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The new guidelines mean mums-to-be across the UK will be able to have one person alongside them, as long as that person is not showing any symptoms of coronavirus.
Depending on the trust, previous restrictions forced mums to be separated from their partners during scans and labour - something that was terrifying and in many cases traumatic for so many new mums this year.
The latest rules were published on Monday under a document titled 'Supporting pregnant women using maternity services during the coronavirus pandemic: Actions for NHS providers'. It's believed risk assessments will be required in each maternity service to establish where there could be a higher risk of transmitting Covid.
Added to this, pregnant mums and their support partners will be required to be tested for Covid before attending 12 and 20 week scans, or other maternity appointments.
The doc states: "Pregnant women value the support from a partner, relative, friend or other person through pregnancy and childbirth as it facilitates emotional wellbeing and is a key component of safe and personalised maternity care.
"It is therefore our aim, further to a risk assessment, that a woman should have access to support from a person of her choosing at all stages of her maternity journey and that all trusts should facilitate this as quickly as possible.
"At the same time it is our priority to prevent and control COVID-19 infection and keep women and staff safe. Many trusts have already found creative solutions to overcome remaining challenges and they have maximised the support that pregnant women can receive throughout their pregnancy. It is important now that all trusts do this."
Delighted to see the revised guidance for visiting in maternity services, recognising that #partnersarenotvisitors, that they are a "key component of safe and personalised maternity care" who should be included throughout https://t.co/wDgLNTAsnJ #butnotmaternity @NHSEngland- Birthrights (@birthrightsorg) December 15, 2020
Birthrights - an organisation which provides information, advice and training on lawful treatment of women in maternity care - welcomed the changes.
Yesterday they tweeted: "Delighted to see the revised guidance for visiting in maternity services, recognising that #partnersarenotvisitors, that they are a "key component of safe and personalised maternity care" who should be included throughout https://bit.ly/3gPYeyt #butnotmaternity @NHSEngland."
The change follows an online campaign, #ButNotMaternity, which has seen thousands of expectant mothers and workers in the maternity sector voicing their concerns over the previous restrictions.
This will make a dramatic difference to so many women!
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