West Suffolk Hospital to reform maternity ward restrictions as mothers raise anxieties
West Suffolk Hospital has this week reformed visiting restrictions in all departments, including the maternity ward, where new mums can now have a booked one hour appointment with a partner.
The Bury St Edmunds infirmary has moved to clarify procedures after expectant mothers expressed anxieties about going through labour without their other half’s support.
Nicola Moody, of Raedwald Drive, said she had been told by the hospital that partners were not allowed in until a mother’s uterus was 4cm dilated, which classified as an ‘active labour’.
“The thought is filling me with anxiety,” said Miss Moody, who is due her second child in December. “I will have to go through a lot of labour on my own and my partner cannot join me until the end. I’m being induced, so I could be in hospital for up to three days without my partner.”
She added she was worried her partner Pierre could miss the birth, unless he waited for the call in their car outside the hospital.
Miss Moody said she was also told that without complications, the mother and baby were moved from the labour suite to the maternity ward – where the partner could not access. She said this even meant the partner could not be in the maternity ward if there were complications or a C-section was needed.
Jodie Cormack gave birth seven weeks ago by the emergency C-section. She said: “Visitors, including my husband and son, were not allowed on the ward, in spite of me being extremely poorly. This made the experience much harder for me, both physically and emotionally.”
West Suffolk Hospital said it introduced restrictions throughout the hospital in response to Covid-19 and kept them under review.
A spokesman said: “As of Monday, any expectant or new mum on the maternity ward can have a named visitor for a booked one hour appointment every day. Every pregnancy is different and so the timing of transfer to a labour suite can vary. All women will have the support of our midwives at all times on the ward, so even if a partner isn’t with them they are still being cared for safely and professionally. A partner is welcome to remain with mum throughout labour, and to spend time with them and newborns afterwards.”