For information for BAME women, please click here.
We are taking all possible precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, including swabbing all ladies who come and use our maternity services to reduce the risk of transmission. We have, therefore, put in place the following restrictions to safeguard and protect our new mums and newborn babies.
In the case of all appointments/attendances staff, birth partners, visitors and family members in the home are kindly asked to follow all infection control procedures such as hand washing, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing.
Visiting Update as at Wednesday 28th April 2020
Following a sustained drop in the number of Covid-19 cases nationally and the success of the vaccination programme we have made some changes within Maternity services to relax some of the restrictions surrounding visiting and the support for partner attendance.
We recognise how important it is for you to be able to have your birth or support partner come with you to appointments and scans and we would like to thank you for your patience and cooperation. However, we still respectfully ask you to be mindful of the safety guidelines that remain in place and that these changes will be regularly reviewed in line with the local and national picture.
The latest change will see visiting hours on Trinity Ward increase from two hour slots to four hours from Monday 3rd May, allowing support partners to spend more time with you and your baby in the hours and days after birth. All other restrictions will remain the same and are outlined in full below. If you have any fuirther questions then please speak to your midwife of the midwife in charge on Trinity Ward or the Birth Centre.
Please keep checking back to these pages for the very latest guidance or speak to your midwife if you have any questions.
Ultrasound Scan and Antenatal Clinic Appointments
We are pleased to announce that one support partner will be able to join you for ALL of your Ultrasound scans and Antenatal Clinic appointments, provided that they are from the same household bubble. Unfortunately we aren’t able to accommodate children under the age of 16, and we also ask that you stick to the following safety measures, designed to keep you, your partner, our staff and others who use our services safe.
Firstly, we ask that you and your support partner arrange to have a lateral flow test, no sooner that 48 hours before your appointment. It’s easy to perform and you can do this yourself at home by ordering a test kit online, collecting one from your local pharmacy or testing site or you can arrange to take a test at your local testing site. You will both be asked about your results when you arrive however, if your test is positive, please DO NOT attend your appointment, follow government advice and call us on 01246 512503 to discuss what to do next.
There’s more information about lateral flow tests and how to access and perform them on the government website, click here to view
If your tests are negative then, upon arrival, we ask that your partner waits in one of our ‘designated waiting areas’ whilst you check in at the reception area of our Antenatal Clinic. This is to ensure we can maintain social distancing in the waiting area and your partner will be called as soon as the sonographer is ready to begin the scan or consultation. To speed things up, your support partner will need to stay as close as possible to the maternity unit so that they’re ready when called.
Unless you are exempt, all visitors to the hospital will need to wear surgical face masks that are available from mask and hand sanitiser stations at all entrances to the building. If you have your own mask then please swap it for the ones provided – if you are exempt then let us know and we’ll provide a visor for you and your partner when you arrive. Our receptionist will ask you some questions to make sure that neither you nor your partner are symptomatic of Covid19 before taking you to the Antenatal Clinic waiting room. Your partner will then be called separately when ready.
Designated waiting areas for support partners
We need to make sure we do everything we can to reduce the footfall and contact with other people within our antenatal clinics. This is why we’re asking partners to wait outside the unit before being called in for your appointment.
If you’re coming by car, the simplest and safest thing to do would be to wait in the car until we’re ready, but please don’t block any entrances or road access. Your partner will be called or texted to make their way in and join you for the appointment when we’re ready.
If you’re coming by other means then we would strongly encourage your partner to wait in a safe area outside, nearby to the Scarsdale entrance. If it’s raining, there is a small indoor waiting area that a member of our team can direct them to but capacity is limited. It is standing room only and our two meter social distancing and the wearing of masks should be maintained. We will aim to keep you waiting for as short a time as possible.
Community Antenatal and Postnatal Clinic Appointments
Unfortunately we aren’t yet in a position to make any changes to appointments in community settings. These buildings are not always under the ownership of Chesterfield Royal Hospital but we will continue to monitor this closely and keep you informed.
