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Should men be allowed to stay on postnatal wards overnight?

(204 Posts)
SueW Thu 10-Apr-08 16:02:21

I've just had an email from the Fatherhood Institute outlining their current campaign about maternity services.

One of the points they are campaigning for is:

* All mums and dads to be allowed to stay together overnight on postnatal wards

From a strictly personal point of view, I don't fancy this. I've spent a fair bit of time on a postnatal ward with 6 beds, 6 women, 6 babies and various night staff and it's noisy enough as it is, without adding in 6 men/partners.

My cousin recently had a baby in Australia and they were in a spacious room with a double bed, chairs, etc and dads were encouraged to stay overnight - that I can understand - but unless the NHS is planning to ocmplete re-vamp its facilities, I can't see it being popular here.

Any thoughts?

hatrick Thu 10-Apr-08 16:04:23

Message withdrawn

meemar Thu 10-Apr-08 16:05:53

I don't think they should be allowed to set up bed on a busy ward, but I do think that if the woman has had a difficult birth and wants her partner to sit by her bed overnight, and he is happy to, he should be allowed.

When DS2 was born after an emergency c-section I felt in shock and vunerable. It was 4am and DH was told he couldn't stay and had to leave sad

Iota Thu 10-Apr-08 16:06:30

I agree with hatrick

TheFallenMadonna Thu 10-Apr-08 16:06:48

Wards? No.

nailpolish Thu 10-Apr-08 16:07:14

no way

i rmember being paranoid about bleeding and lochia everywhere - and getting my nipple out every 2 seconds - if men were there all the time id have the curtains pulled around permanently

plus some couples would be snogging etc - id bet

also, i remember sending dh home to cook and freeze lots of food and hoover the entire house and get the shopping in

nervousal Thu 10-Apr-08 16:07:58

not in wards - there is the privacy of other women to think about. But it would be good to have individual rooms where Dads can stay. I had DD at about 10pm, DP was allowed to come to ward afterwards but had to leave at about 12. I felt completely abandoned, and DP was lost too

DaisySteiner Thu 10-Apr-08 16:08:00

I think being separated from your partner after a difficult birth can be quite traumatic for many women, particularly on busy postnatal wards where the midwives are too run off their feet to offer you much emotional or practical support.

However when you've just given birth you can feel incredibly vulnerable and I think having stange men sleeping close by would be completely unacceptable to the vast majority of women, not to mention the fact that there isn't anywhere near enough room in most wards to fit 6 camp beds/double beds.

I think individual rooms with facilities for partners would be fantastic, but it is complete fantasy to imagine the NHS is anywhere close to having the money to provide this. I would far rather the government spent more money on increasing the number of midwives!

TheBlonde Thu 10-Apr-08 16:09:22

agree with hatrick

hatrick Thu 10-Apr-08 16:09:26

Message withdrawn

TigerFeet Thu 10-Apr-08 16:10:09

Agree with hatrick

Private rooms should be kept for those who have had / are having a bad time of it so that someone (partner, friend, whoever) can stay if needed.

I suppose in an ideal world everyone would have a private room in which to have as many people visit as they like for as long as they like. However obviously the resource isn't there.

I was on a ward with 3 others and would have hated the extra comings and goings of other peoples' partners all night as well as all day.

AmIWhatAndWhy Thu 10-Apr-08 16:10:49

I really really appreciated my private time getting to know DS and DD (more so in Hindsight) so I think they shouldn't.

chocolatespiders Thu 10-Apr-08 16:11:37

i think you should have the choice....
then stay in side room together....

I am sure it is hard for men to leave there partner and brand new baby... then again it may be the last chance they ever get to escape to the pub grin

AdamAnt Thu 10-Apr-08 16:11:37

On the one hand I think they should be allowed to. I would have loved a bit of help during the night when I was totally numb from the waist down and couldn't reach DS, and perhaps DH would have been able to get me something to eat.

On the other hand it was kind of magical having the DCs all to myself all night.

MrsDog Thu 10-Apr-08 16:12:51

Absolutely no way. Are we allowed no privacy whatsover?

And they'd be chatting away all night "I rang Aunty Madge and she said blah blah blah..."

And if they fell asleep they'd probably snore.

FAWKEOFF Thu 10-Apr-08 16:12:58

i think that they should be allowed to stay in a private room or if there have been complications. i actually had my own ward for 2 days because i wanted a private but they didnt have any so they put me on the c section ward...it was fab no other babies wingein but my own, and no other visitors but my own, i sat there with my norks out breastfeeding without having to bother about other people

hatrick Thu 10-Apr-08 16:13:41

Message withdrawn

lulumama Thu 10-Apr-08 16:13:49

absolutely not, if in a ward. it is not fair on other mums, especially single mums . also, those who want some privacy to get to grips with breastfeeding etc....

in a private room, absolutely.

think there is an argument for all postnatal wards to be rooms, but doubt that would happen.

if people really want to be together as a family after birth, they should investigate a homebirth where possible, where you can be together in your own home.

minorityrules Thu 10-Apr-08 16:14:34

My mum loves to repeat the story of her stay in hospital when she had me.

Every visiting hour (not free visiting then) the lady opposite husband would visit, they would close the curtains and have sex! shock Can;t think of anything worse

I wouldn't have wanted men to stay overnight when I had mine. The place was too busy as it was

Swedes Thu 10-Apr-08 16:14:54

I think it's a good idea, even in a six bedded ward.

Chuffinnora Thu 10-Apr-08 16:15:03

No - When I had my children I was grateful for the times when visiting wasn't allowed and it was a female only environment. I had to work very hard to establish breast feeding and in the early days I would have felt too inhibited if there were men on the wards.

Also the cultural issues would be huge.

SueW Thu 10-Apr-08 16:15:17

Almost forgot - in Nottingham there is a sometimes alternative. The hospital has an hotel attached which has rooms set aside for new parents/families - mum, dad and baby - but it's not always an option (depends on staffing).

You eat in the restaurant (canteen).

It gets mixed reviews. Some people feel isolated. Some people enjoy the privacy. Friends can join you in your room or you can meet them in the restaurant.

TigerFeet Thu 10-Apr-08 16:16:47

DH was so knackered after looking after me throughout my labour that I think he was glad to get home tbh. He had been at work all night the night before, then 24 hours up with me (odd cat nap) then all the emotion of the birth and immediate aftermath. He was ready for a kip in his own bed, bless him, after an almost 48 hour slog.

I was lucky with timings though - dd was born at 5.21am and we weren't transferred from the Labour Ward until around 9am so he could stay as long as he wanted. In the end he went home for a bit at around 10am and came back later that day. I was sorry to see him go when he went home at the end of the day but I could understand why it wasn't practical for him to stay.

Swedes Thu 10-Apr-08 16:17:32

There are male medical staff and male visitors and comings and goings all through the night. It would mean that new mothers would get a bit more sleep. Three of my births were c-sections and I would dearly have loved someone by my side to pick up the baby and pass him/her to me.

cmotdibbler Thu 10-Apr-08 16:19:56

The ward I was on was overcrowded enough that just with mums and babies you had to be v careful getting out of bed that you didn't knock into their cot - let alone the DPs/DHs staying.

If there were private rooms for everyone - fine.

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