Question about hospital births and prenatal records

I’ve had three babies and am working on a fourth. The first three were born at a freestanding midwife run birth center. God willin and the crick don’t rise this one will be born there too.

All my prenatal care was done at the same facility where I gave birth. Therefore my whole file was right there in the building. The midwives just took it out and it was there to be consulted for the whole of labor.

Now the more usual set up is that you get your prenatal care at the OB’s office, then go to the hospital to have the baby. How much of your prenatal records get to the hospital? When do they get there? How do they get there?

Well, generally the hospital you go to for the birth is one your OB practices at, so basically he or she has ALL of your prenatal records.

Not in his head though? And presumably he doesn’t swing by the office on the way to the hospital to get your file.

Do they fax everything over after your 37 week visit? Do they start faxing everything over to the hospital as soon as you begin your care and the hospital has a file on you?

Don’t really know the complete answer to that one; my doctor’s office was about 2 blocks from the hospital, so he theoretically could have just stopped by the office. The last of my deliveries was almost 3 decades ago, so obviously things have changed a lot in hospital procedures since then, but I do recall, while STANDING at the admissions desk IN LABOR having to answer a bunch of questions. I have no recollection of what those questions were, just of being really peeved at having to do that then. These days I would not be surprised if there is a computerized hookup.

Also, in my case, it was a pretty straightforward situation with no expected complications, no allergies, etc., and the entire gestation had been quite uneventful, so there was probably nothing in my “file” that the doctor would have needed anyway. I am guessing that had I been in a high risk category there might have been some additional preparation.

These days, for any expected hospital admission, our hospitals have you come in a week or so before the event to get all the needed lab tests, fill out forms, etc., so on The Day all you need to do is show up with I.D. Presumably it would be possible to do the same for an expected birth.

Back when I delivered babies (16 years ago), my office would automatically start sending copies of records of my pre-natal patients to Labor & Delivery at about 32 weeks, then send updated ones regularly after that.

Of course, sometimes women would come in to L & D without their records having been forwarded, which was a bit of a pain.

I don’t know how they’re doing it these days, but I imagine there’s a system.