'Sport higher on the priority list of health chiefs and politicians than pregnant women and new mothers' .
There has been a renewed call for the easing of restrictions for people using maternity services in the State.
The call follows the news pregnant people and their partners are to face what has been described as "continued isolation and extreme rules".
According to Uplift: People Powered Change the continuing restrictions around maternity services have been met with "consternation and frustration".
Speaking about plans to continue with restrictions, Siobh̄an O’Donoghue, Uplift Director, said: “Living through this Covid-19 pandemic has been rough for everyone, but for pregnant women and their partners it's been an absolute nightmare.
"From being told bad news alone, going through labour without support, cancelled antenatal classes, there are so many ways that pregnant people have been let down.”
New mother Emma Carroll said: “it is clear now that golf, horse-racing and other sports, dominated by men, are far higher on the priority list of health chiefs and politicians than pregnant women and new mothers.”
Speaking on behalf of Uplift members, who have come together to campaign for better maternity care during Covid19, new mother Linda Kelly said: “We feel so let down and angry. Every decision over the past year in relation to maternity services has resulted in pregnant women and people, partners, new parents feeling abandoned, ignored and devalued.
"Having a baby is a journey filled with joy, worries and vulnerability. Without the people who love us the most, to hold our hand, facing it can seem like a terrifying, traumatising ordeal.”
"What is happening now is a symptom of deep problems in maternity care in Ireland. Yes we are in the middle of a global pandemic and need to do everything we can to keep people safe. However it's clear from the way these restrictions have been designed and implemented, who has been listened to, what is being prioritised, that yet again maternity care is being sidelined.”
54,103 people have signed the petition calling for removal of restrictions that deny fathers and partners the right to be present at all antenatal scans and appointments, and to be able to be present throughout the entirety of labour and for the duration of the hospital stay.
Highlights from Uplift's research: 'Being Pregnant During Covid19'
709 people participated by completing a survey shared with Uplift members during October and November 2020.
14 out of 19 maternity hospitals in Ireland were used by respondents.
54.2% are pregnant and currently using maternity services.
17.4% were pregnant and/or had a baby since the Covid-19 pandemic started.
3.1% were a partner of someone who is or was pregnant.
89% of respondents agreed with the HSE statement 'that maternity services are core, essential health services which must be available 24/7 to all women.'
Only 25% people felt that 'maternity services have endeavoured to enable partners to be present at the birth of their child so that no women goes through labour alone.'