Visiting times of birthing partners had to be reduced to just one hour per day to reduce the possible exposure of COVID-19 to unvaccinated mothers and newborns, Mater Dei Hospital has said.
Under new COVID-19 regulations, expectant fathers are allowed to be with the mother during childbirth but must leave the hospital straight after, when the mother is transferred to another ward for postnatal treatment.
The new regulation has sparked outrage amongst a community of expectant parents who feel that having both parents throughout the childbirth process is essential to a healthy experience for all involved. A petition had even been launched.
In a statement, Mater Dei said:
“While we appreciate that mothers and birthing partners wish to see no changes to the current visiting arrangements for fathers and birthing partners, the hospital has had no option but to reduce visiting times following delivery to one hour per day.”
“The hospital is constrained to reduce possible exposure to unvaccinated mothers and newborns, and to take all measures to reduce risk of positive cases in the obstetrics wards, leading to lack of staff due to quarantine.”
“This decision has been taken after due consideration in the best interest of mothers and newborns given the presence of the UK variant of COVID 19, which has increased risk of infection.”
“Mater Dei clarifies that no changes have been made regarding the presence of fathers during labour and delivery.”
Almost one year ago, similar restrictions were imposed forbidding partners from being in the labour room whilst their significant others’ gave birth.
These measures were lifted in summer, once COVID-19 numbers started to decline.
What do you think of the measure? Comment below