No woman should have to give birth alone - Ringfence maternity services during COVID-19

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The global pandemic of Coronavirus has affected everyone in the entire country without exception. People have lost income, have uncertain futures and in some terrible cases, lost their lives. There's no doubt to the awful nature of the times we find ourselves within. 

Recently, two NHS hospitals have decided over a period of days, to not allow women to have birth partners with them whilst they labour as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. NHS trusts such as Northwick Park in London and Doncaster had blocked women from having birthing partners present - https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-pregnant-women-birth-hospital-nhs-parents-advice-a9439391.html

This action - albeit now reversed, cannot be allowed to continue. Women must not be forced to give birth alone. At a time when women should be able to feel safe and secure, their primary support network has been and could potentially be taken away again. 

A spokesperson for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “To reduce the risk of infection and protect mothers, babies and our staff from Covid-19, for four days we asked birth partners to stay away except in exceptional circumstances.

The NHS have already started to close over a fifth of birth centres and put a stop to home births. 

Birth partners that have been showing signs of COVID-19 are also being told they cannot support their partners. While this of course has an element of sense, it completely eradicates the needs of the mother. 

Evidence of the change is already apparent and I and hundreds of expectant parents across the country are also worried; this will only get worse. 

If you have any form of health need that is not urgent, then clinics and surgery and appointments have all been postponed. Women can't delay their due date, they are pregnant and the baby will not wait for COVID-19. 

Birth is as significant a life event as death, causing someone to die alone would be seen as inhumane and unacceptable. So too should this.

Mothers laboured in London over the course of 4 days alone. This should never have happened. 

Sign this petition to call upon the NHS and Royal Colleges to commit to the ringfencing of maternity services. 

No woman should give birth alone.