Maternity Services

NWAngliaFT Maternity Services.png

Firstly we’d like to acknowledge that this is a difficult time for many pregnant women and their partners. The uncertainty and changing restrictions can be very challenging to navigate. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to support you during your pregnancy, whilst also keeping our staff as safe as possible.

We are very proud that our teams have managed to maintain some of the highest levels of access for women and birthing partners in the region and this is something we have worked really hard to achieve, recognising how important it is to our women and families. We’d like to thank all our staff for their hard work to make this happen.

We are now able to slightly increase the access for women and birthing partners to have support, which includes:

  • Inpatient areas, designated birthing partner can attend between 8am-8pm. Siblings may also attend however this needs to be arranged with the Midwife in Charge to be allocated a time slot in advance. These time slots are allocated to allow for social distancing so we’re unable to offer a choice of times at the moment.

Birthing partner can continue to:

  • Be present for dating, anomaly and growth scans

  • Be present for early pregnancy scans - lateral flow testing for partners is required for EPAU only and you’ll need to attend 45 minutes to an hour ahead of your appointment please
  • All consultant appointments
  • All Antenatal day unit appointments
  • Support you throughout labour (incl. induction of labour)

  • Visit from 8am – 8pm on the ward  

Birthing partners are still not allowed to stay overnight during this time.

We would also like to reiterate the following:

  • Only one birthing partner is able to present for labour

  • Please wear a face covering, preferably a surgical mask when in corridors and communal areas, and when a member of staff is present in the room with you, this helps protect both our mums, birthing partners and staff
    • Women and birthing people in labour are not required to wear a mask at any time
  • Remember to maintain the 2 metre social distance from staff within the room/bay 
  • Remain at the bedside for the duration of the stay and do not wander around the unit or in the women’s and children’s atrium
  • Curtains will be drawn as a protective measure between yourselves and other patients / visitors

  • Be aware that birthing partners may be requested to leave the bed space if a situation arises or a procedure is being undertaken that would mean social distancing could not be maintained 

  • Children still can’t be present for antenatal scans/appointments at this time

We aim to continue to keep you informed at all times and appreciate your patience during these unprecedented times.

Lateral flow testing for Early Pregnancy scans

For women who have an early pregnancy scan appointment, your support OR birthing partner is required to have a lateral flow test before they are able to join you in the scanning room. If they refuse the lateral flow test then they won’t be able to join you during your appointment.

Due to introducing lateral flow testing for early pregnancy scans we’re asking that you attend around 45-60 minutes earlier than your appointment time in order for the team to test the person accompanying you and allow the results to come back. The size of the scanning rooms mean that it’s hard to maintain the 2m social distancing guidelines, therefore lateral flow testing has been put in place to help us maintain the safety of everyone in the room. Please ensure you also continue to wear a suitable face covering.

We’re also aware of the new guidance which has been issued around lateral flow testing and our maternity team are currently reviewing this in depth and we will issue and update with further information.

Peterborough City Hospital

Peterborough City Hospital banner.png

At Peterborough City Hospital, lateral flow tests are carried out at the Covid-19 testing station in the Women and Children’s atrium. Once the test has been done we will ask that you wait in the car until the result comes through. We will then contact you with the result. Please make sure you have given us the correct mobile number at the testing station. This will enable our staff to find out where you are in the car park or if you travelled via public transport where you’re outside waiting.

If your partner’s result comes back negative both of you are asked to return to the Woman’s Health Outpatients department around 5 minutes before your appointment. If their test comes back as positive they will be asked to go home and self-isolate and won’t be able to join you for the appointment.

Hinchingbrooke Hospital

Hinchingbrooke Hospital banner.png

At Hinchingbrooke testing is based at the Lily Desk within the Treatment Centre. Once the test has been done we will ask that you wait in the car until the result comes through, to which the results are then carried through to you. Please make sure you have given us the correct mobile number at the testing station. This will enable our staff to find out where you are in the car park or if you travelled via public transport where you’re outside waiting.

If your partner’s result comes back negative both of you are asked to return to the Lily Desk within the Treatment Centre around 5 minutes before your appointment. If their test comes back as positive they will be asked to go home and self-isolate and won’t be able to join you for the appointment.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms.

Rapid lateral flow tests help to find cases in people who may have no symptoms but are still infectious and can give the virus to others.

These tests are now available for all adults in the UK, so we recommend that women attending prenatal appointments/scans and nominated partners test themselves twice a week – preferably within 48 hours of attending. Women who are inpatients are tested for COVID-19 by the maternity team.

