Ashley Graham States Birthing Partners Are Essential for Laboring Moms

“I do believe that we need to continue to stay home, to really ‘flatten the curve,’ but bringing life into the world is a whole other conversation.”
ByNehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
Mar 2020
ashley graham speaks up about the importance of having your birth partner
Photo: Ashley Graham via Youtube / Instagram

Hospitals across the country are changing their visitation policies for patients—including for soon-to-be moms. Pregnant women across the country are scared they might have to go through labor and delivery without their partners. Several women have spoken out against these policies, and now, model and new mom Ashley Graham is adding her name to that list.

Yesterday Graham, who gave birth to her first child Isaac in January, posted a video to Instagram, discussing her feelings on the subject. In the caption she wrote, “We need PPE [personal protective equipment] for Health Care Workers and Midwives. Sending all my love to all the mothers out there right now. I believe having a partner present for birth is a necessity and so does the WHO and the CDC. It’s crucial we help this cause by having PPE available for healthcare workers and midwives so we can protect new mothers, infants, their families, and ALL patients. I’m doing what I can to support my midwives, but every healthcare worker out there needs your help, for the good of all of us.”

She says in the video, while breastfeeding Isaac, “So now due to COVID-19, there are some hospitals in New York City that are not allowing mothers to have their significant others there in the room while they’re delivering — which means mothers will not have a support system when they’re actually delivering their child. And I understand that hospitals have to protect their staff, they have to protect the patients, the mothers, the children, and everybody else who’s there. But I really believe that mothers need to have that support system, even if it’s just one face that they know and they trust.”

Graham then continues to say that if she hadn’t had someone to look in her eyes and tell her she could do it, she would have had a much different laboring process. “I do believe that we need to continue to stay home, to really ‘flatten the curve,’ but bringing life into the world is a whole other conversation,” she says.

Graham goes on to discuss that a big part of the problem includes the lack of PPE healthcare workers need. She explains she’s been working with her midwives to help supply them with enough PPE for not just hospital births, but also home births.

She ends the video by asking fans to help support initiatives working to supply PPE to healthcare workers and encouraging them to sign a petition on Change.org. The petition asks New York-Presbyterian hospital—who earlier this week took the strict stance of banning all partners and support people from the labor and delivery unit—to change its policy.

“For all the mothers out there, I’m thinking of you, I love you, and remember that you are not alone,” Graham says at the end of the video.

Guidelines set by WHO state that pregnant women deserve the highest level of care before, during and after birth—and this includes having a person of their choosing be present during delivery. If you’re currently pregnant, check out our tips on how your partner can get involved and help make you feel supported, regardless of your hospital’s current visitation policy.

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