COVID-19 and maternity services

We are making some temporary changes to our services to reduce the spread of infection and keep mums, babies and families safe during the Covid-19 outbreak. Our midwives and medical teams are still here to support and care for you. Our only aim is to keep you and your baby safe.

Birthing partners or supporters

You can now bring someone with you to your outpatient appointments and scans.

However, during busy periods we may ask them to wait outside to keep everyone safe, including you, your baby, and our staff.

Whoever you choose to bring with you – your birthing partner or other person – should be the same person who accompanies you throughout your pregnancy.

They need to:

  • Be free COVID symptoms with a negative lateral flow test (see below)
  • If they’ve recently had COVID, they need to have finished their isolation period
  • Wait outside or in a different waiting area until your appointment starts.

You both need to remember hands, face, space:

  • Hands: wash or sanitise your hands when you get to hospital
  • Face: wear a face covering or mask that covers your mouth and nose
  • Space: leave space for others, usually two meters.

And finally:

  • Children are not allowed
  • You cannot bring more people with you to your scans or appointments

Home testing kits

You can order home COVID-19 testing kits online or pick them up from a pharmacy near you.

We recommend you take a test twice a week during your pregnancy and 24 hours before your maternity appointments.

Your birthing partner can take the test 24 hours before your appointment, too.

Your test results

  • If you and your birthing partner’s tests are negative, come in as usual
  • If you test positive, please phone ahead, but we'll see you as usual
  • If your birthing partner tests positive, please ask them to stay at home and isolate away from you

Keeping you and your baby safe

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has more advice about keeping yourself and your baby safe from Covid-19.

If you have any concerns about you or your baby please call us, whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms.

In an emergency, please call:

  • Maternity helpline 07825 014 785
  • Delivery suite triage 020 8869 2890

Antenatal appointments (before your baby is born)

We are reviewing appointments to minimise the number of visits to the hospital. You will have some face to face appointments and some telephone appointments where possible. We will contact you directly to explain any changes to your appointment, location or time.

Your booking appointment will be conducted face-to-face. We will contact you directly if we need to change this to a partial telephone booking so that you spend less time in the hospital for your face to face booking. Your midwife will see you for face-to-face appointments at:

  • 11-14 weeks (blood tests and screening for Down’s Syndrome)
  • 18-20 weeks
  • 28 weeks
  • 36 weeks
  • 40 weeks.

You will have blood tests at your first scan appointment and again at 28 weeks. You may also require a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT), which will be scheduled at 28 weeks.

You may have additional telephone or face-to-face appointments booked with a midwife or doctor depending on your individual circumstances. The call will be from a withheld number. Please do pick up.

If you or your partner have Covid symptoms and test positive, please contact us before attending your appointment so we can make the necessary arrangements for your attendance.

If you have any concerns please contact your midwifery team (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm except bank holidays), their contact details will be found in your handheld notes. Out of hours (4pm to 8am Monday to Friday and weekends/bank holidays) please contact the Maternity Helpline on 07825 014 785 who will advise you.

If you need to talk to us

Antenatal queries

  • Monday to Friday 8am to 4pm except bank holidays: contact your allocated midwifery team (phone number found in your handheld notes)
  • Out of above hours- call Maternity Helpline (24 hours a day): 07825 014 785

Ultrasound appointments

(Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm except bank holidays): 020 8869 3885

Urgent advice if you are less than 20 weeks pregnant

  • Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm except bank holidays, Saturday 8am to 1pm - Early Pregnancy Unit: 0208 869 2058
  • Out of above hours - call NHS 111 or attend A&E in an emergency

Urgent advice if you are more than 20 weeks pregnant

For example, signs of labour, your water has broken, reduced foetal movement, or bleeding:

  • Call Delivery Suite Triage (24 hours a day): 020 8869 2890
  • Maternity Helpline (24 hours a day): 07825 014 785

Ultrasound appointments

We are continuing to offer 12 week and 20 week ultrasound scans. We are reviewing the clinical need for any additional scans offered later in pregnancy. These scans may be rescheduled based on urgency. We will contact you directly with any changes. The call will be from a withheld number. Please do pick up.

Videoing your scan while it is happening is not possible because the sonographer needs to be able to focus on you and your baby. If they are distracted they could miss something important. However, you can still buy photos of your scans.

If you have an ultrasound scheduled and you or your partner have Covid symptoms and a positive test, please call us before the appointment so we can make the necessary arrangements for your attendance. Call the Ultrasound Department Monday to Friday (except bank holidays) between 9am and 5pm on 020 8869 3885 to reschedule your appointment so that we can see you safely.

Urgent care during your pregnancy

Remember, please call us if you have any concerns about your or your baby's health, whether or not you have COVID-19 symptoms.

During labour and delivery

Our midwife-led Birth Centre and Delivery Suite are open, and we've reintroduced home births and water births. We will see you if you are Covid positive, just call and let us know so we can see you safely.

Please remember:

  • Birth partner will be tested for Covid on arrival
  • Before attending hospital, please phone Delivery Suite Triage on 020 8869 2890 to get advice from a midwife if your waters break or you are not sure if  you are in labour
  • Once admitted to your room, please do not leave unless it is absolutely necessary. Maintain social distancing and self-isolation as if you were at home.
  • Please bring food/drink/baby essentials with you to minimise the need to leave your room.
  • If you need a Caesarean section or instrument delivery, your birth partner will be allowed in the operating theatre unless you or they have symptoms of Covid-19
  • If you or your birth partner has symptoms of Covid-19, they will wait in a room nearby while you are in theatre and will see you and your baby before leaving the hospital
  • If you or your partner have a new persistent cough and/or fever, please phone to let us know so staff can wear the right equipment and prepare for your arrival. This will help them give you the care you need.
  • One named person can:
    • stay with you during throughout labour. They can also stay with you for two hours on the post-natal ward.
    • stay with you during throughout your induction
    • your named person cannot swap for someone else.

After your baby is born

  • You will be assisted to leave hospital with your baby as soon as possible
  • Whoever is taking you home needs to meet you outside: ward staff will come with you to the door 
  • One person can visit you on the post-natal ward between 1pm to 7pm:
    • Only your one named visitor (such as a partner or parent) can visit during your stay: no one else will be allowed on the ward.
    • Children are not allowed on the ward.
  • Otherwise, please keep in touch with your loved ones by phone or video call.

Postnatal appointments (after your baby is born and when you go home)

The midwife will phone the day after you get home to see how you and your baby are, and give any advice and guidance you need

  • When your baby is five days old, they will need to be weighed and checked – the midwife will make arrangements for this at your home or a clinic
  • We have set up a new 24-hour maternity helpline for if you have any concerns during the two weeks after you go home. You will be given the number when you leave hospital
  • When your baby is 10-15 days old, the midwifery team will phone for a final time
  • The health visiting team will contact you to make an appointment with you. 

If you need to talk to us

Postnatal queries (up to two weeks), call the Maternity Helpline (24 hours a day): 07825 014 785

If your baby is admitted to the neonatal unit

  • Visiting is for mums only, for two hours a day. The neonatal unit will tell you your time slot
  • These restrictions are to reduce the risk to the babies on the neonatal unit but we know how hard this will be for families. Restrictions will be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so
  • You will be supported to express milk for your baby
  • Every effort will be made to call you once a day with an update while your baby is on the neonatal unit.

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