Safeguard the Right of All Laboring People to Have Support During COVID-19 Crisis in SC

Safeguard the Right of All Laboring People to Have Support During COVID-19 Crisis in SC

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Amanda Tatum started this petition to Governor Henry McMaster

Department of Health issued clear guidelines on treating patients in labor during the COVID-19 crisis.  These guidelines determined a support person, whether a spouse, partner or other chosen person, is essential to care for the patient during labor, delivery and in the postpartum period.  The World Health Organization (WHO) agrees.  We agree.

Fundamentally, risks for the people laboring alone will increase substantially. Not only can partners and spouses provide physical and emotional comfort during labor and postpartum, they are also essential in alerting staff when something has gone wrong and the laboring patient cannot notify nurses themselves, like in the event of an eclamptic seizure or a fainting episode.  Timing is critical in these cases and monitors can be unreliable.

We cannot expect nursing staff, already spread thin, to spend the limitless hours needed with each patient to ensure their health and their baby's health, to provide physical assistance and emotional support. 

We know the hospital system is overwhelmed in this crisis.  However, the burden will only be increased by banning support people from Labor & Delivery. We must ensure no one gives birth alone or recovers alone. We must ensure the maternal mortality rate does not increase during this time. We must protect all mother's from Postpartum depression.  

Aviva Romm, MD recently posted an excellent quote regarding this issue and has started a movement #Ideservebirthsupport. "While there is a lack of definitive evidence of increased infection risk from having a partner or doula present in labor or at birth, there is evidence of increased risk to the mother and baby from lack of adequate emotional, psychological, and physical support during labor, including longer and more painful labor, greater need for pain medication, interventions, and cesarean section. Further, lack of perinatal support is associated with greater risk of postpartum depression. These risks are further increased for people of color, who are already at higher risk of perinatal complications." 

What hospitals are trying to do contradicts the World Health Organization’s position on childbirth during the COVID-19 pandemic. “All pregnant women, including those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 have the right to high quality care before, during and after childbirth. This includes antenatal, newborn, postnatal, intrapartum and mental health care. A safe and positive childbirth experience includes: Being treated with respect and dignity; Having a companion of choice present during delivery; Clear communication by maternity staff; Appropriate pain relief strategies and Mobility in labour where possible, and birth position of choice.”

As of March 24, 2020, hospitals in South Carolina are still allowing one support person, while other states are not.  This petition is to make sure those rights are not taken away from us. 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!