Following further changes to our maternity guidelines announced on 21 March 2021, we have updated our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQs) in the hope that it answers your questions.
Before reading it, please remember that restrictions remain in place at our hospitals to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our restrictions will continue to be under review, and could be eased further or tightened again depending on the risks to the women in our care and our staff.
Our great team of staff will be with you to support you throughout your pregnancy, during birth and on the wards. You will not be alone – we are here for you.
Should I continue to keep all my appointments that I have booked?
Yes, it’s important to keep all of your appointments as they are often booked at a specific time in your pregnancy.
At what scans can I have someone with me?
One nominated person can attend the 12-week anomaly scan, the 20-week dating/nuchal scan, the fetal medicine scan and any scans in our Early Pregnancy Unit (Woodlands) at Lister Hospital.
Why can’t my nominated partner be with me for the start of the scan?
In order for the scans to run on time, women are invited from the scan reception into the scan room to start the scan – at which point you will either be asked to call your nominated partner so they can join you or they will be called in by a member of staff (you will be advised on this when you arrive).
The reason it happens this way is so the start of the scan is not delayed and so each appointment can run to time.
We are working on plans to create more waiting areas and, once these are in place and we have additional staff to manage these, this should increase the amount of time your nominated partner can be with you during your scan.
Why can’t someone be with me for every scan?
Some scans are much quicker to do, meaning that there are a lot of appointments to manage and far more women coming in for scans. This makes maintaining social distancing in waiting areas more difficult.
Some areas where scans take place are also smaller than others, which again makes maintaining social distancing more difficult.
When additional waiting areas are created, this requires additional staff to manage them.
If there are complications when having a scan which my nominated partner ordinarily can’t attend, can someone come in to be with me if they are waiting nearby or can be on site very quickly?
Yes they can – we will speak to you if there are complications when having your scan about how someone can join you in the room.
If I’m induced, can my nominated birth partner attend from the start of the induction?
Not yet, but from 29 March 2021 your nominated birth partner will be able to accompany you from the start of the induction, until 9:00pm. Unfortunately we are not currently able to offer overnight stays (between 9:00pm and 7:30am) as our inpatient facilities are not suitable for this.
Prior to this change, as soon as you are transferred into a single room on the consultant-led unit or midwifery-led unit to have your care continued, your nominated birth partner can attend.
Can I have my nominated birth partner with me for an elective caesarean section?
When you are admitted for an elective caesarean section, you will initially go to a ward to be prepared for theatre. At present your nominated birth partner cannot attend, but this will change on 29 March 2021 – they will be able to be with you once you have been admitted to a bay.
Regardless, at present as soon as you are transferred to the consultant-led unit, your nominated birth partner can attend and stay with you in theatre, and afterwards in recovery until you move back to the ward.
Can my birth partner stay with me after the birth?
Birth partners can stay with you after the birth until you move to the postnatal ward. This is usually a couple of hours.
You will not be alone – our staff have the expertise to look after you, and other women who have just had babies will be sharing this space with you.
From Monday 12 April, 2021, one nominated birth partner will be able to attend the postnatal ward at Lister Hospital’s Diamond Jubilee Maternity Unit with a specified visiting slot of at least an hour.
Can I swap the person I have with me?
No. To maintain a safe environment for you, all of our other women and the staff caring for you, it must be the same person throughout your scan or birth.
Why can’t you make these changes sooner?
This timeline to further reduce the restrictions is in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, and therefore is subject to change if national guidance changes or if COVID-19 becomes more prevalent.
We have staggered the changes so we can assess the impact of each and the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community ahead of further easing of restrictions.
Why do some hospitals have different rules?
Each hospital has different maternity facilities, with different sizes and layouts and this is why some hospitals can safely allow people to accompany women at different scans and stages of birth.
We are continually looking at how we can make changes to relax the rules, but your safety comes first. COVID-19 can be transmitted by people who show no symptoms and this means we must remain cautious and do all we can to keep you safe.
We are sorry that the current restrictions may cause you distress. We hope you understand that your safety is always our top priority.