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Hospitals letting families stay overnight in antenatal wards - unreasonable?

(122 Posts)
Sansarya Wed 17-Jun-15 07:31:45

A friend of mine is currently in hospital being induced and told me that she's in a room with three other women, also being induced, and last night couldn't sleep as one woman had her husband and parents stay over and they talked all night.

I know the topic of men in postnatal wards has been covered extensively here in the past, but it's news to me that some hospitals let entire families stay overnight. Surely it isn't unreasonable to limit it? If I was being induced and things were taking forever, as they are with my friend, I'd want to be getting as much rest as possible right now and would be very annoyed if I was kept up all night by a nattering family!

Penfold007 Wed 17-Jun-15 07:36:18

After my emergency c section I was kept awake by the woman in the bed opposite who had at least three family members with her at all times. It was awful.

steff13 Wed 17-Jun-15 07:37:21

I don't think you're being unreasonable, but I would think if it wasn't permitted the staff would have asked the family to leave. I don't think it's reasonable for pregnant women to be in shared rooms, actually.

spottybottycream Wed 17-Jun-15 07:39:22

When I had my DS I was finally ready to go up to the ward at about midnight. DH wanted to come up with me to carry up my bags and settle us both in before leaving. He was told no.
Another woman came up about an hour after he left with her DH, mother and grandma and they stayed all night! I was most unimpressed.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 17-Jun-15 07:39:24

I think it has less to do with visitors and more to do with no one enforcing any rules.

sleep is important and if people are staying to help which some people might need due to trauma or anaesthetic or exhaustion then they should have to basically shut up at night unless they are asking a medical question that's about the baby or the mother.

why didn't the staff say some thing?

DamsonInDistress Wed 17-Jun-15 07:40:03

I'd be permanently ringing my buzzer until the nurses removed them!

Superworm Wed 17-Jun-15 07:44:58

Me too Damson then I would complain to PALS.

MumOfOne14 Wed 17-Jun-15 07:49:55

Yeah I'd be so annoyed! No need to have them all there all night. And most inconsiderate keeping others awake!!! I would've also complained all night till it was taken care of! hmm

RackofPeas Wed 17-Jun-15 07:52:53

I would have complained if someones visitor had been keeping me awake. It's hard enough to sleep on a hospital ward as it is!
The worst I had to put up with was a lady who had husband and two teenage daughters stay for the entire day. The rules were wider family 10-12 and parters only 2-5. This was so they could do ward rounds and meals without interruptions. I managed to ignore them a lot of the time, but they were quite loud. DH was annoyed when I mentioned about it the following day as he'd hated tearing himself away from his wife and firstborn at 12 then at 5. He hadn't gone home, just sat in the cafe over lunch, glaring at his watch.
I had to stay in for an extra day, and thankfully the loud family all went home.

Noodledoodledoo Wed 17-Jun-15 07:58:02

My husband stayed on the antenatal ward when I was being induced even though not officially allowed as I had had serious problems with a horrible midwife and he stayed to support me. No one knew he was there he was so quiet. Next night when she wasn't on duty he went home.

Bohemond Wed 17-Jun-15 08:00:59

When I was on the ward (pre-eclampsia) one man didn't talk but farted horribly all night. It was very unpleasant.

ovumahead Wed 17-Jun-15 08:09:08

This shouldn't be allowed. Did you complain?

Silvercatowner Wed 17-Jun-15 08:14:26

I just told the nursing staff I was signing myself out and going home. A private room became available very swiftly. Miraculous!

addictedtosugar Wed 17-Jun-15 08:22:09

I agree it shouldn't be allowed, but I was very grateful when they let DH sit in the day room from 7pm til 2am, so he could see me - on the ward - when I came out from surgary. And this was on a women only ward

goodnessgraciousgouda Wed 17-Jun-15 08:22:48

I think it's outrageous. The problem is though that when these things happen, no-one seems to complain. The only way things will change is if people lodge formal complaints with the hospital.

HootyMcTooty Wed 17-Jun-15 08:23:12

This happened to me. I was induced, DH sent home, then a lady came into the bay I was in, she wasn't even in labour and her partner and family stayed all night.

I laboured alone all night (2nd child so I knew the drill), while they chatted away about how bored he was and how they could smuggle her out so she could go for a fag angry

I ended up calling my DH just in time for me to be rushed in for an EMCS at 6 am. My overriding memory of my labour was that fucking family!

