The Head of Department of Obstetrics and Genealogy at Mater Dei, Yves Muscat Baron, said that fathers can enter the ward to support the mother until the baby is born. He stressed that the only change right now because of the increased number of Covid cases is that the father can only visit the mother and baby for an hour every evening.
During the programme TVAM, Prof Muscat Baron said that the measures have been taken to protect the health of the mothers, and in particular the health of the babies, to avoid situations which have occurred abroad where mothers died and babies ended up on ventilators.
The absolute priority at Mater Dei right now is the health of the mothers and babies.
He explained that in April of last when hospital visits were all stopped, fathers were only allowed to go near the mother for 10 minutes in the last stages of labour. He explained that this decision was changed shortly afterwards and the fathers were allowed to stay with the mother throughout the whole labour process until the child was born.
”We let the father remain with the mother throughout the whole labour because that is when the mother needs the most support. But is it when she goes into labour? When the contractions start? So from the time she starts getting labour pains and her waters break, they are allowed in with them, as one has to remember that we have single rooms in the labour wards.”
Prof Muscat Baron said that after childbirth, the mother and baby are transferred to wards where there are four beds and as a precaution not to have too many people in the same room, it was decided that fathers can only visit the mother and baby for one hour daily between 4pm – 6pm.
”We have mothers and babies who are not vaccinated so we need to protect them and you do not want a situation where there is incubation and you have an outbreak in one of the wards.”
Prof Muscat Baron said that out of the 45 cases of expectant mothers who tested positive from Covid, there were some cases which exhibited typical Covid symptoms, however, to date there have not been any cases such as those which have happened in the UK and the US.
”Fever and coughing and some breathlessness, but we did not have any cases which we saw and heard about in the UK and the US where there were even mothers who died and babies who ended up requiring a ventilator.”
He added that to date we have been lucky, but the health authorities cannot take any risks when they see the variant which is spreading much faster and has led to a great spike in the number of new cases.