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Should I Gift My Labor Nurse?

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The other day, when my girlfriend who has two kids sent me her hospital packing list, I was surprised to see the item "gifts for the labor and delivery staff." Really?

Woman holding gifts

Momlogic's Talitha: Black sweatsuit, check. Non-thong cotton panties, check. Outfit for my newborn to wear home, check. Gifts for labor and delivery nurses? That I have not gotten to yet. I've been so preoccupied thinking about how I'm going to manage pushing this baby out, getting the nursery ready, and just overall being pregnant that getting gifts for hospital staff wasn't even something I would have thought about! Should I do it?

"Trust me, they'll give you a better room and will be nicer to you if you bring gifts," the above girlfriend said to me. She then suggested leaving some gift baskets in the car, just in case I go into labor early. According to her, the nurses will be your best friends for the days you are at the hospital, and they will ultimately be the ones responsible for your -- and your baby's -- well being during that time. "It was the best thing I could have done," she exclaims.

Well OK, if she says so, I guess it couldn't hurt. But part of me thinks, hey, it's their job to take care of me, right? Will they give me a room with a window, the better jello, a less painful epidural, and maybe even an Ambien per my request if I bring them cookies? Alright, I'm in!

Some options? Baskets from Trader Joe's, cookies, candy, and even treats like lotions and bath soaks are gifts that won't go bad sitting in the back of your car for a while.

Should I stuff some dollar bills in my hospital gown to tip off the anesthesiologist? Hmm ... Now she's really got me thinking.

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9 comments so far | Post a comment now
Renee July 15, 2009, 5:35 PM

I think if you are doing it as a bribe or to get better treatment in some way then this is a bad idea. My husband went and bought cupcakes AFTER we had our daughter that had “Happy Birthday” flags in them and left them at the nurses station in appreciation. We did it to celebrate our little girl and to hopefully show a little gratitude for the great treatment we had already received.

Anonymous July 15, 2009, 5:58 PM

I don’t think a gift is necessary. It is there job to treat you as best that they can. And if word got around that they were favoring one patient over another, they would be in trouble. I think the cupcake idea is a much better idea. And plus, when at your job has a customer ever given you a gift? Good luck on your labor =)

Erin July 15, 2009, 6:25 PM

These people are obviously not nurses. YES, bring cupcakes or cookies or something like that. It is sweet and will make the nurses happy, and as a bonus you may get extra special treatment. Will they treat you poorly if you don’t, of course not. Will they love you if you are polite and bring gifts, definitely.

Anonymous July 15, 2009, 7:18 PM

Correct, I am not a nurse and the last thing I thought about during my delivery was making the nurse ‘happy’ Please, give me a break! Now to add to everything that is going on we need to take care of the nurses in order to ‘maybe’ get a little extra treatement? Keep it. Help me delivery my baby, change my sheats, bring me whatever I ask for and leave it at that. You will get your paycheck on Friday. Thanks !!!!

madly59 July 15, 2009, 11:30 PM

I am a Nurse, and have delivered plenty of babies. Goodies don’t mean a thing to us, The Mother and the baby mean the world to us!! Don’t believe what you see on TV! :O) We do our jobs because we love what we DO, not what we GET!!! TRUST ME!

kathi July 16, 2009, 12:21 AM

Maybe a thank you cake or flowers for the staff but tipping naah.not unless they pitch in and take over some of those labor pains for ya or slip you a burger (grin)

jackie July 16, 2009, 5:50 PM

WHy not!? Let’s face it, they’re probably bored like the rest of us—if someone brought you your favorite treat on a random day, wouldn’t you remember them? Wouldn’t you go out of your way just a little more?

It’s human nature. Bring em treats!

Anonymous September 1, 2009, 5:17 PM

Labor and Delivery nurses are usually way too busy to be bored. As a nurse it’s nice when patients give us treats, but they’re not treated any “better” than anyone else. Also, many hospitals have rules about accepting patient gifts, so if you were to bring something they may not even be able to accept.

certified cna February 9, 2011, 1:01 AM

Can I get rss updates?

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