Birth and labour

Currently, birthing partners are only allowed to be present for the actual birth (and only if it is a straightforward one) and must then leave the hospital afterwards. I understand the need to protect new mothers, staff and other patients, however I wonder whether some measures could be put in place to increase emotional support for new mothers? Ideally, birthing partners could be tested for coronavirus antibodies on entering the hospital, and/or be provided with PPE in order to be able to be present with their partner during labour and after the birth.

Why the contribution is important

Labour, birth and the hours and days following birth are times when a woman most needs emotional and practical support from her birthing partner. Bonding between the father/partner and newborn baby through skin-to-skin contact in the early hours following birth has been reported in several studies to be essential for the development of early attachment between partner and child. Lifting some of the current visiting restrictions for the partner could greatly increase the wellbeing of new mothers, and potentially decrease the risk of loneliness following the birth and other factors contributing to postnatal depression.

by EdinburghResident on May 05, 2020 at 02:40PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 14 votes


  • Posted by CocoTC12 May 05, 2020 at 18:31

    Incredibly important. The immediate period when a new mother is transferred to the post-natal ward can be an extremely over-whelming time. If the birth partner has no symptoms and can socially distance from other families and staff then they should be allowed at least a limited amount of time with mother and baby on the post natal ward. It would also allow bonding between father and baby. This is particularly important if there is a delay to discharge beyond 24 hours.
  • Posted by Bethan May 05, 2020 at 22:14

    So important.The current rules will adversely affect especially those women who have a difficult birth experience and may go on to develop PTSD or PND.Having support from their partner at this time is essential.The pandemic will already be causing huge anxiety in pregnant women.... let's do all we can to alleviate this.Keeping women in separate rooms as much as possible could help reduce risk?Other parts of the hospital (not covid wards) are currently quiet....could these areas be used to enable women and their partners to stay together after the baby is born?
  • Posted by Bethan May 05, 2020 at 22:17

    Also,parents of new babies are usually part of the same how much more risk is it to allow the partner to stay?May be more reasonable to agree to provide food for the partner as well as the mother whilst in hospital to allow them to stay?
  • Posted by Pandamamma May 06, 2020 at 17:53

    I agree, there are precautions that can be put in place, for example shielding for two weeks up until the birth, partners getting tested or providing PPE. If the partners are allowed to be present for the birth, then I’m not sure where the additional risk lies with them being present for a longer period before and after the birth, especially in cases where the birth has been particularly difficult or where csections have taken place and the new mother may need additional help or support
  • Posted by lhoughstewart May 07, 2020 at 10:33

    Incredibly important. I'm 29 weeks pregnant with my first baby and really anxious about the idea of being in labour for hours without my husband there for support. I am stressed about how long to wait before going into hospital, weighing the risks of being together vs any help I might need. And also about him getting there in time if my labour starts to progress quickly and they have to call him. Not to mention how horrible it is to think about him having to leave me and the baby immediately after birth.
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