Maternity

Whilst Antenatal Active Birth classes have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, North Wales residents can now access the Solihull Approach online ‘Understanding Pregnancy, Labour, Birth and your Baby’ course for free.

8th April 2020 

FAQs

If you are pregnant, having your baby, or have recently had a baby with our maternity service in BCUHB we would like to provide you with as much information as possible to keep you informed and as worry free and safe as possible.

There will be some temporary changes to our services and the way that you can access them. This page will be updated on regular basis to keep you up to date.

Antenatal Care

If you have any concerns about your antenatal appointments please call your community midwife so that that your care is coordinated safely. Her telephone number is written in your Maternity Hand Held Record.

Do I have to keep my antenatal appointments?
Yes. Your antenatal care will continue to be provided throughout this time. We want to know that you and your baby are well so your midwife or doctor will still want to see you.

We are continually reviewing our community midwifery services in case of GP closures and changes in services at community hospitals. Because of this you may be asked to go to a different place for your antenatal appointment. Your community midwife will telephone you to let you know if this is the case.

I have a scan booked. Can I bring my partner with me to the appointment?
Please keep your scan appointment or tell us if you cannot attend. Unfortunately, to reduce potential exposure and transfer of the virus we are asking you to come alone. 
Antenatal Screening Wales has issued some frequently asked questions around pregnancy scans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If I am worried about my pregnancy can I come to the Assessment Unit?
The Assessment Unit is open 24 hours a day as usual. However, to reduce potential exposure and transfer of COVID-19 we want to limit the number of women who are waiting to be seen at any one time.

If you have any pregnancy worries call your community midwife and she will advise you on whether you need to come to the Assessment Unit.

If you need to attend the Assessment Unit you will be asked to telephone them and make an appointment.

If I have to be admitted to hospital in my pregnancy can I have visitors?
No. All visiting has been suspended until further notice to reduce potential exposure and transfer of the virus.

I am booked for an Induction of Labour. Can my partner come with me?
No. We are asking that you come alone for the induction. Once you are in active labour, and being cared for on the labour ward, your birth partner can come to the hospital to be with you throughout the labour and birth.

Birth

Is it classed as essential travel if I take my children to my family’s home when I am in labour?
This is difficult as you will want to leave your children with someone that you trust. However, it may be safer to ask someone who has been self-distancing and is symptom free to come to your home to care for your child/children as fewer people may be affected.

People over the age of 70 are at greater risk and have been advised to self-isolate, so a friend or family member under 70 would be advisable.

If I have symptoms of COVID-19 when I am in labour, how will I be cared for?
When you telephone the hospital in labour we will direct you to a particular entrance of the hospital where you and your birth partner will be met by a midwife. She will be wearing a mask and both you and your birth partner will be asked to wear a mask.

The midwife will take you to a room on the labour ward and she will look after you there. You will not be left alone and one birth partner can stay with you all the time.

We will do a throat swab to see if you have the virus and the results take around 48 hours.

After the birth you will be able to go home if both you and or baby are well enough to do so.

If you are not well and have symptoms of COVID-19, you and our baby will stay in hospital in a ward away from the maternity unit, until you a well enough to go home.

Who can come with me when I am in labour?
We are asking that you come with one birth partner only and that the birth partner is from your household. This will limit the potential exposure and transfer of COVID-19.

Once you have given birth we ask that your birth partner go home as no visiting has been suspended on any of the maternity wards.         

Can I still give birth at home?
During this outbreak, unfortunately we will not be offering a home birth service. This is for two reasons:-

Firstly, the Welsh Ambulance Service have informed us that they will not be able to guarantee to send an ambulance should a women need transfer to hospital.

Secondly, we will have midwives who are self-isolating as per Government guidance, and this situation will change daily. We are concerned that we may not be able provide women with a midwife for a home birth and so we are asking all women to come to hospital.

If you have already booked for a home birth and are worried about these changes, talk to your community midwife and she will be able to discuss all the options with you. 

Are the Midwife Led Units (MLU) open?
Yes, our along-side MLUs are open in each of our maternity units. All women who are planning to give birth in an MLU and women who are currently planning to have a home birth, who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, can come to the MLU. We will support your birth preferences in a home from home environment and you will be able to go home soon after the birth if you and your baby are well.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you will be cared for on the Consultant Led Unit.

I want to use the birth pool. Is this possible?
No. We have been advised that there may be an increased risk of potential exposure and transfer of COVID-19 if women labour or give birth in the pool.

What happens if I have a Caesarean?
If you are having a planned Caesarean you and your birth partner can travel together to the hospital. You will be asked to go into the hospital to prepare for the Caesarean and your partner will be asked to sit in the car. Once you are ready for your Caesarean your partner will be phoned and will be escorted into the theater for the birth. Your partner can stay for an hour following the birth then will be asked to go home.

If it is an unplanned Caesarean, your birth partner will normally be encouraged to be there with you.

What happens if I need forceps delivery?
The situation has not changed and unless it is an extreme emergency your partner can stay with you through the birth.

Postnatal Care

If my baby and I are well can I go home straight after the birth?
Yes, we will encourage you to stay in hospital for as short a time as possible, although your baby will need to be examined before you do leave. This may mean a wait of up to six hours.

Has visiting been restricted?
Yes. For the time being, no visitors are being admitted to the maternity wards. This includes your partner, children and immediate family.

When you are ready to go home your partner, or one family member, can meet you at the entrance to the maternity ward to take you home.

Will my community midwife visit me at home after the birth?
All postnatal checks will now be carried out by phone, including the first day check. Five to eight days after the birth your midwife will ask you to come to a community clinic so that the newborn screening (blood test) can be taken. Your baby will also be weighed.

If you are self-isolating or think you may have the virus this checkup will be done as soon as you are out of isolation. All newborn baby examinations will be done prior to you leaving hospital. If a home visit is essential this will be individually assessed.

When I am home with my baby can Nain visit or look after my other children?
No. We firmly advise that you keep to the Government’s guidance to not meet others, even friends or family.

You can keep in touch by social media but you are putting you, your family and your community at risk if you do not follow the guidance.

Where can I get General information about COVID-19 in Pregnancy?
For general information and advice about COVID-19 and pregnancy click on the link below. The site is updated regularly, whenever there is any new information to share. COVID-19 Infection and Pregnancy

You can find further information on our Pregnancy Poster.