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maternity stress Mum-to-be reveals her terror at giving birth alone due to Covid restrctions

Lockdown eases, but not for expectant mothers

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Danielle Thompson

Danielle Thompson

Danielle Thompson

A distraught mum-to-be has revealed she is terrified of delivering her baby alone due to continued Covid restrictions.

Danielle Thompson (33), whose second baby is due in seven weeks, is pleading with the Government to lift the ban which prevents partners of expectant mothers from attending scans and labour.

The young mum is one of 58,000 people who have signed a petition calling for removal of restrictions preventing fathers and partners from attending maternity services with a pregnant partner.

The devoted mum from Bettystown, Co. Meath, said she is 'absolutely devastated' by the prospect of labouring alone and has little faith in the Taoiseach's reassurance this week that partners should be able to attend pre-natal and post-natal appointments.

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Dara Millington

Dara Millington

Dara Millington

"I had a bleed at 17 weeks and had to go to hospital on my own and have a scan to check everything was okay. My poor husband stood in the car park of the hospital waiting for word from me. Thankfully, everything was okay but for so many other women they have had to receive bad news alone."

Speaking of how vital it is to have her husband by her side, the devoted mum said: "On my son back in 2016 my husband was sent away in the early stages of my labour and they were the toughest hours of my life and I did it alone and now it's looking like I will be doing it this time around too.

"It's so important that my husband gets to bond with his newborn baby in those early days to lay the foundation for their relationship. I'm scared of being on my own.

"I can't believe that pregnant women have, yet again, been overlooked by the Government and have not been given a second thought. I got my hopes up the other night when there were rumours of a unified approach to the lifting of certain restriction."

Just days ago the HSE's Director of Women and Infant Health, Dr Peter McKenna, made it clear that because of the improving Covid-19 situation, and healthcare staff being vaccinated, that hospitals should make it easier for partners to be with their loved ones.

Despite previously advising that there should be a partner present for the 20-week anomaly scan, during labour, and also where the newly-born child is in a neonatal intensive care unit, he acknowledged that this advice hasn't been applied consistently across all units, possibly due to Covid-19 cases in the community.

For Dara Millington (33), who is currently 35 weeks pregnant on her first baby, the news that the economy will be reopened while she faces into labour alone is incomprehensible.

"It's so disheartening to hear there no changes, but people can go get their hair and nails done and bars are opening but fathers are left sitting in car parks waiting to be able to come into the hospital to be with their partners and children. I feel very let down and anxious of what lies ahead for me."

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Calling for clarity and speaking on behalf of Uplift members who have come together to campaign for better maternity care during Covid19, new mother Caroline Cumming said "I'm disappointed at how manipulative the Government has been. They raised the hopes of thousands of pregnant women and couples.

"The general public will have read those articles and believe the issue is now resolved, when in fact not a single thing has changed, despite hospitals now being much safer places," she added.

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