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Hello Kitty Hospital

In Taiwan, a 30 bed maternity hospital recently opened. The hospital cost $3 million to construct. That’s not news.  The fact that the hospital,  Hau Sheng Hospital, is decorated with a “Hello Kitty” theme is news.

Hello Kitty is a chubby Japanese cartoon cat that has a following worldwide.  In the United States, the character enjoyed a brief stint of popularity in the late 1980’s.

The nurses at this hospital wear pink with Hello Kitty aprons.  Costumed characters come to visit the mothers and the newborns during their stay and birth certificates are decorated with characters from the cartoon series.

Tsai Tsung-chi, director of the hospital in Yaulin, says that he hopes the cute cartoon character will reduce some of the pain of childbirth.  Truly, I have to say that I don’t think a cute cartoon character would have reduced the pain I felt during childbirth.

I know for a fact that the room decor has very little to do with labor pain.  I’ve delivered my babies with midwives attending the births, in a hospital room decorated with elegant cherry furniture surrounded by doctors, and in a stark and drab military hospital.  The pain I felt with each birth was pretty much similar.

I don’t mean to sound jaded.  I think it’s a great idea and if I had a choice, I’d probably choose the “Hello Kitty” hospital over another facility if the care at both places was comparable.  I find myself wondering though–exactly how do they keep those cute aprons sterile and clean?

What do you think? Would a cute cartoon cat have helped to reduce your labor pain?

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