Maternity hospitals can now begin to ease visitor restrictions says HSE director 3 weeks ago

Maternity hospitals can now begin to ease visitor restrictions says HSE director

It has been a worrying and, to many, lonely time for new parents across Ireland.

Hundreds of new mothers have had to attend antenatal appointments alone, have not been able to have visitors in hospitals after giving birth, and many of these women also had to go through the first stages of labour without their partner present in the room.

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However, with the Covid-19 situation improving slowly in Ireland as more and more people have been vaccinated, the clinical director of the HSE Women and Infant’s Health Programme has said that maternity hospitals can now begin easing visiting restrictions.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Dr Peter McKenna said families and pregnant women have made “considerable sacrifices” during the pandemic.

According to Dr McKenna, some maternity hospitals have slightly eased restrictions in recent days but there are still tight limits in place.

“I would be asking hospitals to have a close look at their situation and bear in mind the community rate is falling, staff have been vaccinated," MsKenna said.

"And hopefully, they will consider themselves in a position to become more liberal. Each hospital should assess this individually."

However, Dr McKenna is also keen to point out that there is still a risk when it comes to Covid-19, and at the weekend there were three pregnant women in Intensive Care Units with the virus.

According to the Examiner, Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) has started welcoming partners to visit newborns for one hour at a time on one post-natal ward. The hospital has launched a visitor’s app and will expand this in two weeks time, once they are sure there are no issues with the app.

Other maternity hospitals across Ireland are keeping an eye on the situation nationwide and so it makes sense to contact your local health board, midwife or health service when it comes to specific information to your area.