Partners can stay longer than two hours after birth, government clarifies

Thursday’s announcement that a partner or a support person could stay at the hospital for only two hours after the mother was moved to postnatal care left many Victorian pregnant women stressed and confused. The government has since clarified its advice, stating that there will be no limit on how long they can remain after the birth.

As part of the measures to stem the spread of COVID-19, the rules as of today state that the woman is able to have her partner or support person with her for the duration of the labour and birth, as well as the hours following childbirth with no limit.

What some people didn’t understand is that the change yesterday was rather in relation to visits to pregnant women during labour, the birth process, and following the birth. The rule previously allowed two visitors for two hours in the days following the birth, but now there is a visit limit of one person only for two hours per day. This may seem unfair and upsetting for some who would like more than one visitor, but the hospitals are doing this to protect their patients and staff.

This mixed messaging yesterday understandably left families feeling distressed and outraged. Fortunately the government has responded quickly to alleviate pregnant women’s concerns. To reiterate, pregnant women can feel rest assured that a birth partner or support person can stay with them and their newborn baby after the birth with no time limit so long as they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. In the days following, only that same partner or support person can visit once per day for a maximum of two hours.


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