November 12, 1995
Web posted at: 1:50 p.m. EST
From Correspondent Linda Ciampa
WOBURN, Massachusetts (CNN) -- The so-called "drive-through" delivery is becoming all too familiar to new mothers today. Baby is born and usually within 24 hours, both parent and child are sent packing because of limits by insurance companies. Now there's an innovative solution, a "getaway" for brand new parents.
"The Birth Care Inn is a place for new parents to come after they've been discharged from the hospital instead of going home," said Evelyn Crotty, a registered nurse and the woman behind the idea.
It works like this: When Crotty knows one of her clients is about to deliver, she rents a room in a Boston-area hotel. New parents check in for a couple of days and, after some much-needed rest, begin one-on-one parenting lessons with a registered nurse. The classes range from breast-feeding to bathing the baby.
New mother Vanessa Garufi said the setup provides for both relaxation and some valuable advice. (104K AIFF sound or 104K WAV sound) After all, she said, "It's definitely too much to learn in one day."
For Sue Hanlon, a stay at the Birth Care Inn gave her peace of mind. A nurse was there to monitor her infant's jaundice, a common condition in newborns.
"Even though I'd been through jaundice (with) my first son," she said, "It always makes one nervous and it's nice to have another opinion to say, 'He's not that jaundiced.'" Ultimately, she said, her little boy was just fine.
But none of this comes cheap. One night at the Birth Care Inn costs about $185, and insurance doesn't pay a dime of it. Gloria Aubut Craven, a registered nurse with the Massachusetts Nurses Association, said she hopes insurers change their views.
"What we hope and expect with third-party insurers is that they begin to understand that the services nurses provide in numerous settings -- not just in acute-care settings, but in homes -- are well worth the cost because of the benefit it provides for the patient," Craven said.
And services like those provided at the Birth Care Inn can save money in the long run as problems such as dehydration or infection are caught and addressed early.
"So in terms of cost-benefit," Crotty said, "the old adage is true. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."
Crotty hopes that someday companies will offer a stay at her Birth Care Inn as an employee benefit, making the transition from hospital to home a little easier.
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