Anew trend in the maternity war ward?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Anew trend in the maternity war ward?
177
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 8:59am
*The title is messed up. I didn't mean to write WAR WARD, just WARD, but I can't edit it!

My sister gave birth to her second baby Monday morning (after a short, easy delivery). So I have a very cute new nephew, but that's beside the point.

My mom met them at the hospital before the delivery to pick up their older son, who is almost 3 so he could stay with her. My BIL stayed overnight in the room with my sister (remember, this is after giving birth), for the 2 nights following delivery that my sister stays in the hospital (she leaves this morning). I asked my sister why he was staying and she looked at me like "Well, of course he's staying, he's helping me". Helping her do what? What the 3 nurses and 2 doctors can't do? She said he went into watch the circumcision, watched the PKU, and basically is following the nurses around to watch everything. They had the baby in the room with them the first night, but since he awoke every half hour, they decided to let him stay in the nursery the second night.

Normally I'd say great, if that's what you want to do, fine, but I since found out that yesterday my mom had several appointments herself for tests at a different hospital, and in addition to being tired (hence the tests), she had to bring a 3 year old with her! Granted she had her SO with her, but still, we all know how much fun it is to drag a 3 year old to a hospital with you while you are getting tests and they have to be entertained, by my moms boyfriend, in the waiting room. I think my BIL should have just taken my nephew home, or kept him at the hospital if he couldn't leave for whatever reason, and slept at home. I don't see why he had to stay overnight at the hospital with my sister, especially the second night after birth.

Now I can see if it's the first baby, but why the need for dad to stay overnight and all day at the hospital? Is this a new trend, because when I gave birth 10 and 13 years ago, no dads roomed in with the moms after the birth. Just wondering if they are unusual or if everyone does this now.


Edited 8/6/2003 9:01:56 AM ET by islimshady


Edited 8/6/2003 9:04:15 AM ET by islimshady

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Avatar for lola356
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:03am
I would expect my DH to be at the hospital with me for at least the first night in the hospital, but because of SARS DH's are no longer allowed to stay over night at all.

L.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:10am
Interesting. I went in late afternoon and delivered the following morning both times, and both times, my husband did not stay overnight (not that I wanted him to AT ALL, I just wanted to sleep). In fact, when they asked if I wanted the baby in the room overnight I just said no, take him away, I want to sleep!

Question, if you had another child or children at home, would you still want your husband to stay overnight and leave the kids with a friend or relative or would you want him home with the other children?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-04-1997
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:19am
You've dragged in two separate issues here (1) the desirablity of a father staying with a mom and newborn and (2) the problems your mother faced because she couldn't say "no."

My hospital stays were less than eight hours each, including the birth itself, and my youngest is seven, so I can't answer your question about how common it is to have a father staying the whole time. We have "family suites" available at our birthing centers, but in most cases Mom and baby are dismissed within 24 hours of the birth, so the multiple night thing doesn't really apply. In our case, Dad gets a place to rest/eat, whatever during labor itself....for instance, if it's a 12 hour labor he might get relieved by a nurse or doula for a nap or a meal in the family suite and be awakened for transition/birth itself. Then Dad might stay in the room with Mom and newborn for the immediate postpartum period.

I didn't have that, but I would have liked it. When mine were born, DH left after about two hours, and I was paranoid about leaving the babies unattended in an unlocked room when I wanted to have a shower. They couldn't go into the nursery because they were going home within hours and hadn't been "admitted," so both times I had to bribe a nurse's aide to sit in the room with the baby so he wouldn't be stolen!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:29am
I don't think it's a trend, it's probably just your sister and her dh. I have a 7wk old baby, and my dh stayed for a few hours after the birth, then took our 11yo dd home to sleep. They came for a couple of hours the next day, then they came the final day to pick me and the baby up and take us home.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:32am
When I gave birth to Alex 22 months ago, my DH stayed with me the whole time. My eldest son also stayed with us for 1 nights. I had him at 12:05 on Friday night while Zak was with my mother. Then she came Saturday morning with Zak and left him with us. I had a family birth suite so the nurses did not care. I would have had hated them not being with me.

