Advice for Pregnant Women

From Monday 15 June 2020 all women and birth partners are required to wear face coverings when attending the maternity and outpatient departments.  

This applies to antenatal and postnatal clinics, ultrasound appointments and attendance to maternity ward. 

This is in line with recent changes to Government and Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology guidelines. For up to date guidance refer to the Royal Surrey Maternity Service Facebook pages: @royalsurreymaternity 

 

If you or a member of your family has a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss, or change, of smell or taste please call us before attending the maternity unit or antenatal appointment. The guidance for who to contact is below.

Our maternity service is still available for all women to access, even in our current health crisis.

It is really important for the safety of you and your baby that you continue to access our antenatal, labour and postnatal services. Government advice for pregnant women is that they avoid non-essential contact currently, however, midwifery and medical care is absolutely essential so please access your appointments.

We have put additional measures in place to ensure the safety of all our pregnant women and babies – both those with or without potential Coronavirus symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature or loss, or change, of smell or taste).

During the COVID-19 pandemic there may be times when workload and staffing mean that we cannot safely proceed with some or all of the planned elective caesareans for that day. The decision to postpone caesareans will be made on a daily basis by our senior staff.

While we will try to support maternal choice caesarean, there may be times when we cannot provide the service. We will prioritise all our elective work based on clinical need.

We realise that this uncertainty will be difficult and therefore we will encourage women to explore other ways we can support their birth, if caesarean is not possible, or if labour starts before a planned caesarean can occur.

Women will be offered a telephone consultation with one of our Obstetric Consultants to explore their individual needs.

If you are worried that you are not able to attend, as you are self-isolating or experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, please contact the following:

  • URGENT Help: Pregnancy advice line 03001235473. Please tell them if you are self-isolating or have symptoms of Coronavirus.
    • Routine appointments: If you need to change an appointment because you are self-isolating or ill, we will make an individual plan for your care based on your needs.
    • Please call the community midwives office on 01483 571122 x 2714 or 2715 or email rsc-tr.Communitymidwives@nhs.net
    • If you have your care in an antenatal clinic, please call on 01483 406717.
  • First booking appointment: If you are newly pregnant or have just moved into the area please complete an online referral on our website and then we will call you to arrange a telephone booking appointment and your ultrasound appointment.

 

Information on Coronavirus for Pregnant BAME women

Research in to the effects of Covid-19 on pregnant women has found that, together with women who suffer from obesity, diabetes and other medical conditions, pregnant women from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds are at a higher risk of hospitalisation due to severe infection from Covid-19. This video from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists tells you what to do if you feel unwell or have any concerns.

You can also view useful leaflets, translated for non-english speakers here.

 

The maternity unit is extremely busy at the moment and your help to keep our lines and staff free to care for women in immediate need is appreciated.

Please see useful videos below:

 

Useful videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update regarding Birth Registration

Further to the Prime Minister’s address to the UK outlining current measures in place to continue to manage the current coronavirus outbreak, the General Register Office have introduced new measures with immediate effect:

  • Birth Registration appointments will now be deferred until we are through the current pandemic period
  • Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit can now temporarily be applied for without the child’s birth certificate. Please find the links to do these below:
  • The 42 day requirement to register a birth has been relaxed. Please be reassured that you will not be prosecuted for not registering your baby during the current pandemic.

We have been advised that birth registration appointments have been suspended for 21 days from Tuesday 24 March.

This is a fast moving situation and advice is changing daily.

We are advising all new parents to monitor the Surrey County Council website where updated guidance will be recorded:

https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/birth-death-and-ceremonies/birth/register

Concerned about your pregnancy?

If you would like to have a conversation with a senior member of the midwifery team regarding care during your pregnancy, or the birth of your baby, you can contact a Professional Midwifery Advocate by leaving a message on the following number 01483571122 ext. 4706. A member of the team will then call you back and agree a time to meet and discuss your care.

Our staff will be able to make arrangements for you to be seen in hospital or at home if necessary.

We have safe arrangements in place to enable us to see women with potential Coronavirus symptoms.

In labour

If you are in labour, please call the Pregnancy Advice Line on: 03001235473.

When you call, please tell our staff if you or anyone in your household has a new continuous cough or high temperature.

We have safe arrangements in place to enable us to see women with potential Coronavirus symptoms separately from those without symptoms. You will be cared for in the maternity unit by a midwife.

You are allowed one birth partner who will need to be your nominated visitor for the duration of your stay. They will be given a wristband to enable us to identify them throughout your stay.

All of our midwives will be checking women for raised temperature when they arrive at your house to provide care.

Antenatal appointments

We have put additional measures in place to ensure the safety of all our pregnant women and babies – both those with or without potential coronavirus symptoms (new continuous cough or high temperature).

If you have any symptoms or are self-isolating we will advise you by telephone of a slightly different pathway to access care, however, if we need to see you for the safety of you or your baby we will ensure you can receive the care you need.

Subsequent appointments may be conducted by telephone or in different locations during this pandemic period. If a face to face appointment is required, we will ask you to attend a safe area to provide care.

We currently have a 'drive thru' antenatal hub for women requiring blood pressure and urine tests as well as blood tests.

We have a wide variety of antenatal courses which you can sign up to online. Most of these will now be held online.

Postnatal care

All women will receive a telephone call on the first day following discharge from hospital. On day five you will be contacted on the telephone by a midwife to arrange an appointment. This will be either in the home, maternity hub or in the hospital depending upon individual circumstances. On day 10 you will have a face to face appointment, this will be delayed if you are self-isolating or have symptoms of Coronavirus.

If you are advised to attend the hospital because you or your baby need further care, it is essential that you attend this appointment for important medical care. You could create further risk if you do not follow midwifery/medical advice.

All other contact from the hospital will be via telephone. This will include breastfeeding support.

Our Royal Surrey County Hospital Maternity Unit Facebook page has lots of support and advice for the postnatal period including breastfeeding advice.

Visiting the hospital

To increase the safety of our staff and patients, we are restricting the number of visitors to the hospital. This means that you will only be able to bring one designated person to accompany you for induction of labour, labour and whilst you are on the postnatal ward.

You will not be able to bring children under any circumstances. Currently you are not able to bring a designated person for any antenatal or postnatal appoinments, including scans.

Antenatal classes

In order to protect our expectant mothers we will not be holding any face to face antenatal classes for the immediate future.

Where possible, these will be replaced with online courses so that you can still access this valuable information.

We will be contacting everyone who is currently booked onto a class to let you know what is happening with yours.

If your classes have been cancelled by an alternative provider and you wish to join our online course, please email: cbarraud@nhs.net.

For future bookings, please visit our Antenatal and birth classes page for details on the classes available and how to book.

More information

You can get more advice about the Coronavirus infection and pregnancy from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Health information and advice about Coronavirus

Government response to coronavirus on GOV.UK.

NHS England and NHS Improvement maternity leaflet - Coronavirus: Planning your birth

NHS England and NHS Improvement maternity leaflet - Coronavirus: Parent information for new born babies

Royal Surrey Charity