Are Hospital Nurseries Going Away?

Hospital Nurseries can be a godsend!

I had been awake somewhere in the 24-48 hour vicinity (it's a blur) before the birth of my second daughter. It's a long story I won't get into, but, like countless other moms before me, I had reached a new level of exhaustion by the time she was born. Since this time I knew of the long, sleepless nights ahead of me, I desperately needed to get back to neutral. Just an hour or two of rest would do the trick. Because my daughter was born in the wee hours of the morning, our visitors weren't expected for hours. I asked the nurse if she could take my daughter to the nursery for an hour so I could sleep. 

That hour or two, however long it was, was the best gift anyone could have given to me. So, I was disappointed to read this article about how some hospitals are considering phasing out nurseries. The goal being, to have the baby 'room in' with mom so she could feed him/her on demand and get to learn the babies cries, basically so they could bond. It's because of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative started by the World Health Organization and UNICEF. 

Middlesex Hospital in Middletown is one of those facilities. I delivered my children there. The nurses and doctors were incredibly supportive, understanding and reasonable. I wanted my baby in my room as much as possible, I also needed to ask for help when I needed it (hence the hour or two in the nursery!) So, I checked with Brian Albert, the Director of Marketing, about their thoughts on nurseries. He explained, since their Pregnancy and Birth Center opened, they'ved used LDRP. That stands for labor, delivery, recovery, postpartum. Meaning, from start to finish, you're in the same room. He explained they've "kind of been following the baby-friendly model all along... not that we're moving away from the nursery, just never used it in the traditional sense." The nursery is designed for "babies who need extra attention." However, Brian pointed out that if a mom is tired and needs a quick nap, she can, of course, put the baby in the nursery. That's unlike some of the moms who delivered at other hospitals mentioned in the Boston Globe. You can check which Connecticut hospitals are certified Baby-Friendly here. Expectant parents are encouraged to schedule a tour before their baby is born to make sure the hospital aligns with their beliefs.

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