aibu - neonatal visiting

(49 Posts)
mummywithsmiles Thu 30-Jan-14 20:07:05

In our Nick only parents are allowed to visit when they want, and then you have allocated people who can visit 3 to 6.
It can be lonely and when your doing cares you spend all your days etc there and sometime just need support, my daughter been in for 4 weeks and not looking to get out anytime soon. Her dad left and isn't here so unlike couples single people can't do shifts or have company and help whilst doing cares for baby.
If you as the mum is sick and not allowed in it means no one can visit baby apart from the dad , so if there is no dad then the baby can't have a visitor.

Would it not be fairer for say them to say 2 allocated ppl I.e mum and one other can visit 24 hrs , so obviously if dad is around it would be mum and dad , or if dad isn't around the mum can allocate another person I.e her mum ( nan of baby )

AmpersandRea Thu 30-Jan-14 20:15:33

YANBU
Have you asked if your Mum can take the place of Dad, given that he is absent?
How's your daughter doing? (my sons had several weeks in SCBU)

nocheeseinhouse Thu 30-Jan-14 20:16:38

Just ask them, I'm sure they'll be accommodating, and look after yourself with breaks.

mummywithsmiles Thu 30-Jan-14 20:33:15

I asked and had to have a meeting with the head nurse and she said no as what would I do when she goes home and I'm on my own and that they have young parents who don't have partners
Daughter is getting there we have just moved from intensive care to high dependency they said it could be at least another few months before we go home thank you for asking

MidniteScribbler Thu 30-Jan-14 20:48:21

I'd take it a lot further, that's not an accceptable answer. I am a single mother (by choice) and when my son was born they allowed my aunt (my only other living relative) in outside of visiting hours as I was on my own. I'm not familiar with the UK health system, but is there an advocate group or even a patient liaison at the hospital that you could talk with?

Single parent with a child in ICU needs support just as much as a partnered parent.

PartyConfused Thu 30-Jan-14 20:50:29

mummy when dd2 was in nicu, only parents could visit. No other people at all. She was in for 2 months and her sister and gp couldnt see her. Awful experience. Especially as they let some families in for prayers (I often felt like I should find religion-sorry I know that will get flamed).
They did however let another mum ( whose dh was abroad), have her older dd with her. I think the had nurse is being harsh and I think I'd have to take it further. I was often alone all day and it's such a hard time. I found it easier when we moved to scbu and made friends with the3 other mums (still in contact a year )

WaitMonkey Thu 30-Jan-14 21:07:51

YANBU and I would take this further. Talk to your local press if you're able. This is very unfair. Hope you're able to take your dd home soon.

I work in NICU and we have anytime visiting for parents and others 2.30-4.0 then 6.30-7.30
This is a lot to do with infection control,noise etc
BUT, if mum has no partner, then special permission can be given for grandma etc to be the 'birth partner'

ScottishInSwitzerland Thu 30-Jan-14 21:46:18

I agree w the others that's not an acceptable response.

I've had two babies in nicu and each time we got to add my birth partners name to the list of visitors. (In our nicu it's only gps and siblings who can visit)

I totally understand they have to restrict visitors for infection control but this just sounds mean and unnecessary

ScottishInSwitzerland Thu 30-Jan-14 21:47:30

Sorry just to clarify I do have a dh it's just that he didn't come into theatre w me, somebody else did. And that somebody else was allowed into nicu as a bonus person

cls77 Thu 30-Jan-14 21:49:01

I would tell the nurse who told you that, that your mum will be supporting you when she can just like you need support now either when you're visiting or when you can't. I worked in NICU and we welcomed the support of wider families, whether they had a partner, or more importantly if they didn't. That's what being at home with your LO will be like. It's a long journey and you need any support you can have. Infection control wise, why would your mum not follow procedures that a partner would? They're either followed or they aren't!

cls77 Thu 30-Jan-14 21:50:29

Sorry I don't mean any number of visitors, just selected name(s) of who can visit within max number as per policies

WelshMaenad Thu 30-Jan-14 21:55:07

Unreasonable. When dd was in nicu she had quite a few visitors - her dad and I had 24 hour access but my mum visited daily and my sister and friend came in frequently, they sat and read stories to her and I'm convinced it aided her recovery from a brain injury. One of my best friends is a paediatrician in a different hospital and I shipped her in for support too. They were allowed to visit without me there (I'd usually bugger off to express whilst they were spending time with her).

