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Advice for pregnant women in view of Coronavirus pandemic

Giving birth is a very special and personal experience but understandably, in light of coronavirus, you may have some concerns. The information below is to help you understand the risks you face and the changes that we have made to our service to keep you and your baby safe.

Pregnancy & Coronavirus risk

Pregnant women are still at risk of contracting Covid-19. You can reduce the risk by washing your hands and socially distancing. If you develop symptoms, you should stay at inside for 7 days. People you live with should also stay at home for 14 days from the date you become symptomatic. If your symptoms worsen, ring NHS 111.

Concerns about your pregnancy

It’s important if you have any concerns about your baby at any stage of your pregnancy, whether you are Covid positive or not, that you seek advice as soon as possible by calling your midwife or the maternity assessment unit of the hospital in which you are booked.

If you need to come to hospital, we are still here for you, night or day, and have made some changes to your ongoing care to keep both you and baby safe.

Attending for antenatal appointments and scans

To help support social distancing, when you attend for your appointments your partner will be asked to wait outside until you are called in for your appointment. For all scans, you are able to attend with a named partner.

At the door, you will be asked if you have a cough and you will have your temperature checked, if this is normal you will be allowed into the antenatal clinic, but you must keep two metres from other people.

Please do not come if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have been asked to self isolate. Please ring and let us know and we will change your appointment to another time.  

Can my birth partner stay with me during labour?

You can have one birthing partner with you for the duration of labour and a second can join you once you are in established labour. Your partner must wash their hands with soap and water often and they will be required  to wear a face covering. 

Some women need to be put to sleep to safely deliver baby in the operating theatre. If so, your partner cannot come into watch the birth.

Can my birth partner come in with my for my elective caesarean section?

Currently, your birth partner is allowed to come in with you for your planned caesarean section. But your birth partner will not be allowed to join you if they have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been asked to self isolate. Please let us know if your birth partner has symptoms of COVID-19.

Can my birth partner visit me on the postnatal ward after birth?

If you come to stay on the ward during your pregnancy or after you have given birth one named partner will be able to visit you at a time agreed in advance with the ward.

Partners with a cough, temperature or viral infection are asked not to come to the hospital. This is to keep our mums, babies and staff safe.

Please do not attend your appointment if you have COVID-19 symptoms. Instead, call the telephone number on your appointment letter and await further advice.

If you are admitted to hospital

To keep you and baby safe we are testing all pregnant women for Covid-19 on admission. Whilst waiting on your test results, you will be asked to wait in a separate waiting area.

If your test comes back positive you will be cared for in a separate area to limit the spread of infection and be encouraged to wear a mask. There is currently no evidence that your baby can get the virus from being in the womb, but your baby will be tested for the virus once delivered.

Should you be admitted to an antenatal ward, your partner will be able to visit you at a time agreed in advance by the ward.

When you give birth

If you are unsymptomatic for coronavirus, you will still have the full range of birthing options including homebirth, and Meadow or Orchard birth centres to make use of the pools for a water birth.

One birth partner will be permitted on our hospital sites, as long as they have no coronavirus symptoms. One for the duration of labour. Partners cannot change during labour. This is to stop the infection from spreading. Partners will be asked to use a mask.

We will only offer an induction of labour or caesarean section later in the pregnancy (unless there are special circumstances)

If you need to be put to sleep in the operating theatre, in order to safely deliver baby, your partner will need to leave the room.

Giving birth if you have Covid-19

The main difference if you are Covid positive, is that you will be unable to have a homebirth or use the birthing centres, this is to ensure the safety of you and your newborn. If you go into labour at home, please call your preferred birth location and indicate that you are in labour and Covid positive.

Leicester Royal Infirmary Delivery Suite        0116 258 6451/6452

Leicester General Delivery Suite                    0116 258 4807/8310

St Mary’s Birth Centre (midwifery led unit)    01664 854854

You will still be encouraged to have a vaginal birth at hospital if that is your current plan.  And your pain relief options do not change (you can still have painkillers, and epidural or gas and air, as you prefer).

If you need to deliver in an operating theatre staff will be in protective equipment including gowns and mask. We know this may be frightening but please be assured, this is done only to limit the spread of infection – the care that you receive will be the same. Your partner unfortunately will not be able to come into theatre, but they will see you as soon as you are back on the ward.


If you have any further concerns or would like to speak to a midwife at any point please call the community office on 0116 2584834 or the maternity assessment unit at the hospital in which you are booked. 

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