Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PAMPERING NEW MOMS; Touches Help Hospitals Compete the Extra Features Include Massages, Slimming Gowns and Take-Home Casseroles

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

PAMPERING NEW MOMS; Touches Help Hospitals Compete the Extra Features Include Massages, Slimming Gowns and Take-Home Casseroles

Article excerpt

Byline: ANNE HART

SAVANNAH -- Potato sack nursing gowns have given way to more flattering, spandex ones.

Free massages are offered right in your hospital room.

And don't worry about what hubby and the kids will eat while you're recuperating in your maternity suite after 12 hours of labor. Just take advantage of the hospital's complimentary take-home casserole dinner.

Hospitals have turned delivering a baby into a pampered event in an effort to attract patients shopping for health-care services.

The goal: provide as many amenities in a maternity ward as a hotel so mom will come back when she has her next baby and recommend the hospital to her expectant friends and family.

At the Mary Telfair Women's Hospital at Candler Hospital, new mothers have homey suites and can stroll down the hall to the Mommy & Me Boutique on the maternity floor.

There they can be fitted for nursing bras, rent or purchase breast pumps and shop for toile baby newborn slings and sleek slimming black nursing gowns. None of which are bedecked with pink Piglets or blue Smurfs.

"Sometimes moms are tired of looking pregnant, don't want to look bulky and don't want to wear anything with teddy bears," said Pam Holland, lactation consultant for the boutique and coordinator of lactation services at Telfair.

She's also a certified bra fitter.

Both Telfair and Memorial Health University Medical Center provide lactation consultants, even after moms are discharged, to help with breast-feeding problems.

Telfair moms have the option of sending a covered-dish home with their families from Kelly's Casseroles and taking advantage of an enrollment discount at the Wellness Center gym.

Telfair and Memorial also partner with professional photographers so families can arrange to have post-delivery and birth photos taken. …

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