yes, sometimes an emergency c-section saves lives, but only around 15% of the time. Intown Midwifery has an 8% c-section rate for their patients. EIGHT, y'all. Do your research before you decide that Northside or any other place is the best place to have a baby. A supportive and knowledgeable care provider is what's important, not the place of birth.

    1. I agree with you Jenny. I am actually surprised when I hear woman say that if you have a C/S you have to keep having a C/S.
      Our first child was a C/S. I felt it was a C/S that could have been prevented.
      Baby #2 was a VBAC. I used Intown Midwifery. My favorite. I was determined to have a VBAC and I did my research the 2nd time around instead of depending 100% on the Dr.
      Baby #3 will be at Northside and since Intown Midwifery doesn't deliver there, I won't be using them. :-( The Dr. I am using has you schedule a C/S regardless of if you've had a VBAC. I went along with it, but I this will be a vaginal birth.

    2. I'm trying to learn more about the hospitals around here for if I'm able to conceive, and although my boyfriend and his ex liked Northside, hearing that they are identified as the baby factory scares the crap out of me. I'm afraid of just being a number on the ticker with them and I'm afraid of getting pushed into a needless c-section.

  7. Northside has no security in labor and delivery! They only utilized the bracelet on baby. Anyone from the streets could come in without signing in or showing id. They can just walk into any of the rooms. I don't recommend this hospital.

  8. I haven't had the most pleasant birthing experience with Crawford Long. My son is a victim of medical malpractice and they're trying to say the doctor did everything right if that was the case the severity of his injury would not be that. When I went in the first time they was saying I couldn't deliver because it wasn't time, but i kept contracting every 10 mins not hard but constant. I went three times before the actual birth and the nurse was very rude, when I got an epidural I didn't feel it until they were done even then it went up instead of down and I felt pain and stiffness in my neck and shoulders that I am still to this day SEVEN YEARS LATER experiencing. My OB was rude to my mother and did not respect her wishes when it came to me her child... I don't care HOW OLD you are the one person that should have any type of say so besides the father of the baby should be the mother of the patient especially of a teen mom. I was 18 at the time but it was a big deal for my mother to have voiced her opinion what SHE felt was BEST FOR ME AND MY BABY. Not to mention when it was time to get my rhogam shot I had to go pay the hospital instead of my OB administering it to me which was money out my pocket because some confusion about my insurance... If you ask I've heard plenty of malpractice goes on at Crawford long and it only took me to have my first child there to review the hospital if I could do it over again northside would be my choice but since hearing about intown midwifery if a better hospital permits I'll choose them but I will NEVER have a baby at Crawford long again, they're unprofessional, rude,and accommodating patients is not their business. I was torn during the delivery and did not receive the best of help or care and it took them a whole day just to let me see my son, they waited until I left him to go back to my room and then chose to tell me something was wrong and he stayed in the nicu our whole stay. Now the nursery staff(Dr/nurses) were totally different, understanding, and took wonderful care of my son and I. It upset me 2 know that I've had friends and family have children there under the same Dr I had because warning come before destruction and if by any chance something went wrong with them I for one wouldn't want to hear because "I told you so" is all I'll have to say to that.