It's about time hospitals start enforcing visitation policies in labor and delivery. For too long, the lax management of L&D has turned it into a circus when it should be a place of peace, recovery and, unfortunately for some, grief.
My first L&D experience two years ago left much to be desired. My labor was induced promptly at 6 a.m., but after no progress all day, my physician decided to do an emergency C-section at 8 p.m. During the induction, there was a constant influx of family and friends to see how I was doing. Although I was grateful for their interest, I couldn't help but feel a little intruded-upon. Yes, I was going to have a baby, but the questions of when, how and the ultimate outcome were all stressors that visitors just didn't seem to understand.
Once the baby arrived, the visits, some ranging for a couple hours, got worse. And on top of family and friends, add nursery RNs, patient RNs, vital-signs staff, lactation consultants, birth certificate staff, volunteer staff, OBs, pediatricians, the hospital photography service and housekeeping, and you've got a circus -- only you don't get popcorn and cotton candy.
Fast-forward to 2011. My second baby was due, and I was determined that this delivery would be different. At the risk of alienating family and friends, and potentially being labeled the derogatory term for an assertive female, I wrote up a nice letter requesting no visitors during my hospital stay.
Most accepted my wishes with love, a few were vocal about their disapproval, but I kept reminding myself that I was the patient, and for very few times in my life, this was just about me and my baby.
Hospital L&D management needs to get on board to protect the patients and be less concerned about offending visitors.
North Augusta, S.C.