Allow partners into pregnancy appointments, scans and ante/postnatal wards

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Risk management has been put in place for COVID-19 which stipulates pregnant women must attend all scans and appointments alone, and cannot have visitors to ante/post natal wards. Partners have a key supportive role in these times and should be allowed to attend, using PPE if necessary.

These restrictions result in spending days in hospital during an induction alone, or time after recovering from labour alone, negatively impacting their mental health. It also affects the partners bond with the baby, particularly where a donor has been used or a same sex couple, as the partner feels pushed out of the pregnancy experience.

With regular reviews now being taken to slowly phase out lockdown, it’s key that all sections of the UK Government, along with the NHS, look at how partners can safely be permitted into all parts of healthcare during pregnancy as soon as possible.

If partners continue to be excluded from these key areas then we are failing to provide adequate support to new mums and disrupting the bond for partners. There will be a price paid as we no doubt see a rise in post natal depression for both mums and partners if steps aren’t taken to allow partners back in.

I’m due to give birth in about 4 weeks, and have personally felt the effects of attending medical appointments and scans alone. I’ve had episodes of reduced movements and had to attend the hospital alone. My wife has had to anxiously wait, alone, not knowing what is happening, feeling helpless and forced out of the pregnancy. We have no doubt that plenty of other couples out there are going through the same struggles. The fears of birthing alone, or at least having to endure a large amount of time before and/or after birth, alone. The partner feeling unimportant during such a key stage in their families life. Something needs to be done quickly to address the negative impact this is having on what should be such an exciting new milestone.