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The Rotunda is to remove all remaining maternity restrictions later this month

Parents all over the country have been campaigning for better maternity care for over a year now, as Covid restrictions eased in some sectors but not in maternity hospitals. Now, it seems that there is finally light at the end of the tunnel.

The Rotunda maternity hospital in Dublin released a statement on Wednesday evening, outlining their plan to remove all remaining restrictions in place surrounding maternity care.

This means that throughout the month of November, the Dublin based maternity hospital will start to implement measures, allowing pregnant women to be accompanied by their partners, restriction-free.

“As we enter the next stage  of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, The Rotunda is looking forward and planning to return to ‘pre-COVID’ access in a safe way for all our patients and their partners,” the statement read.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have reviewed and risk assessed our COVID-19 safety measures each week, with the aim of restoring access as safely as possible and as soon as possible, while taking into account rates of COVID-19 infection in the community, vaccination rates amongst our patients, and our unique infrastructural challenges.”

“We have already restored access similar to pre-pandemic levels in most areas of the Hospital, including early pregnancy scans, anomaly scans, the Emergency and Assessment Unit, and our inpatient wards.”

Explaining exactly what changes they plan to make, their statement outlined that “from Monday 25th October, partners will be able to attend Booking Visit appointments, and appointments in our High Risk clinic.”

“From Monday 1st November, we will also remove remaining restrictions for partners for other antenatal outpatient appointments.”

However, they also noted that many of their outpatient areas are situated in older parts of their building, meaning space in waiting rooms are limited, and therefore if overcrowding is an issue, partners may be asked to wait outside until the expectant mother is called.

Also, expectant mothers are encouraged not to bring their partner to every routine outpatient appointment, in order to assist with any potential overcrowding problems. Instead, they are advised to bring their partner along only to every other appointment, or if they have any important questions to ask.

“It is important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away and is in fact endemic within our community,” the statement continued. “COVID-19 infection is associated with severe maternal illness, particularly affecting women in the second half of pregnancy.”

“Therefore, we strongly encourage all patients to avail of COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible, and to talk to a midwife or doctor if you have any concerns about vaccination. The vaccine is safe in pregnancy, and is the best way to protect you and your baby against the very serious risks of COVID-19 infection.”

For more information about The Rotunda’s easing of maternity restrictions, go to rotunda.ie/covid-19-update-20-10-2021

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