About INOVA Fairfax
*Reported by staff in October 2015; INOVA Fairfax declined to submit their c-section rate to The LeapFrog Group.
Over the course of six months I asked four nurses, including two head charge nurses these questions: "How often do you see unmedicated births?" and "What percentage of births are unmedicated". Here are the responses:
(Charge Nurse) We fully support moms in any birth they want, but most moms use an epidural.
I see it rarely - maybe once or twice a week.
Perhaps 3% - and even then, it is usually only because mom asked for an epidural and they didn’t get it to her in time.
(Charge Nurse) Mom decides what she wants for her birth. We support every kind of birth and have experience in unmedicated birth.
Their advice for moms wanting unmedicated birth was to have a clear plan, labor at home as long as possible, have good support, and remain flexible.
Some pain-relief options are not available later in labor. In fact, the closer you get to delivery, the more likely you'll only be able to use an epidural. If you are hoping to use something else, be sure you mention it early on.
|Local Anesthetic Injection||✓|
Labor and Delivery Amenities
Visitation During Labor and Delivery
|Siblings allowed during labor||✓|
|Persons allowed in triage||Partner|
|Persons allowed in LDR||5|
|Persons allowed during epidural insertion||Partner|
|Persons allowed during c-section||Partner|
Nurses can accommodate most safe birthing practices. Some alternative birthing practices may need to be approved by your midwife or doctor.
|Drinking||Clear liquids only|
|Time Limit after PROM||Labor must start within 18 hours|
|Stalled Labor||Pitocin after 1-2 hours|
|Pushing time limit||3 hours|
|Blood pressure cuff||Intermittent*|
|Electronic Fetal Monitoring||Intermittent*|
|Typical monitoring||40 off - 20 on|
* Some doctors allow up to 2 hours off, 15 minutes on. You'll need to be continuously monitored once your water breaks, you start Pitocin, or if your baby is in distress. If you don't have an epidural, you can still move around - as long as they can get a good strip.
Your doctor has the most influence on which position you can deliver in. Though options are more limited with an epidural, you can still ask for an upright position.
|Laying down with stirrups||Most Common|
|Hands and knees||✓|
|Squat on bed||✓|
|Backward on bed||✓|
|Squat on floor||No|
The staff may encourage you to comply with routine newborn procedures, but you can opt-out of any procedures and screenings, except the newborn exam, by signing a waiver.
If you have a strong desire to delay cord clamping or the newborn exam, be sure you mention it when you arrive, and remind them again just before delivery.
|Cord Clamping||Can delay|
|Encourage immediate skin-to-skin||✓|
|Encourage first feeding in LDR room||✓|
|Delay procedures while mom and baby bond||✓|
|Vitamin K shot||✓|
|Vitamin K oral drops||You must provide|
|Erythromycin eye ointment||✓|
|Metabolic screening test||✓|
|Hep B Vaccine||✓|
|Public cord blood collection||✓|
|Private cord blood collection||✓|
|Placenta Services*||Sign a release|
*Fairfax allows moms to take their placenta home whether they have a vaginal or cesarean birth. Let your nurses and doctor know as soon as you arrive that you'd like to take it with you. You'll need to fill out a short form. After your birth you can take your partner or doula can take your placenta home. Be sure to remember a cooler and ziplock bags.
|Length of stay: Vaginal||2 nights|
|Length of stay: C-section||3 nights|
|Private postpartum recovery rooms||192 Rooms|
|Semi-private postpartum recovery rooms||None|
|Sleep-chair for partner||✓|
|Family Visitation||11:00 AM - 8:30 PM|
|Other vistors over 12 years old||11:00 AM - 8:30 PM|
Nurses can help you get started with breastfeeding. A lactation consultant is available during the day to offer guidance and support.
|Certified Lactation Consultants||✓|
|Breastfeeding supply store||✓|
|Breastfeeding support group||Meets Thurs 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM|
INOVA Fairfax Women's Hospital 7th Floor
|Mom, baby, and partner have matching security bands||✓|
|Family Waiting Room|
|Parking Info||Use valet parking or park in the Blue Parking lot|
INOVA Fairfax is one of the busiest hospitals in the area for childbirth. They handle a huge volume of babies every day and are very good at streamlining care. If you - or your baby - have a high-risk situation, INOVA Fairfax should definitely be in the running. In addition to their highly-skilled clinicians, INOVA Fairfax is the only hospital in the area with a Level 4 NICU.
If you deliver at INOVA Fairfax here are some tips:
1. Have a clear plan of care written up and approved by your doctor.
2. Make your preferences known upon arrival. Nurses can accommodate most safe practices approved by your obstetrician or midwife.
3. If desired, ask for a nurse that has more experience with unmedicated birth.
4. Be ready to advocate for yourself in a way that shows respect for your medical team and their experience.