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Birth injury concerns force parents to leave cameras behind, part 1

For many, hospital delivery rooms are a somewhat magical place. In these rooms, doctors, nurses, and mothers deliver countless new lives into the world. Some parents want to permanently capture the excitement and action surrounding the birth of their child so they will always remember every detail of that day. For years, parents have been allowed to bring cameras and video recorders into the birthing room, but new restrictions may put a stop to this practice.

Several hospitals are introducing policies which ban all photography or recording devices in the delivery room, including cell phones. Hospitals say the measure reflects increasing safety concerns caused by the gadgets and an effort to decrease the likelihood of birth injuries. However, a large number of parents are not happy about the new rules.

One woman who recently delivered her eighth child in a Hagerstown, Maryland, hospital was so upset by hospital rules which prevented her husband from filming her daughter's birth that she began an online petition to have the restriction removed. The petition has since gained a significant amount of support from fellow parents all across the country. These parents rally behind the claim that the recording ban is a violation of their rights.

According to the popular petition's creator, the hospital has no authority to prevent her or her husband from taking a picture of her "own flesh and blood."

Since there are no national standardized policies regarding the use of cameras or video devices in a delivery room, it is up to individual hospitals to create and set their own restrictions.

While angry parents attack the concept of a delivery room photography ban, hospitals continue to stress that the policies were created with both the child and mother's safety in mind. Our next post will further explore how some hospitals are justifying their anti-camera rules and take a look at hospitals who are actually embracing recording technology.

Source: New York Times. "Cameras, and the Rule Against Them, Stir Passions in Delivery Rooms." Katharine Q. Seelye, 2 February 2011

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