So much planning goes into preparing for childbirth that it can be hard to ask questions or check off details for every single thing. You have to get the house ready, buy baby gear, handle mom’s birth plan, and more.

But how many people think to ask about the hospital visitation/stay policy? For many, that is something that doesn’t come to mind until the baby’s arrival. A recent Twitter discussion sparked by a UK journalist and mom has some wondering if hospital policies are leaving dads out after the birth.

Annie Ridout is not on board with hospitals that disallow partners from staying in the maternal ward post birth. The question was raised about how many hospitals do the same thing.

Many women chimed with differing opinions, but it seems like an overwhelming majority of hospitals do not have policies that permit fathers to stay overnight following birth. Some commenters stated that they had to request special permission based on anxiety issues, c-section births, or health complications.

There were quite a few Twitter comments that were in favor of women-only maternity wards to give moms time to recover and rest without the presence of a man, especially if privacy was an issue in a shared room.

Some felt that an overnight stay was unnecessary for a few days and that both parents should be okay with the father leaving when visiting hours are over.

On the other hand, other women were bummed when their partners were told to leave and felt alone. They cited physical pain, vulnerability, and the need for extra support. In some cases, these women were able to have their first or second child with the partner staying overnight, but not for the next birth.

But this is not only affecting moms and dads in the UK. It is happening here in the States too with the only way the father can spend the night is if the mother has a private room. That setup depends on availability and whether or not insurance will cover it.

Additionally, a 2018 survey by Fathers Network of 1,800 new fathers found that only 17% of hospitals in the UK and 10% in Scotland had overnight stay policies in place. Most had to leave after visiting hours. More than half of these new dads said they felt invisible during the birthing process, which seems to contradict family-centric messaging promoted by health officials.

Where overcrowding and privacy can be an issue in maternity wards, how should hospitals handle it? Some people have proposed that there should be separate units for moms with partners and moms who don’t have one. For some mothers, it may be a matter of personal preference.

While some think that barring fathers from the post-birth moments seems archaic, others believe that it could be better for mom. What do you think?

Should fathers be allowed to stay overnight after the birth of their baby? Do you think overnights should only be for private rooms or shared? What are your thoughts on separate maternity (or paternity) wards?