National Council of Women urge health authorities to allow partner in during labour

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The National Council of Women has urged the health authorities to reconsider the decision of allowing partners only during the second stage of labour.

In its reflections on the impact of the outbreak of coronavirus in Malta, the National Council of Women said that several expectant mothers have reached out to voice their concern about the decision stressing that it was a source of great anxiety for the mothers-to-be and leaving the partners feeling deprived.

The council has recommended that measures are put in place to ensure that the partner can be part of this experience. “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,” the National Council of Women said.

In its statement on Tuesday, the National Council of Women reflected on the global pandemic and its effects. It noted that countries were found unprepared not only medically but also physically and psychologically.

The council voiced its concern about women in our society remarking that in such “crisis situation” women tend to play a disproportionate role in responding to the needs of the community – as caregivers, community assistants and frontline healthcare workers. Following the shut down of schools, children have been receiving online classes while many parents have been working from home. These circumstances are leading to anxiety, the council said.

“Women are responding with kindness, strength and humanity and like other frontliners often at great risk to their health. It is a time of preoccuption for pregnant women, who fear the worst for their unborn child and the immense fear of having a member of the family hospitalized and not being able to visit,” President Mary Gaerty said.

NCW said it was aware of all the assistance the government has set up and made available to persons who require support to overcome loneliness, procure medicines, food and home care. The council acknowledged that the present situation can have repercussions on the wellbeing and mental health of the family due to confinement in a restricted environment.

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