Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is the first trust in the region to allow it.
Despite the ongoing need for additional infection control measures due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an additional visitor is possible due to the state-of-the-art maternity
facilities at the Northumbria in Cramlington (NSECH).
Jenna Wall, Northumbria Healthcare’s head of midwifery, said: “We know how important it is for those giving birth to have the right people around them to support them through this absolutely momentous occasion in their lives, so we are delighted to be leading the way in the North East and taking this next step.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have led from the front and balanced the risks of Covid-19 with the need to support pregnant people through their maternity journey, particularly during labour.
“We know that we are fortunate to have a facility like the birthing centre in NSECH, which meant that we never had to stop birth partners altogether, as was the case in other parts of the country.”
One nominated birthing partner can accompany the pregnant person from admission to discharge, while a second may attend during labour as well as visiting for a pre-booked hour each day.
This ability to have a second birthing partner has been welcomed by Leanne Holland, who is delighted to be able to have her partner and mum there when her second daughter, due August 4, arrives.
The 26-year-old, from Alnwick, said: “I think it’s great because they can support me and support each other.
“It’s a big weight off my shoulders having my mum there, because she was there for the birth last time and was worried about missing out.”
However, caution is still required for those attending hospital and there is a range of guidance in place to protect both patients and staff.
Birthing partners should bring as few belongings as possible with them and must not attend if they display any symptoms of coronavirus.
You must wash your hands upon entering the hospital and wear a mask at all times, while visitors must wear any PPE (personal protective equipment) provided to them by staff.