"Rooming in" on Mother/Baby - not one size fits all

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    When I gave birth to my daughter, I had been up for 48 hours solid. I had PIH and had been vomiting for hours upon hours - and then pushed for three hours until she was born. My husband had been by my side, awake, for the entire time.

    I had wonderful Labor/Delivery nurses. They got me through the labor from hell. However, once we got to the PP room, and my beauftiful, wonderfully alert and crying-her-heart-out baby girl was placed with us, the nightmare began. I don't blame the nurses per se, but it was a scary situation. I was NOT alert at all - had a pounding headache, crying at intervals for no real reason (maybe the mag sulfate I'd been given combined with sleep depriation?) I was breastfeeding, so I was frequently trying to put her to the breast, but she was not interested in latching. When the nurse came to check on us, I was crying and told her I was afraid I wasn't doing a good job of caring for my baby, because I felt so exhausted and sick. She told me, "I can sympathize with you, but being that you had a vaginal birth, and birth is a natural process, it's up to you guys to provide your daughter's care".

    I understood what she was saying, and proceeded to hand her over to my husband, who walked with her for an hour or so in the room, and then I slipped into a fitful sleep despite her whimpering. I awakened at 3 am, and saw my husband asleep in the chair with the baby in his lap. I was concerned about the safety of this so I put her back in the bassinet (trailing blood as I got up) and rang for the nurse the one and only time I was there. She was friendly, but said unless I had changed my mind about breastfeeding, the baby had to stay with me.

    Needless to say, I had a harrowing night. my Husband tried to help, but he was absolutely exhausted and truthfully handles sleepnessness much worse than I did. I remember pinching myself to try to stay awake so I could comfort the baby.

    When the doctor rounded the next morning, I begged to go home. I knew I would get more help at home (because other non-sleep deprived family would be there to help me). He agreed and sent me home.

    I'm just wondering what the policy is on this type situation in other institutions. I was breastfeeding, and went on to breastfeed for a long, long time - but honestly, my baby was in jeopardy that first night that she was in our room. Certainly I'm not the only mother who has delivered after days of being awake. I just wondered how other places handle this, or if it's the same.

    I wasn't angry with anybody - the situation just really sucked and I wish I could have come up with a better plan.
    GooeyRN likes this.
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    You are not alone. I was induced with Cytotec (due to preeclampsia)on a Friday morning and labored until my son was born on SUNDAY evening. I, too, needed rest and was not given the opportunity. And this was in 1996 at a Naval hospital. My husband was not allowed to stay with me and I had 3, yes 3, other women and their babies in the same room. Had I been able to relax and rest, I may have been able to continue to breast feed. I quit 3 days in to it because I couldn't stay awake and he was not latching well. I finally begged until my husband and my mother gave in and took the baby and gave him formula so I could sleep. I slept 20 hours straight. Like they say, hospitals are the worst place to heal and get rest.
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    Hmmm....must be the military way. I was in the exact same situation at a Naval Hospital. My husband was not allowed to stay with me either. I had been up almost 48 hours as well. I was seriously afraid something would happen to my baby. I was told that they only kept the babies who needed to be in NICU, healthy babies had to room with mom. I went home 24 hours after having my daughter so I could get help too. I'm actually pregnant now (32 weeks) and so thankful to be giving birth in a civilian hospital this time. I've already checked into it and the hospital I'm going to will keep the baby until I'm rested and bring him to me when he's ready to eat. What a blessing. That's the way it should be in every hospital. You'd think they would be more interested in the baby's health, you know?
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    I have had 4 children, 2 at naval hospital and 2 in regular hospitals. I have never had anything like this happen and I B/F all of them. In fact, I had more of a problem GETTING my baby then anything. The nurses all wanted to hold them, I swear they would just make up reasons to take them LOL. I awoke once and the nurse was rocking my son, she was like, I knew you had just fed him 45 mins ago and he started fussing and since you had finally fell asleep I figured I would change him and rock him. She said they were having a slow night and she was happy to actually get to have time to interact more with the newborns. I didn't mind. They said if I went to shower at all to let them know and they would take the baby and flat out told me that if I am feeling like I just need a few hours to nap to let them know and they would take the baby to the nursary and wake me 2 feed at 2.5 hours since I was nursing.

