• After the Montreal Jewish General banned partners from attending births, Legault reassured that pregnant women in Quebec will not have to give birth alone at most hospitals.
  • Expecting mothers who planned to give birth at the Jewish General may also have the option to switch hospitals.

At his daily press conference Monday, Premier Legault reassured soon-to-be-parents. The government has "no intention," he said, of requiring pregnant women in Quebec to give birth alone during the pandemic. His words come after the Montreal Jewish General Hospital announced that it would not let partners attend births.

But the Premier explained that this decision was the right one.

"At the Jewish General Hospital, there are a lot of cases of COVID-19, so there are good reasons to put this rule."

On Sunday, Health and Social Services Minister McCann further explained that "unfortunately, some conjoint... partner of a woman who was about to give birth" at the Jewish General "was infected with COVID-19, had symptoms."

"And that's really, really something that should not happen in a hospital, anywhere."

"That person could have infected other people."

Now, the government is "currently looking into the possibility for women who want to change hospitals to be able to do so."

"So I want to reassure all women who are pregnant there, except for the Jewish General Hospital, you will be able to bring your spouse with you when you give birth," the Premier concluded Monday.

Montreal residents have nevertheless started a petition against the Jewish General's policy and in support of partner attendance at birth.

"The anxiety and stress that has now built up due to these changes are overwhelming to mothers (especially new mothers) who need that support, especially after delivery," the petition states.

In New York, several hospitals have tried to ban partners from attending births, only to receive a swell of criticism.

According to the New Yorker, many women even changed hospitals and fled the city seeking better accommodations.

Then, on Saturday, state Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered all hospitals in the state to allow partners to attend births.

"In no hospital in New York will a woman be forced to be alone when she gives birth," he wrote on Twitter.

"Not now, not ever."

It looks like the Legault government took a lesson from the situation across the border.

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