Fathers will be allowed to attend the births of their children at East Tallinn Central Hospital (ITK) from May 18, something which had been banned during the emergency situation to stop the spread of COVID-19.
While the father - or another family member - can attend the birth and support the mother. However, they cannot be present in the operating theater if a caesarean section is undertaken.
A family member who comes to the hospital must be healthy and follow the additional safety measures established by the hospital. Upon arrival at the maternity hospital, they must undergo a mandatory health check.
A surgical protective mask must be worn throughout the hospital stay and the birth partner is not allowed to leave the maternity ward.
Doulas and other alternative support persons are not yet allowed in the maternity ward.
From a safety point of view, it is not yet possible to allow a family member to be present in the operating room during a caesarean section, because the larger the number of people, the more difficult it is to ensure their controlled movement and avoid accidental contact with other people.
A family member must leave the hospital if the mother is transferred from the maternity ward to the post-natal ward. But there is free WIFI in the hospital so family members can be kept up to date with the latest developments.
Vivian Arusaar, head of midwifery at ITK, said this is good news for expectant families.
"We are glad that we can allow family births again - the father can be present at the birth of his child and support his partner. The last nine weeks have shown us that all women giving birth have been very brave and have managed well without a partner. Of course, it has not been easy for them," Arusaar said, adding families had been very understanding of the situation.
Editor: Helen Wright