Should Dads Be Allowed To Stay Overnight On Labour Wards In Canada?

Should Dads Be Allowed To Stay Overnight On Labour Wards In Canada?

The Hot Topic now over at our sister website, Playpennies in the UK, is: Hospital Lets Dads Stay Overnight On The Labour Wards

This will be an interesting topic for our readers, too. From the comments arising on Playpennies from their readers it seems that most feel it should be a given - family is family, and after all, dads need time to bond with their newborns too. Obviously mom can definitely use the help! There are some comments posted on Playpennies showing us not everyone would be happy if dads were able to stay with mom and baby. The general sentiment for those against dad staying overnight is that it is an invasion of privacy to have dads in the same area, but would be acceptable to them if the rooms were private.

In Canada, although we have some advantages in our health care system, unfortunately, having a private room is not usually one of them. In addition, our hospitals are not equipped for an additional overnight guest, typically only having one or two chairs in the room. (But what's a little discomfort for dad sleeping in a hard chair overnight, compared to labour and delivery?) You won't see him complaining about it after he sees what you went through.

Playpennies writer Heidi Scrimgeour succinctly states what so many Canadian women can very clearly identify with after giving birth:

"I love this move by a hospital to make the hours after a new baby's arrival easier for both mums and dads. I stayed in hospital overnight after the birth of my first baby and I can vividly recall the horror of the experience. Neither I nor my baby slept and I barely had the strength to sit up in my bed, never mind lift my baby up and comfort him properly. I'd have given anything to have my husband there for moral support."

Ironically, the family such as dads of a newborn who want to stay with their baby and mom, are often the best care givers of all! (In terms of comforting the mom and helping with baby so mom can get some rest after a long and difficult delivery.)

Visiting hours can vary between hospitals, with some being fairly lenient with allowing dad to stay, but - not necessarily overnight. Every hospital seems to set their own standards and policies.

What we want to know from our readers is: Were you able to have your significant other, or a personally selected support person available to you immediately following the birth of your child and through that first night? How did it turn out? Would you have done anything differently? If you are expecting, what are your current plans for when baby is born?


Reply to
  • Moose98

    Are you kidding?? Of course it's a given for the Father to be able to stay there. This shouldn't even be a conversation.  The mothers need support throughout.

    • Katee

      I live in Quebec, and have never heard of a dad NOT sleeping at the hospital after his child was born. Most visitor chairs in many (if not all) of our hospitals convert into tiny cots for the dads. 

      • Bridgette

        Yes, Dad's should be allowed to stay with their newborn child!

        • Bhst

          my husband stayed with me, our baby was born at 1010am and we stayed together there for 24 hours. Don't know what I would have done without him! 

          • Katee

            I live in Quebec and have never even heard of a dad not staying overnight after the birth of his child (in a Quebec hospital). My husband stayed after the birth of all three of our children (1, 2 and 4 nights), and I'm so glad it was possible. He was a huge help!

            • Nicdou

              I was going to say the exact same thing! What kind of a place does not allow dads to stay after the birth of their child? This is not the 1950s anymore... I have 2 daughters: one born in Connecticut (USA) and another one in Montreal (QC). Not only was I allowed to stay in both instances, I was asked to stay, both by my wife and by the personel. I would have not had it any other way.

            • Melissa82

              My husband was able to spend every night with me in the hospital, with both babies. I live in Canada, and our maternity floor has all private rooms. 

              • kwater

                My son was born in California, and my daughter was born in Ontario.  

                California: private hospital room (we had great insurance) with an armchair that folded to a bed for dad. My husband stayed and it was so amazing to have his help. I know he really enjoyed being there. In addition, there was a nursery, and they would take my son for a few hours at a time to let us sleep.

                Ontario: private hospital room and my husband couldn't stay. The room was big enough for it - for the same type of pull out chair bed. California certainly provided the nicer, less stressful experience, and it allowed the three of us to bond as a family in the hospital together.

                ...but then in California I was back to work when my son was 4 months old, and that was with extended disability insurance coverage. I saw women dropping off their one month old babies at daycare, just sobbing. When I think of that, the nicer experience at the hospital really pales in comparison to the year we have here in Ontario.

                • Tam123

                  My husband was able to stay overnight and in fact the hospital where I had my two children, in the Vancouver area, was set up with mostly private rooms with benches for dads to crash on. (I think there were a few non-private rooms that didn't have as great a setup, but those rooms were only used in rare instances where there was a rush of births.) I can't imagine my husband not being there for such a key time!