I also had a rooming in suite. They have fold out couches instead of a recliner to sleep on. DH really wanted that couch so I told him he had to stay with me. I wanted to sleep! The nurses are not suppose to take the baby when they room in. The exams are done in the room and the only reason they take the baby is for the circumsion. We both were so exhausted (DH was still on chemo) that they took Alex to the nursing station for about 3 hours. They were so wonderful!

K

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

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Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:33am
I think its pretty common for dads to stay the night. Not in my city however (NYC) because hospitals don't have enough space to provide private rooms. When I had my DD, I had to share my room and DH's were kicked out at 10 pm.

But for a fee of $400 (not covered by inusrance) I could have had a private room and had him stay overnight. It was my first baby and I would have loved to have him stay but for $400...PUHLEEAZE! And that's if one of the two private rooms was even available.

But my sister had her baby in Florida and all the hospitals there provide private rooms and a cot for the DH's. My room was the size of her closet...she had so much more space!!!

Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:42am
Then maybe it is a new trend, because even though we had big, private rooms, I never knew anyone whose husband stayed overnight. I might be different too, because especially with the second one, I knew I wasn't going to get any rest and relief when I got home, so I had the nurses do as much as possible, all the diaper changes, etc., even nighttime feedings since I knew BF wouldn't be a problem and that I was in for endless nighttime feedings in the very near future. I didn't want my older son in the room for more than an hour to visit because he got antsy in that one room, he couldn't very well run around the ward!

Lola where do you live that they only allow 24 hours? I think that's awful. I like the way they do it in Britain and Scandinavian countries, a full week!


Edited 8/6/2003 9:44:25 AM ET by islimshady

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:44am
I agree, especially for a second birth. Getting a new sibling can be difficult enough for a kid without having both parents gone for 48 hours. DH roomed with me after DS1 was born, and, to be honest, I would rather have had him home doing things to help get ready for our arrival home, at least that second night. Now, these are his children, so you could argue that he had a "right" to be there, but all he did was sleep at night while I was up nursing the baby. The mother is the one who has gone through childbirth, and she is the one who actually needs hospital care.

The issue didn't even come up with the birth of DS2. DH was there for all 21 hours of labor, and left that night at 10 to pick DS1 up at a friend's house. That way, DS woke up to see his dad in the morning, which was nice, since he'd spent the night before at another friend's house. It was really much better to have DH doing his own thing while I was in the hospital recovering from the birth.

Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear it. I just heard the good news and popped back over, just in case you were still checking in.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:47am
Yep, that's exactly my take on it. Better for him to be home with the child (or children), maybe making dinner, cleaning up and grocery shopping would be nice!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 9:56am
My dh stayed the night after dd (firstborn) - I had such a long labor, episitomy, that I could barely walk myself to the bathroom on my own.

He also stayed the night after ds was born - ds was born at 7 pm, during a shift change. He had not planned on staying so late, but the epidural still had me numb long after the delivery. Come to find out, they never unhooked it... so I was immobile until around 2 am. (This was four years ago to this date, today my baby is FOUR!!!)

My parents live just a few miles from the hospital. I chose not to stay for as long as the insurance would pay.. I just stayed the one night after delivery. Had it been any sort of inconvenience, I would not have asked them to take dd - but as she was just 11 months old, they were more than willing to take her :)

Things were fairly casual during both births wrt visitors. When I was in labor with dd, dh was there throughout, my baby brother, 16 at the time, slept in the hallway throughout the night... both my parents and my MIL stayed through the night of the labor. The only time dh left my side was about two hours after delivery, when I asked him to go get me something to eat. He went to a fast food place that was across the street from the hospital and brought me 2 of everything on their breakfast menu, LOL.

When ds was born, things were even more casual. Because ds was born later in the afternoon and during a shift change, not only did my MIL show up after work just in time to see ds be born, but three of my female cousins walked through the open door while I was pushing him out. This actually freaked them all out as none of them had children yet, I don't know what they were expecting when they walked through that door, but I am sure they hadn't expected to actually witness the miracle of birth, they sure were not prepared to see it. Hah.

You know, when my niece was born, nine years ago, I went to see the baby about two hours after delivery. My poor baby brother, just 12 years old and I guess too curious for his own good, looked at the contents of of a pan sitting on a cart shoved to one side of the room. It was the afterbirth. Talk about being scarred for life.

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