Saturday, 4 April 2020

COVID19 and the Neonatal Unit

Hello readers!

Welcome back to my blog. Today I was planning on doing a post about the wonderful Peeps Charity as it's HIE Awareness Day today, a day that this charity set up just last year,

When I explained I would have to delay the post Sarah explained that they had kept the day low profile due to other issues more pressing at the moment.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Many of us across the health activist community are concerned about the breadth of the new guidelines across many health sectors, granting the government new unprecedented and untested powers.

Clearly we are in an unprecedented fast moving situation. I share the petition the other day requesting the clarity on the birth partner issue.

I took for granted what I was really asking for, and hence my concern is this. The guidelines  issued by the Royal Council of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is completely silent on NICU visiting and the Covoid19 crisis we find ourselves in.

Now a straight forward answer is that only mum and dad should be allowed to visit. However we all know that families have a myriad of permutations. My prime concern here is maternal mental health.

I have been diagnosed with complex post traumatic stress disorder. Due to my childhood trauma I was more susceptible to this condition. However one of the risk factors for PTSD is lack of connection. We know that units cannot always accommodate parents to stay on the unit, so this means travelling often large distances.

I have looked at the Bliss statement on this issue which can be found here but again, there is lack of clarity.

I do appreciate this is a fast moving situation and a lot is unknown about the risks to newborns and pregnant women in the light of this virus.

However we do know a lot about maternal mental health and NICU stays .

I think it's essential that the key charities and campaigners in this field create a rigid and clear guidance that advises exactly what units can and can't enforce and most of all offers consistency. Practice can vary from one unit to another.

I am viewing this issue purely at a distance. However my concerns remain that the maternal mental health of mothers has been overlooked in this guidance.

Please tweet your concerns using the hash tag #Covoid19birth 

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