Antenatal care during COVID-19

Antenatal appointments

Attending antenatal care when you are pregnant is essential to ensure the wellbeing of you and your baby. If you are well, you should attend your antenatal care as normal. When coming to antenatal appointments in all locations, you will need to attend this appointment on your own including:

  • ultrasound
  • outpatient appointments on E level at Princess Anne Hospital or within the community
  • maternity day assessment unit.

Postnatal appointments

Your postnatal appointment must be on your own with your baby following birth.

We ask that you stay in your car until as close to your appointment as possible, and that you observe social distancing.

If for any reason we need to change your appointment, we will contact you. If you are unwell then we will reschedule once you are well.

Some appointments may be conducted over the telephone or using videoconferencing, provided there is a reasonable expectation that maternal observations or tests are not required.

If you miss an appointment and you haven’t heard from your midwife, please contact them to rearrange.

Whatever your personal situation please consider the following:

  • If you have any concerns about yourself or your baby you will still be able to contact a midwife and you should call for advice in the normal way.
  • If you have an urgent problem related to your pregnancy but not related to coronavirus, get in touch using the same numbers that you have been given within your handheld notes. Please do not contact the maternity day assessment unit (MDAU) unless you have an urgent problem.
  • Do not reduce your number of visits without agreeing first with your midwife.

Please note we may be trying to contact you. Our number is often 'withheld' so please answer your phone as it may be a midwife.

For further information, please visit:

Prenancy booking appointments and parent education

Given the current situation, the way you will be booked for antenatal care if you are newly pregnant has changed.

We have created a team of midwives responsible for your booking and this will be done over the phone for the next few weeks/months and not face to face. We have followed the best available national advice to combine essential testing into a single face to face appointment with your early scan, so you will not miss out on screening tests and physical checks. The rest of the information and wellbeing checks will be done over the telephone in early pregnancy.

We are not able to run our usual maternity information programme face-to-face at present but you can find links to recordings of all of the topics usually covered by these classes here as well as an additional session on infant feeding.

Screening at Princess Anne Hospital

We will be asking everyone who comes to give birth at the Princess Anne Hospital to be screened for coronavirus (COVID-19). This will be offered whether you have any symptoms or not because we know you can carry the infection and pass it on without having obvious signs such a fever or cough.

  • If you are due to have an elective caesarean we will do your swabs during your pre-clerking appointment 2 days before the birth.
  • If you are having an induction of labour we will do it when you arrive at the hospital to start the process, or the day before if we see you in advance.
  • If you go into labour naturally we will screen you when you get to hospital.

The screening involves taking a throat and nose swab and the results will be back within 24 to 48 hours. This will help us to understand the pattern and spread of the coronavirus and allow us to care for you, care for other families, and keep our staff safe, both in hospital and when you return home.