Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Hospital Tour Take Aways

Today, Brent and I went on our hospital tour at the OU Women's and Newborn Pavilion. It was interestingly different from our tour at GW. First, there are some contextual differences --this isn't our first baby, and this is not a high risk pregnancy (unlike with B). Also, last time we went on the tour after our uber infuriating child-birth class (don't get me started). This time, most of the people on the tour were also not first time parents. I think the biggest difference for them and us is that this time we know what questions to ask and have prior knowledge of what "can" happen. This made the tour last a bit longer. With many of you expecting or recent mothers I thought a comparison would be useful (also may help clarify my thoughts on it).

Good bits-

-Couplet care method - Mom and baby have the same nurse - the lack of this at GW drove me nuts
-Better lactation consultant availability (we hope)
-Free Parking passes for parents (nothing, particulary parking is free at GW).
-More waiting spaces than at GW and less difficult to get to see mom/baby
-Many more birthing suites, floors feel more spacious
-Attached to Children's so tip top staffing onsite and childbirth and babies are the focus of this part of the complex rather than just a floor in a general hospital.
-Many more/better food choices
-May have WiFi?!?
- Ok with cell phone use
- Very welcoming to family, visitors, kids, etc - no visiting hours, just be respectful
- No one other than Moms & Babies (as patients) on either L&D or Recovery floors
-Telemetry - if being monitored can be more mobile than was available last time (but probably won't need to be monitored constantly--- we hope).
-Several surgery rooms on L&D floor - hope we don't need them, but glad they are right there
-High Risk area separate from regular birth with appropriate differences in staffing, tech tools, etc.
-Baby Care room for little procedures - circumcision, minor lab tests, etc on the same floor as recovery

Things we're less enthusiastic about:

-Smaller L&D room than GW (a little)
-Lots of being moved around - OB triage, then L&D, then recovery (on another floor)
-Still small Recovery rooms (was very crowded at GW and will be more so here as more people visiting and baby stays in the room all the time --see below).
-No nursery- baby stays with Mom the whole time, nurse will watch briefly as needed (Downside of couplet style) as can be nice to have someone watch the baby so you can get some sleep while recovering, but obviously an admirable concept.
-No pre-registry to do paperwork in advance
-Seem in the very pro-breastfeeding is the only/best/way camp-- there is nothing wrong with that per se other than that nursing doesn't work for everyone and didn't work well for us last time and people like us need support too and to have things like formula available if we need it. We suspect we won't be too patient on this issue this go around--- we will try it again, but if it isn't working and my mental health begins to crash again we're not going to force it.

Things to figure out - Still need to work out a plan for people watching B during this. Suspect we have many volunteers, just hard to plan when you don't know when this will all happen and how long it will take.

Last time, the time between admission and birth was unusually long for various reasons mostly tied to the risks in the pregnancy and time in the hospital after birth was long as well due to issues with not having a lactation consultant available to see us and having to do that before we were dicharged. Hopefully, with less complications this will be a smoother journey. Starting to seem more real and having more concrete discussions on the issue. Exciting!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Very interesting comparisons. I would be pretty un-enthused about the lack of a nursery. It does seem to be catering only to one style of parenting. I remember how grateful I was that the nurses took care of my baby during the night (except feedings) so I could get a couple good nights of sleep between pregnancy insomnia and the constant feedings/care of being home with a newborn.

I hope you can get the lactation support you need. I also had trouble the first time out, but the next time was much easier, for whatever reason. I still ended up supplementing after a couple of months then switching to formula at about 4 1/2 months with Nathaniel, but he did do much better at the breast than Timothy did. It is rather strange that they don't seem to give any support to moms that don't choose to breastfeed...wow. I hope you are able to get what *you* need from the hospital.

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