Oh, the sweet bliss of good, clean sheets, peace and quiet and all the TV you can take (cable too!). Hotel rooms are a luxury for our family. Someone makes your bed, every wish comes true. Yes, a hotel is amazing.
And a lot of people seem to think that a hospital room is the same as a hotel. Yes, we change your sheets on your hospital beds but no. We are not a hotel.
How do I know all of this?
Hi, I’m Hilary — many people know me as The Pregnancy Nurse 👩⚕️. I have been a nurse since 1997 and I have 20 years of OB nursing experience, I am also the curly head behind this website Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. 🩺 I’ve seen a lot of patients thinking we run the hospital just like a regular retail store, but it’s not true.
Here’s some ways we’re different (especially for labor and delivery), and why….
You need to pick the same hospital as your doctor. Unlike a hotel where you have a huge variety to pick from. Once you pick a doctor, you should be locked into the hospitals that they go to.
Yes, you CAN go to another hospital but you will NOT see your doctor, they can’t easily find out your medical history. It is a lot safer to go to the hospital your doctor practices at.
Also, FYI — doctors have to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to go to a certain hospital which is why they usually don’t do more than 2 or 3 (many only do one).
We’ll wake you up. Now, I’m hesitant to wake up any mom who just had a baby, but I will. My job is to keep you safe, not always well-rested. We’ll take your blood pressure, we’ll tell you to feed your baby we’ll tell you to get up, even if you’d rather nap. We care about your patient experience but we care more about your medical treatment and hospital care.
The food doesn’t shine. I think this one speaks for itself. Yes, some hospitals have great food, but many don’t. While technically you do get room service, it’s not gourmet food. Maybe plan on your partner getting you some takeout if you’re ready for some tasty grub.
Your insurance will choose your hospital too! Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean you can go to any hospital or medical center. They lock you into a certain set of facilities as well.
Make sure that the hospital you plan to go to is both one your doctor goes to and your insurance plan takes.
We will limit visitors. A lot of family members and other people come to the hospital to visit and are turned away because our patient needs to rest or not be stressed out. Those people get upset with us. Did I mention we’re not a hotel?
We may also limit children under a certain age who aren’t direct siblings. They are safety measures for you, your baby and all the other hospital patients on our floor.
There’s no such thing as a reservation. People get a nurse/room based on their priority. Just because you have an induction scheduled, doesn’t mean we hold you a room and deny people who are actually in labor. Don’t be surprised if you get bumped. You’ll get in at some point (or, go into labor on your own).
I am not your waitress. Nurses go to a lot of school, a lot of training and put in long days to keep you and your family safe. Because we forget to grab you a juice, or we show you where to grab your own isn’t our way of being rude. It’s being efficient with our highly valuable time.
That being said, your nurse should be kind and communicate well with you as to what she’s doing and how she CAN help you — and I talk all about that in here.
Honestly, if I have time I will grab you a juice, because I do like my families to feel well cared for. But if I have two patients and other stuff is going on, I may direct you to get off your chair and grab your own.
A few words of advice:
Make sure your family/friends know it’s not a hotel. It’s not a time to bring all their kids in and throw you a party. Yes, a few visitors might feel nice , but you are mainly there to recoup.
** I think we all found-out during Covid that families LOVED that time alone in the hospital — so consider having NO visitors, and maybe you’ll love that even more (you can always call a mom/friend if you’re bored in the hospital to come say hello too).
If you want a hotel, go to a hotel. Yes, you might bleed all over the bed and it’s certainly not as safe, but I’ve heard of a lot of moms who leave the hospital early and then just get a hotel room to rest away from their other kids, etc. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than the hospital (especially if you are a self-pay patient). For some new moms, this might be the only way to get a private room!
You might want to decide your hospital before you decide your doctor. If you one one particular hospital, that may well change what physician you pick. Of course, I’d pick a good physician over the looks or perks of a hospital any day. You’re there to save a life, not bask in the glow of granite countertops and hotel-like amenities. 🙂
The golden rule comes into play. I have had patients get upset with me over our policies, or the fact that their nurse couldn’t come when we were in the middle of an emergency. Sometimes healthcare workers are actually saving lives and your patience helps us do that. Thank you. 🙂
If you’d like to understand more about the hospital works and the different policies and procedures you can expect be sure to join me in The Online Prenatal Class for couples where we get you prepared from bump to bassinet!
Or, if you’re not quite ready for the full class, check out my free prenatal class — It’s your first step towards being your own birth boss.