Newborn baby girl
Newborn baby girl

CQ Hospital suspends water births

GLADSTONE Hospital has temporarily suspended water births as a safety precaution during COVID-19.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service executive director of Gladstone and Banana, Sandy Munro, said the hospital had suspended water birthing while it assessed the provision of safe services to women during the pandemic.

Ms Munro said water births weren't recommended because of their impact on the integrity of personal protection equipment worn by clinicians.

"The safety of our patients and staff is a top priority," she said.

"Our dedicated midwives and maternity unit staff are committed to providing the best possible experience for our young families while keeping everyone safe in this unprecedented and difficult time."

Ms Munro said under Queensland guidelines, water birthing was not available for pregnant women who were suspected of having, or had tested positive to the virus, so the hospital was exploring options.

"It is likely we will introduce screening for water birthing during the pandemic to ensure we continue to provide a safe environment for our women and staff," she said.

Other than the temporary suspension of water births, CQHHS has introduced a number of measures across its hospitals, including Gladstone, to keep maternity patients and staff safe.

CQ Health took to Facebook to share the measures for expectant mums, listed below.

• You will only be able to have one nominated support person with you

• This support person will be able to stay with you for the duration of your birthing

• Once your baby is here safe, your nominated person will only be able to visit during maternity ward visiting hours: 10am to 11am and 6pm to 7pm (twice per day).

• Your nominated person cannot be under 16 or sick.

The post thanked people for helping maintain the safety of patients and staff and encouraged people to stay connected through technology.

For more information about pregnancy during COVID-19, visit the Queensland Government's website.