31 Mar 2020 New York Governor Cuomo Reverses Hospital COVID-19 Ban on Birth Partners
Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a directive over the weekend lifting a ban on visitors for pregnant women giving birth in New York State, reversing policies implemented by two large New York hospital systems in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to CNN.
As we reported on March 25, two large New York City hospital networks—New York-Presbyterian and Mt. Sinai Health System—announced new policies last week, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, that would have prohibited spouses, partners, family members and even outside birth support providers, such as doulas, from being with pregnant women during birth, according to an article in The New York Times.
As we noted then, the changes in visitation policies were announced “following the release of New York State Department of Health guidelines that seem to indicate a spouse, partner or “essential support persons” should be allowed during labor and delivery.
Cuomo’s office has promised to follow up with an Executive Order formalizing the Governor’s earlier directive to allow birth partners.
Although Cuomo’s directive provides clarity for New York area women and families, we at International Fertility Law Group continue to hear from colleagues and clients in other parts of the countries where restrictions on hospital visitation, including exclusion of intended parents, spouses or birthing partners, continue to be applied. As always, careful research and planning is paramount for intended parents and surrogates, and in today’s rapidly changing health care environment it is more important than ever to stay up-to-date on what to expect as your delivery date approaches and to have contingency plans in place in the event things change.
As always, we are thinking of you and are here to assist our clients and answer your questions to the best of our ability. Find more news and information about the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic here.