• 11 December 2020
  • 3 min read

COVID-Mandated Mother & Baby Separation. Was It, And Can It Still Be Justified?

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder
    • Richard Gill
    • Laura Bosworth
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 682
Was the separation of mothers from their babies justified?

Campaigners claim measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus when either a mother, her child or both require hospital treatment are increasing the risk of physical and mental health problems.

Doctors and charities argue that mothers are needlessly being separated from their babies whilst in hospital.

Some parents of sick babies have also been barred from seeing their child whilst they are being treated in neonatal units. This causes understandable distress and prevents bonding.

Is this policy the result of a fear-based overreaction to COVID-19 and the pressure on healthcare services? Comment 💬 Like ❤️ Reply 🙂 below.

More than 250 doctors and 18 charities are amongst those who have penned a letter to the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, setting out their concerns about the current policy, and the differences in implementation of it between hospitals.

In the letter the 650 signatories demanded that mothers and children be kept together as much as possible.

Dr Helen Mactier, president of the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, said “A mother and her baby should never be separated – in a hospital, a restaurant, anywhere".

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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Was enough consideration given to the risks and potential harm of such a policy, or do you think the government could only think about separating people to try and prevent transmission of the virus?

Other accounts have women reportedly being sent away from outpatient clinic and scan appointments because they have attended with their baby.

If those accounts are true, should the state have the power to deny healthcare to people, especially the people who pay for the healthcare provision through taxation in the first place?

Bliss, a charity for families with babies cared for in neonatal units, says such limitations have an enormous impact on families, affecting their mental health and wellbeing.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) issued guidance saying that mothers and babies should be exempt from any distancing or isolation rules, even if they are suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19.

Do you agree with the WHO recommendations that from any separation policies not apply to mothers and babies?

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What do YOU think?

Let me know your thoughts in the Comments & click Like!

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On a related note, some NHS Trusts reportedly began to suspend home births during the early days of the pandemic back in March.

In March 2020, the number of enquiries from expectant mothers doubled in a space of a few weeks according to the chief executive of Private Midwives, a UK-based nationwide private midwifery service.

One of the main reasons given for this upsurge in interest in home births was a desire to avoid going into hospital, particularly given the strain some hospitals were under at the time.

Was this rise in interest in home births inevitable given the narrative of the NHS under stress that was pushed by the media during the pandemic?

And how much do you think the possibility of being separated from your child would put off mothers and mothers-to-be, from going into hospital?

A study published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine, said that the policy of separating mothers with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 from their infants was not supported by evidence and could cause lasting harm.

In her commentary, the author Dr Stuebe, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of North Caroline School of Medicine stated that, whilst separation may minimise the risk of transmission of the virus from mother to infant, it has potential negative consequences for both parties, and there is no evidence that this action improved outcomes.

If there is no evidence of improved outcomes, should this policy be allowed to continue?

Another WHO report, published in May 2020 stated that there were no confirmed cases of mother-to-child transmission of COVID-19 whilst in hospital.

It also said that the existing evidence had not identified any major risk of complications in babies born to mothers with COVID-19.

The report recommends mothers should not be separated from their infants unless the mother is too sick to care for her baby and if the new-born or infant is ill and requires specialist care (such as neonatal unit), arrangements should be made to allow the mother free access to the unit.

Should this report be the death-knell for this policy, or do you think any discussion will get lost in the noise about COVID, lockdown and the tier system?

Please Like the article and let us know what you think in the comments.

Thanks.

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

About the author

  • Matt Farrah
    Co-Founder

I studied English before moving into publishing in the mid 90s. I co-founded Nurses.co.uk and our other three sites in 2008. I wanted to provide a platform that gives a voice to those working in health and social care. I'm fascinated, generally, by the career choices we all make. But I'm especially interested in the stories told by those who choose to spend their life supporting others. They are mostly positive and life-affirming stories, despite the considerable challenges and burdens faced.

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