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?