Photo: Adil Boukind The Duty
Fanie Grégoire is pregnant with her first child. Anxious, she burst into tears when she was not allowed to join his spouse Frederic Gemus by FaceTime in the radiology room.
Fanie Grégoire is pregnant of 22 weeks. But his spouse had never seen the little heart of their boy beating on a monitor. Since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19,fathers can’t attend the ultrasound.
“It’s a little disappointing,” said Frédéric Gémus. Especially because, in the society, we try to give more importance to the place of the fathers. “
Fanie Grégoire would have wanted to share these unique moments with his spouse through video calls on Facetime. But the staff of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital, where it is followed, is prohibited. She burst into tears in the radiology room. “I think it’s a shame, really,” said the Montreal-based 38-year-old, who is expecting her first child. If a woman has a bad news, she’s all alone. “
The couple believes that with the déconfinement, the government should alleviate this rule. “The shops are open, but are denied these fundamental rights to the new parents, denounces Fanie Gregoire. In the beginning of the pandemic, I was in full agreement with the restrictions. But now, I have the impression that there is an abuse of power at the expense of our mental health. “
Anne-Marie Léveillé is of the same opinion. The pandemic puts his nerves to the test. The woman, 33-year-old suffers from a anxiety disorder generalized. Her husband could not accompany them during the ultrasound and follow-up of pregnancy in her birth house in Blainville. “I can go in shopping mall and in a restaurant, but I can’t go, with my husband, with an ultrasound. I live with him. It has no logic. “
We understand that with the déconfinement, it is also necessary to give air to the parents
— Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh
Small glimmer of hope for such couples. In a new directive published on 5 June, the ministry of Health and social Services (DHSS) indicates that the presence of the caregiver ” during the appointment, including obstetrical ultrasound, may be permitted unless the measures of distance can be applied.”
“The use of communication technologies should be encouraged when the accompaniment is not possible,’ continues the MSSS.
At the centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, a committee meets this week to determine when and how this new directive will be implemented shortly.
“We understand that with the déconfinement, it is also necessary to give air to the parents,” says Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, a pediatrician and microbiologist-infectiologist at this establishment.
The capacity of the waiting rooms and the respect of the distance of two meters, however, remain an issue, warns the doctor.
In the hospital Sacré-Cœur, in Montreal, an accompanist will be present on Thursday during prenatal visits. The rules pertaining to the ultrasound would have to be modified on Monday, writes the CIUSSS of the North-of-the-Island-of-Montreal in an email.
On the other hand, the hospital Sacred Heart still does not allow the second parent to remain within its walls for more than 14 hours after the birth. “If there is no outbreak or resurgence of cases and that the rules of prevention and infection control are adhered to, we could extend this to the entire stay at the hospital,” says the CIUSSS.
The CIUSSS of the East-of-the-Island-of-Montreal, in charge of the hospital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, is also working to put in place a procedure for caring for a loved one, especially during ultrasound prenatal.
It ensures that no policy prohibits the recording of images during a medical examination. “We have however raised the awareness of our employees on the fact that they could refuse to register them without their consent, by virtue of their individual rights “, adds the spokesperson of the CIUSSS, Christian Merciari.
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Return to doula
Since the beginning of the pandemic, only one person can accompany the women during their work in the delivery room. Mothers must choose between their spouse or their doula. In its new directive, the MINISTRY opens the door to a second attendant. There it is written that ” a second significant person may be present depending on the policies of the institution.” But one can also read that” only one accompanying person is permitted “…
Two apparently contradictory statements that raise questions. Several sources have said the Duty to have contacted the MINISTRY to this effect.
“Indeed, it is not clear,” says Annick Bourbonnais, president of the quebec Association of attendant at birth. It leaves room for interpretation. “
It is still a step in the right direction, ” she says. This is the first time, she says, that the presence of a second significant person is discussed. “It’s been since the beginning of the crisis it is said that it is an important resource and valuable, especially in a context where the medical community is under-staffed and overwhelmed,” recalls Annick Bourbonnais.
Another measure of relief on the part of the HSS : home birth is now permitted everywhere in Quebec. In some conditions, however. Pregnant women and those who live with it are isolate “as much as possible from the 35th week of pregnancy,” says the MINISTRY, in a directive issued on 2 June.
“The home birth was already possible during the pandemic in places where there was no home birth,” says the vice-president of the regroupement Les sages-femmes du Québec, Josyane Giroux. The women were therefore not constraints to deliver at a hospital.
“Now that it is allowed everywhere, you need to see how to put it in place,” says Josyane Giroux. The deployment time will be variable according to the regional reality and the contamination of the community. For Montreal, we haven’t yet made it there. “
Fanie Grégoire, she will give birth to her son in the hospital. By then, she hopes that the prenatal classes will resume. Those of the CLSC have been cancelled. “There is not even prenatal classes online, she said. I find it ridiculous. I have no idea how to give birth, if it is to “breathe like in the movies”. “
His spouse will be at his side and will finally be able to see their son for the first time.