“Birthing partners and support persons” are officially banned from delivery rooms at NewYork-Presbyterian’s hospitals, prompting upset significant others to launch a petition that’s collected more than 220,000 signatures.
“No one should give birth alone,” the petition reads. “These extreme rules are going to increase maternal and infant mortality. We don’t have enough nurses to spend the contact hours needed with people in labor to ensure their and their baby’s health and safety.”
One soon-to-be-father told the New York Post that the network’s decision is “the most disgusting move I’ve seen a healthcare professional/system make up to this point.”
“I wonder how it will be enforced because [they] will need to physically stop me from being by her side during the most precious time of our lives,” he said.
The hospitals’ decision to ban visitors was announced on Sunday by Dr. Dena Goffman, chief of obstetrics at Columbia University Medical Center, who said several patients felt few to no symptoms upon admission but later tested positive for covid-19. Additionally, many symptoms of labor mimic the symptoms of the novel coronavirus, like fatigue and shortness of breath. Per CNN:
“As a result, these women were not identified by our usual screening, infection prevention and control, or testing processes, and therefore our practices for protection for Covid-19 were not implemented. In this case, many staff members were exposed,” Goffman said.
Testing women in labor, she added, would allow doctors to isolate newborns who may have been exposed to the virus, thus preventing outbreaks in neonatal ICUs and well-baby nurseries.
During a news conference on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he wanted to know more about NewYork-Presbyterian’s policy, because “I’m not sure what the rationale is.”
“We’re talking about an irreplaceable life moment. The moment I was in the delivery room when my kids were born was one of the most important moments in my life,” he said. “I’m concerned about that because I think it means so much for people.”
Meanwhile, a very pregnant Chloe Sevigny is chilling: