"A maternity ward is more like a railway station than anywhere else I know - with babies and thermometers and bedpans substituted for trains and arrivals and departures at regular intervals. The days are calm but busy, with feeding times every four hours, exercises to do, pills to take, letters to write, meals to eat and visitors to see. The visiting hour is naturally the highlight of the day, and in the previous half-hour there is a frenzy of make-up, titivating and putting on of the best bed jacket. Supper speedily disposed of, the footsteps of eight breathless husbands are heard in the corridor and for this brief encounter, until the relentless bell sounds, the outside bell meets the inside one."
From 'New Generations: 40 years of Birth in Britain'.