                  • Noahsmum

                    yes! In Vancouver in a private room my hubby stayed.  My baby was also jaundiced so he needed to be with me which I was very fortunate we didn't have to be apart but stayed in the same room.  The cot was uncomfortable but I needed help to even go to the bathroom for the first 24 hours!! Now with my second I had the baby at home with a midwife since my son wasn't allowed in the delivery room and we didn't have family or friends to watch our son in case in Calgary!!

                    • Rosemarie S.


                      • Erin B.

                        I vote yay. I wished my husband was at the hospital when we had our first. I was a new mom and totally clueless and my support system was gone the first night I had to recover and take care of a new born. Not a great experience. Now that we're having our second, were delivering in a different hospital, closer to our new home and will be able to handle things differently.

                        • Deborah A.

                          I hear yah, had the same experience as we only used the city bus to get around and didn't have much money. My boyfriend didn't stay with me at all while I was in the hospital for a week but I didn't mind as he was with me/us all day until late at night!

                        • Hgf

                          I think it's a nice for a supportive person (not necessarily a husband) stay over night with mom and baby but from recent experience staying in the ward overnight, someone else's snoring husband kept me up after my labor. She was clearly used to it, but this man snored so loudly the nurses joked about it. I think it is unacceptable if women who have just labored can't sleep because someone's husband is sleeping/snoring.

                          • Lacey B.

                            Wait I don't get this post. My husband was with me for the 5days I was in the hospital with my first and the 2days with our second. He didn't even have to leave to shower, the hospital showed him where he could shower away from the new moms. He only left me once and that was to buy me a welcome home gift. There was a bed for him and everything. And I am in Canada

                            • Erin B.

                              Depends on your hospital. My husband was asked to leave.

                              • Lacey B.

                                Really!? In Canada?

                                • Melissa K.

                                  Wtf?! My hubby was with me all 4 days. That would be absurd for them to be asked to leave!

                                  • Lacey B.

                                    I would have thrown a temper tantrum lol

                                    • Elaine H.

                                      My hubby stayed as well with me and I'm also in Canada

                                      • Tanya U.

                                        Same my hubby and or my mom were allowed to stay. We were in Surrey BC.

                                        • Amanda K.

                                          Our hospital only allows it if you have a private room

                                        • Marta P.


                                          • Michelle S.

                                            I had no idea this was even the case! My husband was there every step of my 32 hour labour and then recovery from a csection so 5 full days! In ottawa.

                                            • Zoe A.

                                              Am shocked this is a question but I'm in Canada! My hubby was with me and our first 2 and he'll stay a bit with #3 hopefully the first night. It's an important time for mums to have their spouse support and help! And a nice bonding time

                                              • Leona J.

                                                In Canada. The husband or one other person can stay with the new mom I am a grand ma and stayed with my daughter for all her kids when her husband or boyfriend had to go to work or just needed time away and her first was is the hospital for a while

                                                • Carrie L.

                                                  Not in all hospitals. My husband was sent home. :(

                                                • Jamie H.

                                                  Is this really a question? I'm sure there was no Facebook in the 1930's so this can't be an old post

                                                  • Stacey D.

                                                    Mine came and went as I needed some sleep too. He usually brought me coffee and our other daughter up but he needed to be with her as a new sister coming In was alot for a 4 year old. :wink:

                                                    • Courtney W.

                                                      Is this a real thing? As if, in 2016, we need to discuss whether or not a FATHER should be allowed in a room with HIS family! Share in the journey of the first night, the first 2am,2:15, 2:30..etc wake-ups. Have a CHOICE whether or not to be present? IS this real? Do we not want to encourage active parenting? Shared responsibilities? Equal RIGHTS??? No wonder there's still 'mom guilt' and 'dad shaming'. It's stemming from the very beginning, from the very first night, when dads are not 'allowed' to parent and mom (who might I add is EXHAUSTED, EMOTIONAL, bruised, ripped, tired, violated, and everything else that comes with deliveries of all kind) is forced to parent alone?! No wonder we feel guilty, we're not even set up for success. How are we supposed to be 'the best mom' when we can't ask for help, or lean on someone?! Unbelievable. Dads are IMPORTANT for development, for support, for growth! They're integral. YES YES YES dad's should be allowed on the maternity ward. Not ALLOWED, but EXPECTED, and welcomed, and supported, and encouraged, and TAUGHT, to be on the maternity ward. It's THEIR baby, it's the start of THEIR journey, it's THEIR family too. All of it. Not just the mother's!

                                                      • Brandi S.

                                                        Very well said. Totally agree!

                                                        • Jackie B.

                                                          100% agree!!! Love this response

                                                          • Adrienne L.

                                                            Bang on :raising_hand_tone1:

                                                            • Barbara B.


                                                              • Tammy P.