It was crucial for my sanity to have their support. You need support, it is a bloody hard time. I wish you and your daughter all the best and hope you get your magical homecoming soon.

Sirzy Thu 30-Jan-14 21:58:22

YANBU.

I am a single mum and when DS was in HDU the staff bent the normal visiting rules to allow my parents to stay with me during the day instead.

You need support and they need to accept that and be a bit flexible to allow you to be supported

HadABadDay2014 Thu 30-Jan-14 22:06:15

Yanbu. I can not believe a sbcu would deny a mother emotional support during such a tough time.

Summerblaze Thu 30-Jan-14 22:09:10

I would definitely not take that as the final word. How unfair that you have to shoulder all this by yourself because you are a 1 parent family.

YANBU and you should demand that you want support. When your DD is ready to come home, wouldn't it be better that she has a Mum who isn't completely knackered/numb. It isn't just tiredness but the emotional side too.

fatfingers Thu 30-Jan-14 22:19:02

My dd2 was in Neonatal for 17 weeks and the rules around visiting just added to the grinding misery of the situation tbh. Only mum and dad could visit during the day, grandparents only during certain hours at weekends. Our siblings could not see dd at all until she was discharged from hospital.

However, the nurses did say that if there was no dad you could nominate another person to visit - I would argue for this if I were you. You say you can nominate another person to visit between 3pm and 6pm - do you have to accompany them or can they visit alone?

Our visitors arnt allowed unless parents are there too. Before xmas we had parents only rule as Norovirus was rife. You would not believe the number of visitors that come in full of cold, smelling of smoke etc and not washing hands.therfore only parents are allowed to hold babies now

mummywithsmiles Thu 30-Jan-14 22:46:06

Thank you all .. I will continue to argue tomoz , I'm mummyofbrave on another thread about nicu , its been horrendous.
Fat fingers I have to be there , when I had a virus they banned me for 4 days and they wouldntnlet my mum visit so dd had no visits .

MissDuke Thu 30-Jan-14 22:55:27

I am appalled by this! My third was in SCBU, and myself and hubby were there most of the day, my parents minded our other children. My mum was allowed in for an hour one evening. My sister and my older children were not allowed in at all. I accepted that, but only because my hubby was there much of the time with me. It is heartbreaking and lonely being in there as it is. I really hope they see sense about this. Take care, I wish your little one a speedy recovery.

AmpersandRea Thu 30-Jan-14 22:56:05

Continue to argue your case mummywithsmiles, it's important for you to have support.

Purplepoodle Thu 30-Jan-14 23:13:43

Ask the head nurse again. If no joy as for the contact details of her superior, don't let her fob you off. Take it higher in the management chain.

fatfingers Fri 31-Jan-14 12:07:02

Good luck mummywithsmiles, hope you get something sorted. Although NNUs are obviously great because they save the life of your child, one of my big bugbears is that they seem to forget that this is your child rather than just their patient. I remember feeling that the hospital had essentially taken my dd and in order to see her I had to jump through hoops - rules about visiting being one of them - I feel for you.

Take it further.

Dd1 was in NICU and when I was unable to visit my mum was allowed in with DH to give him some support - she was very very poorly and being on your own unable to hold or touch her was heartbreaking.

MimiSunshine Fri 31-Jan-14 12:43:02

Was the only reason why your mum couldn't stand in for your child's absent parent this:
I asked and had to have a meeting with the head nurse and she said no as what would I do when she goes home and I'm on own and that they have young parents who don't have partners

If so then who the actual fuck does that woman think she is. You are not a child asking for their shoelaces to be tied and she's saying no otherwise you'll never learn to do it yourself.
That to me isn't just reason to be refused.

Push it back from the POV that DD is entitled to two visitors and as her dad has left and not involved you want to nominate one other person. Not a rotating number of different people (which I can see maybe a problem) and then ask why they won't allow it.

MiaowTheCat Fri 31-Jan-14 13:01:49

They were equally as inflexible when DD1 was in ours. I'd be complaining more about the nurse's somewhat sneery attitude towards you to be honest, although again, I found them to be very cold and unsympathetic to the parents on the unit we were on (but I have LOTS of anger toward how we were treated in general admittedly).

If it helps at all - I found the nighttime shift to be so much more caring and less viewing the parents as inconveniences but more as actual parents - I went down there a lot at nighttime as a result (I also found I got a much more candid picture of how things were actually progressing as well).

Would it be something Bliss might be interested in picking up on I wonder?

