The “harmful” and “excessive restriction” that has seen partners not be permitted to go to baby scans or to be present for the full duration if labour has to end, according to a Cork TD.
Sinn Féin’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has called on the HSE to review the policies which are creating restrictions for families expecting babies.
Currently partners currently are only able to be present for very limited parts of the pregnancy and labour.
He also commended those behind the petition to reduce restrictions at maternity hospitals that was presented at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) this week.
"A lot of the discussion at the minute is about relaxation of restrictions in commerce for the Christmas period.
“But the fact is, that this is a very harmful and, I believe, excessive restriction which is not related to Christmas, but to be honest has been with us for 9 months now, and far too long I believe,” Deputy Ó Laoghaire said.
He called for swift action to allow partners to be present at appointments and scans, for the full duration of labour, and at every opportunity where it can be safe to do so.
He said that the stories that have been told by people who have had to go through these moments alone have been harrowing.
“It is clear women are suffering, and their partners are too, very significantly,” he said.
“The World Health Organisation believe that every woman has a right to a companion of choice during childbirth.
“If the WHO are saying that this needs to be done, surely it can be.”