Wednesday, March 27, 2013
After touring and blogging about many hospitals and options for birth in Rhode Island, we decided to add an extra bonus stop on our 4 Hospitals in 4 Weeks tour - here is our blog review on South County Hospital!
- I've said it before, and I'll say it again - having the flexibility of a private tour was awesome. I called the hospital at noon, and they were able to fit me in for a tour by one.
- If you are in labor, you are examined on the maternity floor. You do not need to sit and wait in a general waiting area or triage.
- Very few births each day, which means you could possibily recieve more attention from the staff.
- Your laboring room is the one and only room you stay in throughout your hospital stay.
- Private shower in each room.
- Extra seating in rooms, can fit at least four visitors comfortably.
- Great reputation. I know several people who delivered at South County, and they rave about their experience.
- Very clean, and everything looked new.
- That tub room, oh that tub room! I daydream about taking a trip down to South County just to see it again!
What I felt was lacking:
- "Far Away" in many Rhode Islanders' opinions, generally if you live north of East Greenwich. If people live closer to another hospital, they most likely choose it over South County.
- If my tiny baby needed serious attention, he would not stay at South County. He would have to be transferred to Women & Infants, which is 30-40 mins away.
- Did not see a security officer on the maternity wing, nor did we need to be buzzed in. However, the nurse did tell us that each baby's umbilical cord clamp had a tracking device, and if they were to pass a sensor on the floor, all doors would be locked and an alarm would go off.
Overall, we were very pleased with South County Hospital, and the private tour. I can see why so many people in the southern area of the state decide to birth there!
Have you ever been to South County Hospital? What do you think about the Tub Room?
From what I hear, one of the chief complaints new parents have is the overwhelming fear and confusion that occurs when they take home their tiny baby from the hospital. Gone are the helpful nurses, who are there to show you how to hold or burp your baby. Gone is the round the clock support. Now it's just you, your partner, and this squirmy-crying-confused little thing that completely relies upon you. Yikes.
Sure, you can turn to a mom blog or a book, seeking advice. Problem is, they aren't there to physically help you. Maybe your family or friends with baby experience live far away, and can't necessarily show you how to swaddle...or maybe you would become more stressed if they were there looking over your shoulder. Instead, one may feel more comfortable with a doula.
The average price for a postpartum doula in Rhode Island is $20.00 an hour. One can think of them as an expensive babysitter, but they are so much more.
A postpartum doula is like Super Nanny - meets baby guru - meets sanity saver. These women love newborns, and have made it their life's profession to care for the tiny babies, as well as care for the new moms and dads. They do not judge, criticize, or scrutinize your parenting skills. Instead, they guide and support.
First, they check up on and care for the new mom, who is most likely going through some major emotional and hormonal changes. Many mothers feel like crap, are wearing an adult diaper, fear using the toilet, don't sleep, haven't eaten, can't figure out how to breastfeed, are recovering from surgery, and all the while are expected to parade their newborn around their friends and family. No wonder so many moms cry or have postpartum depression issues. Sadly, mom's doctor appointment is generally two weeks after birth. If she is already sad or overwhelmed, a lot of important time has already passed.
A doula will help the new mom feel empowered and confident about caring for her squirmy squishy newborn, as well as herself. They will help with organizational support (something I will most certainly need) as well as help with breastfeeding. They educate new parents on ways to understand and help their tiny baby, and these tips and hands on lessons change as the parents and baby's needs change.
A doula is also a worn out parent's lifesaver. Have a newborn and don't feel like you have time to shower? No problem, the doula is here! Need help making dinner, help with the laundry, or possibly want to fit in a nap? Thank you, postpartum doula. Maybe mom is feeling confident, but her partner could use a bit more encouragment and guidance. Doulas can help there as well. Possibly, you have an entirely gross postpartum personal question that you old never ask your friends (and you know you shouldn't Google). Ask away!
In addition to being a great help to the parents, postpartum doulas are newborn baby experts. While understanding that each baby is unique, they can help translate different behaviors or signs that we as new parents may not understand. They can attend your baby's doctor visits with you, and will help inform you about your different medical options. They are helpful with just about any other circumstance a new parent could face.
Postpartum doulas come to the tiny baby's home, and can spend full days to a few hours each week assisting the new parents. The schedule is something the parents and doula work out, together.
The Doulas of Rhode Island host a free meet and greet once a month. There, parents are invited to watch an informative video, ask questions, and then meet several doulas.
For a list of Rhode Island based postpartum doulas, click this link. There you will find bios, as well as pictures and contact information for the women. If you're thinking about hiring a doula, interview a few.
What aspects of bringing home a tiny baby are/were the most worrisome to you?
Friday, March 22, 2013
Is a loved one of yours expecting? Have they thought about setting up a registry yet? Maybe you could recommend that they set one up through Babylist!
Babylist allows parents to register for items - without having to worry about registering at an exact location. They can choose a swing, for example. Rather than you having to worry about going to a certain store, you can find it at ANY store near you. I know that this is exceptionally helpful for people who do not live near a Baby's R Us (the most common place new parents register.) Now, you can purchase that swing at a Baby's R Us, Target, Walmart, or even a local independent vendor.
Babylist will list the items with their prices, and examples of locations where you can get the item. Expecting parents can even write notes like "color doesn't matter, any style will do" which can also be exceptionally helpful to gift givers.
If you know of someone who is registered on Babylist, you'll be able to select their gift with ease. Just watch this video below to see how!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
The countdown is on until I meet my tiny baby. To help prepare for his arrival, my hubby and I decided to visit 4 Hospitals in 4 weeks in Rhode Island. Our last planned visit was the Noreen Stonor Drexel Birthing Center at Newport Hospital.
Each labor/delivery/recovery room has their own large shower & jacuzzi style bathtub.
And your own private bathroom for you and your guests.
The simple and yet adorable addition of a wooden headboard to their hospital beds give their rooms an almost hotel like feeling for your stay.
Each room has their own mini fridge. Even though it says "patient nourishment only" you can share with your partner and guests. Or you can hog it all :)
See this ample space? Well believe it or not, this is still the same labor/delivery/recovery room! Tons of space for you to move around during labor, and lots of room for your guests to relax in as they admire your tiny baby.
All of the elctronic equiptment is kept inside of these closet doors. The screens are out when you need them...
And hidden when you don't!
Here's what stood out during the tour of the Birthing Center at Newport Hospital:
- Ease of having a private tour. I called that morning, and was able to tour the facility an hour and a half later. Having a private tour allows us to move at our own pace.
- Very few births each day. The secretary who took us around said 0-2 births take place each day.
- Secure - you must be buzzed in by the nursing station to enter the birthing center.
- You are examined on the maternity floor, and do not need to wait in a general triage area.
- The staff were friendly, kind, and helpful.
- The entire maternity floor felt like a hotel. The rooms were incredibly spacious, had water views, and were beautiful. The simple additions of a pretty headboard for the hospital bed, and white cabinets to hide electronic equiptment made the entire space warm and welcoming.
- You have one room during your stay - for labor, delivery, and postpartum recovery. No moving to a new room!
- Private bath, shower, and toilet - in your own room.
- No limit to the amount of guests attending your birth.
- A bit of a drive if you live on the mainland, which could ward off unwelcome visitors. Sometimes new patents are overwhelmed by the amount of people who come to see them and their tiny baby. Having extra distance my work in their favor!
- No nursery- because the hospital strongly believes in babies rooming in with their mom as much as possible. If you do need someone to watch your newborn, he or she will be wheeled to the nurses station and watched by nurses there.
What I felt was lacking:
- No water births. The rumor throughout Rhode Island is that Newport is the only hospital where you can have a water birth. However, on our tour we were told the last water birth took place back in 2011, and that the doctors aren't too keen on performing them anymore. The birthing tub now sits, unused, in the room where you have your initial check in appointment. I guess the only place to have a water birth in Rhode Island is currently a private residence.
- If a baby were born prematurely, or needed serious attention, he would not stay at Newport. Instead, he would be transferred to Women & Infants, which is 40 mins away.
- No VBACS (at least this is what we were told on our tour)
- A bit of a drive if you live on the mainland. Could be difficult if you are faced with poor weather conditions.
- No nursery - as I stated before, but some parents may choose to have their baby watched at the nurses station.
Overall, we were impressed with how attractive the hospital and birthing center was. Spacious, ample room for visitors, and an ocean view! I was disappointed to hear about the lack of water births, but was happy with the rest of the tour.
Have you or someone you know delivered at Newport? Would you drive the extra distance to give birth in an environment like this?