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Maternity

Keeping you, your baby and family safe during Covid-19

If you have a specific inquiry regarding Covid-19 and your pregnancy/maternity care please contact us on 01695 656604 this number is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Please call if you are pregnant and have symptoms of Covid-19 and/or are currently self-isolating and have concerns about your pregnancy or yourself.

We are putting a number of measures in place to reduce the chance of the spread of Covid-19 and to protect the safety of mothers and babies in our care.

For non-Covid-19 related concerns regarding your pregnancy, please continue to use:

  • Early Pregnancy Unit 01695 656064 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm)
  • G Ward (emergency gynaecology problems or early pregnancy out of hours) 01695 656901
  • 16-weeks pregnant or over maternity triage 01695 656604 (24 hours)

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide advice on employment related issues.

 

Antenatal care

Please continue to attend your antenatal appointments as scheduled including at your GP surgery. You can now bring one asymptomatic adult with you to all your ultrasound scan and Antenatal appointments.

Antenatal appointments which take place in community settings will be subject to the restrictions put in place by the GP practice or health centre. Unfortunately, children remain unable to attend appointments with you.

If you have any symptoms or are self-isolating as per the national guidelines, please do not attend your routine appointment but call the helpline.

If you have any concerns about appointment availability or you have any symptoms that you are concerned about please call the helpline. We can advise you to ensure that your care is coordinated safely.

 

Covid testing for pregnant women and their support person/partner attending  all planned antenatal appointments, pregnancy assessment appointments and ultrasound scans

In accordance with Government guidance, we are asking that pregnant women and their support people access the twice weekly rapid (lateral flow) tests that can either be ordered online  or are available in some pharmacists. Within 24 hours of an antenatal appointment you and your partner/support person should complete a test and report the result online immediately. You will then receive an email and a text message of the result. You can also use testing via an alternative result e.g. through your job. You and your support person/partner should both then bring proof of a recent negative test to each appointment where they will be checked.

If you are unable to provide a negative test result, your care will continue using appropriate infection prevention and control measures.

If your support person/partner cannot show a negative test result – staff will assess if this can be mitigated by your support person/partner having a normal temperature, the waiting area and the clinic space being able to accommodate 2m distancing and use of appropriate PPE then your partner will be able to attend the appointment with you. If this is not the case and it is not possible to manage the risk then the support person/partner will not be able to accompany you to that appointment.

If your Covid test is positive and/or you have symptoms of Covid, please do not attend for your appointment.

  • Contact 01695 656949 for antenatal clinic appointments
  • The community midwives on 01695 656668 if you had an antenatal appointment in a community setting
  • 01695 656507 for for pregnancy assessment unit appointments

 

A midwife will advise you on whether your appointment can be delayed or measures need to be put in place to facilitate you attending your appointment out of hours.

 

Birth partners attendance at triage, labour and delivery

You can bring one asymptomatic support person/partner to attendances at triage and for the duration of labour and delivery. In addition a second Covid negative support person/partner can accompany you during the active stages of labour and birth when you are on delivery suite.

On arrival all maternity patients and their partner/support person/s will be expected to have Covid PCR swabs. If you are admitted to the maternity unit prior to the PCR test results being available. Lateral flow tests will also be completed on you and your partner/support person.

If you are booked for an elective caesarean section or induction of labour, you will be asked to attend for Covid PCR swabs two days prior to admission. This will be arranged when you are given your admission date. Those booked for elective caesarean section will be limited to one birth partner due to restrictions in the operating theatre.

In the event of a positive swab on or prior to admission for yourself or your partner an individual plan will be discussed with you. Partners who are Covid-positive will not be permitted in to the hospital, however if your timing of delivery cannot be altered you will be able to choose an alternative partner from a different household who is not currently self-isolating or symptomatic.

If you are being induced your nominated birth partner can be with you from admission or can be contacted once labour commences. Please bear in mind the induction process can take several days and your partner’s movements on and off the ward will be very restricted. Please note catering facilities for birth partners are limited to vending machines at this time.

For elective caesarean section, the birth partner should accompany the woman at the time of admission as directed at the pre-op telephone consultation. In all cases the birth partner will be asked to leave the hospital at the point of transfer to a postnatal area.

In addition all maternity patients and their partners will also have Covid swabs taken on the day of admission (day 1), day 3, day 5 and every 5 days following this if still an inpatient.

 

Maternity visiting restrictions for support person/partners

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, maternity visiting has been restricted this is in accordance with national guidance.

All support person/partners will be expected to comply with the information above, this will ensure that the maternity unit is safe for all. A support person can be a friend/relative/doula. This information sets out the current arrangements for a Covid-negative support person/partner.

During your pregnancy, you are entitled to bring one support person/partner to all your antenatal appointments and attendances at the hospital. Unfortunately, at this time children under 16 remain unable to attend.

If you are an inpatient at the hospital, either during your pregnancy or following the birth, visiting on the ward will be from 10am to 7pm each day. You can choose two people who can come at different times within this period. Only one person can be at the bedside at any one time.

If you are admitted for induction or in early labour, one of your two chosen support person/partners can come in with you and remain with you throughout. They will be able to swap over if you wish, or can come in when you feel you need them. (Please note that there are limited facilities in the hospital for support people/partners. There are some drink and snack machines but no restaurant service. Toilets are available but no other washing facilities.)

When you are on delivery suite for the birth, you can have both support person/partners with you at all times.

If you are having an elective caesarean section only one person should attend with you (this is due to restrictions in theatre). However a 2nd swabbed person can then be an alternative visitor.

Support person/partners in addition to Covid testing will have temperatures tested on arrival and will be expected to wear masks at all times in addition to additional PPE as guided by the staff in that area.

 

Home births

If you are interested in a home birth, please discuss with your community midwife or contact the team on 01695 656668.

Please note, our priority is the safety of all pregnant women/people, their babies and our staff. For this reason we will be following national Covid-19 pandemic guidance on home births as well as for hospital births, antenatal and postnatal care. Your community midwife will discuss this with you during your home assessment visit. Requirements will include the ability to be able to follow social distancing guidance and a limit of one birth partner only.

As the situation is evolving we will continue to review this weekly and update as necessary.

 

Postnatal care

For your postnatal care, we will continue to offer home visits as follows:

  • First day following discharge home
  • Day 5
  • Day 10
  • Additional visits depending on your individual needs

Prior to your visit the community midwife will telephone you to check if anyone in your household is self-isolating.

If you are isolating at home, we will provide telephone consultation with a midwife and follow up will be arranged depending on individual needs preferably after the period of isolation.

However, we will continue to provide care that is essential to mothers and babies throughout this time.

Please be advised that our guidance may change on a daily basis as we continue to receive national updates. We appreciate your co-operation with the measures that we have put in place for your safety.

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