Parentcraft midwives redeployed to COVID-19 contact tracing centres

Parentcraft services for expectant parents have been suspended until further notice, with midwives being redeployed to contract tracing centres as Malta grapples with an increase in COVID-19 cases

Expectant parents and those who have just had a child are being denied the support services at Parentcraft after staff were redeployed to coronavirus contact tracing centres
Expectant parents and those who have just had a child are being denied the support services at Parentcraft after staff were redeployed to coronavirus contact tracing centres

Parentcraft, a service that helps expectant parents, as well as new parents deal with pregnancy, birth and new-borns has been suspended until further notice, after staff were redeployed to contact tracing centres.

The hospital-based service confirmed the news to MaltaToday, citing that it had no idea when the service would be up and running again. “It could be one, or two months, we won't know until Mater Dei Hospital administration lets us know,” a spokesperson said.  

The service has been suspended so that administrative staff and midwives could be deployed to contact tracing centres, which have come under strain due to the spike in COVID-19 cases.

On Monday, a group of expectant parents wrote to this paper, citing concerns over the suspension.

“We all understand the needs of this pandemic and the stress everyone is under. Coupled with the stress of pregnancy, responsibility and a forthcoming new life has brought up numbers of pre- and postnatal depression, and now the support system is also gone. This puts these parents to be, at risk of being even less prepared for the ordeal of labour and adds more stress to what is supposed to be the amazing start of a new life,” they said.

The letter said that suspending Parentcraft would lead to an increase in mental health issues which could easily be avoided. As well as added stress to wards, as parents-to-be will have no other option but to call or visit during pregnancy thereby increasing the number of visits to the hospital and placing new pressures on mental health services.

“All in all the balance struck does not work, Parentcraft should be deemed as an essential service and should be reinstated,” the parents who signed the letter said.

MaltaToday has reached out to Mater Dei Hospital’s administration.

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