Maternity services during COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is naturally a worrying time for pregnant families and those with newborn babies. Within Southampton maternity services we are receiving frequent updates and have made changes to our service in response to the safety recommendations, and to prepare us for any infections in our area. These are regularly being reviewed and updated as national guidance and local circumstances change, and we felt that providing accurate information to those in our care would be helpful. We intend to share updates with you over the next few weeks and months about all elements of your maternity care. Please follow us on social media (Southampton Maternity Service) to get the latest updates.

While some groups in the population are at higher risk with a coronavirus infection, the national bodies representing midwives (RCM), obstetricians (RCOG) and paediatricians (RCPCH) have released a statement confirming that

  • There is currently no new evidence to suggest that pregnant women are at greater risk from coronavirus (COVID-19) than other healthy individuals, or that they can pass the infection to their baby while pregnant.
  • Well women (who are not in isolation) should continue to attend for all their routine appointments. Women who are in isolation because they are unwell, or someone at home is unwell, should defer routine visits until their isolation is over.
  • Mothers and babies should be kept together, even if mothers have a positive test for coronavirus, and that breastfeeding is safe to continue.

We would advise you to follow national guidance on isolating yourself and your household for 14 days if any of you show symptoms of coronavirus and let your midwife know so that your routine visits can be rearranged. Please be assured that the safety of the families in our care is our highest priority and we will be taking all appropriate measures to ensure that you receive all your maternity care in the safest possible way.

Best wishes from all of us in the maternity team

Suzanne Cunningham
Director of midwifery and professional lead for neonatal services, UHS

Scans

Updated: saliva tests

From Monday, 12 April UHS will be pausing saliva testing for expectant mums and their partners.

After this date women and partners are able to attend scans and stay together for the duration of their appointment – including waiting areas – without the need for a saliva test.

If you have already been sent a test kit or get sent a kit for a future appointment, we ask that you still take and submit it even if your appointment is after 12 April but it will not be compulsory after this date.

This update is subject to any restrictions being re-imposed in line with national guidance.

Find out more

Guidance

Advice for people with coronavirus

Illness and coronavirus in newborn babies

Please read the information sheets below:

Advice for pregnant people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities

As a pregnant person from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background, you may feel worried about coronavirus. Your local maternity team is still here to help you, so contact them as you would normally. They will be working together with you and providing you with extra support during this unprecedented time.

Some studies suggest that BAME pregnant people are more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronavirus than white people, so maternity services have been asked to take extra precautions to keep you safe, which includes prioritising your care and access to services.

It is also important that you take extra steps to protect yourself and follow the advice about how to avoid getting coronavirus. If you think you have coronavirus then alert your maternity team and they will advise you about what to do next.

Remember to attend all your antenatal appointments and seek help early from your midwife or maternity team if you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health. Get help early so you have the best chance of recovery.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest coronavirus pregnancy and birth advice on the NHS website, which has links to helpful resources, including a range of topical videos and leaflets and an animation. Alternatively contact NHS111 or in an emergency dial 999.