UPDATE, THURSDAY: Ballarat Health Services has updated its visitor restrictions to remove a two hour limit on the time a partner of support person can be with a patient after birth.
Hospital restrictions now allow one partner or support person to attend when the patient is in labour and may visit once per day.
Ballarat Health Services acting executive director acute operations Carolyn Robertson said on Thursday visitor restrictions were subject to change based on an assessment of the level of risk of transmission in the community.
EARLIER, WEDNESDAY: Ballarat Health Services visitor restrictions that are harsher than Victorian government guidelines are causing anxiety and distress for soon to be parents.
Kira Murphy and Daniel Grist submitted a complaint to Ballarat Health Services about 'strict' rules that dictate a partner or support person can attend during labour, but must leave two hours immediately after birth.
Ms Murphy was due to give birth to the couple's first child on Sunday and found out during an appointment with her midwife on Monday about the rule.
"Up until the appointment on Monday we were so positive and excited," she said.
"Following that it has really taken away the excitement a little bit and made us a bit nervous.
"As soon as I left (the appointment) I couldn't stop crying.
"The more I think about it it is a really hard thing to do and not be able to have your partner or support person there."
Victorian government guidelines state a pregnant woman or maternity ward patient can have their partner or support person visit or attend hospital with them.
It has really taken away the excitement a little bit and made us a bit nervous.Kira Murphy, soon to be mum
The guidelines recommend individuals check with their hospital as they may have additional requirements, conditions or restrictions for visitors.
Ballarat Health Services' website states one partner or support person can attend when the patient is in labour and for two hours immediately after the birth.
No partners are permitted for clinic appointments.
There is no time limit for visitors in many Melbourne hospitals including The Royal Women's Hospital and St Vincent's Private Hospital.
"Why is it different for BHS if there can be visitors in Melbourne where there has been cases? Why is it so strict here?," Ms Murphy said.
"It makes it difficult. We are first time parents so we already don't know what to expect and you just hope that it all goes smoothly.
"But if I had to have a c-section and I am in there for a few days, it is a long time to be away from your partner and it is hard on them as well.
"It is already hard to think about if it doesn't go to plan and now it is going to be even worse."
RELATED COVERAGE: COVID in Ballarat: Where are all the exposure sites?
Ms Murphy said Mr Grist was anxious about missing out.
"They said if I have to be induced you have to go in for the induction by yourself and once you are in labour your partner can come in," Ms Murphy said.
"He hates the idea of dropping me off at the hospital and then going home to wait."
RELATED COVERAGE: Ballarat COVID test sites: where you can get tested
Ms Murphy said the two hour limit did not make sense.
"Say I had to get stitched up, they say the baby should be skin to skin on the mum for two hours and then they should go to the dad for skin to skin. They will be missing out on that as well," she said.
The Courier asked Ballarat Health Services why this restriction was in place and whether it would change given the announcement Ballarat's lockdown will be lifted on Wednesday night.
Ballarat Health Services acting executive director acute operations Carolyn Robertson said in a statement staff were currently reassessing visitor restrictions based on information available.
"We will communicate changes as soon as we are able," she said.
Ms Robertson said visitor restrictions were in place to limit movement of people as much as possible.
"The welfare of our community, staff, patients, residents and clients continues to be at the forefront of our response to COVID-19," she said.
"In order to protect those most at-risk from COVID-19, we enforce strict infection prevention and control measures based on directive from the Department of Health and guidance from our infectious diseases specialists.
"Visitor restrictions and screening of all people entering Ballarat Health Services sites are an important part of our COVID-19 response.
"Visitor restrictions are subject to change based on an assessment of the level of risk of transmission in our community. We thank the community for their support and understanding."
Ms Robertson said the two-hour time limit for a patient's support person after birth was brought in based on lockdown restrictions and COVID-19 activity in the community.
Have you signed up to The Courier's variety of news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in Ballarat.