Pregnancy Assessment Day Clinic
Again, we’re not yet in a position to be able to support partners to attend any pre-scheduled appointments in our Pregnancy Assessment Day Clinic. We are currently undertaking work to redevelop this area to support Covid-19 safe visiting in this area. If you have a scan arranged in this department then your partner may attend and staff will discuss further how we can support partner attendance for the consultation.
We are working towards safely increasing the attendance of one designated support partner on the ward that you are able to choose from the same household bubble. Again, we’re not yet able to accommodate children under 16 and we ask that your designated visitor remains the same unless discussed and agreed with the Ward Matron.
Antenatal and Postnatal Trinity Ward
One support partner can come for a daily, two hour, pre-agreed visiting slot for all antenatal and postnatal women admitted to Trinity Ward. This will change to four hour slots from Monday 3rd May and we will continue to look at when and how we can relax this further so please keep an eye on our website or social media for changes.
When you are admitted onto Trinity Ward, we will talk to you and your support partner about how we can arrange your scheduled visiting time, which will remain the same for the duration of your stay.
Mums-to-be and their support birth partners will continue to both be offered a Covid-19 throat and nasal swab test (called a PCR test) before any planned admission and regularly whilst on Trinity. Please do not be alarmed, this isn’t a reaction to anything happening on the ward and is purely to keep you, your baby and our staff safe. You might not need one straight away if you’ve already had a test on the Birth Centre, but we will carry out another on day three, day five and day thirteen of your stay (depending on how long you are in hospital). The midwifery team will talk you through the test process.
A birth partner is encouraged to be with you for all out of hours pregnancy assessments on the birthing centre. All birth partners will be checked for symptoms of Covid19 and asked to undertake a throat and nasal swab. If your partner chooses not to undertake testing, or if any symptoms are identified, they will have to return home and someone else will need to support you so it may be worth identifying a back-up partner just in case.
To manage this increase in visiting safely, we ask that your birth partner visits you just once per day. When your birth partner arrives on the ward for visiting, they will need to stay on the ward at all times until they are ready to leave or until you are transferred to the postnatal ward area.
Planned Elective Caesarean Section of Induction of Labour
We continue to actively encourage birth partners’ attendance for women having elective caesareans. All birth partners will be checked for symptoms of Covid19, including being asked to undertake a test; again this will be a throat and nasal swab. If your partner chooses not to undertake testing, or if any symptoms are identified, they will have to return home and someone else will need to support you so again it may be worth identifying a back-up partner.
Community Midwifery Home Visits
To ensure the safety of our Community Midwives and Maternity Support Workers, we ask that there are no visitors in the house when they come and see you. Family members within your household bubble will need to maintain two metre social distancing at all times and wear face masks during your home visit. Children are exempt from this. Again, to reduce any risk of transmission, our Community Midwife or Maternity Support Worker won’t be able to accept a drink so please don’t be offended if they refuse the offer of a cup of tea.
For further information and guidance, please follow our social media pages. We are constantly reviewing our arrangements for attendance to get the balance right between offering support for you and ensuring everybody’s safety. If any changes are needed, we will include these on our social media sites, website and inform you during your appointments.
Advice regarding your appointments during pregnancy
It is extremely important that during the Coronavirus pandemic, all pregnant women continue to access regular care throughout their pregnancy and following the birth of their baby. We are continuing to provide routine antenatal care in community midwifery and hospital settings.
Some of your appointments during pregnancy will be by telephone with your community midwife. However, you will still have face to face appointments for your dating and anomaly scans, and at 28, 32, 36 and 40 weeks, either at the hospital or with your community midwife. If this is your first baby you will also have a face to face appointment at 38 weeks.
