I just read that Beyoncé may have checked into St. Luke’s Roosevelt hospital in New York City to give birth. The minute I saw that I chuckled– I wonder if she’ll have to spend 3 dreadful hours in St. Luke’s triage, as I once did with a laboring mom. The mom I with was in serious active labor — amniotic fluid pooling around her ankles, huge contractions–and we were asked to stay in the semi-public area of triage for hours!
It took serious advocating on my part to get her into a labor and delivery room. To be fair, St. Luke’s Roosevelt has lots to offer; compared to other NYC hospitals the birth statistics are great. This is partly because St. Luke’s Roosevelt is the ONLY hospital in all of Manhattan with an attached Birthing Center where moms can labor in jacuzzis. Whether Beyoncé is hoping to use the Birthing Center, I have no clue. But here’s something interesting:
After my dreadful St. Luke’s triage debacle, a very experienced doula I know gave me a tip. Go to the hospital in sunglasses, headphones and a hoodie. As a diva might do. The idea behind this strategy is that women can block out the world of hospital lobbies, triage, florescent lights, clipboard wielding staff… and stay focused on their labor.
In triage, you can’t get an epidural, or move around (they monitor you on a bed), or get in the water or do various other things that can help with labor pain. If you check into the hospital in active labor (which is often recommended), this transitional period can be rough on mom– especially if it lasts longer than 20 minutes (it is supposed to be a brief check-in of about that length).
I can’t stop thinking about how a mega star, used to all manner of pampering, will be put through the same hospital system as other laboring moms? But I also can’t stop thinking about how all laboring women should be treated like stars.