Call for restrictions to be eased for maternity visits at Limerick hospital

Call for restrictions to be eased for maternity visits  at Limerick hospital

University Maternity Hospital Limerick

A FATHER has hit out at visiting restrictions at University Maternity Hospital Limerick, as he is not allowed to be with his wife for important appointments, with just weeks before she is due to give birth. 

Eoin Nelligan, from Castletroy, is calling for the easing of restrictions, which have been in place since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has swept the nation and around the world. 

Mr Nelligan, who is an Aontu representative, said that his wife is due to give birth “in a few weeks”, and that this birth has been a “very different experience for both of us compared to the births of our two older daughters. 

“It’s a disappointment to me that I have yet to see our baby on the scans, but my disappointment pales when placed against the extra stress on my wife. Having to attend the maternity hospital on her own over the past few months has not been easy,” he said. 

Another expectant father took to social media to complain that he had to wait in the UMHL car park while his partner was at an appointment. 

UL Hospitals has said “it is necessary to keep the ban in place while the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 remains present” as numbers continue to increase. 

However, it said that restrictions are under “continuous review” at the hospital. There is a strict limit of one visitor per patient, and only the birthing partners are permitted to be present in the labour ward for vaginal births. Partners are allowed to be present during C-sections, however, this is not the case if the patient is under general anaesthetic. 

“Birthing partners are permitted to remain with mother and baby for approximately one to one-and-a-half hours after delivery but are unfortunately requested to leave when the patient is being transferred to the postnatal ward.”

Discretions are made on a case by case basis where the newborn is gravely ill or unwell. 

The hospital has implemented a secure video service for parents during the pandemic.

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