Pregnancy and Covid: Partners excluded from scans at Rotunda Hospital

Major backlash labelled similar ban ‘inhumane and cruel’ before reversal last month

Partners of pregnant women will no longer be able to attend routine 20-week anatomy scans from Tuesday, January 5th, at one of Dublin’s main maternity hospitals.

The Rotunda Hospital said the decision was taken by executive management due to the surge in community-acquired Covid-19 infections and the move to Level 5 restrictions.

“All other interim visiting arrangements will remain unchanged at this time,” the hospital said on Monday.

Hospital Report

The anomaly scans are considered a key check-up during a pregnancy, showing that a baby is growing and developing normally. However, they can also reveal whether there are potential health problems or if the baby is growing too slowly.


Just last month, the Health Service Executive (HSE) reversed its prohibition on partners of pregnant women attending maternity hospitals for 20-week scans and surgical interventions.

It came after a huge backlash from couples using maternity services, some of whom described the ban as inhumane, cruel and heartbreaking.

The National Maternity Hospital in Dublin said there are currently no visitor restrictions in place for partners of pregnant women attending 20-week scans.

“However, given the current public health context, the need for restrictions is reviewed on an ongoing basis,” a spokeswoman for the hospital added. “Any changes to current policy are published on the hospital’s social media channels.”

The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital similarly said there are no restrictions for partners attending 20-week scans and the hospital's covid executive committee meets every day "to review the situation".

“If we make any changes, the changes are listed on our website and we post an alert to the website on social media too,” it said.

A daily record of 6,110 Covid-19 cases was confirmed onMonday .

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times