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Unacceptable Situations For New Mums During Lockdown

The Government has been unclear and lacking in empathy with their messages to mothers giving birth during the lockdown, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“The Epidemic Response Committee heard submissions on Wednesday from real Kiwis who gave distressing and frank accounts of their own experiences dealing with child birth and other serious health issues alone.

“It took a lot of courage for many of the submitters to tell their stories and the Government needs to listen and address the issues raised.

“There was a lack of clear direction from Ministers that left District Health Boards with different policies. Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter should have taken control of the situation right at the start of lockdown but when I asked her what had happened to the petition of almost 2,700 women calling for more support she didn’t even know it existed.

“The Prime Minister has sent mixed messages by stating earlier this week that during extraordinary situations a support person would have been reasonable, but at the beginning of lockdown she said that the safety of the mother and child after birth was more important than having a support person.

“Our midwives and public health workers have been doing an outstanding job under immense pressure during the Covid-19 crisis, however if there was a support person for each new mother present some of this pressure could have been relieved.

“National is committed to supporting Mother’s post-natal care by allowing them a three day stay. Not only for the physical wellbeing of both mother and baby but also for the new parent’s peace of mind.”

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