Parenting Problems/Tips

To Tip Or Not To Tip?

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I was cleaning out my desk drawers yesterday and came across my folder full of hospital paperwork from when I had the baby: discharge instructions, a screening for postpartum depression, information on getting the birth certificate, etc.

There was also a paper that said “Thank you from the staff of Kennedy Maternity Center for allowing us to care for you and your family!” Then it listed the names of all the nurses who cared for me during my stay.


My question is: what is the point of that paper? Am I supposed to need the nurses’ names for something? It kind of made me feel like I’m supposed to tip them.

That got me thinking. Well, okay, if I’m supposed to tip the nurses who helped deliver my baby, what exactly should I give them?

Cash would be tacky. Flowers seem overdone and lame.

I thought about sending a tray of food, like Philly Pretzels or cookies…but don’t most women hate when there is junk food just sitting around at work? Then you feel compelled to eat it, because it’s there. Just asking to be eaten. Even if you’re not hungry.

Maybe a gift card to Target? But for how much? There were three nurses listed on the paper, but one of them took care of me for all of five minutes. So I figured if I was going to “tip” any of them, it was the other two, who were wonderful.

One was my labor and delivery nurse. She was awesome, hooking me up with morphine to dull my contractions until it was finally time for the blessed epidural. While we waited for the time to come when I could push, she chatted and joked with my husband and I. After a few hours, we felt like old friends.

The second nurse took care of me after I had the baby. She, too, was amazing- very friendly and helpful. I am petrified of IVs and she removed mine after 24 hours instead of making me keep it in for two days.

So now I have two nurses who provided exceptional service to me while having a baby…but do I really have to tip them? If so, what/how? Or will a thank-you card suffice?

How did you show appreciation for the staff when you delivered your baby? Do you think this paper was meant to encourage tipping or am I reading too much into it?




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  • Becky
    July 18, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    I think you’re okay with a thank you note or sending flowers to brighten up the desk area. I wouldn’t have thought to tip anyone.

    • The Naughty Mommy
      July 18, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      I think I’m just paranoid. I feel like people expect a tip everywhere nowadays.

  • Marissa
    July 18, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    When I had Mason, I brought cookies to my nurses and to the NICU nurses, after I had been discharged. Mason was still there and it was a few days before Christmas. I’m not sure that I would’ve done that if I hadn’t had an extended stay, Mason hadn’t had an extended stay or if it wasn’t a few days before Christmas. I probably would’ve just wrote a Thank You note and maybe included a picture of Mason, if I was given the names of my nurses.

    • The Naughty Mommy
      July 18, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      I can totally see how an extended stay would necessitate a little present of some sort. A regular two-day stay, maybe not. Good point!

  • Allison
    July 18, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    You clearly didn’t read the etiquette book I gave you. This is from Emily Post’s website:

    Gifts of money should never be offered to hospital nurses, but cookies, candy, fruit, or flowers that can be shared or enjoyed by everyone at the nurses’ station is always welcome. If the nurse or caregiver is an independent, then the choice of gift, including cash, is up to you.

    • The Naughty Mommy
      July 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM

      So true- should’ve consulted that book before writing this. Does Emily Post’s book say anything about giving used old books to people as gifts?

  • Nicole @ One Punky Mama
    July 18, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Wow, that had never even crossed my mind!

  • Jen Wukovits
    July 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    It never even occurred to me to tip the nurses. Would they even accept a tip? We gave them flowers and sent cookies.

    • The Naughty Mommy
      July 18, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Yeah, I mean that’s what I meant by tip…like send a gift or show appreciation, like the flowers and cookies you gave.