“Devastated. Frightened. Powerless. Helpless. Shocked”. That’s how women have described learning about the fact that they would not be allowed to have a partner or immediate family with them in hospital at all stages of giving birth, or when they went in for crucial pregnancy scans. According to Make Birth Better, a pregnancy charity, one woman described having to have her c-section alone without any family present as the “hardest thing she has ever had to do.”
When lockdown ended, NHS Trusts were advised by the Department of Health that they no longer needed to restrict partners or immediate family from supporting women during pregnancy scans and labour. On 8th September again the UK Government issued clear guidance to NHS Trusts across England stating that partners are allowed into hospitals to support their pregnant partners, so the devastation and helplessness felt by some pregnant women does not persist. However, many NHS Trusts across the country are still imposing restrictions on support visitors during scans and early labour, and some Trusts still don’t allow visitors in at all throughout pregnancy.
This must change. Pregnant women are owed nothing less than having their loved ones with them during some of the most intense moments of their lives. To support them, and to advocate for them.
That is why Christian Wakeford MP is calling on Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust to immediately loosen restrictions on having supportive persons with pregnant women during all pregnancy scans and during every stage of labour, including early labour. Christian Wakeford MP is joining the national campaign started by Alicia Kearns MP, from Rutland and Melton.
Christian Wakeford MP said, “Lots of pregnant women have contacted me to explain their experiences going through anti-natal appointments and scans without the support of their partners, made far worse if anything tragically goes wrong with the pregnancy.
As the father of a young daughter, I cannot imagine not having been present for key parts of the pregnancy journey with my wife, to support her and experience the beginnings of fatherhood.
That’s why I am calling upon Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust to do the right thing and allow partners to accompany women to their hospital appointments.”