For nominated birth partners visiting our postnatal wards, you will be asked if you have had a rapid lateral flow test with a negative result as part of a risk assessment when you arrive. Please ensure you take a photo of your test result which you can show on the day.

NHS England has provided frequently asked questions about rapid lateral flow testing which are available to read online here.

Getting your rapid lateral flow tests 

A free pack of 7 tests per household can be ordered to your home from the gov.uk website (see the ‘start now’ button).

You can also collect up to 2 packs of 7 tests (14 in total) for free from a local pharmacy – please visit the gov.uk to find a pharmacy near you.

Alternatively you can visit a local test site for a free rapid lateral flow test or collect 2 packs of 7 tests from a local test site – please visit the gov.uk to find a test site near you.

There are still some areas within the community hub where the rooms are still small to allow partners to join.

If you have an appointment within the community please check with your midwife on whether or not your partner is able to be present.

  • We have visiting in place from 8am-8pm where the birthing partner can be present for all of this time, but overnight stays aren’t possible

  • Induction of Labour; the birth partner will be able to be present for the whole of the visiting time. Where the labour is progressing we will move the birthing woman to the labour ward so that partners can stay

  • On a case by case basis where additional support is required we can make arrangements for the birth partner to be present throughout the stay
  • Partners have been able to remain throughout the labour and for a period of time afterwards until the birthing women and baby move back to the inpatient ward.  Where this falls within the visiting times then the partner is able to stay and move to the inpatient area

  • If you're having a C-section your birthing partner can arrive with you at 7:30am and will be able to remain with you and baby until 8pm that evening. They can return during normal visiting hours the next day. Your partner can accompany you to theatres and can also be in the theatre, recovery and travel back with you to the inpatient ward   

No visitors will be permitted to stay overnight during this time.

Guidance for women who are pregnant and due to deliver soon and who have confirmed or suspected coronavirus/COVID-19 showing symptoms outlined below:

  • If you are in early labour you should call the maternity unit for advice
  •    
  • If your intended birth partner has symptoms, or has been in contact with a confirmed case, please let the unit know when you phone them
  •   
  • If you have mild coronavirus/ COVID-19 symptoms you should remain at home in early labour as per standard practice but call the maternity unit first for advice

  • You should come to the hospital in private transport (your own car or someone else giving you a lift) where possible or call 111/999 for advice as appropriate. If an ambulance is required, the call handler should be informed that you are currently in self-isolation for possible coronavirus/COVID-19

  • You should alert a member of maternity staff that you have arrived at the hospital, remain in your car and phone the labour ward for instructions before you enter the hospital. You can do this by phoning the labour ward.
Guidance for women who are pregnant for antenatal appointments   
  • If you have no symptoms of coronavirus please attend your antenatal appointments as usual unless you are contacted directly by your community midwife.    
  • Please contact your community midwives directly for all queries regarding appointments and where they are taking place as circumstances will be changing daily
  • Please note that GP surgeries and Children’s Centres are likely to be reviewing access to them over the coming weeks and months so location of appointments may change over this period

For guidance about getting ready for a home visit from your midwife please click here

Guidance for formula feeding 

  • If you are formula feeding your baby please follow the instructions on the packaging. Please do not water down the feed or add any other milk substitutes. If you have any queries please refer to the website below

https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2008/02/start4life_guide_to_bottle_-feeding.pdf 

Guidance for breastfeeding    

For more information please visit

 https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

This animation sets out what pregnant women should expect from NHS maternity services during the coronavirus. Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, Chief Midwifery Officer, and Dr Matthew Jolly, National Clinical Director for Maternity for the NHS in England explain what might change and why its important to keep in touch with your maternity team.

The Maternity information below will hopefully help to answer any questions or calm any anxieties you may have regarding your pregnancy: 

If you have any questions or queries relating to Covid-19 please phone the number below, we are happy to advise.

The new helpline number is 07766253920 and will be open Monday-Friday between 9am-3pm. 

Our general maternity helpline is still open and operating as normal for any queries that are not related to Coronvirus.

The Maternity Covid-19 helpline has been reactivated. If you have any questions or queries relating to Covid-19 please phone the number below, we are happy to advise.

The new helpline number is 07766253920 and will be open Monday-Friday between 9am-3pm.

Please note that our general maternity helpline is still open and operating as normal for any queries that are not related to Coronvirus.

  • Peterborough Maternity Helpline number: 01733 677266    
  • Hinchingbrooke Maternity Labour ward number: 01480 847480/81