Welcome to the modern maternity ward. From hairstylists to gourmet meals, hospitals around the country are offering luxury services and accommodations to help new moms feel a little more at home (or like they’re spending the night at a five star hotel). Whether you’re a first time mom or a delivery room vet, check out these postpartum perks – and prepare for some serious pampering.
Post-delivery, you’ll have likely gone more than 24 hours without a meal. So forgo the Jell-O appetizer and treat yourself (and the new Dad) to a gourmet meal. The Dr. P. Phillips Baby Place at Winter Park Memorial Hospital in Florida offers new moms dinner for two from local Ruth’s Chris steakhouse, while parents in the luxury suites at the Rose Medical Center in Denver can enjoy culinary creations prepared by a private chef.
Curious how labor looks so glamorous on TV? Envy Duchess Katherine’s perfect postpartum coif? Before greeting your eager public, relax with an in-suite manicure, pedicure, or blow dry. The hospital’s team of stylists will leave you refreshed and camera ready.
photo: Rachel V. Photography
Ready for baby’s first photo shoot? Many hospitals now offer the services of professional shutterbugs. And while studio portraits of your newborn have become standard practice, private photographers are also available (when booked ahead of time) to capture mom’s first moments with baby. Rachel Vasquez of Rachel V. Photography, one photographer that offers these services in Orlando, calls these unique sessions Fresh 48. A good reason to take advantage of those in-house salon services!
Around the Clock Concierge
You’ve enjoyed nine months of dad-to-be at your beck and call. During your hospital stay, give him a breather and employ the services of the hospital’s on-call concierge. Depending on the facility, these modern Jeeves can organize everything from a delivery from your favorite restaurant to having your car detailed before departure.
photo: Nurture in Hospital Massage
In addition to relaxation, post-natal massage can actually regulate hormones, reduce swelling, improve sleep and help with breastfeeding (just to name a few added benefits), and companies like Nurture In Hospital Massage in Seattle offer this therapeutic treatment for women in the comfort of their hospital rooms. So tend to those sore feet, neck, back, etc., and if you’re feeling extra generous, sign Dad up for a chair massage, too.
Forget that cold, sterile hospital smell and breathe in the lovely scent of essential oils. From aromatherapy to acupuncture and hypnobirthing, hospitals are utilizing more holistic methods of relaxation for new moms and moms-to-be. At Emerson Hospital in Massachusetts, moms can engage in complementary Reiki, a Japanese technique for relaxation and stress reduction.
photo: Mercy Hospital St. Louis
Not so keen on sharing a bathroom with your fellow moms? Many modern maternity wards now boast private bathrooms. Some hospitals, like Mercy Hospital in St. Louis, even include full-sized tubs in several of their birthing suites. Equipped with wireless, waterproof fetal monitors, moms-to-be can relax in a warm bath during labor while still monitoring contractions and their baby’s heart rate.
Since hospitals are known for their scratchy sheets, upgrading to nicer linens is an easy way to make your hospital stay a little more comfortable. Some hospitals even offer comfy robes, but we’d still recommend bringing a pillow from home.
Did you enjoy any luxe services post-delivery? Share with us in the comments below.