Mum sparks debate about whether new dads should be able to stay over in maternity wards

A mum has sparked a parenting debate about whether new dads should be able to stay in hospital after birth [Photo: Getty]

A mum has ignited a parenting debate online about whether partners should be allowed to stay overnight in maternity wards after the birth of their baby.

Annie Ridout, took to Twitter to question why many hospitals don’t let fathers stay on the postnatal ward after their partners have given birth.

“My local hospital doesn’t allow partners to stay on postnatal ward after their baby has been born,” she wrote.

“I think this is outrageous – unfair on the mother; unfair on the father, who’s being made to feel unimportant. He needs to bond too. Do other UK hospitals have this rule?”

It’s certainly a reasonable query considering many dads and partners are keen to be involved and bonding with their new baby from birth.

But with so many hospitals sending dads home outside of visiting hours it can be difficult for them to feel like they’re doing their bit and bonding with their babies. 

READ MORE: New dad crowdsources opinions after admitting to dry nursing his baby

Many agreed that the rule made it difficult for new mums who may need additional support from their new partners and stopped families having precious time together to bond.

Some dads weighed in on the thorny topic, giving their own views and experiences.

READ MORE: Grieving dads form charity football team in memory of their children

Should new dads be able to stay on the maternity ward? [Photo: Getty]

But not everyone was keen on the idea of new dads and partners being able to stay on the maternity ward, with several raising some very valid reasons as to why partners are generally sent home at the end of visiting time. 


It isn’t the first time the subject has been raised. Last year a survey of new dads revealed that while two thirds felt welcome at their children’s birth, 40% said that hospitals had not allowed sufficient time for the new family to spend together after the birth.

The survey jointly undertaken by Fathers Network Scotland and the Fatherhood Institute also found that only 17% reported that their hospital had facilities for fathers to stay overnight afterwards, that’s despite 96% believing it would be helpful to new mums.