Childbirth

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Alberto Costa Alberto Costa Conservative, South Leicestershire

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to enable birthing partners to be present at (a) emergency and (b) unplanned births.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Guidance produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is clear that women should be encouraged to have a single birth partner, who has no symptoms of COVID-19, present with them during any type of labour and birth, unless the birth occurs under general anaesthetic. Having a trusted birth partner present throughout labour is known to make a significant difference to the safety and well-being of women in childbirth.

If the birth partner has symptoms of coronavirus, they will not be allowed to go into the maternity suite, to safeguard the health of the woman, other women and babies, and the maternity staff. However, an alternative, well birth partner can attend in their place.

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