Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Suggestion Box

I hate to complain about this place. Logan seems to be receiving very attentive care. But here I go anyway.

This hospital is full of features intended to bedazzle. Kids, I suppose, are supposed to feel more comfortable if the elevators have kids' voices announcing what floor you've arrived on. That's the argument from the marketing department, anyway, who have to justify their existence.

Here's a brilliant marketing idea: put a lactation room in the PICU. I can't think that my wife is the only mother of a breastfeeding child who's ever been in the place. There's an infant right across from Evan's room.

The nurses told us that the only space available is in the room itself. They bring a divider in and let you pump in the corner. This could be a problem if there's an emergency and you're asked to leave. And now in Logan's case, we can't have a divider in the room because of his infection. And apparently Shannon can't use the NICU's room.

The previous hospital didn't have a room either, but the PICU was so cramped and overcrowded from what one can only assume was decades of insufficient infrastructure budgeting that we more or less took it in stride. Here, where one confronts bedazzling features around ever corner, it's very difficult to understand. There's apparently construction underway, and several people have speculated that a lactation room might be part of the construction, but it's just as likely that they might be building a Hall of Doctors, with talking animatronic physicians similar to Disney World's Hall of Presidents. I'm sure the kids will love it. Lacation room? Ewwwww. Find a corner somewhere.

Frankly it's enough to turn me into a militant feminist. I can't help but think that some male made the decision. I have to admit that, being male myself, the need for such a room might not have occurred to me. I know I would never have thought about it if I hadn't had kids. But there are televisions in every room, and at least one microwave in the waiting room. Food and TV we're good at.

I guess my wife could just whip out a boob and start pumping. Maybe that would create a scene and we'd get it resolved that way. But she's not the type to do that.

I do know that the hospital will hear from me about this. At length.


Blogger GoofyJ said...

oh boy, do I know where you are coming from! We had no lactation room either and had a corner in our PICU room as well. It wasn't too bad though because the nurses were really considerate (most anyway) and would either provide an empty PICU room for me or at least close the curtain part way and stay out until I had finished. In some ways I didn't mind because I couldn't stand to be away from him, at the same time it was very uncomfortable and I would have appreciated the privacy of a lactation room.

Oh, and I have been following (just unable to check in and comment for a while) still praying . . .and hoping that infection clears up quick.

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Heather said...

Thank you for bringing this up. Geez, we lactating women get told from every scientific institution ever how ab-fab breastfeeding is, but god forbid we be given private spaces so we don't have to whip 'em out in public. And hospitals, of all the public institutions, should plan for this need (how far is the PICU from the maternity ward?) because their planners darn well know the importance of breastfeeding.

Glad to hear that Logan has stabilized for the time being, and I hope you and your family find a few precious moments of peace over the coming weekend.

4:38 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

I hate to say it but it's pathetic that breast-feeding is even an issue. It shouldn't be. It's natural. The problem is that we view it as "embarrassing." It was a revelation to me when I was in Munich and saw hundreds of people sunbathing nude in a big park and a woman with her boob out in public nursing her child. Nobody noticed; nobody cared. Imagine how Janet Jackson's antics would've played there.

But yes, given our cultural affectations, shitass hospital planners should set aside a room for just that. No matter what a given mother feels, plenty of mothers will be embarrassed to do that in public, and anyone designing a hospital should know it. There's no excuse.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Lein Shory said...

I don't think Shannon would mind nursing that much in public. The pump, however, is a bit different.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys --

I'm a pediatrician in training, and I have to say that our hospital does have lactation rooms, but the reason is because our hospital was built within the last ten years. The whole breastfeeding is better for baby push has only happened fairly recently and at times in the past bf was looked down on. I think you are right to expect that a hospital designed and built today would have lactation room -- however, space in a hospital is always at a premium and taking a spare room to make one in a place that wasn't designed to have one may mean that there is one less room for sick children. just a thought.

7:50 PM  

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