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Pregnant women attending maternity appointments alone deserve compassion and support – David Cullinane TD

9 September, 2020 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD, has urged the Government and maternity hospitals to put in place a compassionate approach to allowing pregnant women to attend maternity appointments along with their partners.

Teachta Cullinane will be raising the matter in the Dáil today during questions to the Health Minister and will also write to maternity hospitals urging them to consider their approach.

Teachta Cullinane said: “The restrictions imposed to tackle Covid-19 have been very difficult for everyone, but few have been affected as much as new parents.

“I completely sympathise with new parents, particularly pregnant women, who have had to endure isolation during their pregnancy and the birth of their child.

“I am deeply concerned that pregnant women are still required to attend maternity appointments alone and are not permitted to bring their partners with them.

“Pregnant women have spoken of how distressing and isolating this experience can be and how much they miss the support of their partners at such appointments.

“While this was accepted as a sad but necessary sacrifice at the beginning of the pandemic, many feel this is now unnecessarily harsh and out of step as other restrictions have eased.

“Many women wonder why they can go to a pub or restaurant with their partner but cannot attend a short appointment in the controlled environment of a maternity hospital.

“Of course, it is vital that policies are decided in line with best practice and public health guidance. But where hospitals are able to facilitate safe attendance of appointments with sufficient Covid measures in place, it should be considered.

“I will be writing to the maternity hospitals and asking them to reconsider their policy on this matter; to be as compassionate as possible while complying with public health guidance.

“I will also be raising this matter in the Dáil today and asking the Health Minister to look into this issue as a matter of urgency.”

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