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What is the etiquette regarding alarm clocks in postnatal wards?

(33 Posts)
Cattleprod Wed 22-Jun-11 16:35:55

I had an incredibly long, tiring labour with DS, who was then born late morning so it was a few more hours before we got the opportunity for a good sleep. The first night we both slept continuously for 14 hours. Nobody woke us up.

I'm sure that this ridiculously long sleep led to a chain of events (jaundice, treatment in incubator, falling asleep as soon as feeding commenced, almost 2lb weight loss, nursing strike) which meant that despite an enormous amount of support, breastfeeding didn't really work for us and supply ran out at 4 months.

I'm now pregnant with DC2, and I don't really want to repeat last times events. I'm not sure what would be the best thing to do - ask a midwife to wake me up (if they aren't too busy), although I'm unsure if it's even possible to feed a fast asleep newborn? Or take along a foghorn style alarm clock and probably piss off all the other new mums on the ward?

Did anybody else sleep for far too long on their first night post-birth? Did it cause problems for you too or were mine just coincidence? smile

ConnorTraceptive Wed 22-Jun-11 16:37:44

Chat with a midwife I don't think the alarm clock would be a good idea!

LittleWhiteWolf Wed 22-Jun-11 16:42:14

Definitely discuss with a midwife. I only ever got a few hours max sleep on a four bed ward, what with nurses continually coming in with drugs or other babies crying and people talking on phones etc. I'm very surprised you got such a long sleep, but do talk to your mw to avoid it again.

thesurgeonsmate Wed 22-Jun-11 16:46:43

As I said on the "what bf support did you get?" thread, waking you up to feed the baby should he have let the feeding slide was all part of the service provided by the midwives at my hospital. I'd (a) ask them; and (b) stick my phone under my pillow with an alarm set.

Adagoo Wed 22-Jun-11 16:57:30

I'd be fuming if someone's alarm woke me up.

just saying.

Playdohinthewashingmachine Wed 22-Jun-11 17:14:16

Tell the midwives what happened last time and ask them to wake you.

You can't feed a fast asleep newborn but there's lots of things you can do to wake them up (my prem babies didn't start to wake for feeds till a couple of months in, I have lots of experience and waking babies!).

I guess you could put your phone on vibrate under your pillow with the alarm on, but if you can sleep for 14 hours on a postnatal ward I bet you'd sleep through a phone vibrate.

But you do know, its not going to happen twice, don't you? This baby will have a different scheme to foil Mummy!

Cattleprod Wed 22-Jun-11 17:17:46

Yes so would I Adagoo, I just don't think my phone tinkling quietly under my pillow would wake me up after something as exhausting as childbirth!

Would the midwives mind/remember to wake me? I suppose there must be some women on the ward who require medication etc during the night so there will be someone doing the rounds. I suppose I'm just surprised that nobody tried to wake me up. Also surprised that DS didn't wake up and scream for milk - I thought all babies did that. Guess he was knackered too!!

Cattleprod Wed 22-Jun-11 17:20:29

Playdoh - this one will probably wake up and holler every half hour and I'll think back wistfully to that 14 hr sleep!!

thisisyesterday Wed 22-Jun-11 17:22:58

it is quite normal for babies to have a big long sleep when they're born, and fine for them not to want to feed for the first 24 hours

had you had drugs during labour that might have made baby sleepier?

there are a whole host of reasons as to why your first baby may have had jaundice and feeding problems... i honestly doubt it was related to you and him sleeping for a long time on the first night.

that said, i am SURE the midwives won't mind waking you if you ask them to smile

good luck with it all

merryberry Wed 22-Jun-11 17:23:09

i suspect etiquette books would say ' first one to reach the clock should gracefully throw it out of nearest window'.

i would put phone on vibrate

Cattleprod Wed 22-Jun-11 17:31:37

Thanks thisisyesterday - no drugs except gas and air, and whatever they injected into me before doing the episiotomy. smile

merryberry - I slept through the 1987 hurricane as huge trees crashed down around our house, and I slept through a very windy night's camping when the tent fell down on top of us. My friend had to shake me awake and I was surprised to see canvas a couple of inches in front of my face. So I doubt a vibrating phone would bring me back from the land of nod!!! grin