If you have a hospital appointment you will be contacted the day before by a member of staff and asked some screening questions and advised if you still need to come to the hospital. For hospital appointments taking place on Monday, you will be contacted on the previous Friday.
When you arrive at Antenatal Clinic in the hospital you will be asked some more screening questions before you enter the clinic. We ask for your patience with this.
Your baby’s movements matter
If you notice that your baby is not moving or the movements have changed or reduced, you still need to call the hospital you are booked to give birth at immediately. Even if you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms you must contact the hospital and we will arrange for you to be seen in an isolation area to check you and your baby are healthy. Do not wait for your next appointment.
Advice regarding social distancing and self-isolation while pregnant
The UK Chief Medical Officer has decided that, given the limited information currently available about how COVID-19 could affect pregnancy, it would be prudent for pregnant women to increase their social distancing to reduce the risk of infection.
All pregnant women, regardless of how far through their pregnancy they are, should observe the social distancing guidance available on the Government website. Advice includes the avoidance of contact with people who are known to have COVID-19 or those who exhibit possible symptoms:
1.For all vulnerable people including pregnant women: view here
2.For individuals and households of individuals with symptoms of new continuous cough or fever: view here
Women who are more than 28 weeks pregnant should be particularly attentive to social distancing and minimising contact with others. Major new measures have been announced for people at highest risk from Coronavirus, this includes pregnant women with significant heart disease (congenital or acquired).
Information about our services during Coronavirus
We know this is a challenging time for expectant mothers and new parents. Information and guidance is regularly changing and we will make every effort to keep women and families updated. Our priority is to provide safe maternity care and to support a positive birth experience for all during this time of change and service reconfiguration.
Despite these changes we will still support you with the many choices available, positions for labour, aromatherapy, relaxation support using music during labour, pain relief options, mobilisation, infant feeding support etc. Please talk to your maternity teams if you require further information.
Please click on the boxes below to find out more about any changes to the services you will be accessing.
Will Midwives wear face masks and protective equipment?
Yes, but remember - we are wearing smiles behind the masks.
Due to a recent change in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements, staff in all clinical areas of the maternity departments and community will be wearing PPE that is appropriate for the role they are undertaking. This might include wearing a face mask, gloves, apron and eye protection when providing clinical care, even if you don’t have any symptoms of COVID 19.
We know that this might cause some anxiety however the masks are there to keep you and the staff safe and although you can’t see it, the staff will still be wearing their smiles.
We have had to restrict attendance at your scan to one named visitor (ideally from same household) for first dating scan and anatomy scan only, which includes any repeat dating or anatomy scans required.
There is still a very strict set of guidelines to follow and your midwife should have spoken to you before your scan to talk this through with you. Anyone coming into the hospital must wear a face covering which will be provided for you at the entrance if you don’t have one yourself. Your partner must wait outside until you yourself are called in to the scan at which point you may text your partner who will then come in separately – this is to ensure that our waiting area does not become congested and make it more difficult to social distance.
Your partner will be asked the same screening questions as you, intended to assess whether it is safe for you both to attend. When the scan is over, your partner will be asked to leave and wait outside the building with you following shortly afterwards, again this is to make sure our corridors and waiting areas do not become so busy that social distancing becomes difficult.
It is important you attend scans as usual during the current pandemic. Ultrasound practitioners fully appreciate the bonding parents develop during ultrasound scans. It should be remembered an ultrasound scan is a clinical examination and the clinical aspect of these examinations must be priority during these difficult times. With that in mind an ultrasound practitioner should not be distracted in any way. The Society of Radiographers and British Medical Ultrasound Society guidance does not advocate the use of video recording of Ultrasound scans under normal circumstances. We do not allow virtual attendance by partners with on-line video calls or filming of the examination for a number of reasons:
- Having someone recording the examination would be distracting, which would increase scan times and potentially lead to mistakes being made during the examination. Advice recommends limiting anything within a 2 metre range to prevent cross contamination from droplet / contact spread, which would include patient mobile phones.
