Hospital Birthers: Were You Able to Bedshare with Your Newborn? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: Were You Able to Bedshare in Hospital with Your Newborn?
I bedshared without any trouble from staff 180 65.69%
I wanted to bedshare and did despite staff disapproval 40 14.60%
I wanted to bedshare and didn't because of staff disapproval 13 4.74%
I bedshared on the sly to avoid any conflicts 24 8.76%
NA-I didn't want to bedshare 4 1.46%
Other 13 4.74%
Voters: 274. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 10:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've never had a baby in a hospital, so I'm wondering about the logistics of bringing your new baby into your bed with you to sleep. I've heard that some nurses scorn the practice, and others don't care what you do. What was your experience?

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#2 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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I think they just assumed I was always holding the beab, normal practice for an excited new Mama.

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#3 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Maluhia View Post
I think they just assumed I was always holding the beab, normal practice for an excited new Mama.
I was also 'nursing' ds every time a nurse came in. Poor dh, he barely got to hold ds in the hospital.

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#4 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 10:58 PM
 
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I think it depends on the hospital and individual nurses - but I don't think they can truly stop you from co-sleeping, yk?

I've had four babies (all c-sections) in 2 different hospitals (with a handful of nurses between all the shift changes during the 3-day stays. All four slept on my chest, all night long. I wouldn't have had it any other way. I had a couple nurses comment, but no one made me put the baby in a plastic box. I think it helped that DH stayed with me each night, so they didn't worry about me being unable to put the baby down (again, surgical births) or anything. In my situation, I was in an adjustable, single bed in a semi-upright position so I was super comfy with baby on my chest - nursing when needed. Some rooms have double beds, and some don't - so that's something you may want to consider.

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#5 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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I delivered at a "baby friendly" hospital. So rooming in was assumed, as was breastfeeding. DH, baby, and I all shared a double bed the two nights we were there. There was a bassinet in the room, but it was only used when the nurses changed the diapers and checked baby's temp.

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#6 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:00 PM
 
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I delivered at a "baby friendly" hospital. So rooming in was assumed, as was breastfeeding. DH, baby, and I all shared a double bed the two nights we were there. There was a bassinet in the room, but it was only used when the nurses changed the diapers and checked baby's temp.
This was pretty much my experience to a T
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#7 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:13 PM
 
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I had my babies in a hospital-attached birth center, and i chose to spend 2 nights in the hospital with my first. The hospital is very baby friendly, and the staff seemed well aware of the "different needs and wants of birth center families, " as they put it to me, so no one ever said a word about co-sleeping, and made a point of asking about things that most hospital moms accept without question, like baths and hearing tests. So I dunno if my "birth center status" made a difference, or if they wouldn't have said anything anyway. Oh, and in the birth center, where we stayed for about 6 hours before transferring, there was only a double bed... no bassinet at all.
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#8 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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I said that there was staff disapproval, but that might be a bit harsh: a nurse came in the very first night while DS was sleeping next to me and I was dozing, and she said that I shouldn't let DS sleep in my bed that night, because the drugs in my system from my C-Section might still be dulling my reflexes and making me sleep heavier than is safe while co-sleeping.

So I don't know if there was a hospital policy about bed-sharing, and I didn't really care to find out: I made sure that it didn't really come up after that. And she may very well have had a point. Not that it actually stopped me!

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#9 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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With DD1, no one said anything one way or the other.

With DD2 (different hospital, same geographic location), cosleeping was outright encouraged.
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#10 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:31 PM
 
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There was rooming in at the hospital where DS was born, no nursery. I coslept with him and some of the staff tried to give me flack about it but I just rolled over and ignored them.

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#11 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:32 PM
 
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I slept with DS the entire time we were in the hospital. All the nurses just assumed I was holding him.

One nurse jumped all over me, and said he wasn't allowed to sleep with me, but she didn't make me put him elsewhere. I just shot her a look and she eventually went away. I didn't like that nurse one bit, I always breathed a sigh of relief at shift change.
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#12 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:35 PM
 
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I had my first son in the hospital, and the nurses DID NOT approve of bed sharing. For the first 48 hours I woke up every time anyone entered my room so that they would think I was awake holding my baby (I was exhausted and didn't think that one out entirely)... I was caught by the ONE sympathetic nursing aide on the 2nd night. I started awake when she was already in my room, and I just stared at her like "I totally wasn't sleeping with my baby, but if I were, I'll bite your head off for saying anything". But she was awesome, she just winked at me and let it go.

When my best friend had her baby in the same hospital one year later, I ran interference for her the entire first day so that she didn't have to deal too much with the "hospital policy".

