Pregnant Women Now Allowed Partner With Them At All Times Under New COVID NHS Guidelines
Pregnant women will be allowed to have their partner alongside them at all times under the NHS’s new COVID-19 guidelines.
Due to the current pandemic, pregnant women weren’t allowed to have their birthing partner with them at all stages. While it depended on where people lived, partners weren’t allowed to attend baby scans and midwife appointments.
However, the NHS has since relaxed its rules, allowing someone to be with them throughout the pregnancy, during labour, birth and their postnatal period as long as they aren’t exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus.
The guidelines come after a new document was published on Monday, December 14, titled: ‘Supporting pregnant women using maternity services during the coronavirus pandemic: Actions for NHS providers.’
It explains: ‘Pregnant women value the support from a partner, relative, friend or other person through pregnancy and childbirth as it facilitates emotional wellbeing and is a key component of safe and personalised maternity care.’
The document adds: ‘It is therefore our aim, further to a risk assessment, that a woman should have access to support from a person of her choosing at all stages of her maternity journey and that all trusts should facilitate this as quickly as possible.’
At the time of writing, the UK has seen more than 1.89 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 64,908 deaths.
It notes: ‘At the same time it is our priority to prevent and control COVID-19 infection and keep women and staff safe. Many trusts have already found creative solutions to overcome remaining challenges and they have maximised the support that pregnant women can receive throughout their pregnancy. It is important now that all trusts do this.’
Health chiefs are also being asked to perform risk assessments for each stage of their maternity services, in order to assess whether there’s any increased chances of transmitting the virus if a birthing partner is present, advising that any issues should be handled with ‘appropriate infection prevention and control measures’ including training and PPE.
Mums and their partners should also be tested for COVID-19 before they attend 12 and 20 week scans, as well as other maternity-related appointments.
Birthrights, a UK charity which promotes and protects respectful care during pregnancy and childbirth, welcomed the changes.
In a statement, the organisation wrote: ‘We applaud the dedication of maternity professionals across the UK who are working tirelessly to deliver the best possible care in a fast-moving situation. Despite the challenges the NHS now faces we all remain united in the belief that every woman needs safe, respectful and compassionate care during pregnancy and birth.’
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