Irish Examiner view: Pandemic pregnancies cause extra worries

All efforts must be made to support expectant mothers
Irish Examiner view: Pandemic pregnancies cause extra worries

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee is due her baby in May.

The announcement Justice Minister Helen McEntee, who is pregnant, has contracted Covid-19 highlights the particular concerns of all expectant women during this pandemic.

We wish Ms McEntee well and hope that she and her baby, which is due in May, will remain safe and well.

The natural worries that many women go through during pregnancy have been heightened by the Covid-19 pandemic and made worse still by the fact that some maternity hospitals are preventing partners from being present during 20-week anomaly scans, for fear of spreading the virus.

While that fear is understandable, it seems cruel and inhumane women are prevented from having the support of their partner during what can be an anxious and life-changing time for pregnant women and their partners. 

This important scan checks the physical development of the baby and can be an anxious and fearful time for parents, exacerbated by the pandemic. 

Last month, a petition opposing such restrictions in all maternity hospitals gained more than 52,000 signatures, following which the HSE reversed an overall ban it had imposed. 

All efforts must be made to continue to support expectant mothers.

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