Eliminate Woman and Babies policy stating support person must leave 2hrs after birth

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On March 22, 2020 Sunnybrook Hospital implemented a change to their visitor policy for Woman & Babies
The policy states: 

  • Visitors are not permitted at this time
  • Women in the Birthing Unit may have one support person
  • In our NICU, one parent may be with their baby at all times, including overnight, provided the parent is asymptomatic
  • Please note partners must be actively screened before entering the hospital. During this time, there are no "in and out" privileges for partners – partners stay until the baby is born, or they will not be allowed back into the hospital

This petition is not to discourage any of the above. I agree with all precautions Sunnybrook has put in place. The new rule implemented on March 22,2020 is what Woman and Babies patients want answers to. 

Once your baby is born, your partner must leave the hospital two hours after birth. We encourage you to keep in touch with your partner, and family and friends, with your own personal device or by using the bedside phone (fees for phones have been waived).

The concerns being raised are the following: 

1. Why do all hospitals across the GTA have different policies? Is it because i am at higher risk of contracting the virus at Sunnybrook? If not, why do hospitals policy differ? Pregnant woman should all be treated the same no matter where you deliver your baby. 

2. What is the difference between having your support person leave two hours after the birth or allowing the support person to stay until the mother is discharged if he/she has no in and out privileges from the room. If he/she has been screened at time of entering and was already in the room for multiple hours during the birth how does the risk become greater to the hospital and patients after the 2 hour mark. 

3. If there is a need to have an emergency c-section and the mother is not mobile enough to tend to the baby after birth will the mother be given a nurse exclusive to her that will be able to tend to the needs of the baby? After speaking to woman who have had a c-section or emergency c-section 10/10 woman noted that without a support person tending to them for 24-48 hours they physically would not be able to care for the baby. What is Sunnybrook’s plan to care for these mothers.

4. What does the support look like for new mothers who are already prone to postpartum depression look like when their support person needs to leave the hospital after 2 hours. How is the hospital prepared to deal with woman who will suffer from postpartum depression after this traumatic experience. What is Sunnybrook’s plan to check on the mental health of woman after their support person is told to leave the hospital? 

5. Some woman do not have English as a first language. If you don’t, and your support person is your translator, how will these woman be supported during their hospital stay? This is already overwhelming for new moms, how will Sunnybrook be prepared to support new moms who cannot directly communicate. 

This petition is to ensure woman delivering during Covid-19 are not denied a basic human right and that all woman delivering during the pandemic are being treated equally. Sunnybrook, we appreciate all precautions you have put into place to protect workers and patients and strongly agreed with the majority of your policy but we hope that you reconsider your position on the 2 hour rule.