This is a review for the maternity ward.
I delivered my son there several years ago. The labor and delivery part of my experience there was excellent. It truly was amazing. The nurses and my midwife were wonderful and the facilities were great. I would rate the delivery half of my experience there as 5 stars.
However, once I became a "postpartum" patient things changed. I received much less attention than I had received at Hartford Hospital for my other two deliveries. Even when I needed something and pressed the call button, often I would wait for a very long time for help or no help would come at all. I was by myself for a lot of these two days and I actually really needed the help, so this made my experience there even more isolating and depressing. One nurse in particular, Mary Beth, was terrible to me. One night I had very painful afterbirth cramping and I called for help. She had no reaction to my pain at all and blankly told me that I had to wait 30 more minutes for more medication. She didn't offer me anything else that could help, like a heating pad. So I asked her to take the baby to the nursery for an hour so that I could at least try to get some rest. I had been up with him for hours at that point, but when she was in there he was quiet. She said something like "Well, he's quiet now so why do I need to take him?" This woman was so unsupportive, heartless, cold, and haughty and really a horrible nurse. I told her to go. Then I had my first ever panic attack and didn't sleep the rest of the night. My multiple-year struggle with postpartum depression and anxiety began. I wrote all this out in my evaluation for the hospital after I went home and I hope to God that Mary Beth was fired and is no longer working as a nurse anywhere.
Other nurses were much kinder, but they were very slow to get to me when I needed them.
At night, visiting hours were supposed to end by 8 PM so that the ward would be as quiet as possible. My first night there, our baby was actually sleeping around 11 PM, and I was woken up because there were another patient's visitors right outside my door talking loudly. Later that night, the patient next door was in labor and her screaming woke me up. This made me realize that having separate labor/delivery and postpartum areas is a GOOD thing. At Hartford Hospital, I never heard any noise at all from other visitors or laboring/delivering moms. The trip in a wheelchair to the postpartum wing was no problem at all and it was totally worth it for the quiet. Manchester touts its combined L&D/postpartum maternity ward as a plus, saying that it's so much more convenient to stay in one room for your whole stay. It's really not worth it!
One thing that went well during the postpartum portion of my stay was the food service. I have food allergies and the kitchen was totally accommodating and made me excellent meals. I thought the food was great and it was always on time.
I also want to add that I called the Lactation Services dept. when my son was a few months old because I was experiencing a problem with my milk supply. The advice I was given was wrong. She told me that there was probably nothing wrong with my milk supply and that my son was self-weaning and it was probably time for me to stop breastfeeding. Luckily I did not listen to the lactation consultant. I insisted that she rent me a scale and a breast pump, and after using those, I determined that my supply was low. My son was not self-weaning - he was only 5 months old - he was just hungry! Later I shared this story with a family member who has since become a lactation consultant and she agreed that this advice was totally wrong. So, mamas, listen to your instincts. Not all lactation consultants have the best training.