Don't Check Out Too Quickly
Today's birthing centers (even when they're tucked within the confines of a high-tech hospital) are a far cry from the maternity wards of yesteryear. Many of these roomy hotel suite replicas have a rocking chair, a recliner, a foldout bed for dad and an area for visitors-- not to mention cable TV and Internet access.
Better still are the relaxed dining options. You'll get to select your own well-balanced meals and, after they are hand-delivered, you'll be able to dine while still in bed. Plus, most labor and delivery floors have mini-kitchens equipped with pre-made deli sandwiches and juice.
And, although you insisted on keeping your newborn by your side on the first night, your decision-making skills aren't quite the same at a sleepless 3 a.m. Lucky for you, most delivery suites come with a host of volunteers whose only job is to rock your baby to sleep in the nursery. Plus, a bevy of laws enacted by the U.S. Congress and 41 states require insurance companies to pay for a minimum 48-hour hospital stay after giving birth; longer for C-sections. Just one more reason you shouldn't hurry home.