Giving birth can be an emotional and painful experience but pregnant women now have another problem to deal with, which is of course all down to COVID-19.
Pregnant women have set up a Facebook group to discuss restrictions that have been imposed at Mater Dei’s obstetrics wards to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Women who have recently given birth were told that they must wear a mask while giving birth and cannot be given the pain-relieving gas Entonox unless they present a negative COVID-19 test issued within 48 hours of their admission.
Lovin Malta has asked the Health Ministry to clarify why Entonox is being restricted.
This situation is problematic for women who go into spontaneous labour because even if they are swabbed right before giving birth, it can take several hours to process these tests.
A pregnant woman told Lovin Malta that she and other people in her group aren’t calling for the measures to be reversed but for the health authorities to prioritise the swab tests of women who go into spontaneous labour so as to ensure a smoother and less stressful birth experience.
“Not only mothers would benefit from this but all the healthcare workers who will be assisting the mother-to-be during delivery as they will be more at ease knowing the patient is tested negative for COVID-19,” she said.
She also referred to how COVID-19 tests for people who work with cruise liner passengers are being processed at a rapid rate. Indeed, TVM reported today that these workers, such as taxi drivers and tour guides, will receive their results by the time breakfast has concluded on the ship.
“If they can get results in 45 minutes, we should be as much of a major priority and have our results in 45 minutes too,” she said. “The situation is all adding up to the expected stress and anxiety that all mothers-to-be experience when delivering a child.”
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