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#13 of 104 Old 12-01-2009, 11:50 PM
 
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It was activly discouraged where I birthed. There were signs all over saying something about the bassinet being the safest place for baby to sleep and one of the nurses told me a story about a baby "falling out of mom's bed" recently.

I don't know what would have happened if they had caught me co-sleeping. I was too exhausted/unsure to try it. I didn't really plan on co-sleeping at that point. Amusingly enough that 2nd night in the hospital trying to get DD to sleep more than 5-10 min out of contact w/ me was one of the things that made me re-think the whole "baby must sleep in her own bed" thing.

I voted other, I'd say I was fairly neutral about bedsharing and didn't give it a try because of disapproval.

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#14 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 12:08 AM
 
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The first shift nurse was quite vocal about not having the baby in bed with me while asleep. Apparently "against hospital policy". I was so out of it after a long labour and delivery that I think I just went with it (and to be honest, I was quite happy to have DD swaddled in the bassinet beside me - it was also a rooming-in hospital). As it turns out, I found out later, that nurse was notorious for pushing her opinions... anyway we did a bit of co-sleeping as soon as I figured out side-lying.

Different hospital for this coming baby, and a midwife delivery planned. If I'm told we are not "allowed" to bed-share, and if the nurses made life difficult, we'll just discharge ourselves early and come home. But I suspect based on everything else I've heard about this hospital, there won't be any discouragement.

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#15 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 12:09 AM
 
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#2 never stopped BF'ing while we were in the hospital. Literally, she never slept more than 1/2 hour unless I was holding her. No one minded. Except me. I was a zombie for the next 2 years!!!
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#16 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 12:26 AM
 
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Other. We didn't have any plans ahead of time about what we were going to do and the staff never said anything about sleeping arrangements to us. Ds was very fussy, I was exhausted from a long labor. Dh slept on a cot and ds slept on his chest.

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#17 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 12:30 AM
 
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With DD, a c section, I had no comments about it, but i did have some open mouth gaping from lunch tray droppers off about the big breasts hanging out. I didn't really have her in bed with me asleep when someone else wasn't awake though. It is a big drop.

With DS, he was a homebirth but was hospitalized briefly at about a week old. They didn't give me a hard time in pediatrics either, and when I really NEEDED to sleep but DH was out and DS was fussy, the fantastic nurse carried him up and down the halls snuggled in her arms for about an hour.

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#18 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 12:31 AM
 
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I had two c sections and was able to sleep w/my girls. No objection from staff. I can see how someone would see it as dangerous ... come on, big drop, hard floor, drugged mom. However, I brought a sling and just basically tied them to my chest!

Also, you could bring a low blow up bed and put the baby between the two of you (your spouse and you) or next to you ... baby's too young to roll really. That way, there would be no real risk of a drop.

You'd have to ask the staff to move out the big hospital bed, but if I had it to do over again, I might do that, bring a blow up.

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#19 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 12:39 AM
 
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Our hospital is still archaic. With number 1, he was born late at night and hospital policy dictated four hours in the nursery. By the time I got him back, it was almost morning. I didn't know much about bed sharing, but honestly don't remember what we did.

With number 2, I was not going to put her in a plastic box. The first night one of the nurses came in and told me I couldn't. I ended up spending the next 2 nights sleeping sitting up and waking up everytime someone came in. I was not making her sleep in the box.
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#20 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can see how someone would see it as dangerous ... come on, big drop, hard floor, drugged mom. However, I brought a sling and just basically tied them to my chest!
It occurred to me (the OP) that I should have factored in the effects of the drugs. Those can adversely affect bedsharing if you're all but knocked out. Great idea with the sling!

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#21 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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I voted "no trouble," but when we explicitly asked, the nurse said "Well, the baby _should_ sleep in the bassinet." But nobody ever stopped us. That said, we didn't really sleep much in the hospital. I don't think I ever fell deeply asleep with ds in the bed (or for the next six weeks, but that's a different story.)
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#22 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 01:00 AM
 
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With my son six years ago I was told in clear terms that it was not allowed. I feel asleep on accident with him, and was woken up by a nurse asking if she could take him to the nursery since I was too sleepy to stay up with him, and he was only happy being held. Me being a first time mom caved.

With my baby I just had in May at a different hospital it was a different story. I was ready for them to tell me no, but was very surprised when the nurse actually tucked us in bed together. Then the next morning my new nurse was all smiles when she saw us curled up together sound asleep.

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#23 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 01:29 AM
 
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I bedshared with approval and encouragement from staff. The lactation consultant also showed me how to nurse side-lying.
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#24 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 01:58 AM
 
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DS1 was a hospital birth in 2003 in Massachusetts and I kept trying to bedshare and the nurses would keep coming into the room and try to take him away. They said if I put him in the bed one more time and fell asleep, they'd take him to the nursery. So, I plopped something in front of the door so I'd wake up if I heard them come in. :

DS2 passed away at birth and DD1 was adopted so no answer for those.

