Fathers with coronavirus could miss birth of their baby

The partners of pregnant women could be banned from witnessing the birth of their child if they have symptoms of coronavirus, experts have said.

Fathers and other birthing partners will not be permitted to attend a birth in hospital if they have tested positive for Covid-19, or have symptoms such as a fever or continuous cough.

Experts from the Royal College of Midwives and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists answered questions from concerned parents online.

In a Twitter Q&A, one asked: “If my partner tested positive, will they be able to attend the birth?”

The response was “Sadly we cannot allow a partner, or anyone else that has tested positive for Covid-19, to attend a birth.

“This is to protect you, your baby, the medical staff and other patients from catching the virus. Try to think about who else might be able to support you.”

If women themselves have coronavirus or symptoms they should call their maternity unit and get advice when they go into labour.

The experts were also asked about breastfeeding with coronavirus.

“Wash your hands before feeding baby; avoid coughing or sneezing on the baby; consider wearing a mask during feeding and/or asking someone who is well to feed the baby expressed breast milk or formula to the baby,” they said.