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Private room v. ward

(59 Posts)
Murtette Tue 20-Oct-09 10:33:45


This is my first pregnancy and I am being induced tomorrow (will be 40 + 13). We've just found out that there are some private rooms available at the hospital we're now going to (the maternity unit at the original hospital closed on Sunday - bad timing!) and was hoping for some advice as to whether it was worth asking for one or not. I've read some of the other posts on here about this topic and am trying to work out whether I'd prefer to endure the noise on the general post-natal ward or the risk of feeling abandoned if I'm in a room by myself. What was more important to you? From what I know, the general post-natal ward has 20+ beds in it divided into "bays" of 4 or 6 beds (so could be very noisy) and visiting hours (inc for DP) are only 11am - 7pm (hence the concern about feeling lonely/abandoned).

KristinaM Tue 20-Oct-09 10:41:01

depends how much you like privacy vs company

personally i hate hospitals and have gone home asap ( the next day) after my births. i am a very private person and hated the whole ward experience

other people love company and the chit chat.

how long to do expect to stay in and will you have lots of visitors to keep you company? will your DP be able to stay with you all day?

whomovedmychocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 10:42:19

Private room - every time. If you can do it, do. If you want company you can go to the dayroom.

Disenchanted3 Tue 20-Oct-09 10:43:13

I had a private room with my first as I'm not the chatty kind and Iwas induced and put on a ward at first and found it horrid.

I had a private room after the birth.

I hated the ward so much that I had homebirths for my next 2 to avoid the hospital grin

TheFrumiousBandersnatch Tue 20-Oct-09 10:44:37

It's pretty close to my idea of hell on earth to be bunking up with other new mothers at such an important and personal time.

This was a influencing factor in my decision to have my baby at home but if I had to go to hospital I'd have definitely been asking for a private room and discharging myself after 6 hours. If a private room wasn't available I'd have pulled the curtains round my bed and counted those 6 hours down!

whomovedmychocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 10:47:46

I had to be in the main ward because I was a high risk patient - with both children. And I hated it, the hospital was full of chavvy mums (snob emoticon goes here blush) and their very loud families. Including one family who insisted on bringing in takeaway curries/pizza twice a day and scoffing it at the bedside (along with lager). hmm

alana39 Tue 20-Oct-09 10:49:25

Think about how much you care about
- noise (can get a bit much, on the other hand company is nice)
- other people's visitors (the ward probably has a limit - our hospital says partner and kids, plus 2 more - so potentially could have something like 5 people visiting your neighbour)
- if pulling a curtain round your bed would satisfy any need for privacy, or if you would only feel you had your own space in a separate room
- if the private room is part of the normal ward (there's usually a day room where you could seek out company) or in a separate section (you might literally be stuck on your own at times with no other choice)
- do you have to pay or is it just a question of requesting the single room (not really "private" in the normal hospital sense)
- how many nights you think you'll be there (if it's probably only going to be 1 you'll be on a high after the birth and might not care about any of this!)

Having said that, if the private rooms have en suite facilities then I would ask for one whatever you feel about other considerations as I've found however clean the ward is in general, it's very difficult to keep toilets and showers completely clean 24 hours a day when the ward is full of people who have just given birth.

alana39 Tue 20-Oct-09 10:51:30

grin at WMMC - I am considering asking for my own room so I can scoff foie gras and champagne wink. Do not want to smell other people's takeaways either.

Pinkjenny Tue 20-Oct-09 10:54:14

I had a CS and was in a room of just me and another mum. On the first night, I was in with a lovely lady who had just delivered her sixth child. She was so sweet and helpful.

She then went home, and on the second night, another lady came in. She closed all the curtains around her bed.

Hell, I didn't care. I talked to her through them. I neeeeded to talk.

I wonder if she's a MNer. Maybe she started an AIBU about how irritating I was.

I'd go on a ward, but that's just me. It's good to talk. grin

whomovedmychocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 10:55:06

Yeah the curtains work really well when you have small children from other families opening them and yelling 'muuuummm that lady has got no clothes on' because you are feeding your baby hmm

SCARYspicemonster Tue 20-Oct-09 10:56:13

Oh god I'd go for the private room like a shot. I was in a ward of 4 (post CS). One yelled whenever the MWs went anywhere near her, had a huge extended family who trooped in en masse and refused to leave when visiting hour was over. And next to her was a little Filipina lady who was on her own the entire time I was there, crying or talking very quietly on her mobile who I had to give nappies to because she didn't have any.

