Imagine if your partner could stay overnight with you at hospital after you've given birth. Well, if you happen to live in Ipswich, that just might happen.
Ipswich Star reports:
In a move that is likely to help thousands of parents in the years ahead, Ipswich Hospital has revealed it will now finally let the partners of new mums stay overnight at the hospital after their baby is born.
The aim of the policy is reportedly to reduce anxiety for mums and enable partners to bond with the new baby.
It follows a survey launched in Suffolk last year which showed that more than half of mums wanted their partner to stay overnight with them in hospital. Additionally, 44% of birthing partners said they would like to stay the night but weren't offered that option.
It doesn't necessarily mean birth partners will get a bed though - the paper reports that they'll be offered "a reclining chair, blanket and pillow" to make them comfortable.
Sharon Edwards, lead midwife on the Orwell Ward, said:
"We are really pleased that we are now able to welcome partners to stay overnight on our maternity wards as extra support can help women to feel relaxed during labour and throughout their hospital stay. Giving partners the chance to be by the bedside can also help them feel actively involved in the birth while encouraging them to bond with their baby in those all-important first few hours of life. We have already received some excellent feedback about the initiative, with people telling us that being given the opportunity to stay together has made a big difference at what is a special time for the whole family."
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.
And depending on what time of day you give birth at hospital, it can feel very much as if your partner is being unceremoniously kicked out within mere hours of the arrival of your little one.
But we'd love to hear your views on this story. Would you welcome the chance to have your partner join you overnight at hospital following the birth of your baby - or does idea of sharing a ward with exhausted new mums, sleepless babies AND dads dozing in chairs fill you with dread?