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Sharing a Room in the Maternity Ward

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me: Shared Postpartum Rooms

Most women are no holds barred when giving birth — some scream, others go silent and 75 percent poop during delivery. Regardless of the antics, no one focuses on anything other than the baby making its debut. Hospitals normally offer spacious birthing rooms for expectant ladies to labor in that fit the father and anyone else the couple wants to invite to witness the arrival. But once the newborn has been welcomed into the world, the family is usually moved to smaller postpartum accommodations. In my experience, the basic quarters included a bed, a futon type piece of furniture for the dad, space to roll up the babe's bassinet, a couple of chairs and an in-suite bathroom. Though it was a tight squeeze with nurses shuffling in and out, the peace of a private room gave my husband and me time to bond with our infant and visit with relatives and friends.

Our hospital only offers single rooms so I was surprised to learn that many mommies spend their children's first days of life with roommates! I'm a big believer in the more, the merrier — except in this situation. I recall asking my husband to toss my catheter bag behind the table before guests arrived, sprinkling blood across the floor as I made my way towards the shower and having my diaper ice packs changed after enduring a pretty intense tear. While these things are part of motherhood, they made me a bit woozy and I can't imagine having to worry about my bunk mate and her baby's feelings. Would sharing a postpartum room bother you?

Got a few other secrets that you learned the hard way? Come dish with us on all the things your mama forgot to tell you in our Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me group over in our LilSugar community!


Source: Flickr User Emery Co Photo

Join The Conversation
dani17731 dani17731 7 years
Wow, I'd never heard of this. In the two largest hospitals in Detroit, you give birth and recover in the same large room, and it's private. I'm not a mom but I couldn't imagine going through all those squishy moments with strangers in the room.
kia kia 7 years
I don't think many folks have a choice. I hope I would make the best of the situation if I shared a room.
mstrauss mstrauss 7 years
After I had my son, I was put into a shared room and I requested that as soon as a single room was available, I wanted it. Of course, it came at a big price, but I knew it would be worth it. I spent one night in shared space and it was afwul. I was being woken up by someone else's child while mine was away with the nurses. And there was almost no space for visitors. How horrible! I was in a single room the next morning and with a c-section, it was nice to spend a few days in the hospital in privacy.
HACB HACB 7 years
The hospital I gave birth in has private rooms - both delivery and postpartum. So, no roommates for us. The bathrooms in the delivery rooms are shared between two rooms and the shower in the postpartum rooms are shared between two rooms. I'm very grateful for our private rooms. The time right after birth in the postpartum room especially was a special private time for my husband and I with our new baby girl. I'm glad it was just the three of us.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
I gave birth in a tiny little hospital, only one delivery room, and i ended up the unlucky one who gave birth in a back room becuase the birthing room was taken. They still gave all new mothers private rooms. I don't really like the thought of sharing a room becuase one of the things you need at first is every second of sleep you can have while your baby is asleep. With another person and baby in the room on a differnet schedule i can imagine that would severely cut the quiet and bustle time down.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 7 years
I've never heard of this but it doesn't surprise me. I don't live in a huge community, so I think it would be rare if they had to share a room. Our hospital gives you one room and you labor, deliver and have your stay there. They are super roomy too. Even though I hate being in a hospital, I enjoyed my stay.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 7 years
Yeah--another situation where a private room would be so much more comfortable, but I think it many hospitals these are rare. With any hospital experience, no matter how serious/scary, you are usually stuck with a roommate, so why would this be any different? My uncle who just had open heart surgery had a roommate immediately after surgery and the whole time he was there--it was super annoying for the family and uncomfortable for him. My point is as you pointed out that there were many very valid reasons you would have wanted a private room, but if they can't provide a private room for unpleasant hospitals stays then there would most likley not be an exception for joyous hospital stays like giving birth. A new hospital in my area ONLY built private rooms--a trend I think all new hospitals should follow, like you said usually it is the more the merrier--but when you are in the hospital that is not the case!!!
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