Fathers to have equal rights after birth in hospital wards- Southmead Bristol

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In 2017 I gave birth to a beautiful boy, I had a traumatic experience and underwent an emergency c-section. I subsequently went into shock experiencing physical and mental symptoms that lasted a number of days. A few hours after this a kind midwife explained that my partner shouldn't stay with us on the first night of our child's life as he would only be allowed to stay once and I would be unlikely to be discharged for another few days. When he did stay he was told rather rudely he must not sleep in the bed, or on the floor and must stay in a ridiculously uncomfortable chair. 

For me this caused unnecessary stress, anxiety and upset. As I know it did for other new mothers in the ward.

we ask new fathers to play an equal role but from day 1 they are removed and isolated from doing that. Would NHS staff ever dream of telling a new mother to leave their new baby and only visit from 10am-8pm? Why do we not give new fathers the opportunity to bond with their child and support their partners to the fullest of their ability.

some of the reasons given for this rule-

other mothers may feel uncomfortable.- with the high patient turnover on these wards there is always at least 1 male staying overnight and there are curtains for privacy.

the mother needs rest- I personally could rest far more with the help and support of my partner, the night he wasn't present I was forced to constanatly ring a bell and wait varying amounts of time for assistance. 

Sign this petetion to call for a change in an outdated and insensitive policy and allow father to stay with new babies and mothers for as long as they wish.

 



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