Following further changes to our maternity guidelines on 24 December, we have updated our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ (FAQs) in the hope that it answers your questions.
Before reading it, please be reminded that the number of positive COVID-19 cases in our community is increasing.
COVID-19 is potentially fatal and the vaccine is still in the early stages of being rolled out to the community. We understand that being pregnant is a very special and sometimes stressful time and we want to ensure that you have the best experience possible, while keeping you and your families safe.
This means 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.
Can I have someone with me at scans other than the 12-week and 20-week scans?
No, under our new guidance you can have one person with you at only the 12-week scan and 20-week scan, and not any other routine scanning appointment.
Other scans are much quicker to do, meaning that there are a lot of appointments to manage and far more women coming in for scans.
We have already made changes to maintain social distancing and if we made more changes now to allow you to have a partner with you, we would have to reschedule and this would mean that we were not seeing you at the best time for you and your baby.
We cannot move appointments that have been arranged for clinical reasons to take place at set times in your pregnancy.
If there are complications when having my scan, 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.
My scan is booked to happen before you make changes on 4 January – can I change it so that I can have someone with me?
No, unfortunately not. We have had to set a date for the changes we are making and we know that this means that a small number of women with appointments before 4 January 2021 will have to come to appointments on their own.
Scans are arranged to happen at set times in your pregnancy and so it’s very important for you and your baby that you keep scan appointments as booked.
If I’m induced, can my birth partner attend from the start of the induction?
In all cases the answer is no, because all inductions begin in a shared area, and it’s not possible for us to maintain a safe environment if birth partners were to attend at this time.
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 birth partner can attend.
Can I have my birth partner with me for a caesarean section?
When you are admitted for an elective caesarean section, you will initially go to a ward to be prepared for theatre. As soon as you are transferred to the consultant-led unit, your 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.
At the moment it’s not possible for us to maintain safe social distancing in ward areas. But 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.
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 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.