Opinion Brief

Banning photos of childbirth: A hospital's right?

Parents and administrators at a Maryland hospital are clashing over the issue of cameras in the delivery room — triggering a tense debate

A Hagerstown, Md., hospital is facing the wrath of parents-to-be after banning the use of cameras and videocameras in the birthing room until delivery is completed and newborns are 5 minutes old. Meritus Medical Center says the policy is necessary to ensure physicians and midwives can focus on what matters most — the health of moms and babies — but more than 100 expectant parents have signed a petition protesting the move. Is the hospital being overly cautious, or are parents putting snapshots ahead of safety?

It is hard to fault the doctors: The hospital isn't the bad guy, says Sarah Jio in Glamour. It certainly seems like "limiting distractions for doctors and nurses" is a "healthy move." I would be sad, too, "if my husband couldn't snap a photo of my new baby (coming in early Feb, or sooner!) in his first seconds of life!" But putting safety first is a hospital's job.
"Health controversy: Is it fair for a hospital to ban video and photos in birth rooms?"

Banning cameras is not necessary: "If safety is truly the issue... I'm all for it," says Danielle Sullivan in Strollerderby. But instead of a "blanket rule," why not implement a case-by-case system, barring "overzealous" paparazzi-like families from crowding the delivery room, as many hospitals do, and limiting witnesses (and documenters) to just one or two people? That way, perhaps families can have both mementos and safety.
"Maryland hospital bans photo use during childbirth"

Parents should have final say: "As long as it's not a high-risk delivery and the camera people agree to stay out of the way," says Gather's Moms blog, there's no reason to prevent parents from capturing those first moments. That's when "you truly fall in love, when you become a family." If the hospital won't back down, parents should consider a more flexible birthing center.
"Hospitals ban videos during deliveries — would you give up those first moments on film?"

Recommended

6 charming homes in Queens, New York
House
Feature

6 charming homes in Queens, New York

The Check-In: Yosemite drops reservations, and more
Christmas travel.
Feature

The Check-In: Yosemite drops reservations, and more

The Week contest: Lustful ghost
Shadow of a man with his hand pressed against glass.
Feature

The Week contest: Lustful ghost

The best new Christmas-themed books for your holiday reading
A book.
Briefing

The best new Christmas-themed books for your holiday reading

Most Popular

World's 1st hydrogen-powered jet engine could mark turning point for aviation industry
A Rolls-Royce engine seen during an airshow.
Flying High

World's 1st hydrogen-powered jet engine could mark turning point for aviation industry

Sanctions apparently hurting Russia's economy, Ukraine war effort
Vladimir Putin
New Pain no gain

Sanctions apparently hurting Russia's economy, Ukraine war effort

China's Xi has few good options amid protests of 'zero COVID' policy
Anti-zero COVID protest in Beijing
China's COVID protests

China's Xi has few good options amid protests of 'zero COVID' policy