    That is really crappy that you had such a bad expierence.
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    Man I must have gotten off good because I never had to share a room either EVER at a hospital. Not even at naval. I know family couldn't stay the night at Naval but I never had people staying the night anyway, I enjoyed being in the hospital rather then being at home because I was actually able to rest better. I went home after 24 hours with 3 of my 4 kids by my choice just because I had my mom up and I wanted to go home and spend time with the baby and her but I never had 2 day labors either. I was wanting to head to walmart the day I was discharged on my last baby and it hadn't even been 24 hours.
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    I am sorry but unless this was a military hospital you were jipped. I did not have anywhere near the experience you had (as far as sleep deprivation) I chose to breastfeed all three of my sons, but I still opted to have them go to the nursery at night. Both hospitals were I delivered my three children have a policy which allows you to have the babies sleep in the nursery and be brought to you when they appear hungry so that you can nurse them. Rooming in is supposed to be an offering not an enforcement..... that is unless they dropped the cost of care for you
    Not_A_Hat_Person and LilyBlue like this.
  9. 0
    Quote from ovnerati
    I am sorry but unless this was a military hospital you were jipped. I did not have anywhere near the experience you had (as far as sleep deprivation) I chose to breastfeed all three of my sons, but I still opted to have them go to the nursery at night. Both hospitals were I delivered my three children have a policy which allows you to have the babies sleep in the nursery and be brought to you when they appear hungry so that you can nurse them. Rooming in is supposed to be an offering not an enforcement..... that is unless they dropped the cost of care for you

    That is how it was for me as well, it was a choice. It was like that though at both the naval hospital I delivered 2 of my kids at in 96 and 99 and the 2 civilian hospitals I delivered at in 01 and 07. A total of 3 different hospitals.
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    i am really sorry for this bad experience you had!
    it’s now more than 18 years that i am working in a gynecological and obstetrics unit. more than 10 years ago we began with rooming-in. the mums like it but they also would like to rest for some hours in the night. our problem is that not all the nurses want to keep the babies in the nursery. we have form a group with a psychologist, a nurse, an obstetric and a midwife to discover what we can do better, because in last years there were an increasing of depression after delivery. …sorry for my english! i hope you understand what i wrote!
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    Given that newborns eat SO very frequently- (even every 15min in many cases) I can understand their position. Newborns also need to be physically close to their mothers. If you intended to breastfeed, they can't be taking baby to the nursery and back every time they turn around. It's just not possible- and they don't have the food to feed baby with- and they can't just tell baby "not now- mama is sleeping"... Now- that said they could have offered to get you a hospital grade pump, but that would have increased the risk of nipple confusion and caused you even more problems with breastfeeding...

    No matter how you slice it- new mothers are ragged, exhausted, and don't sleep- even under the best circumstances... Unfortunately you didn't have the best circumstances and were more ragged and tired than most. What they *should* have done is perhaps checked in more frequently- or offered a volunteer to sit with you for a few hours to catch some sleep.

    Next time (if there is a next time) consider hiring a post partum doula- they make a WORLD of difference for exactly the kinds of situations that you describe here. Someone who is awake and alert to help the post-birth-sleep deprivated mama. Or- another family member who is there to help you care for the baby. I've found, at least in my case, that the dad isn't the best one for this- mine was almost as exhausted as I was because he was so concerned about being there with/for me through the labor/birth process. So- second time around, he was there for me during that part, then my mom stayed with me in the hospital overnights to help with baby.
    jenrninmi likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from ovnerati
    I am sorry but unless this was a military hospital you were jipped. I did not have anywhere near the experience you had (as far as sleep deprivation) I chose to breastfeed all three of my sons, but I still opted to have them go to the nursery at night. Both hospitals were I delivered my three children have a policy which allows you to have the babies sleep in the nursery and be brought to you when they appear hungry so that you can nurse them. Rooming in is supposed to be an offering not an enforcement..... that is unless they dropped the cost of care for you
    nope not a military hospital, civilian hospital (the same one I work for). The tune was twelve thousand dollars and I paid two thousand out of pocket.


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