Advice if you are pregnant
Advice on attending our hospitals if you are pregnant, including who you can bring to appointments and birth units.
Last updated: 1st April 2020
There is currently no evidence to suggest that coronavirus poses a greater risk if you are pregnant than it does to other healthy people, but the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have welcomed the government’s precautionary approach which aims to:
- reduce any potential risk to your baby’s growth
- avoid premature birth if you become unwell
National guidance from Public Health England advises anyone who is pregnant to take extra care against the spread of coronavirus, which includes stricter social distancing and working from home where possible.
Changes to midwifery services
We have temporarily suspended our antenatal, hypnobirthing and breastfeeding classes, in line with national advice to limit events with large groups.
If you have upcoming antenatal appointments in the community or at our hospitals, we may contact you to arrange a phone or video appointment if it's suitable.
You will be called before any face-to-face appointments to check you do not have coronavirus symptoms and are still able to attend.
Appointments, scans and labour
You must attend your hospital appointments alone in order to minimise risks to yourself, your families and staff. This includes:
- ultrasound scans
- glucose tolerance tests (GTT)
- day assessment unit appointments
- antenatal clinic appointments
You should prepare two birth partners, so in the event of a birth partner needing to self isolate, you can ask your second birth partner to come with you (as long as they are symptom free).
You will be unable to film or photograph your scan due to national safeguarding measures, but scan photos will be free of charge during the restrictions to our service.
Our midwifery team still supports home birth services, as long as you and other members of your household are not experiencing symptoms of coronavirus.
We have closed visiting to our maternity wards during the coronavirus response, with the following exceptions:
- 1 birthing partner can accompany people throughout labour
- birthing partners can visit the maternity ward, the delivery suite and our birth units
- children or young people under the age of 16 must not visit
Once you are home with your baby, we will call you to check that you are not experiencing coronavirus symptoms before we visit.
We may arrange phone or video check ups where it's suitable.
You should call the maternity advice line on 0300 422 5541 if you have any concerns about any aspect of your pregnancy.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, we advise that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast milk.
However, you should take the following precautions:
- wash your hands before you touch your baby, your breast pump or any bottles
- avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while you breastfeed
- clean your breast pump after every use
- wear a face mask while you breastfeed, if you have one
Whatever method of feeding, consider asking someone who is well to feed your baby. If you are breastfeeding, you can express your milk so someone else can bottle feed.