Delivery Room Pictures Banned; Outrageous or Understandable?

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birthIf 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.

While policies vary by hospital nationwide, a Maryland hospital, Meritus Medical Center, recently banned pictures for five minutes after a 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.

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

baby prep, birth stories, delivery, fathers

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Katt709 Katt709

Wow. I'd change hospitals. I actually wanted my delivery filmed - but since he came so early and in an emergency c-section we didn't have time to set it up. But my hospital was on board with that. As it was we got lots of great pictures from the moments immedietly after birth. I cherish those pics - even more so because it went so fast and I was medicated, so what I remember is in a fog. In the future, I want the same options!

sstepph sstepph

Yeah I would change hospitals. I cherish the pictures we have of our son when he came out. I mean as soon as he was born we have pictures and I love looking at them.

thedg... thedgoddess

It's only to cover their arses in case something goes wrong. Make no mistake!

jalaz77 jalaz77

My hospital doesn't have that ban. My hubby to many up close and personal shots so those have been edited which worked out fine. Not sure if I would change hospitals or say "another reason for home-birthing" either.

PonyC... PonyChaser

I had my son 7 years ago, and we were allowed to have a camera in the room.  Unfortunately, we didn't, as it ended up being an emergency c-section.  We took plenty of pics later, though.  And when we got the film developed, we discovered that one of the nurses, without us noticing, had grabbed our camera and took a couple of pics of our little guy.  They were beautiful! One of the pics was of our son with the white stuff still on him, crying his first cry.  And another when they were doing the whole weigh and measure thing.  I'm so thankful to that nurse who did it anonymously - none would admit to doing it.


That said, I can understand how some photographer/videographer parents might get a little TOO enthusiastic.  I can also understand how videos interpreted after the fact could definitely be used to prosecute a doctor who really was acting in the best interest of mother and child.  Sometimes mistakes happen, but now, we are SUCH a litigious society that we cannot accept that.  So those folks would be the ones who would be taking that video to every lawyer in town to find the mistake.  It's a hard call to make.

LoriA... LoriAnn87

My husband was able to take pictures of my son after I had my c section.

momto... momtothemax2910

We couldn't film anything which was annoying, but pictures were allowed.  If they weren't allowed I'd switch hospitals for sure (provided we had no medical need to be at such hospital of course).  I want that first fresh there you are my sweet angel moment captured for all time.

bills... billsfan1104

The doctors and nurses are only trying to protect themselves for very very litigous mothers and fathers who expect them to be God. Maybe their malpractice insurance doesnt allow them to be filmed. What part of they dont want to be sued, dont people understand?? Why be mad at the doctors or nurses?? Be mad at the people who sued for every small thing.

bills... billsfan1104

The doctors and nurses are only trying to protect themselves for very very litigous mothers and fathers who expect them to be God. Maybe their malpractice insurance doesnt allow them to be filmed. What part of they dont want to be sued, dont people understand?? Why be mad at the doctors or nurses?? Be mad at the people who sued for every small thing.

RanaA... RanaAurora

This is not okay. Not okay in the slightest. Yeah, they don't want pictures of them DOING SOMETHING WRONG that doesn't get written on the chart, so that if a mother tries to seek help and hold them responsible, they can deny it ever happened.


It's a mother's BIRTH OF HER CHILD -- it's not like it happens every day. UGH.


They do realize the more they do to try to protect themselves, the more women won't want to be at the hospital at ALL? Then of course, they'll be upset when women go to birthing centers and home births. Gee, I wonder why?

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