Rally over maternity restrictions: Cork mum hopeful campaign will help other parents

Rally over maternity restrictions: Cork mum hopeful campaign will help other parents

Linda Kelly from Glanmire-a member of the campaigning organisation Uplift- said she experienced the painful effect of pandemic restrictions firsthand during the birth of her daughter Amy-Kate last July. Picture: Pexels

A CORK mum at the centre of a virtual protest calling for the easing of maternity restrictions said she hopes the event will put women back on top of the health agenda.

Linda Kelly from Glanmire-a member of the campaigning organisation Uplift- said she experienced the painful effect of pandemic restrictions firsthand during the birth of her daughter Amy-Kate last July. 

A total of 52,205 people have already signed a petition in favour of allowing partners to be present at antenatal appointments and scans and for the full duration of labour. 

The petition is also calling for partners to have the option of being present after the birth on the postnatal ward. 

Started by physiotherapist and mum Caroline Cumming, the document will be delivered to the HSE at 11am today (Thursday) ahead of the protest.

A number of politicians have come forward to speak at the rally including Leader of Sinn Fein, Mary Lou McDonald, Leader of Labour Party Alan Kelly, TD Holly Cairns, (Social Democrats) and Uplift Director Caroline Cumming-who is currently expecting her third child. 

The rally is set to kick off at 1pm. 

Cork mum Linda Kelly said she hopes the campaign will help other women preparing to give birth.

Under current restrictions, women admitted to Cork University Maternity Hospital for induction of labour or in labour can have one nominated companion when they are in labour, or have been called for caesarean section. Limited visiting is allowed at the neonatal unit.

Ms Kelly expressed shock that any mention of maternity services was absent from the Living with Covid plan.

“The moment that crystalised it for me was when they publicised the Living with Covid plan which failed to feature one single mention of maternity services.

“This is a health service that is 24/7, 365 days a year. There are no exceptions.

“Nobody can stop the passage of time with a pregnancy or birth.”

She added: “Midwives and nurses are doing their best but nothing can replace the support of a loved one... This is the most vulnerable time in a person’s life, yet they are being made to go through it on their own.”

Linda stressed how important having a loved one is for anyone experiencing complications.

“Until they go for a scan, expectant parents don’t know what might be wrong. An expectant mother has every hope in the world that they will come out the other side with a healthy baby but sadly this isn’t always the case.”

She criticised the HSE’s approach to maternity, saying the “restrictions are too crude an instrument as they stand.”

For information on the petition see my.uplift.ie/petitions/lift-restrictions-on-maternity-care.

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