'I waited outside by the carpark, as close as I could get': Cork TD shares personal experience as he calls for end to maternity restrictions

'I waited outside by the carpark, as close as I could get': Cork TD shares personal experience as he calls for end to maternity restrictions

Speaking in the Dáil Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire urged the Minister for Health to intervene to put an end to the continuing severe maternity restrictions. Photo:Gareth Chaney/Collins

A CORK TD has called for an end to continuing maternity restrictions, and has told the Dáil of his family's personal experience, with him unable to offer support while his partner attended an emergency appointment alone. 

Sinn Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire urged the Minister for Health to intervene and to put an end to the continuing maternity restrictions.

The Cork South-Central TD described his own experience as his pregnant partner attended an appointment alone, stating that there is no justification for the continuation of restrictions in maternity hospitals.

“Just before Christmas, my partner Eimear had an emergency appointment with the Early Pregnancy Unit because she was bleeding," he said.

"I waited outside by the carpark, looking up at the Early Pregnancy Unit waiting room window, as close as I could get."

While thankfully, everything was ok, Mr Ó Laoghaire said that he and his partner “were very worried”.

“If everything had not been ok, Eimear would have had to face that appointment alone. She would have got that bad news alone. Earth-shattering, devastating news, alone.

“And that’s still the same today.”

He said it is “an outrage” that couples in similar situations must face such restrictions, leaving partners awaiting news outside the hospital door.

“Whatever about a year ago, hospital staff are vaccinated, increasingly pregnant women are vaccinated, many partners will be before long too, and that is welcome."

Noting how partners and expectant mothers are almost always coming from the same household, he said: "There is no justification for the continuing of these restrictions".

“Women in labour need support, full stop. The WHO says so, the CMO says so."

“The Minister needs to stop dragging his heels on this and force action, and stop presenting minimal changes as enough.

“Women need their partners during all of labour, after birth and at key appointments. Partners are not visitors, they are an essential support."

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