NEW and expectant mums across East Lothian can now enjoy some family support, as lockdown restrictions around maternity services have been eased.

Pregnant women and women who have just welcomed a new baby into the world are able to share the precious moments with friends and family.

Until now, national guidance to keep mums and babies safe and to minimise the risk of Covid-19 had meant restrictions on the number of people attending maternity services.

However, from the beginning of the week, expectant mums can have one additional visitor as well as one birth partner, if requested, to support them while in labour.

Women will also be able to have a designated visitor, as well as their birth partner, to visit them while in the maternity ward.

Birth partners have also been advised that they can now attend with pregnant partners for antenatal ultrasound scanning appointments.

Frances McGuire, chief midwife, NHS Lothian, said: “We know how hard the restrictions have been for women and their partners during these most important life events.”

Ultrasound scanning departments will do their utmost to allow one birth partner to be present at the appointment. Waiting area capacity is still severely restricted due to the requirement for physical spacing of seating to comply with social distancing guidance. Only the one person will be able to accompany the patient into the waiting area and for the scan.

Radiology services are planning to adjust ultrasound scanning appointment times and are assessing waiting area capacity to improve access.

Birth partners and visitors must wear a face covering at all times and maintain physical distancing where possible.

Everyone must also adhere to strict hand hygiene measures and use the alcohol gel provided.

Visiting can be arranged with ward staff on a daily basis.