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To think that visiting times on the postnatal ward are fine

(248 Posts)
elliejjtiny Tue 17-Dec-13 14:21:58

Disclaimer: I've been stuck at home with puking DC for a few days so have more time to think about trivial stuff than normal smile.

Visiting times on the postnatal ward at my local hospital are partners all day (something like 9am to 9pm) and everyone else 2:30pm-5:30pm, 2 visitors per bed. No children except siblings of the baby and they can only come at normal visiting times. Children weren't counted in the 2 visitors rule thankfully so DH could bring our 3 older DC at once.

In NICU/SCBU parents and siblings are welcome anytime. Grandparents and other close relatives (not sure how they define this) can come 2:30pm-5:30pm but only with parents permission (this rule came in quite handy when MIL wanted to visit DS4 the first time I was allowed to go down to NICU after only getting a quick glimpse of him when he was born).

I was at a toddler group last week and some of the new mums/pregnant mums were having a whinge about how strict the visiting times are. Bearing in mind that most healthy 2nd+ timers are discharged straight from delivery suite so most of the women on the postnatal ward were quite poorly or their babies were.

I was in for 3 days recovering from c-sec and TBH I only wanted DH and the DC's to visit (antisocial emoticon). Because DH was looking after the DC's and DS3 in particular doesn't really do sitting still then I only saw him and them for 15 mins or so every day. I survived and so did the lady in the next bed who was also on her 4th DC so in the same situation. These women at toddler group were moaning that their friends children weren't allowed in and their friends were only allowed in 2 at a time. The mums of newborns had only been in for about 12 hours too shock.

TBH after a few of the other women's visitors had been pointing at me and speculating in loud whispers why I didn't have any visitors and why I didn't have a cot beside me I could have been quite happy to have all visitors banned (told you I was antisocial!). One of the other women whose baby was in NICU got her DH to bring in a big "it's a boy" helium balloon to show everyone that she had had a baby after a few nosy people asked if she was still pregnant and was the antenatal ward full?

IMO although it doesn't suit everyone I think there must be restrictions on visitors so that there is relative peace and quiet for new mums to recover.

JaquelineHyde Tue 17-Dec-13 14:26:40

I bloody hate other peoples visitors at hospital, if visiting hours were any longer I think it would be unbearable.

BuffyxSummers Tue 17-Dec-13 14:26:45

YABU. I found the partners 9am to 9pm visiting extremely difficult. I survived clearly because I'm alive and so is dd but it was a horrible few days and I struggled.

MrPoppy Tue 17-Dec-13 14:28:29


I was in a bed next to someone who was holding court with different friends all afternoon.
(Not easy mastering breastfeeding).

mumofthemonsters808 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:31:40

I agree. Although I did appreciate the staff's discretion when they kindly allowed my 87 year old relative into see me, as she had travelled alone in a taxi for an hour and was very frail to be waiting around the hospital for hours on her own. It was a magical moment when she popped her head around my door, I nearly fell off my bed in surprise. God bless her soul.

I hope your son gets better, I've done many a puking days stuck at home.

RodneyTheChristmasElf Tue 17-Dec-13 14:31:56

I liked the visiting rules on the ward at the hospital I had DS at. Other parent could visit any time (within reason), nobody else was allowed on the ward at all. There was a large visiting area just outside the ward doors and that's as far as everyone else was allowed. Bliss.

HopAlongOnItsOnlyChristmas Tue 17-Dec-13 14:32:09

While it would be nice if DH could have stayed with me outside of the 8 - 8 visiting times
a) it would have been hellish to have everyone else's partners on the ward all day and night, it was noisy enough as it was.
b) not everyone else's partners are nice people, and I think it's really important that midwives get a chance to talk to women on their own.
c) I really enjoyed those night time hours where I could just stare at DS and no one bothered me.


ShreddedHoops Tue 17-Dec-13 14:33:02

I desperately wanted DH to be able to stay overnight. Midwives nowhere to be seen, only incompetent healthcare assistants. Post C-section it was absolute mental torture, newborn screaming and noone to help. Failed to bf, failed to bond in the early days. If DH had been there I would have been ok.

Whitershadeofpale Tue 17-Dec-13 14:34:39

I think having restrictions on visiting times is good but some people want visitors, especially their parents and visiting at 5.30 makes it very difficult for people who work. Maybe until 6.30 would be better.

MrPoppy Tue 17-Dec-13 14:35:11

I know what you mean re point c) HopAlong.
At the time I sort of wished DH could stay too and felt bad about him going home all on his todd. But then that time just me and baby was magic.

HopAlongOnItsOnlyChristmas Tue 17-Dec-13 14:35:53

But the problem them shredded isn't the visiting hours, it's not enough midwives and poorly trained HCAs.

I think most women would like their partners to be there 24 hours BUT the reality is that that means that everyone else's partners are there 24 hours as well. Do you really want that while you're sleeping in a 4/6 bed ward?

Whitershadeofpale Tue 17-Dec-13 14:36:48

Rodney's hospital policy sounds great.

WilsonFrickett Tue 17-Dec-13 14:38:00

YANBU. Visiting hours were torture as it was, I was next to one woman who had 12 round her bed at one time - not joking! And didn't give a stuff that the MW's were asking them to leave.

