'I cannot be there': Distraught father says he is denied visitation during his wife's labour

"To me this is a wonderful joyous occasion, and I think every person on earth should experience birth for the amazing gift of life it is."
"To me this is a wonderful joyous occasion, and I think every person on earth should experience birth for the amazing gift of life it is."

The global Covid-19 pandemic has impacted families and businesses around the world, and everyone is suffering in one way or another.

But this father's plea nearly had us in tears, as he revealed that due to South Africa's Covid-19 response, he won't be allowed to be by his wife's side when she goes into labour soon.

It's not the first time we've heard a story like this, so we reached out to the hospital in question to better understand why. 

I never expected to be a first time father

Here is the dad-in-waiting's message, followed by the hospitals reply:

"It is with deep concern and sadness that I write this email.

We have been informed today, that I would not be allowed into the hospital while my wife is in labour.

Me and my wife have been together for 13 wonderful years,and at age 42, I never expected to be a first time father.

To me this is a wonderful joyous occasion, and I think every person on earth should experience birth for the amazing gift of life it is.

I understand that the world is going through a virus situation, but its quite a simple equation: if I have a infectious disease, and go into the hospital, my wife who shares a home, obviously does as well.

So what exactly would be the difference?

I'm quite upset that I cannot be there to help her, to console her or just be there to hold her hand to tell her everything's going to be ok.

I wish there was something I could do."

- Upset father-to-be

These are extraordinary times

We reached out to the hospital, which is based in Cape Town, and received this response:

"As you are well aware that these are extraordinary times and calls for unusual measures.  

At the moment visitations are restricted based on risks to certain areas in all public or private hospitals due to the same challenges coupled with ensuring social distancing within facilities are maintained.

We encourage our clients to contact the relevant facility in advance to enquire about the restrictions. 

To mitigate the impact on the partners  where possible, the following can be done - staff can take photos and send to the partner.

Some hospitals may have the capacity to allow partners for example, where there is private rooms for delivery, so these hospitals may make an exception.

For now, people must please understand that this is a worldwide public health challenge unlike any other we have had to endure so far.

As soon as it is safe, birth partners will be allowed in again."

We completely understand the hospitals stance,but also sympathise with this father, and all the other parents who are sacrificing so much to keep medical staff safe.

Have you had a baby during lockdown?

Share your experience with Parent24. Anonymous contributions are welcome.

Email: Share your story with us via email at chatback @ parent24.com

Sign up for Parent24's newsletters.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 509 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 6244 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 816 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.