Was profoundly depressing

pleasechange Tue 20-Oct-09 10:58:35

private room i think
I certainly was glad to have one as DS was in SCBU for 4 days and I couldn't have beared to see everyone else cuddling their babies

and agree with whomovedmychocolate - other people can have a lot of visitors

bamboobutton Tue 20-Oct-09 11:01:11

oh god yes, take the private room. i wish i had.

i ended up discharging myself 2 days after a cs as i couldn't take it anymore, even though they tried to scaremonger me into staying the 4 days.

the noise

the lack of sleep, just what you need after giving birth

the lack of privacy

the shared bathroom, god help if you end up in the bed next to the bog like i did. i felt sorry for the mums that knew that i knew that they couldn't poo and needed a suppository.

take the private room if you can

suiledonne Tue 20-Oct-09 11:06:01

I was in a public ward both times. On dd2 I was in repeatedly towards the end for high bp and actually made a really good friend there. I would have gone insane stuck in the teeny tiny private room at the hospital I was in.

Post birth is different though. While I like the company of the other mums and the babies crying doesn't bother me I hate when some have lots of noisy visitors who stay too long.

Oh and the TV can be awful too.

ThingumyandBob Tue 20-Oct-09 11:06:43

I wish I’d known about private rooms with my 1st , we had to stay in for 48 post the birth, it was exhausting. The general noise of the ward drove me mad. The nurses (quite rightly I guess) insisted on keeping the curtains open at all times so the babies didn’t get jaundice so sleeping was tricky.

My lowest point was being so desperate for sleep (baby was fast asleep) that I lay in a busy ward with a dressing gown over my head and cotton wool stuffed in my ears with a steam of husbands and bored children going back and forth….oh, and the 3rd time mother in the bed opposite constantly talking on her mobile phone…. Also not getting nicely snuggled on the bed doing a feed with the curtains drawn (half the world and his wife on the other side of the curtain) and overzealous anti jaundice nurse whipping the curtain back for all to see.

To be honest, I would have probably felt less abandoned in a room, due to the timings of my birth my partner needed to go home and sleep and I told him not to set his alarm, so of course I felt completely bereft when the other men turned up before he did. Watching everyone go home before I did, even if they had arrived after me was awful.

I would have checked out early but DD needed antibiotics and monitoring before we could go. Planning for a homebirth this time!

pleasechange Tue 20-Oct-09 11:09:05

what's with the jaundice problem?

whomovedmychocolate Tue 20-Oct-09 11:14:58

ThingumyandBob - babies don't get jaundiced because the curtains are shut hmm I think they were perhaps umm what's the technical term - oh year lying to you! wink

Pinkjenny Tue 20-Oct-09 11:15:43

<stands alone>

Disenchanted3 Tue 20-Oct-09 11:16:37

PinkJenny you are my worst nightmare grin

Murtette Tue 20-Oct-09 11:18:18

This is really helpful - thank you for all of the responses. I didn't even know there were such things as day rooms (never been in hospital since I was born and the hospital isn't doing tours due to swine flu) and I think that that will be enough for me if I do get lonely. Yes, we will have to pay for the room but I think it will be worth it!

One more question - did any of you who had a private room feel that it was harder to get the attention of the midwives than it would have been if you were on the ward?

TheFrumiousBandersnatch Tue 20-Oct-09 11:18:51

God mine too Dis grin.

I'd have been ramming a maternity pad down yer gob to shut you up pinkjenny!

pleasechange Tue 20-Oct-09 11:20:18

murtette - on your question about mw, no, I didn't get left out of anything

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 20-Oct-09 11:20:35

If you are not intending on being in for a long time, private is great for privacy and all those things mentioned already.

I was in for 8 days, and to be honest, by midweek I was going stir crazy, and it was actually quite nice to have some company with other mothers. In particular one other mother who had been in for weeks, opposite me, when our partners had to leave, it can be a very lonely time.

However, I am chatty, sociable, and enjoyed the chitchat with the midwives and other new mums. I was lucky that all the babies were not crying, we were in pods of 4, and in our pod, there were often only 2 of us.

I would have preferred my own room for the first couple of days though.

LilianGish Tue 20-Oct-09 11:23:32

Private room every time.

ourraquel Tue 20-Oct-09 11:27:28

I'm willing to bet that you can start in a private room, but switch to a ward bed if you're in for a few days and desperate for some irritation company. But making the switch the other way is much harder. Perhaps worth checking with the hospital whether that's true. In any case, from my experience - take the private room.

Oh God yes.

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