Hospital Report: Birth, Breakfast & Breastfeeding
By Kathy Zucker
Breastfeeding is in the news these days, and New York City area hospitals are taking note. With services like skin-to-skin contact between mother and child immediately after birth, rooming in and unlimited access to lactation consultants that continues even after discharge, hospitals like Lenox Hill and NYU Langone Medical Center are doing their best to facilitate the breastfeeding relationship.
But the emphasis on customer service does not end with feeding the baby. Now new moms can chow down in style. Beginning in January 2012, NYU Langone Medical Center instituted a room service and concierge program for obstetrics patients that is nothing short of luxurious.
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I have given birth at NYU three times, in 2006, 2008 and 2012. The experience has improved each time, evolving from harried nurses keeping me in the triage room for an hour after I was fully dilated to a huge delivery suite equipped with TV and DVD player in a built-in wooden entertainment center. During my most recent delivery, I felt like I was staying in a luxury hotel. Not only did I get to order my choice of gourmet food three times a day from an extensive menu, but when I felt peckish in between meals, the nursing staff brought me a boxed lunch containing a complete meal of chicken salad sandwich, carrot sticks, chips, orange juice and a really delicious dark chocolate covered biscotti. Dads got a touch of luxury too; this time my husband was allowed to stay overnight and reinvigorate himself from a buffet breakfast containing an array of cereal, fruit, bagels and beverages.
The nursing staff has also improved since 2006; they were universally energetic, attentive, gentle and knowledgeable. Hat tip to my favorite nurse, Shoshanna Levine, who made sure she was present when my new daughter emerged in the world.
But don’t take my word for how incredible the meals were at NYU; see for yourself.
Breakfast: egg white omelet, turkey bacon, hashed browns, cereal & bagel
Dinner: beef in wine sauce, rice, caesar salad, cheesecake
Lunch: salmon over rice, sauteed spinach, fresh mozzerella & tomato salad, cupcake
Pregnant mom tip: you can order one item from each section of the menu. That is how I wound up with milk, juice and hot chocolate at every meal. With a little person hungrily hanging off me 24/7, all that extra liquid came in handy. Bonus? It helped bring my blood pressure down.
Kathy Zucker, serial entrepreneur and mother of three, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter @kathyzucker.
Tags: healthcare, pregnancy