The Health Services Authority announced Sunday that it was reversing a decision banning mothers in labour from having the baby’s father or another chosen companion with them in the delivery room.
The HSA stated that, from Monday, 6 April, it was lifting the temporary restriction on all visitors to its delivery room, so that one person can be present while mothers are giving birth.
“The single companion will be allowed with the patient in the delivery room but will be required to wear PPE (personal protection equipment), as instructed by the medical staff,” the HSA said in a statement Sunday.
The authority said the limited availability of obstetricians and midwives and “out of an abundance of caution due to evolving situation with the COVID-19 virus, the administration had agreed last week to limit access to the maternity unit. This was an important, temporary measure in order to keep patients and staff safe.
“In the interim, a system of virtual companion using video technology was facilitated giving mothers the option to use their device in the labour room.”
However, the HSA said it acknowledged that having a partner physically present throughout the labour process provided mothers “the physical and emotional support needed”.
The authority stated that additional measures had been taken to mitigate the risk of potential exposure to other patients and staff.
Maternity patients can contact their healthcare provider or the women’s health or maternity unit at 949-8600 for more information.