CHANGES: Pregnant women have to abide by new birthing rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Picture: uStock
CHANGES: Pregnant women have to abide by new birthing rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Picture: uStock

Family ‘gutted’ over virus restrictions in maternity unit

A YOUNG first-time mum has been forced to choose between her own mother or her partner for support during labour as hospitals tighten rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Queensland Health has ordered that only one person can support a woman during labour and visitors have been banned from seeing newborn babies.

The 25-year-old Central Queensland woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she was really upset that she couldn't have both her mum and partner by her side.

"I originally was having my partner and my mum with me while I give birth however that has changed now with the hospitals only allowing one support person," she said.

"It's really upsetting as my mum can no longer be there when her first grandchild comes into the world."

Central Queensland Health has also revealed that after birth, the nominated support person - who cannot be under 16 years old or sick - can only visit for two hours per day, between 10am to 11am and 6pm to 7pm.

"Not only is this daunting with the thought of being in hospital on my own but I know my partner is going to struggle with leaving us," the CQ mum said.

"He may also miss out on those first big moments like changing the first nappy and giving bub its first bath."

The young mum says she understands that hospitals can't take risks with COVID-19, but believes the visiting hours should be extended for the support person.

"By letting the one support person into the hospital for an hour in the morning then sending them home, then allowing them back in the afternoon for an hour, to me, is doubling the risks of that support person bringing in the virus," she said.

"Personally, I think the hospitals should say the one support person can be here from morning to afternoon, however you can only come into the hospital once a day and when you go home you're not welcome back until the next day."

She said one of the most exciting times in her life has become overly stressful with the constant changes and updates to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"I originally was constantly watching updates but have stopped that because I found myself just more stressed out than I needed to be," she said.

The baby, due on May 3, is also the first grandchild and great grandchild on both sides of the family, and although close family and friends will no longer be able to meet him or her straight away, they are looking forward to the Facetime updates.

"Our families are absolutely gutted especially being the first grandchild on both sides of our families, but they understand that we can't take this lightly and have to follow the laws," she said.

"Unfortunately the government have put these restrictions in place for a reason and we need to abide by them.

"As bad as things are, we all just have to stay positive in times like these and thank the world for technology because the likes of Facetime will be amazing for showing bub off."