When it comes to giving birth, it's important to have a great support system around you. You're going to be working HARD, and it's a physically and emotionally demanding endeavor! Many women choose to have their partners with them in the delivery room, and some even include more loved ones like friends or family members. But once the big event is over and the baby has arrived, you need your support people more than ever. You're exhausted and overwhelmed and suddenly you have this little baby to look after!
It's pretty common for your partner to stay the night in the hospital with you (or your mom or friend if your partner heads home for the night for some rest or to look after your other kids). Plus, having your partner there gives them a chance to bond with the baby too, which is so important! However, in some hospitals, private rooms aren't an option, and postpartum women recover on a ward. And some of those hospitals prohibit dad or partner from staying overnight. A woman in the UK called out this practice on Twitter, and started quite the debate. After reading some of the responses, we have to say, we see it both ways!
My local hospital doesn't allow partners to stay on postnatal ward after their baby has been born. I think this is outrageous - unfair on the mother; unfair on the father, who's being made to feel unimportant. He needs to bond too. Do other UK hospitals have this rule?— Annie Ridout (@annieridout) April 29, 2019
Annie Ridout argued that bonding with baby was crucial for dad, and prohibiting him from staying overnight in the ward was unfair to everyone. She clearly disagrees with the policy, but is looking at it from one point of view. Some people agreed with her.
It is outrageous though. Throughout the whole process I think fathers are (on the whole) sidelined and ignored x— nattylou (@nattylou) April 29, 2019
Other people were upset by the policy because they felt like it put an undue burden on the mother, who is recovering from childbirth and needs help.
Happened to us in Portsmouth. I was really upset that after a long and difficult labour my wife had to spend the first night with baby alone with no one to help her. I was devastated— Freedom B (@freedombeatem) May 2, 2019
But others noted that maternity wards aren't private, and allowing too many people to stay overnight could create an unsafe or uncomfortable situation.
Plus I personally wouldn't want men staying on the bay wards, private room fine but not on a shared bay ward.— goingaroundincircles (@LockesLostGirl) May 1, 2019
Might not sound ideal to you, but you have to consider that a) not everyone has a loving partner and b) it’s a vulnerable time for women giving birth who may have experienced trauma. Partners also not requiring medical care. Please consider the wider issues outside of ‘I want’.— Nicola (@nicolasays) April 30, 2019
That raises a very good point! It's easy to want YOUR partner around, knowing how supportive they'd be for you. But surely there would be partners on the ward who weren't there for the right reasons, or ones who would make others uncomfortable or add to the workload of the nursing staff. If your hospital has recovery wards and a policy like this, but you know you'd want your partner there with you every night, it may be worth looking into a private room after you deliver.