Separated At Birth


From top: Protest outside the Rotunda Hospital in May; HSE Clinical Director of Women and Infants Health Dr Peter McKenna

This morning/afternoon.

New guidance from the HSE will allow for partners to attend 12-week scans and to be present during some caesarean sections and early scans if miscarriages are suspected.

HSE Clinical Director of Women and Infants Health Dr Peter McKenna said with the move to ease restrictions further there are conflicting priorities; to keep people safe and also to keep the process of childbirth as normal as possible.

He said the conversation can mean tension between these two priorities.

Dr McKenna said if a C-section is done under general anaesthetic, there would not be much of a role for partners to support, as the woman would be asleep.

Additional lifting of maternity hospital Covid restrictions in coming weeks – HSE official (RTÉ)


15 thoughts on “Separated At Birth

  1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

    except you’re not usually asleep, it’s open abdominal surgery while you are awake and you can feel all the pulling and rummaging, if it’s not going well you’ll get flashbacks for months, you might even get a stupid woman telling you to show a little excitement about baby and getting the hump when you tell her to fupp off, a partners hand to hold or eyes to look into would be a lot better than looking at your blood rushing up tubes above your head, less traumatic too.

    1. Micko

      Was thinking the same myself. Where’s he getting the “asleep” thing from.

      Only ever seen videos of it, but the woman usually gets handed the baby straight away right?

      1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

        yup handed right away unless you need more surgery and in that case it’s nice to know baby is near Dad

    2. millie bobby brownie

      +1 J

      I had a very traumatic emergency C section on the little woman, and actually required counselling in the lead up to having the little fella last year, and even then I was extremely anxious when they were prepping me for surgery. By the time himself was allowed into theatre, the surgery was already underway and I was incredibly stressed out, even with all the preparation I did. I was wide awake and aware of every movement they made.

      My partner was told to leave after we left recovery and I was brought to the ward so I can also confirm how very distressing it is to say goodbye to your partner after going through a very private and emotional experience like the birth of a child. I truly could have used him by side in the few hours after, and I imagine I’m not the only woman who felt this way afterwards.

    3. V aka Frilly Keane

      He says “General Anaesthetic” girls, not local,
      or the full block epidural most sections are carried out under
      like my own in fact

      And absolutely no partner should be in the theatre while a General Anaesthetic is being administered
      they are only – usually, in extreme circumstances, like heart failure in the Mammy, severe breathing difficulties, organ failure, mental health and all the other stuff that are no ones business only Mammy Daddy next of kin, and their medical teams
      These deliveries are usually carried out in Acute centres, like James’
      or Vincents
      Hence the proximity of the Coombe and now mebbe Holles Street

      so chill
      and wind in the shrill
      keep that for the vax no vax big awakening stuff – there’s loads of it about to choose from

      1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

        shrill ? Is that what you got from that ?
        Welcome back btw

        1. V aka Frilly Keane

          pretty shrill reaction comparing the local – keeping you awake kinda of section procedure and experience and afterwards for Mammys

          with the circumstances when a General Anaesthetic is employed, and the medical necessities, conditions and after care

          In fairness

          Although McKenna could have used better language than the woman would be asleep to define the difference

          1. millie bobby brownie

            In fairness, Frill, when you’re going in to have a c-section, whether elective or emergency, they always inform the patient that if a situation occurs where you must be put under general anaesthetic then your partner must immediately leave the room. This isn’t news to mammies who’ve gone under the knife, AFAIK.

            But, by and large, it is spinal block and the partner is there – for the birth anyway. I understand they have to get certain things done before beginning the surgery, which is why the partner isn’t allowed in immediately anyways, but the thing I found hard was having to say goodbye so soon after I’d given birth.

  2. Orla

    Why is this man, who has never given birth, saying “Having an additional person there is a distraction and is not a support for the woman.” How would he know?!???

    1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

      considering there’s a team of 8 people in theater already, all strangers

    2. Cian

      That quote was in relation to a woman being under a full anaesthetic – ie asleep.

      I’m not aware of any time a partner accompanies a person into theatre for an op that requires a full anaesthetic.

      1. Orla

        Oh it is. The article and the general sentiment is still bullpoo. Hospitals can’t facilitate social distancing.?Well then do something about that! It’s only been over a year! Also why is he even referring to the red herring about emergency sections under GA. Vast majority of births will not go that way. It’s like he is scrapping for excuses. Also I personally, going into an emergency section, would find it comforting to know my partner was close by, making an already distressful situation worse.

  3. Daisy Chainsaw

    That’s an awful 1970’s attitude, but then again that’s where a lot of Irish reproductive rights are still stuck.

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