Lack of space is preventing Highland mums-to-be having their partners present at scans, despite restrictions being lifted in hospitals this week.
Lockdown rules affecting maternity services in Scotland were relaxed on Monday, allowing the partner or a nominated family member to accompany expectant mothers to their scan and antenatal outpatient appointments, as well as attending the labour and birth.
Partners are also now able to visit on the postnatal wards.
The changes have, however, still to be implemented at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness and Caithness General in Wick due to a problem maintaining social distancing.
An NHS Highland spokesman said: “We recognise this is an anxious time for expectant mothers and their families.
“However, birth partners are unable to attend scans at Raigmore Hospital and Caithness General Hospital at this time.
“This is due to the size of the patient waiting areas and scanning rooms to comply with physical distancing and ensure the safety of patients and staff.
“NHS Highland is working on a solution and we are hopeful birth partners will be able to attend scans as soon as possible.
“All women who have scan appointments booked for this week are being contacted to make them aware of the situation and community midwives will keep women updated on any change to this position.”
NHS Highland’s maternity team has been working with infection prevention and control colleagues to ensure clinic and ward areas meet safe distancing recommendations.
However it has been “challenging” in some areas where clinic space and multi-bedded wards are small and risk assessments have been carried out.
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant, said: “Covid-19 has disrupted day to day life so badly.
“Pregnancy scans can be stressful and in some cases I would hope exceptions would be made if a pregnancy has complications.
“I also hope NHS Highland finds a solution for this as soon as possible as partners are missing out on a special time in their babies’ lives.
Bill Fernie, chairman of the Caithness Health Action Team, said: “We are disappointed partners cannot be more involved in the early stages of pregnancy due to the lack of space but we fully appreciate what the health board has to do in terms of keeping folk safe.”
NHS Grampian said partners are now able to be present during birth, outpatient appointments such as scans, and on the labour ward following birth.
This applies to all maternity units as well as Aberdeen Maternity Hospital.
The relaxation of restrictions was announced by the First Minister last week and introduced on Monday along with a wider reintroduction of visiting to hospitals on a phased basis.