Safeguard the Right of All Laboring Women to Have Support During COVID-19 Pandemic

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Safeguard the Right of All Laboring Women to Have Support During COVID-19 Crisis

Many illinois hospitals & hospitals nationwide have announced protocols to change policy & will act against WHO, CDC and DOH guidance and ban all support people--including spouses--from Labor & Delivery and Postpartum units.  This means women in labor will give birth alone and parent alone.  Parents will miss the birth of their child.

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. We must ensure the maternal mortality rate does not increase during this time. Please sign an executive order for the state of Illinois ensuring all laboring women will be allowed their human rights to 1 support person during birth. No woman deserves to give birth alone & this is the reality we’re now facing & some women have already had to endure in other states. The governor of new york has signed an executive order stating NO woman giving birth will be forced to do so alone. Please do the same for us.