My other massive massive bugbear I had with the unit we were on - they REFUSED, despite my requests for them to do so, to call DD1 by her name and would only refer to her as Baby X... I understand not all babies have names, especially when they arrive early, but she did and their refusal to refer to her by it I found really insulting and demeaning to her as a little tiny slightly stroppy even then (she slapped the doctors jabbing her with needles bless her) person!

MandatoryMongoose Fri 31-Jan-14 13:05:09

When DS was in NICU (about 11 months ago) parents were allowed at anytime, 2 people at anytime and other visitors were allowed most of the day (I think 8am - 10pm but I'm not positive). I think other visitors had to be accompanied by a parent though.

The staff there were great though and pretty relaxed about things. They let my DD (14yrs) come with my Mum so there were 3 of us and let my Dad visit quite late in the evening. I think so long as we didn't have crowds of people disturbing the babies or getting in the way they'd have just let us do what suited us. It made a difficult time much easier having that support around.

I don't see why they couldn't let you designate someone as an extra 'parent' so they could go on their own and give you a break.

mummywithsmiles Fri 31-Jan-14 19:43:32

ErgGhhh so todin asked again and she said she will come up with a plan on Monday as it was discovered today that dd will be on for months not weeks.
But I had an appointment tonight at 6 30 on ward as I'm also still not well from having her and I made it for then as her feed is at 6 so thought I would feed her and them see midwife but her feeds changed and it was 7 , I good nurse that I was leaving as had a mW appointment on ward and she was like can't you stay until 7 I explained I really couldn't and she went fine just bung her back in her cot and I will feed her making me feel really bad

I think they forger I'm a first time mum and I am trying but I was told my dd only had a 15 percent chance and offered an abortion 3 weeks before she was born it has all been horrific and I feel like no one is understanding that I dont need support because I'm young as tbh I'm not seven that young lol so where they get that from I don't know but I just need support with the shock etc .hopefully they say yes on Monday.

JRmumma Fri 31-Jan-14 19:58:06

mummy is your dd one of twins? If so, i remember a previous thread you wrote about her dad and Xmas, and in really pleased to hear she is doing well and moving from intensive care to hdu.

Its not right that they will not let you nominate another adult to be allowed to visit and you should take this all the way to the top if necessary. I cannot believe they did not ask you to do this from the start. You and dd both need the support.

Pilgit Fri 31-Jan-14 20:21:00

SCBU at our local hospital allowed grandparents of the child to visit on the same terms as the parents if identified by the parents (and it was limited by number so as not to overwhelm the ward). Seems an odd attitude when the parent(s) need the help and support. Hope you DD is doing okay.

mummywithsmiles Fri 31-Jan-14 21:19:29

Jrmumma - nope not one of twins lol don't know how I would cope then. She is an only child 4 weeks old . she had well recovering from congenital diaphramic hernia. Its been a long journey with many misdiagnosis. The hospital r useless when it comes to support.

craftysewer Fri 31-Jan-14 22:45:29

What about contacting PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service). They should have an office somewhere in the hospital. They were excellent with us when my dad died, arranging meetings etc with the Matron. Their role is to help you resolve concerns or problems when using the NHS.

When ds was in neonatal only parents could visit. No-one else, not even grandparents. Infection control apparently but my parents broke their hearts as it was their first grandchild and they couldn't see him. I was sick for a while and ex had to go on his own.

Thankfully he was transferred after three weeks to a hospital that was more relaxed and did allow other visitors.

Hope it all works out on Monday for you and your dd is ok.

Loftyjen Fri 31-Jan-14 22:58:27

Would def recommend contacting PALS regarding the attitude shown by nursing staff.

When I was training as a paediatric nurse I thought SCBU was where I'd want to work, until I did my SCBU placement... Was horrified by the attitude of the nurses/MW's who seemed to have a few "favourite" parents while the rest were talked about in a derogatory way.
I remember a handover where the nurse said of a mum of twins (in a bitching rather than wanting to support tone) "it took her over an hour to change/feed one twin, how on earth will she manage with both of them"
It didn't seem like anyone was going to help/support the mum, just bitch about her. A huge surprise to me having been training when "family centred care" were the big buzzwords.
This was nearly 20yrs ago, but sounds like it's still pretty inconsistent how supportive the nurses are hmm

VivaLeBeaver Fri 31-Jan-14 23:02:37

We have this rule where I work and its to do with infection control, not over tiring the babies, etc.

However, in your situation we would always make an exception. Like you say it would still be two people.

