Advice for Pregnant Women

Our priority is ensuring that you, your baby and family remain safe and healthy.  Learn about our service modifications to provide you with safe responsive maternity care.

Our maternity service is available to access even during the current health crisis.

It is important for your safety and your baby’s safety that you continue to access antenatal, birthing and postnatal care. It is important to tell your midwife or maternity team if you have symptoms of coronavirus. You should also ask them for help with any other concerns as you usually would.

We have adapted our service to ensure that women and their babies are cared for safely during pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards.This includes temporarily suspending our homebirth service. Some of our services will be virtual, that means your midwives and obstetrician may contact you via telephone. It may be from a withheld number or a number you have not seen before so keep your mobile to hand.

If you are concerned about your health or healthcare requirements call our 24/7 Pregnancy Advice line 0300 123 5473. You must tell us if you or anyone in your household has a new continuous cough, high temperature and loss or change to smell or taste.

We have arrangements in place right across the maternity service to see women with potential Coronavirus symptoms separately from those without symptoms.

As the evidence evolves, Royal Surrey will take decisions to change the service with reference to the professional guidance from the Royal College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and the Royal College of Midwives. 

We are incredibly grateful for your ongoing support during these unprecedented times.

Keep in contact with your midwife and up to date with service adaptations via our Facebook page @royalsurreymaternity

Face Coverings when attending the maternity unit

You must wear a surgical facemask, available from all entrances of the hospital, when attending any area of the maternity service.  This includes all clinic areas, scanning rooms, birthing suites and wards.

You will not be required to wear a mask in active labour.  We request that masks are worn on the antenatal ward and postnatal ward as much as possible to protect you, other women and our staff.

Partners are required to wear a facemask at all times when in the maternity department.  Masks must be worn over your nose and mouth, if you are exempt from wearing a mask you must wear a face visor.

Advice for pregnant BAME women

Research has found pregnant women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds are more likely than other pregnant women to be admitted to hospital for coronavirus. Pregnant women over the age of 35, those who are obese, and those women who have pre-existing medical problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, also appear to be at higher risk of developing severe illness. 

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.

If you have questions on how to be safe during your pregnancy speak to your midwife. 

Concerned about your pregnancy?

Continue to speak to your midwife if you have any concerns.  For out of hours advice during pregnancy and up to 28 days following birth call the Pregnancy Advice line 0300 123 5473

To speak to 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. You will be telephoned to to agree an appointment time to discuss your care.

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

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.

In labour

If you are in labour, please call the Pregnancy Advice Line on: 0300 123 5473.

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.

We welcome two birth partners on the delivery suite. They will be given a wristband to enable us to identify them throughout your stay.

 

Postnatal care

What to expect when you go home after you have given birth

All women will receive an appointment to see a midwife on the first day home following discharge.  On day five, you will have an appointment to see a midwife or maternity support worker depending on your needs.  They will also make a face-to-face appointment for you to see a midwife on day ten.  The location of this appointment will depend on your circumstances.  If you are self-isolating or have Coronavirus symptoms, this appointment will be delayed.

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.

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

Ultrasound scans and antenatal appointments

One partner from the same household is welcome to attend the 12 and 20 weeks ultrasound scan only. We ask that couples attending Outpatients one for a scan appointment, come in and wait in area five to support social distancing and vulnerable patients attending other clinics in the main waiting areas.

Free scan pictures will continue to be provided to those attending appointments alone. Unfortunately, we are not able to support you to film your scan. If your partner attends your scan but you have a subsequent appointment, please ensure they leave the department after your scan and do not wait for you in Outpatients one.

Please ensure you both wear a mask/face covering during your visit with us.

We ask that hot drinks are not brought into the department but you are welcome to bring a bottled cold drink. Cold water dispensers are available in the department.

We are now also allowing one partner to support women on the Antenatal Ward during the daytime, and one partner to support the woman on the Postnatal Ward during the daytime.

Birth partners in labour

Two birth partners are welcome to accompany any women while they are on the delivery suite - this is not dependant on stage of labour.

While on the antenatal ward (St Catherine’s) or postnatal ward (Shere), one partner only may visit between 8am – 8pm.

One birth partner is welcome to uspport you in theatre if a caesarean section is required

Partners are required to wear masks throughout their visit, even in the side rooms. For the safety of our women and staff, visitors will be asked to leave if they do not wear their masks, or repeatedly remove them or wear them incorrectly.

Coronavirus Testing

If you need to attend an appointment at the acute assessment unit, you need to wear face covering and the clinical staff will be wearing personal protective equipment. 

All women attending the maternity unit for planned care, such as caesarean or induction, will be given an appointment for a COVID-19 swab test in advance of their admission date.  

All women admitted to the maternity unit will be swabbed on admission. There are dedicated areas on all wards to ensure you are cared for safely whether you are COVID-19 negative or positive.

Postnatal Ward visiting

  1. With effect from 20 January 2021 one birth partner will be invited to attend Shere Ward from 9am – 8pm. They are welcome to come for the whole day or a part of the day but must leave by 8pm.
  2. Partners attending Shere Ward must be from the same household and the same person throughout (no switching over will be supported).
  3. Once partners arrive they are expected to remain by the bedside for the entirety of their stay. Partners are not to use the tea/coffee machines or wander in the corridors.
  4. We can no longer support partners to have multiple entry and exits to the ward. If staying for the whole day, they may leave the ward between 12– 2pm where they are permitted to leave and return once only. If partners leave again following this time they will not be granted access to come back in.
  5. Partners who leave to get refreshments must eat/drink away from the ward. This cannot be supported on the ward due to the need to remove masks. Patients only are permitted to eat/drink on the ward.

Masks

  • It is vital that we keep our patients and staff safe in the current pandemic.
  • Masks must be worn at all times.
  • Masks must be worn over your nose and mouth.
  • If you are exempt from wearing a mask you must wear a face visor.

 

Antenatal classes

Due to Covid-19 all of our popular free and paid courses are now being taught Online!  It is anticipated that classes will remain online until September 2021, although the situation is being continually reviewed.

If your classes have been cancelled by an alternative provider due to the pandemic and you wish to join our online course(s), please email: rsc-tr.antenatalclasses@nhs.net and we will do our best to accommodate you  

Please visit our Antenatal and birth classes page for details on the classes available and how to book.

Useful videos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update regarding Birth Registration

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

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