Local Birthing Location Options: Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart, IN

Here is a quick overview of a local birthing location: Elkhart General Hospital in Elkhart, Indiana.

This information comes from my personal correspondence with representatives of the hospital and was last updated in August 2021.

Photo courtesy of Elkhart General Hospital

Quick Overview

  • Number of births per year: ~1,100
  • The most recent cesarean rate: 26%
  • Baby-Friendly designation: yes, you can find more information about that here.
  • Offers childbirth education: yes, you can find a list of course offerings here.
  • Hydrotherapy available: yes, there are jacuzzi tubs in every room.
  • Waterbirth available: no. 

Support People

  • Number of support people permitted: (keep in mind that given covid-19, this number is constantly in flux) currently, two support people are permitted in addition to a doula. All three of those individuals must be 18 or older. Before covid, there was no restriction on visitors. 
  • Doula policy or restrictions: Elkhart General currently allows any trained or certified doula who can present proof of training and/or certification.

Routine Protocols

  • Routine protocol for IV: IVs are routinely placed; patients can talk to their doctors if they have different desires.  
  • Routine protocol for fetal monitoring: routine for a low-risk pregnancy with no complications is for fetal monitoring to be intermittent. If the patient is on pitocin, has an epidural, or is high-risk, fetal monitoring is routinely continuous. Fetal monitors are not wireless (but for intermittent monitoring can be unhooked between monitoring sessions).
  • Protocol for ambulation during labor: routinely, walking and moving around is encouraged. Current covid restrictions require that if a patient wants to walk the halls, they wear a mask.
  • Protocol for eating and drinking during labor: this depends on the provider.
  • Protocol for VBAC: the hospital encourages VBACs and does not require a VBAC to occur in the operating room.

Additional Information:

  • Most recent episiotomy rate: Elkhart General Hospital has witnessed 4 total episiotomies so far this year (so across seven months). Assuming births are evenly distributed across months (which they aren’t, but I’m trying to give you a rate), that’s about .6%.
  • Cesarean delivery: for c-sections, one support person is allowed in the OR with the patient. Skin-to-skin in the OR is encouraged, and if the patient isn’t able to do it, the support person is encouraged to do so. Elkhart is in the process of procuring clear drapes for those who want to watch the birth of their baby; these are expected to arrive in late September 2021.
  • NICU: Elkhart General has a Level 2B NICU. You can read more about it here.

To learn more about the offerings at Elkhart General, please contact the Elkhart General Center for Women and Children at 574-523-3444.

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