COVID has changed so much of our lives, including the way we access prenatal care. Hospitals have had to rethink everything from the number of birthing partners you can have to who can visit you after you’ve given birth to try to limit the spread of the virus.
If you’re currently pregnant, you might be wondering whether your partner can come to your prenatal scans with you. The answer depends on where you live, but the good news is that the majority of hospitals are doing their best to accommodate partners as long as they follow certain rules.
Let’s look at the current guidelines where you are.
What are the current rules for partners attending scans during COVID?
Hospitals often have their own COVID-specific rules when it comes to allowing partners to attend prenatal checkups like scans. Here’s a general country-specific guide, but we’d recommend checking your clinic’s rules before your scan.
If you live in the US, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that you call your provider before your appointment to ask if your partner (and/or children) can attend scans with you. At many offices, you are currently able to bring one person along with you, but be sure to double-check.
Currently in the UK, you can have someone with you at all maternity appointments, including seeing the midwife or doctor. Your partner can also join you for scans. You’ll also be offered the chance to buy photos of your dating scans — which take place between weeks 11–14 and 18–20 of pregnancy — to show friends and family or your partner if they can’t make it.
The Australian government currently lets each hospital decide whether to allow partners to come to scans or into the waiting room. Some may strongly prefer that you attend your ultrasound scan alone and do not allow video calling within the scanning room. Those that do allow partners might ask for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test result when you arrive at the hospital. Again, double-check with your clinic.
Many hospitals around the world are allowing partners to attend scans, as long as they wear a mask and don’t have COVID symptoms. Some may require that they wait outside the building until the appointment so that the waiting room doesn’t get too full.
Wherever you are, good hand hygiene is essential to stopping the spread of COVID. Both you and your partner will need to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol, when you enter the hospital.
Vaccination also offers another layer of protection against COVID-19. You can get your shot or booster at any time during pregnancy. It is safe and effective. Read our guide to COVID vaccination during pregnancy here.