COVID-19: Pregnant Women Now Allowed A Support Person At Birth, Under New Health Guidelines

After revised guidelines, pregnant women are now allowed a ‘support person’ of their choice at scans, during labour and at birth.

Since the pandemic, many pregnant women have been expected to undergo their pregnancy journey alone, though new guidance reports that, “Pregnant women value the support from a partner, relative, friend or other person through pregnancy and childbirth as it facilitates emotional wellbeing and is a key component of safe and personalised maternity care.”

These new measures instruct trusts to facilitate that women should have “access to support at all times during their maternity journey.”

New decisions on access are to be left to maternity staff to decide, in order to keep COVID levels as reduced as possible.

Earlier this year, a petition to allow partners at birth in all hospitals was launched to Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, to urge this new change, and has since seen almost 600,000 signatures.

NCT, the UK’s leading charity for parents, released a statement saying, “We appreciate how important it is that maternity staff are kept safe and are pleased to see NHS trusts urged to use testing capacity and other strategies to help mitigate infection risks.”

“We encourage everyone involved – trusts, care providers, pregnant women, their partners and parents of newborns – to work together and take all the care they can to keep themselves and others safe,” the charity added.

Tell Me About It spoke to a pharmacy student from Houghton, Lara Barron, 19, on what she thinks of the new guidance. “Women, especially if it is their first time [giving birth], need to give birth in a comfortable environment, and having someone there who they love can put them at ease…The role of a birthing partner is pain relief in itself.”

“Birth involves two main people – the mother and the father. It is vital they are both present,” Barron added. “Women can become lonely or stressed when left to give birth alone, and this can make a negative experience, and that should never be the case.”

Tell Me About It also spoke to Jade McLauchlin, a dance teacher, who is a mother and 30 weeks pregnant with her new baby girl. “Being this far along myself, the news has come at the perfect time and I am now not as scared for labour.”

“It’s terrifying enough without the added pressure of having to do it by yourself,” she added. “Not only have too many women had to go through one of the most painful and stressful situations in life alone without any support, but fathers have lost out on one of the greatest moments in theirs.”

McLauchlin is also raffling her house, where, once all tickets are sold, she plans to give £10,000 to Tiny Lives Trust, a trust which gives support to premature and sick newborn babies, and their families.

Tell Me About It also spoke to Kalen Neilson, 19, Jade McLauchlin’s brother, and uncle to the new baby. Take a look at the clip below on how this news affect his family home.

Read more about the pregnancy guidelines, here.

If you would like a chance to win Jade’s house for £2, you can enter here.

What do you think of these new guidelines? Do you agree that it is safe to allow pregnant women a birthing partner? Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and tell me all about your opinion!

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