The gossip mills have gone into overdrive since celebrity power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z welcomed their daughter Blue Ivy into the world this month at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.
Much of the hype is standard fare among celebrity births—discussing the child’s unique name, guessing when photos will be released, and debating which weight-loss company the mother will sign with to lose the extra pregnancy pounds. But in Blue Ivy's case, the media is also focusing on the allegedly lavish hospital suite in which she was born.
Of course, the media has also been reporting on the tight security measures that may have been enacted in the Lenox Hill maternity ward while Beyoncé was there. There were rumors that other parents weren't allowed to see their babies and that the musicians' personal security guards patrolled the halls, but so far New York state health officials have dismissed the two complaints that were filed, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But some of the more sensational reports, and those that are more interesting to the patient experience-focused marketer, are about Beyoncé "penthouse-style" maternity room. According to the sometimes-reputable TMZ, the hospital room featured "4 flat screen TV's, state of the art electronics, a kitchenette, nice art, mahogany walls, and plush furnishings."
Leaked photos of the room show a large, modern-looking space with hardwood flooring, sleek white couches, some artwork, and lots of windows. Nothing about the room stuck me as especially excessive, but it did get me thinking. The public has such low expectations for hospital design and the patient experience that anything above mediocre seems extravagant.