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Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns says that the absence of updated guidance in the Government’s new Living with Covid plan on restrictions in maternity hospitals is causing ongoing distress to expectant parents.

Holly said:

“While it is welcome that some health services are to resume in March, including BreastCheck screening, it is very disappointing that the Government’s latest Covid-19 plan does not clarify the up-to-date position in relation to partners being allowed access to maternity hospitals. This is also impacting on couples attending for important prenatal screenings or fertility treatment appointments.

“I have been repeatedly raising this issue with the Government since last summer, calling for a revision of restrictions in maternity hospitals and for the HSE to issue more humane guidelines, particularly for parents in difficult circumstances.

“The safety of newborns and mothers has to be a priority, but the wellbeing of women in prolonged labour and parents receiving tragic news must always be considered.

“This week, we have seen yet another Government Covid plan being announced without any reference to updated guidelines for maternity hospitals. It speaks volumes about how people availing of maternity services are treated in this country when they are at their most vulnerable and in need of support.

“Women should not be expected to go through these difficult journeys alone any longer. Parents are not visitors at the birth of their own child.”

February 25, 2021

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