During the COVID-10 pandemic there has been a priority to prevent and control infection within healthcare setting, and therefore visiting restrictions have occurred. It is however recognised that having a support person during the antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal period is essential for improved wellbeing and emotional support to the pregnant person and is integral to safe effective family care and development of responsive parenting and family bonding.
Procedure for Safe visiting:-
- Maternity patients who require admission to hospital during the antenatal or postnatal period may allocate a birth partner (preferably from the same household) to visit during the hours of 8am to 8pm following their admission.
- Maternity patients who attend in possible labour may allocate a birth partner (preferably from the same household) to attend hospital with them during admission for labour. This includes assessment for possible labour and the birth partner may stay during the whole labour and birth.
- All maternity patients and one nominated birth partner must be swabbed during any emergency admissions for COVID-19. This should be repeated at twice weekly intervals if hospital length of stay is extended.
- For any elective admissions for caesarean section or induction of labour, both the maternity patient and allocated partner can be booked for a COVID swab and Rodney parade.
- All visitors should be screened on admission for COVID 19 to include a temperature check.
- The partner must remain within the designated bedroom during the visiting period, unless there is a requirement that the maternity patient be transferred to a different area. It is required that the allocated partner bring any food for the duration of their stay for that day.
- The partner and the maternity patient must wear appropriate PPE (surgical face coverings) when a member of staff enters the room to perform any maternity tasks.
- The allocated partner must remain as the only visitor during the admission period and should remain in the household bubble only to ensure reduction in risk of infection.
- Should the allocated partner have a positive COVID swab or be symptomatic then visiting should not occur. However an alternative support person could attend following a risk assessment and discussion by the senior midwife.