I really don't think it's fair that my DH was sent home but they got to stay. I was in labour but there was no room on delivery, she was having one contraction an hour but refused to go back home. I was furious. Can you imagine being in labour with a strange man in the same room moaning about the noise. The curtains were drawn, but they couldn't keep in the noise of me breathing, panting, crying etc.

Northernlurker Wed 17-Jun-15 08:27:23

No reason why family members can't wait in the non sleeping areas to see a woman as a previous poster describes. However I don't think partners should be able to stay overnight at all on a general maternity or antenatal ward. I know a lot of mumsnetters have been grateful for this happening but I don't think it's acceptable. Most partners are lovely and quiet, some are not. Bottom line is it's a hospital ward. Guests are not acceptable.
Obviously the exception to this is for parents who have sadly lost a baby. In those circumstances usually a dedicated room will be available and of course the parents must stay together for as long as needed.

ScorpioMermaid Wed 17-Jun-15 08:30:49

Oh I hate this. It's as bad when they sit talking all night and day on their mobiles loudly.

ive only had to stay in for a long stretch once. I was in for a week before the baby was born and they gave me side room so my DH stayed from 10am til 8pm everyday with me and was on standby if I needed him in the night. (he stayed all night the first night though)

SewingAndCakes Wed 17-Jun-15 08:31:43

I was on a shared ward waiting to be induced. I was already having contractions but ds3 was (unknown to us) back to back so the contractions weren't doing anything. I was there for hours with DH while others had their families with them. I remember how uncomfortable and undignified it felt to be in pain and wanting peace and privacy when I was in labour. Not right at all. I hope your friend is ok OP.

RackofPeas Wed 17-Jun-15 08:37:43

I do think if they're going to let partners stay overnight on a multibed ward then there needs to be some sort of system in place. No noise after a set time or they're asked to leave, no ifs and no buts. Perhaps having some recliners in the day room would be a good idea so there's no disturbance on the ward but the partner is close if something happens.

I was lucky with ds2 and visitors. We both developed massive infections after birth and he had to spend a day in special care. Ok, so not sounding too lucky, but the nurses took pity on me and moved me to a private room. Ds2 came back to me and I had another five days in hospital with him. In the private room they didn't get too strict with the visiting hours and I was very grateful I was allowed to have my family around for long periods of the day. Would have gone a bit spare otherwise.

Mummatron3000 Wed 17-Jun-15 08:37:45

I've had both my children in a beautiful new maternity unit that's part of a new build hospital. All the rooms are private, same room for labour & recovery. Reading this thread has made me even more grateful for that! I get irritated by other peoples inconsiderate noise at the best of times, never mind while going through labour!

RebootYourEngine Wed 17-Jun-15 08:37:53

Did the staff know they were there? It may seem like a silly question but i once had this and the staff didnt know but swiftly kicked them out when i complained about them talking.

In our hospital no one is allowed to stay overnight. Partners are allowed during the day something like 8-8, other visitors have set times like 2-4 and 7-8pm.

I dont think there is anything wrong with women sharing rooms.

pimsandlemonade Wed 17-Jun-15 08:55:30

I just had a c section yesterday and I'm at the postnatal ward now. Opposite me the lady had her husband stay the night, they were chatting late into the evening, even listened to music at one point and husband makes very unpleasant sounds with his nose (instead of blowing it) and burping. I hate it, but feel like I don't want to complain as i hate confrontation and think i might cry if i do... Feeling emotional atm

I thought that partners are allowed to stay if everyone in the ward is ok with it, but noone asked me

HootyMcTooty Wed 17-Jun-15 08:55:31

In my case the staff knew they were there, but it was nighttime, there was only one midwife on and she didn't have the capacity to argue with them, I wasn't the only woman having to labour on the ward that night and she knew she was our only support and was focussing on that. She was very lovely to me and very curt with them.

I also had a woman in the other bed whose very loud phone rang every 15 minutes through the night, with that awful Nokia ringtone (think Dom Joly "hello I'm on the maternity ward!"). I know she had a baby coming out of her, but I'd happily have shoved that phone up there so they could speak to the baby directly. I can laugh now, but it really wasn't funny at the time.

DeeWe Wed 17-Jun-15 09:00:35

Ours was the other way. One dad came in at 8am, having sat downstairs since 4am when they'd come onto the ward.
Despite us all on the ward saying we were happy for him to stay, he was shoed out until official visiting time a 9am, as apparently we had to eat our breakfast in peace.

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