It used to be that new mothers would stay in hospital for days after the birth of their children. Now its more like hours. The Herald Sun reports that hospitals are offering mothers gifts (like nappies, frozen meals and cleaning services) and visits from midwives to persuade them to leave hospital early and free up beds to cope with a rising number of births.
The offer is usually reserved for women having their second or third babies, although some health experts are concerned that these offers could encourage mothers to go home before they’re ready.
When it came time to go home from hospital, Mamamia contributor Sarah Wayland had two very different experiences after the birth of her children. She writes:
There was an article in the paper recently about the new strategy aimed at early hospital discharge for new mums – some in as little as four hours post delivery. There was a picture in the paper of a new mum holding her gorgeous little girl who spoke about going home a few hours after her daughter was born, I guess in answer to the question that a lot of us were thinking “Why?” She explained that ‘for me, there was no better place to be than at home with baby. It was beautiful to not wake up the next day not in a strange, sterile environment but my own bed.’
Like every imaginable aspect of parenting there are a multitude of reasons why we make certain decisions but this article, and the mums response, got me thinking.
I’ve got a pigeon pair (as many people point out to me, even though I confess I don’t know what that means?). I had my daughter 5 years ago at a public hospital, using only the midwife service, it was a low risk pregnancy and everything went to plan – I even had a water birth (not by choice I simply refused to get out of the bath once they got me in). About 18 hours after I gave birth a nurse came to my room and asked me if I was ready to go home – I wasn’t – but it was my first entree into the world of difficult to answer parenting questions – you know those ones you get asked and you have no idea about how to respond. I wondered if all of the other mums had gone home, I wondered if it was a trick question. Part of me wanted to point out that I hadn’t yet accepted the fact that the babe in the see- through cradle actually came from my body. So I waited, a whole other 12 hours and then pronounced I was ready and so off I went with a bunch of numbers, a cute going home outfit and a tiny, tiny babe.