Maternity Services during COVID
Your birth supporter can attend all antenatal appointments, including ultrasound scans, and continue to support you during labour and birth. Daily Lateral flow tests will need to be taken before entry to the wards otherwise you will be refused.
Last updated: 16 December 2021
We understand that during this time you may be anxious if you are pregnant and are due to give birth because of the pandemic. We are doing what we can to ensure you feel comfortable and safe when attending your appointments and during/after your birth.
If you have any concerns, please contact your midwife.
The best way to protect you and your baby against COVID-19 in pregnancy is for you to have the COVID vaccination. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred for you if you’re pregnant. Here’s an animation from NHS England which sets out what pregnant people should expect.
You can be vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19) if:
- you're pregnant or think you might be
- you're breastfeeding
- you're trying for a baby or might get pregnant in the future
Vaccines in Pregnancy leaflet
The leaflet is in English here for other languages please see below:
To keep you and other people in our hospitals safe, you must follow these guidelines during appointments, scans and hospital visits:
follow all instructions given to you by our staff
wear a hospital grade face mask at all times while you're at our hospital
wash your hands or use hand sanitiser gel when you enter and leave the hospital, or an ultrasound scan room.
switch off your phone or device before you enter the ultrasound scan room
do not bring more than 1 birth supporter to your scan appointment
do not bring children to your appointments
do not visit the hospital if you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, or symptoms of sickness or diarrhoea
do not arrive early (you may be asked to wait outside the hospital until the time of your appointment)
do not visit other areas of the hospital, including toilet facilities, unless staff tell you to
As a way of staying safe and to help reduce the infection rates, we recommend that anyone attending the hospital should take a rapid Covid-19 test, (lateral flow test) regularly - in particular for attending scan and clinic appointments.
Your care will not be affected if your test is positive, but you must inform your midwife/health professional and they will meet you at your appointment. Find out more about COVID-19 testing for maternity.
COVID tests for birth supporter
A birth supporter is one person who has been nominated to attend appointments throughout your pregnancy journey.
Birth supporters should order a rapid swab (lateral flow) test and complete it each day before attending our hospitals. You can order rapid swab tests from the NHS.UK website, or collect up to 7 rapid tests from your local pharmacy or test site.
Birth supporters will be asked to complete a test when:
- attending labour and birth
- attending induction of labour
- attending a caesarean
- visiting inpatients on the maternity ward
Positive lateral flow test
If your birth supporter receives a positive rapid swab test (lateral flow) result, they will need to return home and self-isolate and book a coronavirus test (PCR) from a recognised site (via NHS 111). In the event of a positive coronavirus test, you and your partner should identify a backup birth supporter to attend, who can stay with you if their rapid swab test is negative.
If your birth supporter’s coronavirus test is negative, we will need to see the SMS or email that confirms the result. This can be the original message or a screenshot.
In the event of a positive coronavirus test, you and your partner should identify a back up birth supporter to attend, who can stay with you if their rapid swab test is negative.
One birth person can accompany you during antenatal appointments, scans, and maternity triage appointments
Please note: as social distancing must be maintained, your birth supporter may not be able to remain in the waiting room with you; they may be asked to wait in another area before being called back at the appointment time.
This only applies to hospital premises, and rules at your GP surgery or community settings may vary.
Labour and Birth
Your birth supporter may accompany you during labour. An additional birth supporter may also be accommodated if you choose.
In the event that any birth partner is self-isolating or has Coronavirus, they cannot attend your appointments or labour, so we suggest that you choose an alternative partner
One birth supporter may accompany you during the induction of labour from the start of induction. This birthing partner will need a negative lateral flow test on the day of your admission and for any subsequent days
For caesarean birth, a birthing partner will need a negative lateral flow test on the day of your admission and for any subsequent days
Once you have given birth you may have one person visit you on the maternity ward from 9am to 9pm and your birth supporter can stay overnight from 9pm to 9am.
If you’ve chosen a home birth our midwifery team will still support this, as long as you and other members of your household are not experiencing symptoms of coronavirus; if you are COVID-positive, please discuss with this with your midwife.
Information about the closure of Aveta can be found here
- Face masks MUST be worn at all times.
- One person (per bed) can visit the maternity ward between 9am and 9pm; they will need a negative lateral flow test on the day of your admission and for any subsequent days.
- Any siblings or children under the page of 16 will not be able to visit
- Daily Lateral flow tests will need to be taken before entry to our ward.
If birth supporters choose not to have a rapid swab test, we will, on the advice of our infection control team, refuse entry to the maternity ward.