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Image / Self / Health & Wellness

The Rotunda Hospital is hosting a virtual maternity week for prospective parents


By Sarah Finnan
23rd Sep 2021

Photo by Zach Lucero on Unsplash

The Rotunda Hospital is hosting a virtual maternity week for prospective parents

The Rotunda’s virtual maternity week will take place from September 26th to October 2nd.

Recently announcing their fourth annual maternity information event, the Rotunda’s maternity week will take place virtually for the second year running. Guided by input from prospective parents and mums-to-be, the week-long occasion aims to provide new parents with all the relevant details they may need about the country’s maternity services – honing in on the diverse range of services available in the Rotunda. 

Kicking off next week on September, 26th, questions can be submitted ahead of time via the hospital website. A qualified team of experts – including leading obstetricians, midwives, fertility specialists, sonographers, dietitians, and physiotherapists – will be on hand to give feedback and any potential questions they may receive. 

Topics to be discussed throughout the week range from maternity care options to mental health, how to mind your emotional wellbeing during pregnancy and an overview on vaccination guidance and support amongst others.  

Speaking ahead of the week-long virtual event, Professor Fergal Malone, Master of the Rotunda Hospital commented that the plan is to “provide comprehensive information” so prospective parents feel better prepared for their “journey into parenthood”. “We would encourage potential new and existing patients to get involved and submit questions online,” he continued. “Avail of this opportunity to engage with our experts before attending the hospital.”

All events will be hosted on the hospital website and through their relevant social media platforms.

Arguably hoping that their upcoming virtual maternity week will bring some positive coverage, the Rotunda recently came under fire for allowing RTÉ to film a TV series on location in the hospital in late 2020 and up until early summer 2021. 

Granting camera crew access to the hospital to continue shooting the next season of the famed Rotunda reality show, many were left increasingly frustrated as it became apparent that unvaccinated RTÉ crew members were allowed in while birth partners were refused access during the pandemic. According to reports, fathers and partners were being told to “wait outside in the car park”, with staff citing Covid-19 concerns as the reason for preventing them from attending their child’s birth and other pregnancy-related appointments. 

Prompted to apologise in light of the backlash, a spokesperson said that “the Rotunda very much regrets any upset or anxiety that the broadcast of this important documentary has caused”. The statement later defended the hospital’s decision to proceed with the series though with the spokesperson adding that management considers it to be an “important platform that enables patients to share their experiences”; both good and bad. 

“The Rotunda believes that it is important to hear these challenges and stories, and to acknowledge the experiences of patients and staff during the difficult time created by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the hospital spokesperson continued. 

Both Michéal Martin and Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly also condemned the decision with the Taoiseach saying that he didn’t think it was “appropriate” to make special allowances for camera crew while partners were still being denied access.