I delivered both my children at Mercy w/ Kathy's group...my 1st in 2010, my 2nd baby 3 weeks ago. So the L & D and postpartum units are still in the old building, but will be moving to the brand new building in June. I've heard its nice but haven't seen it myself. I had a really smooth 1st birth (calm waterbirth) and challenging 2nd birth (tight nuchal cord, blue & limp on arrival, ped team called etc...), and I'm still a hormonal post-partum mama, so its hard for me to be completely objective. I have mixed feelings about my labor and birth this time around, but I have no complaints about my postpartum experience.
I agree that the post-partum rooms are very small, and mine only had 1 chair besides the pull out cot, so a couple visitors sat on the foot of my bed. However, every staff member I encountered was really really nice. My husband and I kept expecting that at some point we'd have a nurse or a tech that wasn't great, but every single one was kind and helpful. There were people coming in and out often during the day, but I think thats true of any hospital. My night nurses were always very quiet and I didn't experience many interruptions at night. They agreed to an early check-out for my first daughter, but made us wait the full 48 hours this time...but my 2nd baby was distressed upon arrival so I'm not sure its a fair comparison. I think if you want the kind of early discharge that you can get with a birth center, you'll be annoyed, but I imagine Mercy is similar to other hospitals when it comes to discharge. In 2010 it took an hour from signing papers to them sending the guy to wheel me out. This time it took 3 minutes. Not sure why...maybe it was just better timing? In 2010 and this past time we got a short note in the mail from our nurse a few days after we got home saying congratulations. I feel like they are supportive of breastfeeding. An LC visited my room each day I was there with both deliveries, and the staff made an effort to wait until I was done nursing to do anything they needed to do (which sometimes required coming back multiple times because my 2nd baby was nursing all*the*time). They did send me home with a formula sample in 2010, but they didn't this time.
One new thing was that they now ask each mama to watch a couple short videos..one on baby care that I thought was pretty good (reviewed some basic things like feed on demand, you can't spoil your baby by holding them too much, & some safety tips), one on mama care that was fine (went over some basics about taking it easy, how to care for your perineum, PPD), and one on SIDS. The SIDS one might bother some AP mamas because it is anti-cosleeping...However, I personally felt like it was a good video to show given the larger population of women birthing there. When I think about the fact that city hospitals serve a huge range of women including a bunch of teenage moms and others who may not have access to the same educational resources as me, I think the video makes sense...I used to work with teens and knew a few young moms who slept with their babies after drinking a lot of alcohol, or used heavy blankets and lots of pillows...I think the video is trying to help those moms make safer decisions. None of the videos taught me anything new, but I see the public health value in them and I didn't mind watching while I nursed.
I *think* I heard that Mercy is working on mama-baby-friendly certification and from my perspective I think they are doing well.