As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, hospitals are enacting strict policies to limit visitors, both for patients with coronavirus and those admitted for other reasons. In many hospitals, ladies giving birth are only being allowed one support person for their entire stay. While that is unfortunate, I agree that it’s a wise move and completely understandable.
But I was utterly shocked to read that a growing number of hospitals are telling pregnant women that they must labor alone and are not even permitted to have their spouse present. Am I the only one who thinks this is absolutely absurd?
Not only does a laboring mom need the emotional support of her spouse or another trusted relative or friend, but I also see it as a health risk. While the nursing staff at my hospital was beyond amazing, they were unable to be in the room the entire time I was in labor. And that is understandable.
I just can’t fathom why any institution would think that it is in the mother’s best interest to force her to labor alone. What if she has a panic attack? Or passes out?
I can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that things would not have gone nearly as well if my husband had not been in the room during my delivery. He was my rock. Before my labor became intense, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law visited with us in the hospital room to keep my mind off the situation.
And the following morning, right before it was time to push, they came in for a quick moment to offer encouragement. (Or at least I think they did…I wasn’t exactly in my right mind at that point, but I know they were at least in the waiting room. I guess that only further illustrates my point that a laboring mom is not stable enough to be left alone.)
I understand that it is possible that an emergency situation will arise during a future birth that will prevent Mr. Handsome from being there, but in that case, I would have a trusted female friend or relative on call to take his place. But being denied even that? I can’t imagine….
Perhaps the support person could be instructed not to hold the baby, or even to stand six feet away from the mom during the birth. But at least that would allow the laboring mom to have someone she trusts in the room.
What are your thoughts?
UPDATE: Soon after this was published, the New York governor announced that he will enact an executive order to ensure that all women are allowed one support person during labor. Hoping that other states and countries will uphold the same policy.