To read the previous part, go to The Need for Support.
A woman in labour’s need for intimacy in a hospital context is not easy to respect in a hospital setting. This is due to rotating shifts for staff and nurses and on-call doctors. While efforts are always made to ensure a couple’s intimacy while in the maternity ward, in reality, it will always be limited.
Nurses who share these intimate moments with couples start out as an unknown person, and links need to be created. Depending on the hospital, there may also be medical students, interns or residents. Add to this the anesthetist (who may be asked for during labour), a gynecologist (in case of complications), or a neonatologist (if the baby is premature), and you can understand why there may be more people around than you expected. This shows why it’s essential to express your needs as the childbirth experience proceeds.
Some couples want to invite a third person, someone from their family or a friend. This is very legitimate, but make sure that you are very comfortable with this person before inviting them. Make sure you feel free to express your feelings without holding back, ensure you feel loved and surrounded by strong, positive energy.
However, if you have doubts, don’t invite them! Childbirth is a significant experience in life, one you will never forget. This may mean that you should experience it intimately as a couple.
There are no miracle recipes for all couples. The staff present will try to create a relationship, adapt to the needs expressed by the couples they meet. Personally, as a nurse in a maternity ward for 10 years, I can say that I always saw my role as a great privilege. I was able to witness the forces of life every day, by parents’ sides. This is what human relationships are about, working with people! We want each parent to experience the childbirth experience as positive as possible.
I hope this article has helped you understand what is coming and to make some decisions conscientiously.
The Baby Expert