Postpartum recovery in the hospital setting.
A recent post on Facebook has been getting a lot of attention due to its real look at postpartum recovery in a hospital setting (You can find it here). I find its timing rather uncanny because this was the exact thing some clients of mine were talking about at the follow up visit I did with them a week after their daughter's birth. They were shocked at the amount of people coming into their room, unannounced, for various reasons; most they had never met before nor would ever see again. The differing advice from each new shift nurse. The disregard for whether they were sleeping or not. It is a bit much.
The hours and days after birth, it is vital that mom and baby remain together for bonding and recovery. Rest is important for physical and mental well being. How is one supposed to heal when they are having two new people every hour coming into their room to ask questions when they are already physically and mentally exhausted?
Reading and hearing all of this made me think about my hospital experience with my daughter. Being woken up for things that could have waited until I was naturally awake and then being questioned on decisions that we had already discussed. The experience left us seeking out different options when we had our second baby.
So it stands to question how can things change so that the family can receive the rest and support that they need in the hospital setting? Policy and procedure seems to have gotten in the way of seeing birthing families as humans having a very raw human experience. That checking off the box has taken precedence over personal connection.
I understand that many facilities are understaffed, that the nurses are the low men on the food chain and procedure is in place in hopes of keeping everyone safe. It seems like a win-lose situation, especially for those at the mercy of the system.
I encourage families who have had experiences like these to reach out to their hospital administration and share their concerns and ideas of how to help make birth and postpartum at their facilities more personable. If we the consumer do not speak up, things will not change.