As we all know, COVID-19 has swept the world globally and claimed countless lives.
The guidelines and restrictions that are still in place seven months later are harmful to women, particularly the maternal sector of women.
According to surveys created by charity AIMS Ireland, women are being treated unfairly by the COVID-19 guidelines.
Guidelines include that no birthing partner can attend a birth until 4cm of dilation, attend general appointments, or attend ultrasounds.
Women are being told that they are not allowed gas and air during their labor. This is the least invasive form of pain relief.
Withdrawing the ability to use this pain relief will increase more invasive forms of relief. That brings an increased risk of unwanted side effects. Laboring women who normally can get there on gas and air are now more likely to be coerced into invasive forms of pain control.
Women are already being taken out of a comfort zone when entering a hospital to give birth.
Taking away their right to have a member of family/partner in the early stages of labor is incredibly harmful.
There is no further risk to staff or mother, as the partner is most likely from the same household as the woman they are already exposed to.
As said above, the partner can attend towards the end anyway, so they will be exposed to them.
There is little to no benefit from separating a mother just entering a hospital from her support network.
Companions act as advocates for the women, speaking up in support of her and her preferences.
Professor Stefan Duschek created an experiment that proved having a romantic partner improved women’s ability to manage their pain.
Partners who will be raising the child also deserve to bond and feel part of the antenatal process.
The guidelines are taking away the involvement and joy of precious memories. They are taking away support and shared grieving periods from miscarrying mothers and partners. They are forcing women to be alone at times of great stress.
Women all over Ireland are angrier than ever due to these simple facts.
We can now go for a sit-down meal in a pub or a café.
We can attend weddings with up to 30 people.
Children are all back at school, with exchange students arriving from Italy.
We can go on a family holiday abroad.
But in a hospital environment, we cannot have our partners helping us to adapt to the environment in the beginning stages of labor.
Partners can’t bond or experience the antenatal scans and appointments.
Partners are being openly discriminated against and not allowed in to see their babies in a NICU unit.
Women are forced to find out heartbreaking discoveries alone.
It isn’t just birth that is a big event we are faced with alone and being stripped of comforts throughout.
Surgical procedures that usually require general anesthesia for removal of miscarriage material and issues such as molar and ectopic pregnancies are being done while the patient is awake due to the new COVID-19 guidelines.
This causes immense stress for surgeons and patient alike. With the aftermath of trauma on the rise as a result.
It is becoming increasingly more about the economy than about our health.
The market, pubs, and holidays do not matter more than allowing mothers to have their support network and partners back throughout the most important events of both lives.
Removing birth partners is harmful to a woman’s comfort and labor experience.
Not allowing fathers/partners to attend ultrasounds is harmful to their feelings of involvement.
Ireland. Now that you have opened up most of our lives, open up the sector that should never have closed in the beginning – Women’s maternal, antenatal, and postnatal health.
We are seeing a rise in birth trauma.
We are seeing a further decline in already shockingly low breastfeeding rates.
Mothers and families are the foundation of society. Don’t harm them for no benefit.