Were you alone during labour, public hospital??


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I'm only 8 weeks pregnant, so have a long way to go, but I am intending to have my baby in a public hospital, probably QMH.

I have read all the threads on public hospitals and I am horrified at the thought of being alone while in labour! I can't believe that they wouldn't let my husband be with me the whole time, or afterwards only during visiting hours.

This is unheard of in many countries, I'm sure!!

I would love to hear from others (I know there are some posts in other threads, but would like to read more), who have given birth in the public system and how you coped without your partner with you as much as you would like.


Hi HKAussie,

I was alone during labour, but it was during the SARS epidemic. I'm sure things are more relaxed now, but I believe that visiting hours are more restricted than before SARS. I think you should contact QMH to find out what there policies are. You can ask about the policies at the antenatal appointments, but I would still call QMH to make sure because I got some conflicting info. at the antenatal appointments.

I did not cope well with being alone. It was my first pregnancy so I was terrified. Next time I plan to go to a private hospital or get a semi-private room at QMH as I couldn't sleep at all in QMH (The crying babies kept me awake as I'm a light sleeper).

I hope I haven't added to your fears. Maybe someone who delivered more recently at QMH will jump in into this thread.
Hi HKaussie

I gave birth to my first baby at QMH a few months after SARS restrictions were lifted and they welcomed my husband into the labour room. I gather they prefer to keep you alone during your early stages (before you are 3cm dilated), but it might be best if you can stay at home as long as possible to avoid this. I had Hulda Thorey from Annerley with me at home and she was able to monitor my progress here in a more relaxed environment.

Visiting hours after the delivery are a bit restrictive, but the upside is that the ward is quiet for most of the day. You will probably only be in for two nights so use it as a time to bond with your new child.

I would highly recommend Queen Mary's - I am having my second there in a few weeks! Just be open minded about how things are going to turn out, but at the same time let them know if you have any special requirements. Hopefully they will follow your birth plan as closely as they can. I hear they are more open to different birthing positions, for example, when they were when I was in 14 months ago.

All the best!
dear hkaussie,

In recent years, husband is allowed to come in the labor room in public hospital if the wife requested.

But I expelled my husband while I was delivering. I don't want to see him at that moment. I don't know why, of course, i love him so much, but I can't accept him to be with me.

Even I delivered my second son in a private hospital, I rejected him again. :missingto

Refering to some magazines, some hospitals only allow the husband to come if you request it during the anatal visit. Some point out that if the labor room is full, the husband may not come even if they have requested.

So, you would better to do some work to ensure your husband can come with you. :gl:
The policy on allowing husbands to be present during labor varies from hospital to hospital from what I understand.

My wife & I specifically chose Queen Elizabeth hospital for the birth of our first child last June, as (a) they actually encourage husbands to stay with the wife during labour, and (b) they have individual and very modern labor rooms.

Although Prince Of Wales hospital was much closer to where we live, we were told that husbands are not usually permitted to attend during labor, mainly due to privacy issues. At that time they just had one shared labour ward, with only curtains to provide privacy. It's my uunderstanding that since then they have renovated and now have individual labor rooms.

I think the best thing is to check with each hospital about their policy.

We were very happy with our experience at Queen Elizabeth and would not hesitate to go back there should we ever decide to have another child.

Thank you so much for your replies, it's helped a lot.

Alice, it's interesting you say that because my Mum said exactly the same when I told her my fears! She said 'your Father was no help and I didn't really need him there at that stage!' I don't know that I will feel the same way, but at least I have heard a few stories and I appreciate the good and the bad.

I'll definitely be talking to my hospital when I have appointments with them. I just went to register today but forgot my ID card, so have to go back next week!

Thanks again, and any further stories are still very welcome,

I didn?t find my husband very helpful when I was in labour. But I think it was a good thing he was there from his point of view. What I found most helpful was to be reminded that I was in transition stage. At the time I thought I couldn?t take any more (this is normal in the transition stage) so to be reminded of that made me realise it wasn?t going to go on for ever.

Best wishes,
I had my first baby during SARS and they didn't allow husbands in the delivery room then and also understandably during that time, visiting hours were very restricted. I had my second baby just 6 weeks ago, again in Queen Mary and this time, husbands were allowed in the delivery room, but not in the labour ward. Visiting hours were: 12-1:00 and 6:00-8:00pm

I would thoroughly recommend Queen Mary as both times I was there were positive experiences for me.

Just to add, if you end up having a C section, husbands are not allowed into the operating room.
that's not strictly true... if it is a planned c section they are allowed... however, if it is an emergency c section, they are not...
hello, hkaussie,
I am back. I gave birth to my third child last week so I can't online for a short period.

