Allow partners to stay with new moms after birth in Thunder Bay

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Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) holds some of the most restrictive COVID-related Essential Care Partner (ECP) restrictions in all Level 2 Birthing Centres in Ontario.

Current policy states

  • ECP to stay with mom during labour and delivery, but must leave 6 hours after birth.
  • ECP is not allowed in the OR for a C-Section birth.

TBRHSC claims in part: "While some Level 1 birthing centres can allow care partners to stay with the new mother until discharge, most Level 2 birthing centres (like our Hospital) have similar or even stricter guidelines, with some hospitals requiring the care partner to leave 2 hours post-partum."

After phone calls were made to 40 Level 2 birthing centres in Ontario, this claim was found to be untrue.

  • Only 7 of 40 had ECP restrictions at all
  • Only 3 of those 7 had the 2 hour ECP restriction in place
  • Only 1 other hospital didn't allow the ECP into the OR in the event of a C-Section birth.

Thunder Bay region has some of the lowest numbers of COVID cases in Ontario and does not warrant such a strict policy. 

Moms need support before, during, and after delivery. Partners should not be deprived from spending this time with their newborn child or being present for a C-Section birth.

We petition the TBRHSC to reconsider their policy to allow ECP to stay with new moms for the duration of their hospital stay and to allow the ECP in the OR with a mom undergoing a C-Section