Our Director of Impact and Engagement, Sarah McMullen, appeared before the House of Commons Petitions Committee last week to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on pregnant women and new parents.
Last week, NCT spoke to the House of Commons Petitions Committee about the effects of the pandemic on new families. This was following up on a report published on the subject a year ago, based on the experiences of new parents during the first months of the pandemic.
Other speakers included Joeli Brearley from Pregnant then Screwed, Sally Hogg from the Parent Infant Foundation and Ros Bragg from Maternity Action.
Our Director of Impact and Engagement, Sarah McMullen, talked about how important support services, such as our Walk & Talks – which ran throughout the winter and have now welcomed over 40,000 people – have been. And while some online services have worked well, she said that it is still vital to bring back face-to-face support also.
She added that the pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of expectant and new parents, and many are worried about this new stage as the restrictions are lifted. She said that pregnant women, who remain in the clinically vulnerable group, are “being put in a difficult position” without clear guidance.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have said lifting of restrictions present a “perfect storm” for pregnant women,
Prioritisation of vaccination for pregnant women is something we’d like to see
Sarah also spoke about how necessary it is that pregnant women are vaccinated, and that we at NCT had wanted to see them prioritised for the Covid-19 vaccine for some time. This is especially important with the easing of restrictions in England this week, and in the coming weeks in other nations.
“Prioritisation of vaccination is something we really would have liked to see, we wish that had happened a couple of months ago given where we are heading now,” she told the committee.
“Also clear guidance for employers and whether employers should still be really continuing for protection for pregnant women, particularly in their third trimester when they are at risk,” she added.
Where our antenatal classes are in person, we are encouraging mask wearing and allowing for two metre social distancing.