Despite Government guidance permitting partners or loved ones to attend both scans and the entirety of labour, many NHS Trusts around the country are asking expectant mothers to attend important appointments and go through the early stages of labour alone.
We sometimes forget that maternity care is not just about delivering healthy babies, but about navigating the most distressing moments in a person’s life; the moments where they need their partner or an immediate family member.
That is why I launched a national campaign to make sure every Trust does right by pregnant women and their partners, and ensures women have support at all pregnancy scans and all stages of labour. I was pleased to have the support of 60 Conservative MPs in calling on every Trust in the country to update their policies in line with Government guidance.
I’ve secured the backing of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock for my campaign who has called on all NHS Trusts to adopt Government guidance, as well as the Mail on Sunday who featured it as their front-page news story. I’m delighted that the Prime Minister has also confirmed his support for my campaign.
I have been enormously lucky that my NHS Trust changed its procedures immediately when lockdown ended, so my husband attended both scans for our baby. But I lead this campaign because it is unjust that women in so much of the country do not have the same support from their loved ones, and to fight for the partners locked out of hospital rooms anxiously separated from those they love most in the world.