We are lucky enough to live and work within 25 minutes of four great labor and delivery centers. Patrick and I decided on St Vincent’s for our first delivery, and had a great experience. I ended up needing to change doctors this time around, and so we got to experience Umass Memorial. We had a very different experience, and thought it one worth sharing. I’ve broken them down into categories, below.
- Parking: St Vincent’s
At St V’s, there are two main enterances, and both are a short walk and single elevator ride to the labor and delivery center. They validate parking for patients, so we didn’t have that extra cost. At Umass, it was 2 elevator rides and a long walk to the car. Every time that Patrick left the hospital, we incurred another $8 charge.
2. Rooms: St Vincent’s
At St V’s, I delivered in one room and recovered in another. Both were large, modern and clean. At Umass, we waited 20 minutes (!) to be admitted to the triage room, where I was checked out. Then, I was moved to a room to deliver our baby in that still had a dirty bathroom. My recovery room was smaller than my single dorm room in undergrad. Patrick noticed pills on the floor and some suspect cleaning practices, so we asked to be moved, again. They happily accommodated us.
3. Emergency Services: UMass
St V’s sends their emergency patients to UMass, but the NICU and emergency services are seconds away from any room at UMass. Hands down, this is the place to have a baby if you have any concerns.
4. Food: St V’s
There is a Dunkin Donuts and food court inside the hospital. Let’s be honest; hospital food is bad. Having that Dunkins inside the hospital is a real win.
5. Nurses: Tie
All of the women who helped me at both hospitals were kind, thoughtful and accomodating. This is a clear tie, and win for both. And that is saying something, because Patrick is SUPER picky about health services.
6. Tour/Family Support: St V’s?
It took me a month to get ahold of anyone at UMass to figure out how to gt a tour. (ugh!) While the hurse ended up being amazing about giving us a private tour, I didn’t feel like the recovery services were as promoted. At St V’s, a lactation consultant came in and checked on me, and let me know abut the classes. But to be totally fair, We were in and out of UMass within 36 hours.
7. Epidural: UMass
Yes, this is my last category, and I think its an important one. At St V’s, they wanted me to wait until a certain time tbefore they’d give it to me, and while the epidural did the trick, the guy at UMass was 1,000 times better. I could still use the bathroom througout my whole labor, and not needing a catheter sped up my recovery exponentially. And my doctor ordered it for me when I was only 3cm, so that I wasn’t bothered by the pitocin. The balance of the drug was far better adminitered- It was genuinely impressive, and changed my experience.
In summary, St V’s might be more comfortable, but UMass does a terrific and superiour job at the tricky medical stuff. How lucky are we to have such great options?