Shared postpartum recovery room after Twin/ C-section birth


I went for a hospital tour yesterday at Columbia Presbyterian and was shocked to find out that I might be sharing a post partum recovery room with one more person and that room is so small!!! There are private rooms available for a fee but they are distributed on a first come first serve basis, so there are no guarantees. It looks like all hospitals in NYC (at least in Manhattan) have the same policy.

The shared room barely fits two beds that are separated by a curtain. There is just a bit of space between the bed and the wall (or the window), which is were they somehow squeeze in the babies. No one can stay overnight with you in a shared room. There are two TV’s – one on each side and the amount of visitors is not restricted during the day. I have no idea how I will handle my twins most likely after a c-section in a shared room, especially at night. How do you grab both of them if they are both crying and you can barely move because of a c-section (and never held an infant in your life!)? I am a quiet and a private person and I am terrified of sharing a room with somebody noisy. Even if one gets lucky with the roommate, how do you get any sleep when during the day she gets visitors and at night you are woken up by both your babies and somebody else’s baby?

Anyone had experience with sharing post partum rooms? I hope my fears are not justified!


That is CRAZY! For the first day after my c-section I couldn’t pick up/take care of my twins, my husband and the nurses) had to do everything. I wish I had some advice for you, sorry I don’t. I hope you end up getting lucky and don’t have to share a room, maybe the fact that you’re having twins will get them to give you priority on a private room?


That sounds horrible.

After my singleton I spent one day and night in a shared room. It felt like three!! We said we would like to be moved to a single as soon. One became available. Finally a nurse came in and said that there had been one available for several hours now, and wondered why we hadn’t already been moved. It was maddening to hear that. We moved for the second day and night and there was a world of difference. The peace I felt in the second one was enormous.

With my twins I had my own room and it was a total madhouse. People coming and going, coming and going, several lactation consultants, the pediatrician. People testing the babies hearing, our nurse, etc etc etc. add to those visit tho of friends and family now. And on top of all that, add pumpin, nursing and changing every two hours, a cycle which takes about an hour each time. And our twins were healthy. And I had not ad a c section.

I like to think hospitals know what twins and c sections are, and even though they say that the rooms are first come, first served, that maybe after a c section, and multiples, they might try a little harder for you than for an uncomplicated singleton mom to get you into accommodations that will, after all, accomodate you and your needs.

My best advice is to plan on the extra fee, and have some bright post it notes to hand the nurse for the top of your labor and delivery filet hat say " WE ARE REALLY HOPING FOR A PRIVATE ROOM" tell your dr in advance that you want a private room. Blab it to every nurse that comes in to check on you on the day of the birth. ( We made the mistake of asking only our labor nurse, and were forgotten. the addage, the squeaky wheel gets the grease is really true at hospitals) If your section is scheduled, call labor and delivery and ask them which part of the week most people schedule their c sections. Avoid that time. (Usually people like the end of the week, I think. Also remember that most of the time hospitals like to keep uncomplicated moms only one to two nights, and to check people out in the morning, so every day, rooms open up. Make your voice heard, and even if the first night is shared, the second one will most likely not be. Don’t be a jerk, just politely consistent. Give this job to DH. And remember, at hospitals people do kind of bow to the drs, not patients, so tell your dr you really need a private room, and see if he or she can shuffle things in a new way. After a c section, you pretty much do need a partner there to lift. Even after vaginal delivery, you need help lifting.

Here’s a question-does your hospital have an infant nursery? Or do all the babies sleep in room, w moms. At our last hospital they said there was no nursery. I dreaded those first exhausted nights. Then alacazam, after the birth they revealed there actually was a night nursery and that it was for preemies and c section babies whose moms were recovering. Even though I was neither thing, they still to pity on me and took my babies for a few three hour stretches. It was a godsend. In a shared room, with no parter there at night, this could be great.

Good luck! Luck is what you need here :slight_smile: luck to go into labor on a non busy day. Just be ready to advocate and to possibly have to stick out a first night. And remember, even if the first nights are rotten, you end up in the comfort of your own home sooner than you think. :slight_smile:


JediBonas and Sweetpea, thank you for responding!

I spoke with my Dr. and she said that even she (the head of the department) cannot influence who gets private rooms. But I scheduled my c-section for Monday and there are no scheduled procedures on week-ends, so hopefully I will get lucky and get a private room. Otherwise I suppose I will have to call nurses every time I want to feed my babies.

The hospital does have a nursery, but I am hoping to room in. I suppose if I have to share a room might not have a choice.