An open letter from the Czech Women's Lobby to ensure compliance with World Health Organization recommendations in relation to reproductive care and pandemic SARS-COV-2
Dear Head of the Crisis Staff, Dear Minister, Dear Prime Minister,
we follow with great tension the day-to-day developments amid the worldwide pandemic of the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, as well as the decisions you make to ensure safety for all citizens of our country. We greatly appreciate all such steps and fully support you in them. However, we are all the more surprised at your decision to limit the presence of fathers at the birth of their children, which is in contrary to the WHO recommendations as well as with extensive research on safety, the successful birth and the use of bonding support potential for the future health of the whole family.
The World Health Organization in relation to pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding and the spread of coronavirus SARS-COV-2 guarantees every woman the right to high quality care for a safe and positive experience, which includes not only mental health care but also treatment with respect and dignity, having a companion of choice present during delivery, comprehensible communication by medical staff, offering calming means, and, where possible, free movement and free choice of place of birth. If SARS-COV-2 is suspected or confirmed, medical personnel should take appropriate sanitary measures to reduce the risk of infection for themselves and others, including the use of appropriate protective clothing.
In addition, since no infected women have been confirmed for the presence of coronavirus SARS-COV-2 in amniotic fluid or breast milk, the World Health Organization recommends that even mothers with confirmed SARS-COV-2 breastfeed their children, that parents with confirmed coronavirus SARS-COV-2 practice skin-to-skin contact with their newborn babies and share a common room with them, subject to increased hygiene measures. In the long term, the World Health Organization strongly recommends zero separation of children from their mothers; take care of the mother and her child as a single indivisible unit.
To reduce the risk of coronavirus spread, SARS-CoV-2, according to the World Health Organization, is compliance with thorough hand washing and disinfection, the use of protective clothing and wearing protective masks / drapes.
Mr Chairman of the Crisis Staff, Mr Minister, Mr Prime Minister, we appeal to you in order to protect the health and life of children and their parents, especially in this tense and uncertain period, follow the WHO expert recommendations, abolish measures to reduce the presence of fathers at the birth of your children and encourage health care professionals to comply with increased hygiene measures.
PhDr. Eliška Kodyšová, Ph.D.