A Cork campaigner has welcomed the decision to allow the partners of pregnant women to attend 20-week pregnancy scans.
The HSE has said that partners of pregnant women are no longer prohibited from attending the 20-week scan and they can now also be present for any surgical intervention.
It comes after continuous campaigning to ease restrictions around maternity care and an online petition which saw more than 52,000 signatures in support of change to the current restrictions around maternity care.
Linda Kelly, Cork mother and campaigner, said that the change to restrictions on the 20-week scan is welcome.
“For all of the women who came forward and told their stories about their experience, I think this is definitely, validation that they have been listened to.
“I think the HSE national leadership team have obviously taken on board the incredible amount of signatures that were gathered on the petition and I think they’re ready now to have a much more considered, much more compassionate discussion about how we keep everybody safe during COVID and maternity services.”
However, Ms Kelly said that the announcement is just “the first step” and that the group will continue campaigning for access to the support of a partner for the entirety of the pregnancy journey.
“If they can review the restrictions on one scan, there’s no reason why they can’t do it for the 12-week scan either,” she said.
“It’s the first step. We are very pleased that they recognise that there are issues around the restrictions that were put in place in March. This is in no way shape or form enough, but we will take it.
“We’re very happy to work with the HSE on making sure that we move forward in a much more considered way around the restrictions that need to be put in place in maternity services,” she added.
Partners of pregnant women will now be permitted to attend the 20-week anatomy scan at Cork University Maternity Hospital from Monday 14 December.