GTH vs CTMH
Choosing a hospital for delivery in Grand Cayman? All babies in Grand Cayman are born in a hospital, either George Town Hospital or CTMH Doctors Hospital. Home deliveries and water births are not an option. There are differences in what both facilities offer. It is important for expecting couples to be informed when choosing a hospital for delivery, so they know where will be most suited for them.
Maternity at GTH
This is the main Maternity Unit on the island. It offers 3 single delivery suits, 8 Maternity rooms -3 single and 5 double. Doulas are welcomed to assist the birth process. Birthing partners are allowed in the delivery rooms, as well as at daytime in the Maternity rooms. The Unit accommodates both government and private deliveries and offers the option of midwife deliveries. Rooming-in policy is in place to help mothers to bond with their newborns. Midwives are highly experienced and trained to deliver babies. They are also able to offer help after birth, including establishing breastfeeding.
What Types of Pregnancies are Delivered at GTH?
Maternity at GTH has the only NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) on the island. Having a well-equipped NICU with highly trained neonatal nurses, next to the delivery rooms is paramount for the safety of newborn babies. Government Paediatricians and private Paediatricians with neonatal expertise have admitting rights at NICU. Babies born at 27 weeks and greater gestations can be cared for on the Unit. But those born at a smaller gestation, or who are very sick, are transferred to a big center. This depends on bed availability and insurance cover (you will discuss options with your obstetrician and paediatrician).
Having NICU at the Maternity Unit at GTH makes it the only hospital where high-risk pregnancies are delivered.
Vaccinations and Testing
Babies born at GTH receive Vit K, Hep B vaccine. Babies have their newborn screening and hearing test before discharge (all with parental consent).
Hospital stay is usually 2 nights after normal delivery and 3 nights after C Section. Mother and baby are discharged upon agreement between the Obstetrician, midwives and the Paediatrician.
Temporarily amendments are in place due to COVID 19. Please discuss current updates with your obstetrician or midwife and GTH hospital staff.
Maternity at CTMH DH
The Maternity unit at CTMH DH was re-opened in 2017. The facility has 3 private birthing suites, equipped for delivery and postnatal stay. Pregnant women are admitted to one of those rooms, they give birth and stay in the same room until they are discharged. This allows couples to feel at home, e.g. bring their own music, essential oils. All rooms are tastefully decorated and have en-suite bathrooms, storage space, TV, Wi-Fi, and an extendable chair for birthing partners. Doulas are welcomed to assist with the birthing process. Birthing partners can stay for the whole duration of hospital stay. Babies are rooming-in and breastfeeding support is offered by trained midwives. Hospital policy does not allow the preparation of formula top-up. Medically indicated parents should provide a ready-made formula.
What Type of Pregnancies are Delivered at CTMH?
Births at CTMH DH are exclusively private. It is the hospital policy for an Obstetrician and Paediatrician to be present at birth. Midwife births are not an option.
CTMH DH has no NICU facility and cannot care for premature and sick newborns. Only uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies are delivered there. High-risk pregnancies are not delivered there. This includes:
- Babies with gestation less than 37 weeks
- Known congenital abnormalities
- Restricted baby growth
- Maternal obstetric complications
Even babies born to a completely uneventful pregnancy can have complications at birth. There is a provision for those babies to be transferred to NICU at GTH for continuing care. Recently CTMH DH has established a partnership with our three neonatal paediatricians – Dr Sara Watkin, Dr Jasmina Marinova and Dr Sarah Newton – co-working on a policy for safe neonatal transfer with experienced neonatologists. Obviously being right next to a NICU if there is a complication is the best situation but this is the next best on an island that can’t support multiple NICUs.
Vaccinations and Testing
Babies born at CTMH DH receive Vit K, Hep B vaccine and have their newborn screening done (all with parental consent). A hearing test is not offered. Parents are advised to book an appointment with Cayman Hearing center. They will perform the test (covered by maternal insurance within 28 days of life).
Hospital stay is usually 2 nights after normal delivery and 3 nights after C Section. Mother and baby are discharged after an agreement between the Obstetrician, midwives, and the Paediatrician.
CTMH DH offers tours around the facility. Expecting couples can make themselves familiar with the rooms, staff, amenities, and financial arrangements.
Temporarily amendments are in place due to COVID 19. Please discuss current updates with your obstetrician and DH hospital staff
Having a baby is a big milestone in every family. Choices of where and how to deliver should be made after thoughtful consideration. There is nothing more important than a healthy mum and a healthy baby. But personal preferences and family expectations should be respected. Giving birth to a baby should be an unforgettable and joyful experience.
Always discuss birth options with your obstetrician. They should be able to advise which facility is the best option for you. Regardless of where you decide to have a baby it is always advisable to attend antenatal classes. These are available at GTH and some private providers.
More Advice on Choosing a Hospital for Delivery
It’s also worth checking out help, advice on choosing a hospital for delivery posts in our Baby Facebook Group. It allows you to ask questions, gain access to basic advice and share experiences with others facing the same new experiences. You can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/babycayman/