AIMS Ireland writes to Minister Harris advocating for pregnant people not to be left alone without their partner during labour and birth.

Dear Minister and NWIHP team,

We write to you on behalf of maternity service users who seek urgent clarity on the situation regarding policies for intrapartum and postpartum care during this very challenging time.

We have been contacted by many maternity service users experiencing worry and anxiety at this time, partly spurred on by media reports that partners are no longer allowed support partners during birth in the Midlands Regional Hospital maternity unit in Mullingar.

Women have written to us expressing fear that this will happen in all units and we look to you to provide factual information on the issue. 

We of course recognise that this situation is unprecedented and difficult to forecast, but we also recognise the negative affect confusion, worry and anxiety can have on pregnant people and the urgent need for clarity.

We would appreciate it if you could also reference any data you have to back up the practice of preventing birth partners from being present and clarify what clinical matters lead to this policy being introduced in Mullingar.

We have also become aware that serious restrictions are in place with regard to visiting babies in the NICU in the National Maternity Hospital and maternity service users call for clear communication on why this decision has been made, again referencing data.

We would very much hope to alleviate the anxiety and confusion pregnant people are currently facing as soon as possible.

Thank you for your time and wishing you the very best during this challenging time for everyone.

The AIMS Ireland team.

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