Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sshh: Moms and dads are resting

I really enjoyed this story by Steve Rukavina at CBC News about a Montreal hospital that has introduced "quiet time" in its maternity ward.  Perhaps this exists in other places, but I have not been aware of it if so.  It seems like a great idea to me.  Here are excerpts:

St-Mary's Hospital in Montreal will become the first hospital in Canada to implement a daily "quiet time" in its maternity ward to give frazzled parents of newborns a bit of a break.

The hospital is teaming up with researchers from McGill University to launch the project. The idea is to set aside 90 minutes each afternoon where lights are dimmed, the intercom is turned off, and visits from nurses, doctors and orderlies are suspended except for emergencies.

Here's an explanation from a student who's been working on the experiment.  Note the focus on both parents:

Over the last few weeks, Safina Adatia, a graduate student in family medicine at McGill and one of the researchers who's helping to set up the project, has been measuring decibel levels in the maternity ward.

Adatia says the World Health Organization recommends a level of 30 to 40 decibels for maternity wards — about the same noise level as a quiet street.  She says the maternity ward at St-Mary's regularly exceeds that.

"There's a lot of stress and anxiety when there's a lot of noise happening, so having an actual set amount of time will help show mothers that it's important to set aside an hour or two hours a day to make your own self-care really important," Adatia said.

"Reducing stress and anxiety during that time can lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels, and generally just improve the mood and create more bonding time and attention with the baby."

Mothers will be encouraged to schedule their feedings outside of the quiet time, so that they can be sure to dedicate that time to taking care of themselves, taking a nap, or having a nice uninterrupted cuddle with the new little one. Adatia says its important for new dads to take time out to rest as well.


Seraphin Nicholson said...

From Facebook:

Most of the hospitals in Northern California do this from what I hear from my Mommy friends. My nurse was great and put a sign on my door asking non-essential visitors to come back later (like the volunteers offering me magazines, the hospital photographer, etc.). It was very helpful.

Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

That's the hospital where my three were born. It was pretty good back then (late 80s, early 90s), except when I had a room right across from the nursing station. However, even that was a good lesson for me because it made me more aware of the noise we make at the station when I was back at work.

I do think this is a good idea.

Rachele Manning said...

I like this idea too. I delivered my two at Newton-Wellesley in MA and I could have sworn they had a similar policy.