DD2 was born via c-section at 36 weeks and needed a lot of skin to skin contact. The night of her birth, my husband tried to drive home in a blizzard and then ended up in a hotel because the snow was so bad. So, I was alone in the hospital room with a baby post c-section. I kept her in the bed with me but stayed up all night because I was afraid the nurses would try to take her. That went on a couple more days until day 3 of the 5 day stay when one of the nurses saw her laying on my chest with every pillow in the bed propped up along the rail of the bed (so the baby couldn't roll/fall through the rail). The nurse laughed and said "you know, you can get some sleep. Keep her on your chest so you both get some rest. You're not a first time mom and you've done this before". And this was at a major teaching hospital/medical school. The next two nights in the hospital rocked because we both slept all night!

ETA: I kept the bed in a semi-reclined position and had the absolute bare minimum of pain meds...I was off narcotics within a couple days and was walking around less than 12 hours post-c-section so they weren't too worried about my reflexes. :

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#25 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 02:22 AM
 
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DD had severe jaundice due to AB/O incompatibility, so had to be incubated for light therapy for much of our 6 day stay - though we did bedshare - in the hospital bed - with lots of pillows - until her jaundice was diagnosed. After that, we roomshared, and was in my arms as often as possible while nursing. It was a baby friendly designated hospital, so room/bedsharing was encouraged. No problems with holding her as much as we wanted (other than the obvious - the less time she was under the lights, the higher her bili levels went)

DS also had severe jaundice due to AB/O incompatibility, and was also preterm (36 weeks). We were prepared this time, and due to pretermness I insisted on keeping him skin to skin, and phototherapy was done with a biliblanket. Biliblanket is less effective than incubator light therapy, so we had to treat for 2 weeks at home, but hospital stay was only 3 days, instead of 6!
This hospital did NOT encourage bed sharing or rooming in, and the nurses were frequently asking me if I'd rather have him in the nursery, or in the basinette next to the bed ("aren't you TIRED of holding him?" WHAT? ). The thing is... when you have had a C-section, getting the baby OUT of the basinette requires another person, at least at first, so there was no way I was letting DS go. Basically, we stayed connected from birth (oh yes, I insisted on him being placed on my chest immediately post-C as well ... they LOVED us at that hospital. HA!). There were a couple awesome nurses though, who really GOT it.

So, anyway, I voted the second option. Cause I did it anyway.

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#26 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 02:24 AM
 
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I had csections, was was able to sleep with the babies. All of the nurses thought it was great.
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#27 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 02:57 AM
 
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The birth experience itself was horrific but oddly enough they were very breastfeeding and bedsharing friendly. In fact, I attribute my breastfeeding success to the lactation consultant who sat with me most of the night and made sure my daughter's latch was right. My daughter never went to the nursery and they had no problem with it.
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#28 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 03:08 AM
 
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I was only in the hospital about 12 hours pp, but I refused to let him go into a "salad crisper" as my DH renamed their little plastic tubs they called baby beds. The nurses were not happy and kept wanting me to put him in one, but did not push TOO hard. But then again, we were a bunch of trouble for them already, so they just really wanted us gone!

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#29 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 03:27 AM
 
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I did with all three of mine with no problems.

With my first I fell asleep with baby in bed next to me and woke to a nurse tucking a pillow in between him and the metal rail on the bed so he wouldn't fall out.

With my second, postpartum was full and I was transferred to pediatrics, which actually was awesome. They basically left us alone except to take vitals a few times. I co-slept despite signs posted all over the place warning against it. Nobody said a word.

Number 3 was an emergency c-section under general anesthesia (so I didn't get the spinal duramorph which meant a lot of post-op pain). I did eventually co-sleep a little with her after the first 24 hrs or so. DH and my mom both took turns staying with me in the hospital overnight to help, so most of the time if she wasn't with me, she was in bed with DH or Grandma. Grandma, by the way, is a postpartum nurse on that very floor. DD got a little warm being all bundled up and under the covers with her and had a high-temp reading, but since my mom was able to vouch for why we didn't have go through the whole fever protocol

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#30 of 104 Old 12-02-2009, 03:52 AM
 
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Where I delivered, they had the little newborn-bed-on-a-cart in the room and no nursery for healthy babies. Now that I really think about it, I think one person might have mentioned something about the baby being in the bed. Overall I didn't get the impression of any negativity about cosleeping. I guess I never had any doubt that's what we were going to do, though. I did put her in the little cart bed for a little while... didn't help me rest any better :P.
I forget when or what I was reading, but I was under the impression that hospitals were phasing out nurseries. That's a step in the right direction!
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