Recently, we toured a labor and delivery unit at a large teaching hospital in the Detroit Metro area. Although the nurse unit was clean, well staffed, and the processes as explained seemed fairly efficient (moving you from LDR to postpartum and then home), it appeared to us this may not be our first choice. The impersonal nature of a high volume hospital to a first time mother who is looking forward to this very important life event was a turnoff. Unfortunately, large hospitals commonly use the number of patients as an excuse to not offer services and TLC typically found in a smaller community hospital.
According to 2006 HCUP (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project), "Pregnancy and childbirth (12 percent) and newborns (11 percent) ranked second and third among reasons for hospitalizations and, combined, were responsible for one out of four stays in hospitals." With the average cost for a uncomplicated vaginal birth ranging from $9,ooo to $17,000,is it unreal that a first time mother would expect to see amenities that exceed the basics of a birthing ball, tv and showers?
As more and more hospitals place focus on the patient experience by offering 5 star service to patients with room service, free valet parking, and in-room movies/ internet - isn't it time that expectant moms see an increase of services as well ? Offering massage therapy throughout labor (or a Doula), free first photos, water birth tubs and Aromatherapy are just a few ways the overall experience can be enhanced.
To search for obstetrical hospitals in your community - select your zip and service = obstetrics at WhereToFindCare.com