Delivery room pictures banned; outrageous or understandable?

If you're looking for another argument in favor of home birth, here's one -- some hospitals are banning parents from taking pictures of their baby's birth. That means no video cameras, no still pictures, no recorded history of one of the most magical moments of your life.

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While policies vary by hospital nationwide, a Maryland hospital, Meritus Medical Center, recently banned pictures for five minutes after the baby's birth. FIVE FULL MINUTES. That's a lot of precious minutes of your own child's life to be prohibited from capturing.

For years parents have been snapping pictures and filming births, and while I'm sure there are some obnoxious family members who don't know their place in the delivery room, most are just as concerned about their baby's safety as the medical staff. They just want to memorialize it.

As Laurie Shifler, who will be delivering her eighth child at the hospital under the new policy, told ABC, "What's next, the father can't be in the delivery room?"

Exactly. While safety should be the utmost concern, there's got to be some room for sentimentality and emotion there too.

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And really, if it's a case of parents getting in the way, then hospitals could set some rules as to where the photogs can be, or perhaps have approved and trained photographers parents could hire to do the job if they must. But there's got to be some way to let parents capture these memories.

A hospital spokesperson said the policy is to "protect patient privacy" and "reduce potential staff distractions," according to The Baltimore Sun. Sounds more like the hospital wants to save its own ass from lawsuits.

Brian McKeen, a medical malpractice attorney, agrees.

"There's no question in my mind or in the minds of other colleagues who I've worked with on the obstetrical side that hospitals are doing this so as not to have a piece of evidence generated that can be used against them in a court of law," McKeen told ABC World News. "They do it to hide the truth."

If that's the case, then that's even more reason cameras should be allowed in delivery rooms.

Does your hospital have a policy against delivery room photographs? Would you change hospitals if it did?

Image via dhgoodman/Flickr

Written by Julie Ryan Evans for CafeMom's blog, The Stir.

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