PEARSE Doherty has called for maternity restrictions to end at Letterkenny University Hospital.
Maternity restrictions were introduced as a result of Covud-19, but Deputy Doherty has asked that these measures now be relaxed.
The Sinn Féin TD says partners or family support members should now be allowed access to all appointments and scans during the course of a mother’s pregnancy and labour, as well as all neonatal and postnatal care.
“For a number of years my Donegal Sinn Féin colleagues and I had campaigned to have the new maternity suite opened and functional at LUH and I am glad to see that this has now happened since December 2020,” he said.
To date, 214 Caesarean sections have been performed in the Maternity Theatre (66 planned Caesarean sections and 3 emergency Caesarean sections). The remaining 145 were performed out of hours in the Main Theatre.
Deputy Doherty said: “I hope to see these new facilities go from strength to strength.
“However, I believe that while it is welcome to have a new suite in LUH for expectant mothers, the issue of support during hospital scans and visits still remains an issue. Currently, partners are only allowed to accompany mothers to the 20-week scan and for a short time prior to and after birth at LUH.
“Expectant mothers and their partners are understandably angered and frustrated that their needs have not been given any meaningful consideration during the process of easing public health restrictions.
“The World Health Organisation strongly recommends supporting women to have a chosen companion during labour and childbirth, including during Covid-19 restrictions.”
Deputy Doherty said that he has heard daily stories of ‘women going to their appointments alone while their partner has been left outside in the car park.’
H”e said: Sadly, in some instances, we have been told of women being told the most awful of news with nobody there to comfort them.
“These are real women and these are real stories, and their partners deserve more than the role of afterthought.
“I am therefore repeating the call made by Mary Lou McDonald TD a few weeks ago and asking that the Taoiseach and Minister for Health intervene and agree to the campaign’s minimum standards of care, and minimum standards of partner access for all hospitals and maternity services during pregnancies.
“This must include access to all appointments and scans during the course of a mother’s pregnancy and labour, as well as all neonatal and postnatal care.
“I will be raising this directly with hospital management in LUH as well.”Tags: