I was watching a new episode of "19 Kids" tonight where they were traveling in Beijing. (Spoiler alert!) One of the production crew had her water break at 35 weeks, so they ended up in a random Chinese hospital. At one point, the woman is told to stay in the bed. She agrees but tries to clarify that she can get up when it's closer to baby coming. No, she's told: stay in bed. After a very quick labor, she's moved to a delivery room where the husband/cameraman is refused access. He finally goes in, anyway, to be part of his daughter's birth. The 35wk, 5.5lb baby is whisked away without more than a quick look for mom (despite looking very healthy). They then find out that baby is being kept for THREE DAYS in the NICU - with NO VISITATION. They even got reports that she was fine but couldn't see her. My jaw dropped.
My 11yo son is a huge fan of Chinese culture and also knows how awful maternity care here can be. He initially suggested care in China would be better, but, unfortunately, I was right. :(
The awful thing, though, is that these things ALSO happen right here! While I don't know anywhere to block parents' access to a baby in NICU, I do know of babies being held hostage in the hospital for no reason, mothers not seeing their babies for many many hours, freedoms withheld by staff, etc, etc.
While the poor couple on the show were in a horrible position that they couldn't do much about (could there be retribution for pushing against policies?!), we have the ability to make informed choices. But we have to do the legwork, book work, and heart work to be prepared to make the best decisions we can. That includes researching not only doctor but also hospital policies, learning your rights as a laboring woman and mother, and being prepared to fight for them when necessary.
I so wish it were never necessary. :(