A few days ago a Twitter follower of mine tweeted about how The Daily Mail had written an article titled, “Why it’s wrong to let men stay overnight in maternity wards: Mums feel vulnerable – but more dads are sleeping in ‘their domain’” that claims that after going through the delivery of their child that “many” women feel vulnerable and exposed or, worse, even fearful for your own or your baby’s safety. When this article was first brought to my attention it took me back to the birth of my son and how it would have destroyed me emotionally not to be able to be there for every precious moment. I knew that I had to write about this topic but knew that I had to take some time to collect myself before I did.
After getting some sleep I woke up this morning and one thing stood out to me. The hospital where my wife gave birth to our son only had private rooms for her to recover in. The article was written in the UK and that got me thinking how common is it here in the United States and around the globe for maternity wards still have women share rooms after they give birth? I created the poll below to try and understand just how common this really is.
Are Hospitals To Blame For Making Moms Feel Uncomfortable?
Are hospitals to blame for putting couples in a situation where they must choose between paying more for a private room or staying with mom and baby after the birthing process? The maternity ward at our local hospital only has private delivery and recovery rooms for mom and family to stay in. Here is a quote directly from their website about recovery rooms.
After delivery, you and your baby will share a relaxing and cheerful room with large windows, a flat-screen TV, DVD player and a whirlpool tub. Spacious and private, these rooms are large enough for extended family visits, with plenty of breathing room for you. Sleeper sofas welcome your overnight guest. We want to create a home-like environment perfect for bonding with your new family member.
After researching the hospitals mentioned in the article in the UK it seems that it is common for multiple bed recovery rooms. I researched 3 hospitals and they had 4,5, and 6 bed recovery rooms for mothers. This is obviously a complete contradiction to what my wife and I experienced and would have changed the way we experienced the birth of our son.
Trending Towards Private Suites
I researched several more hospitals in the United States and the majority of them all offered private recovery suites for new moms. The couple of hotels that still had semi-private rooms only had two beds and both were located in large cities. Is this a trend in the US only or is it something that is trending in other countries as well? Private Suites obviously eliminate the vulnerability and fears women may have when in semi-private rooms when men they don’t know are present.
When Private Suites Are Not Available
When the hospital you and your partner choose does not have private recovery rooms available then where is the line between the rights of women and their privacy after childbirth and the rights of fathers to be with their partner and child? I am not sure what the right answer is. What I do know is that this is a topic that needs to be discussed prior to the delivery day. Do women need to feel comfortable and secure during the couple of days before they go home?? Do fathers have the right to spend as much time as possible with mom and child?? There has to be a middle ground somewhere. I am just thankful that this wasn’t a decision my wife and I had to make during an already stressful and emotional time for us both