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About curtains on hospital wards

(203 Posts)
Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 06-Apr-17 16:42:55

Currently on post-natal ward, baby in SCBU, recovering from c-section.

I don't mind leaving most of my dignity at the door, i don't mind partners and visitors on the ward.

But is it too much to ask to be allowed the bloody curtain around my bed to be closed?

Matronly midwife seems to have nothing better to do than insisting my curtains are open. angry

Sidge Thu 06-Apr-17 16:45:28

Congratulations on your new baby! Hope s/he is out of SCBU soon flowers

Staff like curtains open so they can see you and know you're safe and well. You should be able to shut them for expressing/feeding but otherwise they'll want them open so they can see you're OK.

ITCouldBeWorse Thu 06-Apr-17 16:45:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Huskylover1 Thu 06-Apr-17 16:47:43

No. You are very vulnerable right now! New baby. Tired. Of course other peoples visitors shouldn't be able to see you like this. You are entitled to your privacy!! Can't you just tell her that you need some privacy? Congratulations, btw!

expatinscotland Thu 06-Apr-17 16:48:24

Just keep pulling them closed.

comedycentral Thu 06-Apr-17 16:48:52

It winds me up so much when they whip the curtains open. But they are trying to keep an eye on things at a glance

expatinscotland Thu 06-Apr-17 16:50:28

Well, they can get up and look then! Tell her you need your privacy and close them every time she opens them up. Another reason why there should be private rooms.

NavyandWhite Thu 06-Apr-17 16:50:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SunLolly Thu 06-Apr-17 16:53:38

You are not being unreasonable.

This really pissed me off when I was in with my son. Stop opening the curtains when I'm trying to breastfeed. I had a catheter in for 2 days afterwards so had to get up, pick up bag of piss, carry it round with me to close them, over and over again. It was painful and annoying. Just keep them closed, fuck off or get me some kind of long stick device so i can close them without getting up from the bed.

expatinscotland Thu 06-Apr-17 16:57:52

Yeah, they don't ask if you're BFing or expressing, they just whip them open. Disrespectful. I got a kilt pin, Sun, and tethered mine shut.

Bubbinsmakesthree Thu 06-Apr-17 16:59:58

Just keep pulling them closed.

If it wasn't so painful to get up I would.

This morning the curtains were pulled back and I was told I had to get myself out of bed to shower. I had nothing on apart from an open backed gown and maternity pads wedged between my legs to stop the blood. It would have been nigh on impossible to get out of bed on my own anyway without attempting it in full view of half a dozen randoms.

Goldfishshoals Thu 06-Apr-17 17:00:38

Yanbu. But this is sadly common practice. I was on a maternity ward last week that had big signs saying 'please keep curtains open'. Because everyone loves getting their tits out in front of a bunch of strangers...

trinity0097 Thu 06-Apr-17 17:00:50

A nurse said to me it was so they could see at a glance if you were OK, they were always closed when people were being seen to, but when 'alone' the line of sight was made available.

expatinscotland Thu 06-Apr-17 17:03:08

Tell them you want them closed because you're fed up of having your privacy compromised since they don't ask before ripping them open. Get your partner to bring in a pin or something.

megletthesecond Thu 06-Apr-17 17:07:54

Yanbu. I hated this about the post natal ward. Trying to get ds to feed while I was in pain and exposed. Miserable..

Managed to get a private room after dc2 and it was so much easier to feed and rest

AnoiseAnnoysanOyster Thu 06-Apr-17 17:12:19

I work on a children's ward and the curtains have to stay open unless there's something happening which affects the patient's privacy or dignity. We have to be able to see our patients.

Adsss Thu 06-Apr-17 17:22:26

You could be at home in privacy but you aren't for a reason. You are in a (NHS = no cost for hospitalisation) place with people to observe/support/monitor/nurse ( please delete whichever offends) you and the little one. So ask/pull the curtains for dignity when needed but remember the reason why you are in there!

Photograph Thu 06-Apr-17 17:22:41


It's bad enough we have communal wards and no private rooms in this country, but being on show for the world to see? It's horrendous. I gave up breastfeeding from day 1 because I could not bare the moronic looks of strangers passing by my bed. You are vulnerable, weak, often tearful and sleep deprived, it should not be too much to ask to keep some kind of dignity.

You are being punished because you cannot afford private hospital, it's disgusting.

good luck, it won't be for long. I do want to scream on your behalf KEEP THE FUCKING CURTAINS SHUT FFS! flowers

terrylene Thu 06-Apr-17 17:24:06

You should not be having to leave your dignity anywhere!

Keep closing the curtains until they put you somewhere with more privacy.

When I was in hospital and my DC in SCBU, I was in a room on my own, or with other mothers with no babies, where it was quiet. There were no husbands or visitors, just 4 beds with other similar patients, and we looked after each other.

All the embarrassing things and doctors etc were sorted in the morning, then there was quiet time, before the onslaught of visitors.

beepbeeprichie Thu 06-Apr-17 17:25:51

I've said it before and I will say it again. If men had to go through this birthing malarkey things would be a lot different. Yes giving birth means giving up dignity but thereafter I don't think it's too much to ask that you are allowed a little privacy. I found the randoms/ curtains/ bleeding all over the shop far worse than the birth.

GnomeDePlume Thu 06-Apr-17 17:26:18

AnoiseAnnoysanOyster most people dont live their lives being on view so for many simply having the curtains open will make people feel their privacy has been invaded.

Surely it is the patient who gets to decide how much they want to be exposed to idle gaze not the staff!

terrylene Thu 06-Apr-17 17:26:37

They should have pulled the curtains to help you get you out of bed for your bath. sad

treaclesoda Thu 06-Apr-17 17:28:58

I hated this too. The five days on the post natal ward (I had long stays both times) after both my children were born were easily the worst ten days of my life. About 48 hours after the first birth I truly understood the depths of despair that can lead to tragic consequences in new mothers.

expatinscotland Thu 06-Apr-17 17:29:09

'I work on a children's ward and the curtains have to stay open unless there's something happening which affects the patient's privacy or dignity. We have to be able to see our patients.'

Yeah, well, this is postnatal ward and the patient's privacy and dignity are being affected when their curtains are opened without staff first ascertaining if the patient is half-dressed or even less.

BalloonSlayer Thu 06-Apr-17 17:30:31

My friend collapsed with a haemorrhage after her c-section. A passing midwife saw her looking dozy/sleepy/odd and immediately whipped back the covers to see her sitting in a bed full of blood. Emergency surgery and a blood transfusion saw her OK but I wonder what would have happened if the curtains had been shut.

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