I beg my doctor for induction this time because I perfer monkey to rooster. And I didn't tell my husband before as I know he will never agree to have such abnormal treatment :bump: . I phoned him when I knew the baby was sure to come. ( do you think i am crazy)

Well, I think I will be more tough if my husband is not with me. Some of my friends agree so, while some are not. They want to hold their husbands' hands when during the pain.

When I was registering, I saw a husband walking in and out the labour room and asked the nurse to call the doctor. But the nurse checked his wife and it was not the right time. It strongened my thought that husband can't do anything during the pain besides calling the nurse. I just want to see my doctor when the pain came because only he can help me to deliver my baby.

It is just my experience, you must stand for your mind that your husband must come with you in the labor room. Don't let him have choice so that he can prepare himself well to stay with you and support you. :flower:
I wasn't alone during labour because I laboured for a long time at home before heading for the hospital, so upon admission I was already dilated enough to go into the delivery suites at QMH and delivered 5 hours later. A lot of people would be too nervous to do this, but I was reassured by my mother's presence because she's a doctor and has delivered babies in the past! So she could monitor my labour. You can also hire a midwife to perform this function such as Hulda from Annerley Midwives or someone from Everdawn Midwives. This also ensures that you can labour in the comfort of your own home where you will be more relaxed than in hospital and hopefully the labour will therefore progress faster. Unfortunately my labour still didn't go quickly, but at least I avoided (IMHO) unnecessary clinical interventions because I'm sure if I had been in hospital for 36hrs without delivering they would have wanted to give me induction drugs or a C-section for lack of progress.

Regarding policies at QMH. I did find it almost impossible to find out accurate information about what they will or will not permit. Everything on my birthplan that I was told was impossible ended up being possible. (Drawing up a birthplan is highly recommended so that all the staff, through however many changes of shifts, are very clear about your preferences.) Maybe I was lucky in the flexibility of the staff on duty at the time. But I think in general it's a waste of time to ask the medical staff about the "policies" in advance because in my experience they make exceptions to every rule. They don't like to agree to those exceptions in advance because they don't want to encourage hoardes of people to do the same thing. It was definitely a waste of time asking people at the Tsan Yuk - everything I was told there was totally inaccurate. Your best source of information is probably forums like this!!!
Laboring alone?

I had long latent phases of labor, so on the day my second child was born, I checked into PWH, even though I was only about 1 cm. dilated, because I wanted my Entonox!

I was by myself for a few hours that way - just pacing and reading and taking my gas during my contractions.

DH popped in and out (we lived near the hospital). Down in the delivery suite he kept me company a bit in the begining, then I sent him out to supper (just me and the midwives). When I was in my last very active phase (in about 45 minutes I dilated 8cm) he helped me walk about. The midwife sat aside because she could see that we were fine by ourselves. It was only when I told him to tell the midwife I felt like I wanted to push that she became more involved. But that's the way we wanted it, I am sure if we had wanted or needed more support from her, she would have given it. All my friends who have given birth in public hospitals (without their partners) said the midwives were very helpful and supportive.
i had an emergency c section on feb 12 at QMH...much to my chagrin, i was not allowed to have my hubby with me...as a matter of fact i started crying on the operating table that i wanted him with me, but due to my health complications, they refused. i couldn't understand it as i tried to expalin that i'd be much more relaxed if they let him in... anyway, to make a long story short, he was allowed in to see me once they moved me from the recovery room to a labour room (they put me in one instead of transferring me back to the ward because my blood pressure was throught hte roof and they had a nurse/midwife with me the entire night) around 5 hours after the surgery!!!!
when all is said an done though, the staff that performed the operation were terrific, esp. the anesthesiologist(sp?) and his assistant(she actually spent most of the surgery wiping the tears from my eyes!)

and after all, the end product, my beautiful, HEALTHY, baby boy is worth any discomfort that i felt at the time!
Cara, you poor thing that is so mean. I know they have their rules but surely if your blood pressure is through the roof they'd do anything to keep you relaxed!!! I'm glad everything worked out alright though and you've got your little boy.

My husband was locked out from me all night when I was in labour, but at least I knew I was alright and neither of us were in danger at that stage. Unfortunately I was to be induced so never got to wait at home, which was my plan throughout pregnancy. In any event, we all got to go hokme eventually and now have great medical insurance in case we have another!
I had my son in December 2004 at Queen Mary and I wasn't alone - but as the baby's father was in Australia a friend came along and she was allowed to do so because we had a letter saying she had come to classes with me

however if you have an emergency C section you are not allowed to be accompanied in the room