Irish Daily Mail

TD slates maternity restrictio­ns

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SINN Féin TD Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has said expectant mothers aren’t ‘getting the support they should’ due to maternity hospital restrictio­ns as he told of being separated from his wife for hours during her labour.

The Cork South Central TD and his wife, Eimear Ruane-McAteer, welcomed their third child, daughter Nóinín, on July 7 at Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Mr Ó Laoghaire said he had to wait several hours to be allowed to join his wife on the ward.

While the 32-year-old praised the staff working in the hospital, he was critical of the ‘arbitrary distinctio­n’ being made in maternity hospitals between establishe­d labour and early labour.

‘My wife was induced, I dropped her to the hospital at about 9pm the night before our daughter was born... She was on her own for many hours until it was judged that the contractio­ns were adequate,’ he said yesterday.

‘I’m not going to criticise the staff in the CUMH, I thought they were extremely compassion­ate.

‘I thought they did everything that they could within the restrictio­ns, but the reality and the restrictio­ns don’t make sense… My experience is that most midwives or staff in hospitals don’t agree with them either.’

Mr Ó Laoghaire said partners being allowed to support mothers during labour ‘isn’t an optional extra – it’s essential’.

He called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Health Minister

Stephen Donnelly to take action. He said: ‘We need more pressure from the Taoiseach, we need more pressure from the Minister for Health on the HSE.

‘If the CMO [Dr Tony Holohan] says it needs to be fixed, there’s no reason for restrictio­ns.’

Mr Ó Laoghaire has previously been vocal about his view on restrictio­ns at maternity hospitals. In June, he revealed in an emotional speech in the Dáil that he had to wait in the hospital car park after his wife had a scare early in her pregnancy. He said: ‘I waited outside by the car park looking up at the early-pregnancy unit waiting room window, as close as I could get.

‘I am glad to say all was fine, but I tell you, we were worried.’

 ??  ?? Family: Mr Ó Laoghaire with wife Eimear and baby Nóinín
Family: Mr Ó Laoghaire with wife Eimear and baby Nóinín

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