- The examination time would be extended, putting both patient and sonographer at risk of viral spread.
- Confidentiality could be compromised.
- The need for a relaxed abdomen to perform the scan. Holding a mobile phone during a scan would lead to a taut abdomen, which would make scanning difficult and compromise the examination. This could also potentially increase the risk of work related injury, within an already high risk environment for such injuries.
We are currently providing a free scan picture to the mother and supporting one named visitor/partner to be present at your dating and anatomy scan.
Visiting Trinity Ward (antenatal/post-natal ward)
One named visitor (ideally from the same household) supported to visit for two hours each day (pre-booked). Virtual visiting (e.g. FaceTime or other virtual platforms is encouraged and supported.
Attending in labour
If you have any symptoms of Coronavirus or are self- isolating due to a family member you must inform us before you arrive at the hospital. If you fall into this category you will be asked to put on a mask whilst we transfer you to an isolation room.
Women attending in spontaneous labour can be supported by one birth partner. Good hand hygiene should be used frequently whilst in the unit and entry to and from the ward area must be kept to an absolute minimum.
A birth partner who is symptomatic /unwell or is self–isolating should not attend the unit and must remain at home.
We are currently not recommending the use of the birthing pool for woman with suspected or confirmed Coronavirus.
Use of the birthing pool
As long as you do not have any symptoms of COVID 19, we are still able to offer the use of the birthing pool. The midwives caring for you will be required to wear PPE.
Induction of labour
Women who require induction of labour will be informed of the time and date to attend the birth centre. Women are to attend for induction alone and the birth partner will be contacted when labour is established.
Following a straightforward, uncomplicated birth, where safe to do so, we will be asking you to make arrangements to leave the hospital approximately six hours after the birth. If this is not possible or admission to the ward is necessary, we will encourage the parents to spend time together on the labour ward following the birth and politely ask that the birth partner returns home following admission of mother and baby to the postnatal ward.
Emergency attendance (e.g. maternity triage)
One named visitor (ideally from the same household).
Women requiring planned caesarean section will be informed of the date and time to attend the unit. Women attending for a planned caesarean section can be accompanied by their birth partner to the ward and can be present in theatre during the operation. The birth partner will be asked to wear a surgical face mask and adhere to infection prevention and control measures. It is important to understand that all medical and midwifery staff in theatre will be wearing full PPE, we appreciate that this may raise anxiety, however this standard has been agreed locally.
The birth partner will be supported to stay with mother and baby in the theatre recovery area. When mother and baby are transferred to the postnatal ward we would ask that the birth partner returns home.
Women who have undergone planned caesarean section without any complication and where baby is fit for home will be supported to consider discharge after 24 hours on the ward if safe to do so.
In cases of emergency caesarean section where immediate delivery of the baby is required (known as category 1 caesarean section), partners will be asked to wait outside theatre during the operation, this is in line with usual practice. The birth partner will be able to accompany their partner post–operatively in the recovery area prior to transfer to the ward.
Women who have undergone emergency caesarean section may require hospital stay greater than 24 hours.
We are currently providing a homebirth service as normal.
There may be unprecedented times of high activity when midwives who are on call to support the homebirth service need to be allocated to provide safe care for women labouring and birthing within the hospital. We understand that this can be disappointing and frustrating on the rare occasions that this happens for women planning a homebirth. We have a duty to ensure all women needing our services are safe and we sometimes do unfortunately have to make these difficult decisions. When the time comes for your homebirth we will do all we can to facilitate midwives to be available to attend to you. If midwives are unable to support your homebirth, you will be informed when you call and we would recommend that you attended the hospital to give birth.
Babies will not be separated from their mothers unless there is a clear clinical need.
Breast feeding is still encouraged.
There is no routine visiting on the postnatal ward due to following strict social distancing recommendations for all pregnant women, the aim of which is to reduce the risk of infection to unwell mothers and babies who require medical admission. Partners are supported to attend pre-booked appointments each day.
