Too many hospitals keep partners from attending maternity services
When James returned from the hospital after the birth of his son , he was surprised to find a bottle of whisky and some cans of lager on his doorstep. The mystery was soon solved. Under covid-19 rules, James was allowed into the hospital where his partner Annie was due to give birth only once active labour had begun. Thirty-six hours after being admitted for an induction, Annie found herself on a delivery ward in the early hours of the morning desperately trying to rouse her sleeping husband by phone. When that failed, she resorted to ordering a delivery from a local off-licence in the hope that the doorbell would prove more effective. In the event, he woke before the booze arrived.
James made it to the hospital on time and all went well. Others have not been so lucky. “I’ve heard real horror stories of what women have had to face alone, whether it’s awful news at a scan or going through a difficult birth without your partner there,” says Joeli Brearley of Pregnant Then Screwed, a campaign group. As Britain locked down in March, hospitals limited the number of visitors allowed on their premises. Pregnant women had to attend 12- and 20-week scans, and go through much of the process of labour, alone. Nonessential retail reopened in June, followed by pubs and restaurants in July, but tight restrictions have remained in place limiting access to maternity services and postbirth visits by new fathers. A petition calling for the rules to be loosened across Britain has received over 440,000 signatures and the backing of 60 mps.
詹姆斯及时赶到医院，一切都进展顺利。其他人就没有这么幸运了。运动组织 Pregnant Then Screwed 的 Joeli Brearley 说道：”我听说过一些真实的关于妇女独自面对生产的可怕故事，包括扫描检测时的糟糕消息和经历丈夫不在场的难产“。由于英国在四月份进行了封锁，医院限制了访客的数量。孕妇必须接受12周和20周的扫描检测，并且独自走完大部分的分娩流程。六月份，无关紧要的零售店铺允许开业了，紧接着酒吧和餐馆在七月份也开业了，但是限制新爸爸参与产科服务和产后探视的严格条件仍在继续。一份呼吁在全英国放松这些规定的请愿书已经收到了超过44万个签名和60名议员的支持。
The Royal College of Midwives, a trade union and professional body, acknowledges that “the support of a partner during scans and labour is important”, but argues that restricting access to some services means that “maternity teams can continue to deliver good-quality, safe care, protecting pregnant women and the midwives who care for them.” Others are less convinced. “It’s important to remember that the vast majority of birth partners live with the woman giving birth,” says Jeremy Davies of the Fatherhood Institute, a thinktank. Evidence suggests the presence of partners leads to better medical outcomes, partly because it reduces stress and anxiety during birth.
助产士皇家学会（一个职业工会和专业团体）承认”在检查和分娩过程中，有配偶的支持是重要的“，但认为限制某些项目的访问意味着”妇产科团队可以继续提供优质的安全护理保护孕妇，以及照顾她们的助产护士“。其它人则不这么认为。Fatherhood Institute 智库的 Jeremy Davies 说道：”重要的是，要记住，绝大部分的生育伴侣，都是和分娩的女性住在一起的“。有证据表明，伴侣的存在会带来更好的医疗效果，部分原因是因为这部分减少了分娩过程中的压力和焦虑。
In response to rising discontent the nhs issued new guidance for maternity services on September 8th. But campaigners say that interpretations of the guidelines vary widely across the country and most services remain closed to partners. The concept of “active labour” is especially slippery. “It’s not like this stuff runs on a timetable,” says a midwife. As of late September, fewer than one in four hospital trusts were allowing partners to be present for the whole of labour and half were still banning women from being accompanied to their 12-week scan. As Ms Brearley says, “No one should have to find out they have miscarried alone.”
为了应对日益高涨的不满情绪，英国皇家医疗服务体系在9.8日发布了新的生育服务指导方针，但是运动人士表示，全国各地对指导方针的解释差异很大，而且大多数服务仍然不对伴侣开放。”积极分娩“的概念尤其难以捉摸。一位助产护士说：”这不是按照时间表进行的“。截止到9月下旬，只有不到四分之一的医院机构允许伴侣在整个分娩过程中在场，有一半仍然禁止妇女在为期12周的检查中被陪同。正如 Brearley 先生所说，”不应有任何人被发现是独自流产的“。