Double beds in maternity wards?

When I read the recent article by the Telegraph about the plans to be proposed to the NHS to install Double beds in Maternity wards, I rolled my eyes. Another article with references to dads, husbands and boyfriends. No mention of other support a mother may have from a girlfriend or wife. Surely this proposal would have an affect on same sex parents too.

It’s this kind of narrow visioned reporting that stops same sex parenting becoming more mainstream. Even a reference to partners as a sweeping statement would have satisfied me, as even though I’d imagine they had no intention of it referring to same sex couples I could kid myself into thinking it did. I’ve even witnessed this subject talked about on TV and yet again no reference was made to the possibility that some mums would like their wife by their side.

In regards to the item proposed, I’m not actually sure I’d want to share a double bed in hospital just after my wife gave birth. Nothing to do with her of course, because as the article states *if you google it* that’s how we got in the situation which took us to hospital 😉

Double beds in Maternity wards? -


The reason I wouldn’t want to share a double bed would be due to the fact I’m an awful wriggler and the last thing my wife wants after giving birth is me elbowing her in the back every so often, adding to all the aches and pains she’s already suffering. Alternatively what I would like is for them to relax the strict policy of booting you out and leaving your wife whilst she is suffering/in pain/in need of your support etc.

On the ward door at the hospital C gave birth in, there was an A4 poster stating that partners could not be accommodated referencing *him*. It frustrated me and I even instagrammed a picture of the poster during her stay. It really wouldn’t be a huge fuss to change these posters to accommodate same sex partners. I’d even offer to retype and print the poster for them.

But I digress, the night C gave birth I was allowed to sleep on an armchair next to her bed under the strict instruction I was not to leave the room. Luckily we were in a private room and has access to a toilet, so leaving the room wasn’t an issue. That night I got up each time Monkey cried as C was incapacitated due to her epidural not wearing off quickly. Now if I’d been sent home she’d had to have struggled to reach him each time, wouldn’t have had any sleep and it could have triggered negative emotions that soon after birth.

I imagine this is the case with lots of women who aren’t lucky enough to have someone to help them for those first few hours. I know there will be some women shaking their heads at this post as they wouldn’t want their partners staying after they’d given birth. That’s great for you, but it’s not right for us.

I’d love there to be a change before C gives birth to our next baby, even more so I’d love to see more mentions of same sex partners in hospitals. But that’s one of the reasons we blog, to help make same sex parenting more visible. We exist and one day, in an ideal world people won’t bat an eyelid.


This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. TheBoyandMe Reply

    I would have loved for my husband to stay with me that first night, especially as The Boy was whisked away at 11pm for two and a half hours to be checked on by the pedeatrician on the next floor. He was only supposed to be gone for half an hour and I was beside myself with worry and unable to easily move due to a nasty episiotomy. If my husband had been there, he could have gone with him and come down to reassure me that all was well.

    • Mytwomums Reply

      I would have hated if that happened to C. I really do hope they change their approach.

  2. Anya from Older Single Mum Reply

    You’re going to change my world – and make me more aware of these thing too. I don’t think there’s any offence meant behind these things – it’s just thoughtlessness – and you can change this – a bit like my thing about who single mums are perceived to be.

  3. Anna C Reply

    I agree, I spent a hellish first night post c section having to call the midwife every time I needed to turn over to feed, luckily the fact the baby was in bed with me (gasp, horror) was ignored. Re same sex parents, I do think there is an element of trying, we have these posters in our local sure start centre (you’ll need to scroll down) plus books like ‘mummy and mama’ in the library. Sadly though I think it’ll take some time particularly as prejudices against unmarried parents are still in place!

  4. PetitMom Reply

    I wished my partner could have stayed. My night alone with my new baby wasn’t amazing, he cried and I could by get him to feed or settle. In the end I sobbed as I pressed the midwife alert button. She took the baby away, fed him a bit of formula and got him to settle for the night so I could sleep.
    It was great a I slept for the first time through the night in what felt like forever. But I’d my Fiancé had been there we could have taken turns and he could have supported me more. I did feel bad for handing my son over for me to sleep.

    • Mytwomums Reply

      You shouldn’t feel bad at all. The situations are ones they help to make. They know mothers need support in the early hours. But it’s all red tape and old fashioned values.

  5. Misty Reply

    I can totally see where you’re coming from with this. Having a conversation about parenting the other day with friends and my Brother who happens to be gay. A comment was passed about how it didn’t apply to him ‘because it wasn’t like he would ever be a Dad’. Excuse me! Why can’t he? I respect your fight to get same sex couples treated equally.
    As far as sharing a bed with my OH after giving birth, not a chance. I was in so much pain I couldn’t bear another person touching me, never mind sleeping in the same bed. Plus I liked the one on one time I got with my Princess – selfish I know, but it was amazing to have her all to myself for a while after everything I’d been through to get her out.

    Sorry for the essay haha, interesting post!

    • Mytwomums Reply

      Ha thanks for your comment. We like chunky comments :)I think it would be nice if more public places recognised all types of families. I appreciate some establishments are making an effort. But a lot need to make changes.

  6. vickilou Reply

    My husband was made to leave hospital just 4 hours after I’d given birth. When I was moved to the maternity ward post birth no midwives came to see me to tell me anything about where to get milk, cotton wool etc but i’d been told not to bring any in. My baby started to poo that awful tar like poo, everywhere. I pressed the button for help and they treated me like I was causing trouble. I was changing my baby on a maternity mat on the bed, I was told off for causing an infection risk but I really had no idea what to do! I wasn’t told anything about my feeding options, no one came to see if i wanted help breastfeeding, i had no idea about formula feeding because no one is allowed to talk about formula. I was scared, alone, very sore and very drowsey from diamophine. I had had lots of stictches and had to walk through 2 wards to the nearest toilet, crying in pain everytime. When I gave in and asked for help they treated me like a failure so I went and sat crying with my screaming baby, alone on a full ward. The night after I gave birth was the worst of my life. I didnt know what to do with this beautiful screaming bundle I had and I was so so tired. I hadn’t slept for 2 nights, I had had a traumatic birth. I really struggled to bond with my baby for the first few weeks.

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