We have had great experiences with the medical professionals of Tampa General Hospital. We've been toured through the entire labor and delivery ward and NICU. We've been invited numerous times to speak at their childbirth classes as a guest speaker and to help in teaching comfort techniques to their students. Establishing relationships and building bridges with our local hospitals and care providers is important to us and makes our work easier. Here are the highlights and reasons we recommend Tampa General Hospital:
1. Tampa General is a Baby-Friendly Hospital.
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a global program launched by the World Health Organization and the United Nation’s Children Fund to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards facilities that successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk substitutes.
Achieving this status is a comprehensive journey toward excellence in providing evidence-based maternity care. With 80% of women in the United States initiating breastfeeding, it is important for hospitals to support these families in their breastfeeding goals.
As part of this initiative Tampa General Hospital has an excellent team of lactation staff including IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Counselors) and nurses that are CLCs (Certified Lactation Counselors.) All nurses that work with mothers and babies in the immediate postpartum period are trained and knowledgeable on breastfeeding. They are mentored by one of the IBCLCs before engaging with families.
2. Tampa General Hospital has some of the best care providers in the region.
In addition to their highly skilled OBGYNs and doctors, there are also two midwifery practices, USF Midwifery and Women's Health Care, that provide care at Tampa General Hospital. These teams are staffed by certified nurse midwives. For the highest touch, lowest intervention kind of pregnancy management and delivery, families have the option of working with the midwives at Tampa General Hospital. These midwifery teams are respectful and honor the informed choices that families make.
3. Tampa General Hospital has a good childbirth education program and the educators provide honest, evidence-based information.
After personally attending their classes as a doula guest speaker, I feel confident families are getting very good information at these classes. This includes classes on the following subjects: labor & birth prep, breastfeeding, basic newborn care, car seat safety, becoming a big brother or big sister, becoming a grandparent, boot camp for new dads, infant and CPR safety, and infant massage.
And I have to mention their Dogs & Storks class which teaches families practical and fun ways to prepare their dog before the new baby arrives. The SPCA found that this class helps prevent families from turning over their pets before even giving them a chance. All funds collected by Tampa General Hospital for this class go back to the SPCA to help more animals. How cool is that? (The dog lover in me is smiling.)
Due to COVID, there is currently less availability for their in-person classes right now. If you're looking for in-person classes please contact us here at Buddha Belly. We have numerous birth and baby care classes to suit the needs of all families.
4. Tampa General Hospital welcomes doulas and encourages families to have labor support.
In their labor and birth prep classes the childbirth educators discuss the benefits of hiring a doula and having good support. Doulas have also been welcomed into the operating rooms to support women during cesareans at Tampa General Hospital.
5. Tampa General Hospital was the first in the area to host a Doula Night.
All of the local doulas were invited to come in. The hospital staff shared information about their practices and what makes Tampa General unique. Doctors, midwives and nurses mingled with the local doulas and made them feel welcome. All doulas were encouraged to provide feedback to the hospital staff and share input on how we can work together to better serve families. The doulas were given a tour of the hospital. No other hospital in the Tampa Bay area has hosted a Doula Night to welcome the local doula community so far! This shows us that Tampa General Hospital is forward-thinking, understands the value of doula services, and knows that by working with the doula community they can provide better care for their patients.
6. Postpartum doulas are welcomed to check in on their clients at Tampa General Hospital.
Some families have hired a postpartum doula to care for them after their baby arrives. The postpartum doula provides support to the new family that is recovering from birth while also learning how to care for the brand new baby. Support can include teaching parents about newborn care, breastfeeding counseling and more. Tampa General Hospital welcomes postpartum doulas to come and check on their clients while they are still in the hospital after giving birth to their baby.
7. Every family that gives birth to a baby at Tampa General Hospital will leave with a brand new car seat.
Even if you already have one TGH will send you home with one of their new car seats, and an extra is always good to have on hand. Provided through a grant from AAA, these car seats will help many families in need.
8. Tampa General Hospital is interested in customer feedback.
They recently conducted a survey and interviewed families that had birthed at Tampa General to find out what they liked and disliked about their care. As a result of this changes were made to improve customer satisfaction.
9. Quiet Time.
One of the points discovered in the feedback is that families were not provided time to sleep in the postpartum period due to frequent interruptions in their hospital rooms. Tampa General Hospital has now implemented quiet time in the postpartum area from 11 pm – 5am. During this time nurses will not be coming in to your room disrupting your sleep to check on you. If you need assistance you can call a nurse and she will be there. But otherwise they will give you time to sleep and bond with your baby. This is so important especially after a long and hard labor when all you want to do is SLEEP!
10. Tampa General Hospital has a “Normal Birth Task Force” with the purpose of making birth a more natural and evidence-based experience at their hospital.
They recognize there is a growing community of families that wish to have a positive, smooth experience with fewer medical interventions. One thing this task force has achieved is a new policy supporting intermittent electronic fetal monitoring for those women who are low-risk and fall within the appropriate parameters. Studies show that continuous electronic fetal monitoring does not improve birth outcomes. The task force collected the relevant research on this topic and got this new policy written, approved and implemented. This includes training experienced and new nurses on this policy. This is just one change they have worked to accomplish. There are many more.
11. Tampa General Hospital has one of the lowest cesarean section rates in the area.
The c-section rate for Tampa General Hospital in 2019 was 32.79%. Through their efforts to implement evidence-based practices they have maintained a lower rate of c-sections, which means better outcomes overall for new families.
12. Tampa General Hospital supports families that wish to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
Of course each care provider has different policies, and each woman must take into account her health history and consult her care provider. However, Tampa General Hospital is supportive of vaginal birth after cesarean and many families in the Tampa area have found this to be the best hospital location to attempt a vaginal birth after a cesarean. Women travel from all over the region to have an opportunity to have a vaginal birth after cesarean with the skilled and supportive team of providers that work at Tampa General Hospital. This hospital has even been featured in the news at the Tampa Bay Times because of their reputation of being the most supportive hospital for vaginal birth after cesarean.
13. Tampa General Hospital has the highest VBAC success rate of any hospital in Tampa Bay.
In 2019 the Tampa General Hospital VBAC success rate was: 26.8%. No other hospital in Tampa Bay is even in the double digits for their VBAC success rate.
14. The labor and delivery and postpartum rooms are well stocked and set up.
New furniture was recently purchased and the upgrade is noticeable since my last visit. There are couches in each room that turn into a bed and gliders specifically chosen for women in labor (to keep them moving) and to use when breastfeeding. They have two rooms with labor tubs, every room has a shower and hand held shower head for hydrotherapy in labor, peanut balls & birth balls and info sheets providing pictures of labor positions including positions to use in bed with an epidural.
15. The NICU is designed for convenience with private rooms for each family and baby.
There is a special waiting room that has space for parents or visitors to relax, use the internet, take a shower, and even a washer and dryer to do laundry. Parents who stay overnight in the NICU with their babies will appreciate these facilities.
16. Tampa General Hospital was recognized by Newsweek as one of the World's Best Hospitals in 2021.
Tampa General is one of only three hospitals in Florida recognized on this list. This was earned based on recommendations from doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals, patient experience surveys, and certain performance indicators, such as medical outcomes.
If you are curious to learn more you can sign up for a free tour of the Women’s Center.
Call 1-800-822-3627 or visit www.tgh.org.