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Statement on Victoria hospital visitor restrictions

23 July 2020

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) recognises the significant health, economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Victorian services and communities. The College defers to health departments and government as the jurisdictions responsible for a whole of system response. However, the College is concerned that application of some restrictions will unfairly disadvantage expectant mothers and their families, with potential significant mental health consequences.
 
Under the new rules, an expectant mother will be able to have her partner or support person with her for the labour and birth. After the birth, however, the woman's partner or support person will only be allowed to stay with her for two hours.
 
RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach said: “There has necessarily, and appropriately, been an emphasis on the physical implications of the Covid-19 infection on the health of the community. However, we must remain aware that pregnancy and parenting are associated with anxiety and depression, and these new rules potentially place women, their partners and families at increased risk.
 
“Pregnancy and childbirth are such an important time in a woman’s life. We must work together to safeguard women’s mental health and experience during birth and facilitate and support parents’ connection with their newborn babies. The time after birth is a unique opportunity for family bonding with long term benefits for parents and their baby.
 
“A hospital remains the safest place to give birth. RANZCOG believes that the needs of new mothers can be met within existing frameworks, with heed to appropriate infection control and protection of healthcare workers. We call on the Victorian Government to urgently review these restrictions.”
 
Background
Read RANZCOG’s message for pregnant women and their families on the RANZCOG website

For media inquiries and interviews contact:
 
Andre Khoury
Head of Communications and Public Affairs
t 61 3 9114 3923   m +61 448 735 749
[email protected]



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