Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The "Pampered Pregnancy"

No, this is NOT a post about the new MC. This is an advertisement I saw for a particular hospital's newly renovated mother/baby unit in the Chicagoland area.

It says in part, "Our Pampered Pregnancy program still showers moms-to-be with all of our special amenities before, during and after delivery. "

Now, before delivery, I presume I'm in labor. I'm not sure what ameneties they are offering during my pregnancy when I'm in labor, but I wonder if they have hospital based doulas? Someone to help me get through the labor without the expected epidural? Or, is all they have to offer you an epidural in the lobby? Some moms might like that, but given that the more medication the mom receieves, and the longer she gets it -- the more is transferred to the baby and the more difficult it is to initiate breastfeeding....

But they are advertising what you get AFTER delivery: a renovated room with "lovely hardwood floors, all in a hotel-like setting, refrigerator, flat screen TV, pull out sofa for your partner's comfort."

The sofa sounds nice. Why would I need a refrigerator? If this is hotel-like setting, I presume room service is available. When I worked as an RN in the mother/baby unit, all the mom had to do was ask me to get her a cup of tea -- and I did it. Part of my job as an RN. But I suppose since we are adding refrigerators, we can cut down on nursing staff. Maybe the mom's family is expected to bring in her food -- now that's a thought. If they put in microwaves, I'll know that's the deal for sure.

There's more! A "bedside baby examination area in the room so you can be with your baby during in-hospital checkups." Excuse me, but that is normally called the basinette. We've had those around even when I was a really YOUNG nurse (which was at least a million years ago).

"Your large private bathroom [nice to know it is private. I'd hate for it to be public] also provides conveniences such as a hair dryer and soothing soap, lotion and shampoo." Good. I travel a lot -- even the cheapo hotels provide that sort of stuff. And this "hotel" is gonna cost a heck of a lot more than $89/night plus tax.

Now this is the best part -- "We're even pampering baby with a newly decorated nursery featuring a beautiful baby-calming mural."

No way. I nearly choked on my coffee when I read that. A BABY-CALMING MURAL???? Who in the world thought up THAT amenity? What did they do? Poll the babies to find out what mural was most calming?

For one thing, a newborn's range of vision is approximately 12 to 18 inches -- about the distance from the mother holding the baby snuggled at her breast to her face. Secondly, most babies keep their eyes shut -- they rely on other senses to be calmed -- their mother's voice, skin, heartbeat, lung sounds, intestinal grumblings -- all the things they heard in utero. I can assure you, they ain't looking for no mural! Most of all, they rely on their mother's breast for comfort!

In fact, even the prophet Isaiah noted that it is the MOTHER that comforts: "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." (Isaiah 66:13). Isaiah doesn't say a thing about a mural in a nursery!

So no, I don't think the babies are checking out the nursery walls when they are in distress. They have their eyes tight shut and their mouths wide open as they are crying -- waiting for the one thing that can comfort them -- their mothers.

So what would I like to see in this "Pampered Pregnancy" facility? I love the private rooms -- I'll take those. I want nurse midwives, doulas and excellent lactation consultants. I want a nice, big easy chair in that private room to facilitate breastfeeding. I want good, breastfeeding friendly pediatricians. I want staff that understands true family centered and Baby Friendly care.

Pedicures, manicures, a refrigerator, flat screen TV and a "baby-calming" mural just isn't going to cut it.

I wonder how many nursing positions were cut to make room for a refrigerator, hardwood floors and a newly decorated nursery....none of which is going to mean beans if you don't know how to best care for yourself and your baby when you go home in 48 hours.


Just unreal.


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