I gave birth at LIJ and the the birth itself went as well as could be expected (i had a c-section after pushing did not get my son out) I had excellent care from the doctors and nurses but my roomate was terrible too. I know exactly how you feel!! We had such a similar experience in that aspect! But they cleaned the bathrooms 2 or 3 times a day so it was never that bad.
I know that there are private rooms available there and next time I'm definitely going for the private room. I think you have to pay extra because insurance does not cover it. The price depends on what kind of insurance you have. I think with my insurance it was going to cost about $200-300. Well worth it to me.
I have heard some nightmare stories about people who gave birth at Winthrop. I think LIJ has a better track record so if I were you i would look into LIJ or North Shore (JLo had her twins there and rented out an entire floor). LIJ is also building brand new birthing suites which are supposed to be really nice. They may even be done by now. I would check into it.
If your doctor does not deliver there my OB group was soooo good! The Women's Health Pavilion- Saad, Scarantino and Manna. They have several locations too. Here is their site:
As far as breastfeeding, request a lactation consultant to come to your room ASAP after the baby is born. It's important to start breastfeeding the baby within the first hour after birth to help them learn easily. You also have to tell the doctors and nurses while you are in labor and again right after the birth that they are NOT to feed your baby a bottle. This is what caused me so many breastfeeding problems in the beginning for me. But now my son is almost a year old and we are still going strong, so even if the baby doesn't take to it right away, as long as you are committed, you will be able to do it.
Buy The Breastfeeding Book by Dr. Sears now and read it before you give birth. It helps so much! Also go to http://www.kellymom.com for tips on breastfeeding and other baby advice.
I even had a lactation consultant come to my house after my son was born because we were having problems. Her name was Theresa O'Donnell. I don't have her phone number on me at the moment. She charged I think $150 and she stayed for a few hours and was so reassuring and helpful. Most insurances will at least pay a portion of the cost of a lactation consultant so that's something to look into also.
I'm reading all these posts saying they have never heard of sharing rooms- that's because they don't live in the NYC area where there are too many people and not enough money for hospitals to expand to meet the needs of the population. Although it may be the standard in richer or less populated areas like CT, not everyone lives in an area where this is available or feasible and where you are allowed to do depends on where your OB is affiliated. (OK, off my soapbox now).
Anyway, good luck with everything and I hope you are able to get the birth and hospital experience that you wanted the first time. If you have any questions send me a message.