Moms recovering from giving birth, particularly after having a painful C-section or a difficult delivery, can attest to the fact that it’s not always easy to pick up their newborns from the hospital bassinet or to depend on nurses to bring their babies to them.
But what if your newborn could be right by your side, easily within arm’s reach and without having to leave your hospital bed?
It appears that such a bed actually exists: The Australian moms’ site BellyBelly posted a photo on their Facebook page of a hospital bed designed with a bassinet-like section for a newborn baby. The post said: “Would you like to see beds like this in all maternity hospitals? What a great help for C-section mammas too, but most of all, keeping ALL mothers closer to their babies after birth!” The post clearly struck a chord and quickly went viral, garnering more than 224,000 likes. It has been shared more than 129,000 times.
Popsugar noted that for moms recovering from a C-section who are unable to get out of bed to reach their babies without help, this new hospital bed is “a game changer.”
Along with keeping their babies close during the night, the modern bed also makes it more convenient for moms to breastfeed their infants.
Claire Biney commented on the post: “Such a good idea after C-section. I couldn’t touch/lift my baby for ages. She always had to be handed to me.” Lucy Saunders wrote: “No C-section or overly traumatic birth for me, but would’ve still loved this…would’ve meant I could lay with our baby instead of perching on the edge of the bed all night staring at her in wonderment.”
There’s no information about the makers of the bed or where it’s available, but Iffath Hoskins, MD, an OB-GYN at NYU Langone Medical Center, tells Yahoo Parenting that she understands the appeal of this type of hospital bed. “The baby is right next to the mother, so it’s easier with breastfeeding and she can reach over to comfort the baby,” she says.
But Hoskins points out that there are risks to this sleeping arrangement, because there isn’t a partition separating the mother and baby while they’re asleep. “If the mother rolls over from exhaustion, there would be the risk of smothering the baby,” she says. “The mother’s arm could go into that space in her sleep and cover the baby, or she could knock a pillow to the side and it’s on the baby.”
She adds: “That’s why we don’t let the baby sleep in the bed with the mother. That’s why we don’t give blankets other than swaddling.”
Hoskins also points out that, even though getting out of bed can be painful for new moms, there’s a health benefit to it: “There are many mothers who have trouble getting out of bed, but postpartum, especially post-C-section, there is a very high risk for blood clots in the leg,” she explains. “An advantage of being forced to get up for the baby is that it forces the mother to move her legs — it’s a big plus. However painful it can be, it’s important for new moms to move rather than remaining in their hospital beds.”