Birthing partners staying overnight

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We recognise that for some situations, it is supportive for a birth partner to stay overnight. However, we also know that due to the lack of sleep and relative comfort associated with an overnight stay, it is often helpful for the birth partner to return home to sleep and come back in the morning.

If you decide to stay overnight, we anticipate that you will provide support with elements such as:

  • obtaining refreshments
  • supporting to the bathroom
  • baby care, such as changing nappies, feeding and holding baby

If you are staying overnight, you will need to agree to the conditions set out in this booklet. This is to ensure we can maintain an environment that is suitable for everyone.

If you are unable to meet the conditions outlined in this booklet, we will not be able to support you to stay overnight and you will be asked to leave.

We are mindful of enabling a comfortable, secure environment for all service users who are admitted with us on the ward. To support this, and in response to service user feedback, we launched ‘Night Mode’ last year to enable us to provide the most suitable environment we can to enable rest.

The principles of ‘Night Mode’ have been created in collaboration with our Maternity Voices Partnership and are listed below.

Please review the requirements which will be in place for your overnight stay:

  • Do not leave or enter the ward between the hours of 22.00 and 06.00 unless it has been requested by a member of our team or it is an emergency.
  • Between the hours of 22.00 and 06.00:
    • all electronic devices must be on silent mode
    • loudspeaker is not to be used for phone calls
    • headphones are to be used when watching or listening to media on devices
  • While you are on the ward, please ensure you wear comfortable clothes or pyjamas, always including a top and bottoms. It is advisable to also wear non-slip shoes.

We are currently not able to provide facilities such as beds, showers or food for birth partners who choose to stay overnight.

The facilities which are available include:

  • a dedicated toilet which can be used by birth partners
  • a chair within each bay space for you to rest in. We do also have a small supply of recliner chairs which are available for those who may stay longer than one night.
  • refreshments, which are available from the drink station.
  • a hospital restaurant and food outlets in the main entrance where you can purchase refreshments (not available between 22.00 and 06.00).

While you are staying with us, please do not sleep in any of the beds, these are for service users only. This includes co-sleeping with your partner or sleeping in another bed which may be empty on the ward.

There are some visiting conditions you should be aware of:

  • this Trust operates a zero tolerance for aggressive and disruptive behaviour.
  • we will ask you to leave if you make anyone within the maternity unit feel unsafe or if we consider you to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. we have an onsite security team who will be asked to attend if we require support.
  • if you have been ill or in close contact with someone who has diarrhoea or vomiting, a flu-like or contagious illness in the last 48 hours, please do not come into the maternity unit.
  • if the fire alarm rings, please remain in your bay area and wait for instructions from the staff.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to a member of staff on duty.