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To have been sharp with this dad on the postnatal ward

(93 Posts)
Azaeli Wed 13-Jan-16 13:10:08

Visited my friend in hospital yesterday, she'd had a difficult birth the day before, was very tired and emotional.
The woman in next bed had her husband and 3 older kids visiting (ages 2-10). They were very noisy, kids running riot, shrieking, shouting and peeking round curtains while my friend was trying to BF angry
After an hour of this I went up to the dad and told him sharply to keep the noise down and get kids under control, said this is a hospital ward and other women are trying to rest/sleep. He responded that his kids are excited to meet their new baby sister but agreed to try and keep them quiet.

Half an hour later they were even louder, chasing up and down squealing. My friend was tearful as she wanted to rest and was upset by the racket. I collared the dad again and said the noise was unacceptable and if he couldn't keep his kids quiet he needed to take them off the ward. He muttered about it being 'visiting time' but took the kids out.

Was I BU? I feel a bit uneasy about it now but I remember the same thing happening when I'd just given birth (only being too sore and tired to do anything about it!) Would you have said anything?

ThomasRichard Wed 13-Jan-16 13:13:30

YANBU, kids visiting for over an hour is ridiculous, but I would have approached the ward staff rather than the dad.

snowvelvet Wed 13-Jan-16 13:13:54

No, not unreasonable at all.

People forget there are other patients there who just want to sleep.

ginmakesitallok Wed 13-Jan-16 13:14:05

I would have spoken to a member of staff. It's not your place to tell someone that they should remove their children from the ward.

MrsGentlyBenevolent Wed 13-Jan-16 13:15:50

It's stories like this that make me glad I got to go home same day as giving birth. Ywnbu, it's a hospital, not a playgroup ffs. It's not ok to allow behaviour like this around people trying to recover. It would never be ok on any other ward, same should apply to postnatal.

ChicagoMD Wed 13-Jan-16 13:15:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WickedWax Wed 13-Jan-16 13:16:19

Nope. I'd have gone to the nurses station and asked one of them to come and kick them out have a word.

And I thought most places these days had a 2 visitors only policy.

diddl Wed 13-Jan-16 13:17:34

No I don't think that YWBU.

I think that this is when you have to me mindful of others & keep it to a half hour or so.

I was lucky, had an easy 2nd birth & was able to go to a family room where we were the only ones & toddlercould run & be noisy.

After looking in the cot at his baby sister, he said is that?

Can we go now?

Obviously I wanted some time with him & my husband & we were lucky to be able to be somewhere without disturbing others.

Mrskeats Wed 13-Jan-16 13:18:05

Not unreasonable at all and well done for speaking out and not just tutting in that British way.
I think there is far too much of this letting kids run riot in not acceptable places
The ward should be a place of calm whilst new mothers try to recover and bf etc

Sparklingbrook Wed 13-Jan-16 13:26:24

I would have gone to find a member of staff.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Wed 13-Jan-16 13:26:59

The way you went about it wasn't the best tbh.

Sitting seething at the childrens behaviour for an hour before confronting the dad in an angry way wasn't on.

You should have asked politely after the first couple of times they peeked their head around the curtain, then if it persisted ask a member of staff to have a word.

You do sound like an awesome friend though. Sometimes it's hard not to get involved at the time and then think later about what you should have done.

whois Wed 13-Jan-16 13:29:02


Your friend is lucky she had you there to stand up for her basic right to privacy and rest.

SoupDragon Wed 13-Jan-16 13:29:50

So you started out by talking to him "sharply" rather than politely asking him to keep them quieter? confused YABU for that.

YANBU to have wanted them quieter and calm though.

Ughnotagain Wed 13-Jan-16 13:30:16

Nope, you did the right thing.

I had pretty much exactly the same scenario when I was on the postnatal ward. One of the kids actually stepped through the curtain into my cubicle (after they'd been ruffling the curtains, knocking into the crib, for a while). I was getting up to go to the loo anyway, was furious, and snapped at her to get out. Thankfully when I came back the dad was getting them ready to leave. It's a hospital ward, not a playground.

whois Wed 13-Jan-16 13:30:45

I would have spoken to a member of staff

What member of staff? Those that are all busy and over stretched providing the already shit minimum level of care?

There is no overbearing matron keeping control of the visitors behaviour anymore.

PuppyMonkey Wed 13-Jan-16 13:30:52

YWBU to be sharp - either say it in a nice way or go and tell a nurse.

TBF, being on a postnatal ward is akin to hell anyway (I speak from bitter exoerience) so noise from pesky kids is not going to make that much difference in the grand scheme of things.

Hope your friend is ok (that was a long visit you had wink)

AdrianlovesPandora Wed 13-Jan-16 13:30:53

Like others I would have reported it to staff as they probably deal with things more diplomatically and your only going to cause an uncomfortable atmosphere with your friend and the woman in the next bed.

OnlyLovers Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:36

Your feelings weren't unreasonable but YABU to have taken it into your own hands. That's the staff's job.

VagueIdeas Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:44

Not at all unreasonable.

Postnatal wards aren't conducive to rest at the best of times, but if there are shrieking, bored kids running around everywhere, they need to go.

Would that be tolerated on any other hospital ward? Nope!

MumOnTheRunCatchingUp Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:44


It's the way some parents are where their kids are involved. He needed telling

GraysAnalogy Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:45

YANBU but next time ask a member of staff. In fact I'm not sure why the staff didn't address it anyway

StarlingMurmuration Wed 13-Jan-16 13:31:58

If you were my friend, I'd be grateful forever. The family of the woman in the bed next to when I had DS were loud and boorish and ate smelly food and watched TV on their smartphones even though there were signs everywhere saying not to watch TV. I was so tired and sore and upset that I didn't feel able to say anything to them directly - I asked the nursing staff but they didn't say anything so I would have been ecstatic if a friend had stepped in. In the event, I had a crying fit and got moved to a private room!

TheHouseOnTheLane Wed 13-Jan-16 13:32:04

Isn't it the staff's job to speak to people like this op? YABU to take that on. Not your place. If they were upsetting your friend, then you should have told the staff.

IsItMeOr Wed 13-Jan-16 13:32:55

Ideally you would have gone through the staff where were they?.

But looking at the big picture, the correct result was for the 3 children to be elsewhere after a much shorter visit, so you got to the right place imo.

goodnightdarthvader1 Wed 13-Jan-16 13:33:38

Nope, YWNBU at all. If the dad can't realise his kids are being noisy and disruptive, and there are women recovering from a painful and tiring experience who don't want to be gawped at by a stranger's kids, then I bet he's as much use as a chocolate teapot at home. I personally wouldn't have taken the "Oh, dear me, would you mind ever so much, sorry" simpering approach some people seem to favour either hmm

As a PP mentioned, though, second time I would have gotten a member of staff.

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