When one of the girls from work gave birth to her beautiful baby we all received the text with time and date of birth, weight, mum and bub doing well and… “looking forward to seeing you all at the hospital. Visiting hours are between XYZ…”
My peepers nearly popped out of my head. Of course I was champing at the bit to get in there and have a cuddle but I wasn’t really in the ‘inner sanctum’. I also remembered how clever I thought I was when I had my own children: I had a very selective group of visitors then one ‘open session’ before I went home. I texted her back a day-and-a-half later asking if she really did want people to visit. She didn’t. She called back immediately to say she had made a big mistake and could I help her encourage people to NOT visit.
Clouded by the euphoric high of a healthy baby she accidentally sent the ‘come one and all’ invitation forgetting she might need at least one of two things: sleep or rest. She also didn’t anticipate that learning to breastfeed meant that you couldn’t be shy and that having every man and his dog there might not be helpful to a zen start to motherhood. Coupled with day three blues…need i say more?
The pros and cons of visitors at the hospital are probably equal.
On one hand you can ‘get it out of the way’ while you’re there, introduce (show off) your baby to family and friends then have a peaceful time at home, on the other it’s a good time to rest, recuperate and learn as many tricks of the trade from the midwives while you’re there.
Particularly if your baby has arrived early or if there are complications or concerns you might well want to limit or control the number of visitors for your sanity at least.
A few things to think about:
- Hospital visiting hours are there for a reason: so everyone gets some rest. At the very least try to stick to them.
- Don’t be scared to let people know you’re looking forward to catching up when you’re home and settled and that you’ll be in touch soon.
- If people are staying for a bit long you can always say “thanks so much for coming, I’m just going to grab a kip before the next feed”.
- Get your partner to manage the guest list/ door, that way you won’t feel bad.
- If you’re home and don’t want people popping by unannounced (think well meaning neighbours) just hang a sign on your door saying ‘mum and bub sleeping’.
Visitors to the Special Care Nursery
- Wash Your Hands - As Special Care Nursery babies are vulnerable to infection, it is important to reduce the risk. Hands carry bacteria on the skin. All visitors including parents should ensure they wash their hands before entering the nursery environment.
- Turn Mobile Phones Off
- Any visitors with coughs, colds, cold sores, diarrhoea or generally unwell should not visit.
- Most hospitals limit 2 visitors per baby during visiting hours and only siblings are welcome with adult supervision.
Did visitors stress you out or did you love having people pop by?
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