How NOT to bathe the baby

Here is a video I saw on YouTube of a callous nurse scrubbing a precious, newborn infant who is squalling at the top of her lungs, protesting the treatment. From the “info” section of the video,

A public awareness reminder that things that happen behind the scenes, out of our sight, aren’t always as rosy as we might think them to be.
Perhaps its a restaurant cook who accidentally drops your burger  on the floor before placing it on the bun and serving it to you.
Here it’s an overworked apathetic (pathetic) nurse giving my newborn daughter her first bath.
Please comment and rate this video, so as to insure that it is viewed as widely as possible, perhaps to prevent other such abuse .

Do I think all nurses are that way? No. Hopefully even this nurse does not treat newborns this way on a regular basis. I will be willing to believe that she had every excuse in the book (being overworked, at the end of a long shift or a double shift, having given a dozen newborns their baths that day, and having to process paperwork for half a dozen other births before being allowed to go home), but I still don’t think it justifies the behavior. Nor do I think that most parents would be comfortable knowing this happened to their newborn. I daresay that even the most squeamish of women who insist on having the baby cleaned up before seeing him or being given the baby would rather take the messiest newborn baby in arms and hold him, rather than have him subjected to a bath like this.

If you’re planning a hospital birth, it might be wise to have someone to go with the baby to keep something like this from happening. You see, to a hospital nurse, your baby is just one of many that she sees throughout the day, week, month, or year. But it’s your one and only baby, so it makes a difference to you. When I toured the back-up hospital for my first birth, I saw the nursery nurse mechanically diapering and taking care of the infants who were in their little plastic boxes. One baby was crying so pitifully under a heat lamp; and the nurse was not even moved. The baby she was diapering was crying and flailing, and the nurse never comforted it. I wanted to break through the window and grab up the tiny babies and hold them close and give them some comfort; but she was just inured to it, I guess. Sad to say, but it was what I saw for those few minutes looking through the nursery windows that made me determined that I would not be going to the hospital except for a true emergency. And in the future, if I were to plan a hospital birth for some reason, I would be most adamant that my baby not leave my room, except if it were necessary to preserve his life or health. I’ll bathe my own babies, thank you very much. I’ll diaper them and dress them. I’ll feed them. And most of all, I’ll comfort them the way only a mother can. I’m sure there are numerous terrific L&D nurses, but even the most compassionate cannot feel about my baby the way I do, because it’s my baby, not hers. That’s just the way things are. And I want the best care for my baby, which is the care I can give.

9 Responses

  1. I’ve never seen a hospital bath quite like that… or anything like that.

  2. Most people would wash their dog with more consideration than how this woman washed that child! I am going to have a hospital birth in February and seeing things like this truly frighten me.

  3. This is a very worrying story. Hopefully this is a one off incident but even then once is too much.

  4. That was utterly appalling! You could hear that poor little girl gurgling on the water running into her mouth. The way the nurse was handling her – like a dirty dish – utterly horrible. Now, compare that to bathing a baby gently, under a warming lamp, with lights dimmed, soothing voices as the nurse gently wipes and washes the baby, one body part at a time. Washing and drying each part separately. The baby is usually wide eyed, alert, quiet, looking around in wonder. Also a great time to teach parents about their newborn baby – pointing out how to wash the baby, how to speak in a soothing voice as you’re doing everything, admiring how perfect this new little person is. ::sigh::

    • AYC, Thanks for pointing out the right way for hospital personnel to wash a baby, and how gently it can be done. I hope that most L&D nurses are like you, and no one is like the woman in this video!

  5. wow. hop ethis video is seen far and wide. we asked to bathe both of our daughters oursleves in our room. we had warm water and oothing music, warm room and lots of towles hady. it was an amazing bonding experience with both my daughters i will always cherish as together we explored teh world of water and touch in mnay ways for their first time in this world. this is an opportunity for all new parents to take advantage of. do not turn your power over when you are in a hospital. ASK…be difficult. ask for things you want and need. we had two home birth like births at the hospital…babies never left my side. supportive staff and all. hope more people take advantage of the opportunity to create gentle loving exp.’s for oursleves and our babies with hospital birth settings. i am so sorry you all went through this. thanks for posting.

  6. OMG, this video is heartbreaking i just my grandson born then i walk down to the nursery while the nurse was giving him a bath, i thought she was really rough with him it was also at the end of the day i called the baby’s father to go into the nursery where the baby was and he told the nurse to lighten up a bit. I notice she was washing his hair very hard and was using a comb at the same time while the water was running o his head, i could not bear it. but it was nothing like this video. How can you erase something like this out of your mind. After I notice my grandson was crying very sad as though he was trauma from the washing. I am still concern in the way she wash is hair it look to me that she used a lot of force while she uses the comb to clean his hair, i am still disturb by it. I am sure you are too i pray both babies and other babies who undergo such measure are okay. Better handling by nurses should be enforced.

  7. I would like to know if there are any other videos like that one out on the
    internet or on any site? There should be much more discussion of this
    subject. However trying to find any more information on this subject is
    next to impossible. This video and others like it as well as more information
    on the treatment of newborns in a hospital needs to get out.

    Are there any websites that specifically talk about this subject? If so please
    let me know. This is much too important to just ignore or sweep under the
    rug. Thanks much.

    • I don’t know of any, but there are probably others out there. I can’t remember how I found that one, even, but it was on YouTube.

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