Hopes dashed for pregnant women and partners in Covid-19 restriction announcement

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Hopes dashed for pregnant women and partners in Covid-19 restriction announcement

Hopes dashed for pregnant women and partners in Covid-19 restriction announcement

Pregnant women and people are reeling from the news that the continued separation from partners during maternity appointments, inductions, full labour and in patient stays is set to continue. This comes following the Taoiseach's address on the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on Thursday evening.

“You can get your haircut, play sport with an entire team of people, visit a museum, but you can’t have your partner with you during one of the most momentous and sometimes traumatic experiences you could possibly face. It is utterly appalling. Why are maternity services - an essential, planned health service - not being prioritised?” asked new mother Linda Kelly who gave birth under Covid restrictions. 

“We were led to believe just 24 hours ago that positive changes were to be announced - that a more consistent and uniform approach would be applied across the 19 maternity units and hospitals. Instead of clarity, pregnant women are now left with even more questions and confusion because of the botched communications and half promises made over the past few days,” said new mother Emma Carroll

Just days ago the HSE's Director of Women and Infant Health, Dr Peter McKenna, made it clear that because of the improving Covid-19 situation, and healthcare staff being vaccinated, that hospitals should make it easier for partners to be with their loved ones. 

Speaking on behalf of Uplift members who have come together to campaign for better maternity care during Covid19, new mother Caroline Cumming said: “I'm very disappointed at how manipulative the government has been. They released their positive headline last night and raised the hopes of thousands of pregnant women and couples around the country.

"The general public will have read those articles and believe the issue is now resolved, when in fact not a single thing has changed, despite hospitals now being much safer places. It's very deceitful and has caused even more distress to so many people."

Close to 58,000 people have signed the petition calling for removal of restrictions that deny fathers and partners the right to attend maternity services with their pregnant partner.