I would honestly complain about the policy and about the nurse. How dare she be so condescending as to ask what you'll do when you get home! Maybe your mum will help you loads then. Maybe she won't, but maybe it won't be as draining once your baby is home and well. Maybe its none of her bloody business.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 31-Jan-14 23:05:13

Meant to say try and speak to pals but also ask to speak to the matron or the ward manager.

You say you spoke to the head nurse, was that just who was in charge that shift? If so then the ward manager/sister will be more senior and the matron certainly will be. You could try googling for paediatric matron and the name of the hospital and get a name for the matron. Then ring her via the main switchboard. Will save you been fobbed off by nurses. Ring early, 9am time before they end up in meetings all day.

VivaLeBeaver Fri 31-Jan-14 23:08:07

You could maybe tell them that your mum isn't your mum but is your lesbian partner and that they're discriminating and that you'll sue them. They won't believe you but they can't prove it. grin

Is that a bit OTT? Sorry, I just feel so bad for you.

Hpe your dd is home soon.

mummywithsmiles Fri 31-Jan-14 23:13:22

I agree with the bed manners being awful obviously not all the nursees some are lovely - they forget how daunting it is a nappy change is so scary when you have wires to contend with.

Another thing I don't like might sound stupid lol is 1 , her cot is in between two doors leading to the corridor and they bang really loud unless closed by people instead of just letting them go, my did has bad lungs and works to hard to breath when she cries she works harder.
They always just let them bang every 2 minutes waking daughter and shocking her.

2. The alarms are scary and the machine earlier went off and started flashing red the nurse called over for me to press the turn alarm of button on her stats machine I was like her stats have gone down to 62 she was like ohh I'm coming. So she told me to turn them off without even checking the machine.

mummywithsmiles Fri 31-Jan-14 23:14:45

Lol viva my sister was going to try that haha

MrChow Fri 31-Jan-14 23:15:14

I would take it higher, and higher. Chef exec if no one else will listen. Where I work birth partner is allowed. Not everyone has partners these days and not just the single mums but forces wives who's husbands are posted.

Unacceptable and I feel for you.

munchkinmaster Fri 31-Jan-14 23:30:09

I would ask to speak to her consultant (I would hope you are meeting regularly anyway). At the risk of a flaming; I usually find nurses are quicker to stick to the rules than doctors. Also mention where the cot is. I think there is often a duff spot in an icu and they will shift people around as other people move on.

MiscellaneousAssortment Fri 31-Jan-14 23:41:40

What the fuck? So because you might not have support down the line you must be denied it now????

Disgusting.

Maybe all fathers should be banned as what will happen when they go back to work? That's about as logical.

Please take it further... Or ignore and do what you want anyway.

mummywithsmiles Fri 31-Jan-14 23:42:06

I don't have reg consultant talks ... I've had one sit down talk. Other than that they briefly update me if I'm at ward round or the nurse updates me when I come in.

mummywithsmiles Fri 31-Jan-14 23:46:57

My point assortment. My reply was it has nothing to do with my age its to do with loneliness and time.

For instance if I have an appointment but they want me there for her cares I have to cancel.. Well if I was at home with her I could take her ... Or if her dad was here he could do her. Cares whilst I'm not there.

Oh and I am moving bk with my mum for six mums so there theory is stupid

Minorchristmascrisis Fri 31-Jan-14 23:49:40

Speak to PALS. This is not acceptable and you have enought to contend with, without having to find the energy to fight this battle.

munchkinmaster Sat 01-Feb-14 07:49:58

If there's pals go with that then.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 01-Feb-14 10:38:09

That's disgraceful!shock

12 years ago when ds was born we had to sign something to allow my mum and dad and sister to visit ds in scbu when we weren't there. My dad used to pop in during his lunch breaks to visit.

Take it further x

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 01-Feb-14 10:45:23

I honestly found the scbu nurses the most snippy, rude and unhelpful nurses I've ever encountered,I used to dread going in every day, it was a relief to get out of there! Take it further,12 years on I still wish I'd reported one particularly vile comment from a nurse.

You could try and get there for ward rounds and speak directly to the doctor about it, worth a go.

Congrats btwthanks

SarahBumBarer Sat 01-Feb-14 13:17:12

When DD was on NICU my mum was able to visit even on the very first day when we were put in the high dependency section as a precaution. Only parents were allowed to hold/touch the babies but anyone could visit if accompanied by a parent. Your unit sounds unreasonable.

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