thoughts and things

Partners on The Maternity Ward: A Good Idea?

Watching the very exciting news today about the birth of the royal baby, a piece of information caught my eye.  Prince William would stay with Catherine overnight with their baby. 

Hold on, I thought.  I didn’t get that.  Dan wasn’t allowed to stay with me.

Having not slept for nearly 48 hours, when Dan left at 8pm (the special leaving time for dads) I cried. I had no idea what I was doing.  The midwives and health care assistants were there to ‘help’, but with buzzers going off left right and centre, help took a long time coming.  I struggled to feed and I was awake all night with a baby that wouldn’t feed, wouldn’t be put down and wouldn’t sleep.  I eventually fell asleep for an hour with her on my chest. It wasn’t the start I had envisaged.

I understand currently Dads aren’t allowed due to privacy and dignity of the other ladies on the Ward. But most people have their curtains shut, and if everyone had someone to support them, would this be an issue? 

I’m glad William is there for Kate.  That’s how it should be.  How can we ever get equality in child rearing if we exclude the partners of the mothers? It automatically becomes the woman’s job because she’s the one left holding the baby on the ward.  It then becomes the mothers role to pass on all they have learnt, about parenting as well as the baby, to their partner. Yes they get to spend the day time with them but Bubs was asleep most of the time during the day and started to scream just as Dan went down the corridor.

I was in hospital several days. I resented Dan leaving me. I resented the struggle I had with feeding. Having someone to go through that with, would have helped me so much.  I was so down I really didn’t enjoy those first few days – and that’s not right. 

Spending time together, day or/and night, in a safe environment, seems such a good idea to me.  Bonding, working it out, all together.  I am sure if dan had been there that first night I would have coped better and he would have had a better idea of what I was going through. 

What do you think?  Should partners be allowed to stay on maternity wards?

14 thoughts on “Partners on The Maternity Ward: A Good Idea?”

  • Yes. My husband was with me all night as I laboured, but I’m guessing he would not have been able to stay if I needed to stay in over night. I would have been traumatised for sure!

  • Spot on. I think that the fact that my husband couldnt stay, led to my PND. I can remember exactly the feeling of loneliness and dread when my husband went away at night. I hated it, I felt sick and it wasn’t right.

  • I prepared myself for the fact that my husband would have to leave us. I was induced on the Saturday evening and by 8pm he was asked to leave as I wasn’t in established labour. My son was born at 5:48pm via EMCS and so he had just over 2 hours to bond before they would of normally kicked him out the ward. Luckily I was the only lady on the post c-section ward so they let him stay until 11pm to get more cuddles in and enjoy bonding with his son but the first night with my son alone on the ward was tough, although I got to spend some quality time with him, I couldn’t pick him up as I was still numb from the neck down and unable to move and felt awkward buzzing for help. Once I was moved from the ward to a private room, they said he could stay over and bought him a rickety old camp bed and said it was the only one in the ward! The other new Dads had to sleep on a plastic chair or share the hospital bed. It was so lovely to see G get up and change O at 4am instead of ringing for a nurse to do it. Definitely think Dads and other partners should be allowed to stay over night.

    • Aw you were so lucky! I was in a bay with a broken TV and a broken overhead lamp, so sat in darkness much of the night! If Dan had been there, it just would have been so nice to have someone who I trusted, could confide in, and also someone to just talk to!

  • With baby 1 I stayed in for 3 nights and when I got home I realised I was getting better support on the ward than my husband was offering. He wanted to be helpful but he had that man thing of just not hearing the crying. With baby 2 I came home right away. He was great at looking after the toddler but stll very little help with the baby. So with him there or not in hospital it wouldnt have made much of a difference

    • haha! I didn’t get much support from the ward so I probably felt like I needed more from others! To be honest once I got home I just wanted him to go bak to work! But initially I think it would have been nice to have him there x

  • We had no time with Jess. 3am birth meant he was gone before I’d even reached the ward really and I was just left, not really with it post-general anaesthetic, not really going what was going on with a small grumpy Jess attached to me!
    I was lucky with Lottie as she was a planned event so I was operated on by 9am and back on the ward by about 10 and he could stay all the way until 8pm and to be honest on the second night I told him he could go by about 4/5 as there was nothing for him to do there. Maybe first timers should be allowed a little more leeway? Not sure how that would work but I definitely didn’t need him there as much x2!

  • Definitely, I was lucky enough leaving after 6 hours with Sam but for my eldest I stayed 1 night and hated it, I felt so lost, weak, shaky, exhausted and in shock. I would have loved help from James that night, he didn’t sleep much anyway as couldn’t stop thinking of us and missed his newborn who he’d only seen for a few hours before being kicked out so to speak! Popping over from PoCoLo x

  • I was in hospital several days with my first child and found it exhausting coping on my own with a baby who wouldn’t feed, I was so glad when my husband arrived each morning. This was the main reason I insisted on going home the same day that my daughter was born. Luckily she was born in the morning. Popping over from PoCoLo

  • Even if Grace’s father had been allowed to stay he wouldn’t have – he was off seeing the woman he was sleeping with an hour and 40 minutes after Grace was born. My Mum stayed with me for hours – right up until I was given a bed 6 hours later! I wish our Mums could stay! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

    • Oh Vicky That’s awful! When I refer to partners, I think it should be someone, not just the father, but someone family friend etc to help support you in hospital. I really think it would help new mums so much x

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