December 4, 2006


New moms and newborns need privacy, study shows (Rita Rubin, 12/04/04, USA TODAY)

Flowers are always nice, but perhaps the best gift you can give a brand-new mom is some quiet time alone with her baby.

Now that hospital visiting hours — not to mention staffing — are 24/7, maternity units are taking steps to minimize interruptions and lower the volume. They recognize that lack of privacy can get breast-feeding off to a rocky start, while lack of sleep might play a role in postpartum depression.

A study in the latest Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing found that women typically experienced dozens of interruptions during their first day after delivering a baby.

Researchers recorded the number and duration of visits and phone calls from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. for 29 brand-new moms who intended to breast-feed. During that period, the mothers on average experienced 54 visits or phone calls, averaging 17 minutes in length. On the other hand, they were alone with their baby (or their baby and the baby's father) only 24 times on average, and half of those episodes were nine minutes or less.

What percentage of babies born to humankind have had such privacy, maybe 1% and almost all in the past ten years or so?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 4, 2006 7:27 AM

Not a fair comparison. Many many babies and/or mothers didn't survive the birth process in the bad old days. Had there been more privacy, there would have been fewer infections and more of our ancestors might have lived

It's not calls and visits from friends and family that are disruptive, it's the incessant comings and goings of hospital personnel all day and all night with absolutely no regard for the comfort of the patient that's the problem. Hospitals are run for the convenience, not to say, optimal returns on investment, of the management.

If you can believe it, there's a posted notice at our local hospital that linens are only changed every other day ostensibly so as to have less negative impact on the environment or global warming or some such nonsense.

During a recent four day sojourn, neither the bed linens nor my gown were changed at all. Lucky for me, my doctor got me out of there before I caught some infectious disease.

Posted by: erp at December 4, 2006 8:17 AM

I'm a little dense; what does this have to do with Darwinism?

Posted by: Macduff at December 4, 2006 10:26 AM

You're not dense, Macduff. To OJ everything looks like a nail...


Posted by: jefferson park at December 4, 2006 10:31 AM

Actually, Darwinism is the nail, and everything else is the hammer. Well, the nail's somewhere down in that crater he's created...

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 4, 2006 11:12 AM

The essence of Darwinism is that you don't change the enviroment, the enviroment changes you.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at December 4, 2006 11:21 AM

If Darwinism were more than an ideology, how could a mother and child conceivably need privacy, which they've been denied for ten billion years of evolution?

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2006 12:06 PM


How do you know that mothers and children we're denied privacy as they evolved into humans? Maybe for the past 6000 years or so of civilization, but howabout the two million years or so before that?
Everything is an ideology, an explanation, a metaphor. Some are just more useful.

Posted by: Macduff at December 4, 2006 12:32 PM

Ah, so Homo Erectus Medicare included a private cave for new mothers? You have to stop flogging your ideology when it becomes too stupid to be believed, no matter what good purpose you think it might have served had it not been proved ludicrous.

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2006 12:56 PM

Nobody is trying to flog you with that hypothesis. I simply asked you what makes you an expert on differences pre-historic human birthing.
And how you can use this article, that makes no claims about the mechanisms of human evolution, as a battering ram against Darwinism.
I would argue that perhaps having privacy means something different now than perhaps it once did.

Posted by: Macduff at December 4, 2006 1:23 PM

Robert: Wrong. There's nothing in Darwin or "Darwinism" that says anything like that. You, and every other organism, are part of the environment, and affect one another.

OJ: Most babies in human history were also born without benefit of modern hygiene, too, but that doesn't have anything to do with Darwin, either. (Other than in the sense that humans are getting better at surviving.)

Posted by: PapayaSF at December 4, 2006 2:45 PM


Of course privacy means something different now--that's the point.

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2006 3:17 PM


Bingo. Kids today get birth certificates. The argument that babies need birth certificates is aDarwinian.

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2006 3:27 PM

The argument that babies need birth certificates is aDarwinian.

I'm sure I speak for many when I say . . . whaaaaaat?

Posted by: PapayaSF at December 4, 2006 6:29 PM

We're just agreeing that privacy, hygiene and birth certificates have nothing to do with Darwinism.

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2006 6:51 PM

Wait a minute...are you saying that the article you posted that had nothing to do with Darwinism had nothing to do with Darwinism?
Have you been smoking weed? Your terse non-answers are making even less sense than usual. I think the Randroids have dosed your Ovaltine with LSD.

Posted by: Bryan at December 4, 2006 7:12 PM

"New moms and newborns need privacy, study shows"

They don't.

Posted by: oj at December 4, 2006 8:27 PM

Shows unfamilairity with birthing traditions. Among Indians, a new mom had to stay mostly alone with the newborn for 40 days--prevented infections.

Posted by: Bisaal at December 5, 2006 1:35 AM

At their vacation home?

Posted by: oj at December 5, 2006 7:40 AM

Privacy requires a vacation home?


Posted by: jefferson park at December 6, 2006 10:09 AM