Poppet45 Wed 22-Jun-11 22:29:42

Hmmm I'm fairly sure your supply issues at four months would have been a coincidence not a consequence of your difficult early start to BFing. The time span is just far too long for it to be directly linked. I ended up in a HDU on all sorts of scary monitors after nearly bleeding out after having DS by emcs, and he went an awful long time without a feed - a good 12 hours I think, and lost just under 10 per cent of his body weight, but he's still feeding through this new pregnancy 22 months on! Have you read up about different phases BF babies go through? Four months was a hellish time for us what with the four month sleep regression, his super new alertness which meant he fussed on the breast and fed for only five minutes at a time every two hours or so - rather than the lovely 35 minute feeds he had been doing for every three to four hours, and only took decent feeds at night. If I hadn't read up about what the hell was up with him on Kellymom I'm fairly sure I'd have thought something was up with my supply. But a couple of months later, around the time solids were introduced, it was back to normal and although we have wobbles around teething and other big develomental leaps it all settles down again. It's v rarely your supply once you've got through those first few weeks, because a good day of troughing by the wee one brings it right up to the level it needs to be. Good luck and talk to the midwife if you're still worried. But um I'd hate an alarm clock too. Imagine if the lady in the bed by you had one, and it went off an hour after your DC had finally got to sleep.

TransatlanticCityGirl Wed 22-Jun-11 22:31:11

If I were sharing a room with someone with an alarm clock.... omg a holy war would commence.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 22-Jun-11 22:34:10

Blimey. I got about 4 minutes sleep and I was in a private room. If you were in the next bed with an alarm clock I would have to kill you. Sorry.

gapants Wed 22-Jun-11 22:36:53

On my ward the MW and MWCA came and woke me to feed my DS, DS was in SCBU so I was being woken for someone to come and hand express with me for the second night, and then for the next nights I was woken and supported to hand express on my own. The 1st night I was out cold on morphine and baby was on a drip.

Not sure if that helps, but I am sure the MW on the ward will wake you if you asked them, but agree with the others. It may not pan out the same way 2nd time around.

AKMD Wed 22-Jun-11 22:37:24

NO!!!! Don't take in an alarm clock! The woman snoring like a tractor on turbo was bad enough.

If you really need the alarm clock, pay for a private room.

spotofcheerfulness Wed 22-Jun-11 22:49:34

I had major bf issues when DS2 was born (and it sadly didn't work out) due to length of sleep on first night. Mine was a HB so no mw to remind me to wake him. I would def suggest askimg someone to wake you but agree an alarm may not go down too well...

Hormoneoverload Wed 22-Jun-11 22:58:59

Oh my goodness! I've just come home from an antenatal admission with two nights at the start with virtually no sleep. If an alarm clock had woken me just as I got to sleep it might have pushed me o er the edge. But you need to be able to look after your baby. Could you have phone with headphones set to alarm? Or midwife? But audible alarms might test patience. Sorry to be honest. Good luck with feeding

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 22-Jun-11 23:01:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cat64 Wed 22-Jun-11 23:07:13

Message withdrawn

DaisySteiner Wed 22-Jun-11 23:12:34

Discuss with midwives. The policy at our local unit is that baby should be encouraged to feed within an hour of birth and then again 4-6 hours after this. In theory the midwives should be monitoring this and waking mum and baby if necessary. In practice this doesn't always happen, but certainly if you request that you be woken, someone should. Have to say though, IME mums who are regularly expressing will set an alarm on their mobile and stick it under their pillow and I've never heard anyone complaining about being disturbed.

LunaticIsOnTheGrass Wed 22-Jun-11 23:15:31

If you woke me up on the postnatal ward with an alarm clock, it wouldn't be your nose I'd be shoving the clock up! grin

iskra Wed 22-Jun-11 23:17:26

Do they come round with a breakfast trolley on your ward? We all got merrily woken up at 7.30 for breakfast, curtains flung open etc. Have never been so tired as on postnatal ward! Anyway, couldn't you ask the midwives to make sure you are woken up when they come round with breakfast, say?

jetgirl Wed 22-Jun-11 23:25:45

When I had ds he woman in the bed next to me had a musical mobile over the cot. I had a 16 hour labour which commenced around midnight, finally got to postnatal ward at about 8pm after over an hour of stitching so was exhausted. At 10pm she was still playing fucking twinkle twinkle little star. She was lucky I was immobile! If someone had then had an alarm clock going off at 7am, I would have lost the plot completely grin

Ask the midwives to wake you!

maisie215 Thu 23-Jun-11 09:43:43

Just want to lend a bit of support to Cattleprod.... With my first I was utterly paranoid about feeding every 3hrs and did use the alarm on my phone for the one night I was in hospital. That said it never actually went off because DS was up and screaming long before the time it was set for grin

I don't think it was a problem, no-one else knew or complained plus it was a quiet, discreet alarm had it gone off. However, I won't be doing that this time (due next week) as I have a much better understanding of the BF process this time and as others have said, as I understand it, for baby not to feed for first 12 hrs and have a very long sleep is one of a lot of different 'normal' patterns. I'll be trying to enjoy it! Last time I couldn't sleep at all because I just had to keep looking at this baby my body had produced and I couldn't get my head round!

Do what you think is best. Good luck!

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