The thing about a post-labour ward is, it's not just you, it's a number of women with new babies, none of whom are getting any sleep, some of whom don't have their babies with them, some of whom are completely traumatised by their birth. MWs need time, space and peace to talk to the women, help with BF, do temps, drugs, etc. It is not a party zone.

AngelsLieToKeepControl Tue 17-Dec-13 14:38:15

I think all visitors should be banned (apart from partners) or at least stfu. 2 of my children were in NICU and I had 'well meaning' dickheads asking me why my baby wasn't with me, or spectulating, loudly, that SS were involved with me and took my baby, or that I was always palming my baby off on the nurse all the time, one idiot even asked me if I was a surrogate.

When it became apparent that my daughter was very poorly indeed my dh was allowed to stay at the hospital in a side room with me and 3 or 4 people complained about that to me, and at least one other shouted about our apparent favouritism to the nurses.

DameDeepRedBetty Tue 17-Dec-13 14:38:35

I'm so pleased there was a single room free for me after dtds were born, it would have been vile to have nosey parkers peering at me and wondering why I had no cot by my bed. 'Because my twins were premature and are in the high-dependency bit of NICU' would have been the correct but untactful reply, with extra swearing after the twentieth time of asking.

HopAlongOnItsOnlyChristmas Tue 17-Dec-13 14:39:45

Oh, and I'm an antisocial one too because I wouldn't have let anyone other than DH visit me. Sorry, but those couple of days I was in I was randomly bleeding all over the place and couldn't stand up long enough to have a shower. I love my family, but I just didn't want to have to go through the whole sitting there being social at that point.

Ubik1 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:40:05

Our local hospitals have just introduced all day visiting hours

It can be a struggle for nurses as they try to get round with meds and checks, they deal with alot more questions

Patients get tired, often don't like having visitors all the time, want some peace and quiet to get better

I do wish DP could have stayed with me the first night as DD1 was very poorly and kept screaming I had had no sleep and was post ecs - in he end she was taken to SCBU

However having partners there overnight may lead to other problems - one ward seemed to be constantly noisy with partners sitting around, chatting on phones, slamming in and out. I was grateful for my single room TBH

HopAlongOnItsOnlyChristmas Tue 17-Dec-13 14:42:10

And another thing... What about when the midwives need to come round and do pelvic checks or talk to you about anything sensitive or that you might want to discuss privately? And you get to have a conversation about the state of your vagina with Sheila and her 12 family members tittering away on the other side of the curtain? Fuck. That.

spritesoright Tue 17-Dec-13 14:45:14

YANBU. I was so relieved when general visiting hours were over and other people's noisy visitors left. One woman seemed to have her entire extended family there at one point and it was a bit much. I wish it had been limited to 2.
Maybe I'll feel different about seeing people next time and it's not my first so I'm not completely overwhelmed and traumatised. But last time I certainly only wanted to see DH.
The night was difficult without him but agree that is related to staffing and the attitude of staff to new mothers.

Annonynon Tue 17-Dec-13 14:46:51

YANBU in general, but I did have my DH stay in with me for the five days I was in last time so I'm a bit of a hypocrite!

Ruebarb Tue 17-Dec-13 14:47:27

Gosh how things have changed. When I had my dcs visiting was 3.30 pm to 5 pm (anybody) and 7-8 pm (dhs only though not strictly enforced). I was in for 7 days and it was stressed that this was the time for new mums to rest and learn to care for baby not to entertain hordes of friends and relatives.

froubylou Tue 17-Dec-13 14:48:18

I have a sleeping 5 day old boy on my chest as we speak so the ward very fresh in my mind lol.

Had an elcs and was discharged from delivery suite to ward at about 4pm. Dps allowed from 12 until 7. Other visitors 1.30 until 2.30 and 6.30 until 7.30.

I was very conscious establishing bfing. I have v large norks and there is no way to latch a newborn on without flashing boob and nipples and although I had the curtain around us during visiting I would not have wanted that all day and night.

Also the bleeding and getting to the loo and back can be a bit cringing.

And the DP of the lady in the bed next to me was a complete nobhead and I am glad I only had to listen to him for a short time.

And I don't think hospital is the best place for children unless they are visiting a parent or sibling.

It is definitely difficult to manage to cope with a newborn post surgery and I was very worried. But to be fair I changed him myself at teatime after a lunchtime birth and was up and mobile by 8pm.

Greentriangle82 Tue 17-Dec-13 14:48:57

Yanbu. I was In a tiny ward after section with five other ladies. Visiting time was horrible. I felt claustrophobic and as I'd just had surgery was unable to get up. There were far too many people on the ward for the space we had.

shrunkenhead Tue 17-Dec-13 14:49:22

Although I had a home birth I had to go to surgery after and dd had jaundice so kept me in for 3 (long) days, it broke my heart being away from home and dh but was thankful for a private room. Think if had been on a busy ward I would never have persevered with trying to breastfeed. I was grateful for visiting hours and chance to see husband/close friends, broke up the monotony of trying to get bfing established and nagging people as to when I could leave.

toobreathless Tue 17-Dec-13 14:52:33


Personally I would happy on postnatal for it to be partners only and then 90 mins say 15.00 until 16.30 for everyone.

I understand there are space issues but ideally mums with babies in SCBU should have their own room or at the very least a 2 bedded with another mum with a baby in SCBU or at a push someone sensitive like me. I would have gone to the day room or cage with my visitors if I was able.

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