The day after your discharge from hospital you will have a home visit by a community midwife. We politely ask that when the midwife attends she sees the mother and baby alone in a separate room away from other family members. You will have another face to face appointment when the baby is 5 days of age to perform the newborn blood spot test, and to weigh the baby. This appointment may be in your home, or at your nearest community midwifery base, if that is appropriate. You will also receive a telephone appointment on the 3rd postnatal day to check how you are. Your discharge appointment on day 10 may also be by telephone if your community midwife feels that this is appropriate for you. Additional appointments will be organised based on individual needs. Please let you community midwife know if you need more support.
You may find the following information useful:
Your Health Visitor will contact you by telephone during your pregnancy. This could be anytime from 24 weeks. Postnatal appointments with the Health Visitor will be assessed on an individual basis, with the majority being by telephone. As a minimum, you will be contacted by a Health Visitor soon after the birth of your baby, and again when the baby is 6 weeks of age.
If your baby needs to be admitted to the Neonatal Unit:
While you are in hospital we will support you to access your baby as often as we can. If your baby is still on the Neonatal Unit when you are discharged home from hospital, both parents can currently access. In line with national guidance related to visiting on the Neonatal Unit, the parent who is visiting may not leave the unit and return during this time. All parents who are visiting will be asked to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and staff on the Neonatal Unit will assist with this.
If the baby requires critical care, one or both parents can stay with the baby.
When the baby is nearly ready to be discharged home, one parent can stay overnight in the parents’ room on the Neonatal Unit.
Mothers who are expressing breast milk for their babies will be provided with equipment to do this at home.
Community antenatal clinic appointments
Some appointments have been changed to virtual consultations. Where attendance in person is needed, patients should attend alone unless separate arrangements have been made with the Community Midwife.
Planned hospital antenatal clinic or pregnancy assessment appointments
One named visitor (ideally from same household) for women with complex needs only (for example diagnosed mental health concerns, who require counselling and support to make difficult decisions about their pregnancy such as those receiving joint care from specialist fetal medicine services). In these circumstances we will ask women to attend out of antenatal clinic hours, if suitable, so that a clinic room could be used. Named visitors will be asked to wait outside and will be called in when transfer to the clinic room occurs.
One named visitor (ideally from the same household) supported to visit for a pre-booked hour each day. Virtual visiting (e.g. FaceTime or other virtual platforms is encouraged and supported.
Community home visit appointments
Family members living in the home, or who are within the woman’s support bubble as per government guidance.
Whatever your personal situation please consider the following:
Maternity care is essential, and has been developed over many years with improving success to reduce complications in mothers and babies. The risks of not attending care include harm to you, your baby or both of you, even in the context of coronavirus. It is important that you continue to attend your scheduled routine care when you are well.
If you have any concerns regarding your pregnancy but not related to Coronavirus, you should still contact your maternity team at the hospital you are booked at to give birth. The contact number will be the one given to you at booking. Please note the maternity team may need to discuss the need for an appointment with the medical team and this may take longer than usual to get back to you.
If you think you have symptoms of Coronavirus, contact your maternity service and they will arrange the right place and time to come for your visits.
You should not attend a routine clinic if you have any symptoms of Coronavirus or you or a member of your family is self-isolating.
You will be asked to attend your appointment on your own. This will include being asked to not bring children with you to maternity appointments. If your partner has accompanied you to the clinic they will be asked to remain outside the department.
We politely ask that you use the hand sanitizer on arrival and follow social distancing measures by remaining at least 2 meters away from the reception desk and sit in the waiting areas where the chairs have been placed to maintain distance between patients.
At this time, it is particularly important that you help your maternity team take care of you. If you have had an appointment cancelled or delayed, and are not sure of your next contact with your maternity team, please let them know by using the contact numbers provided to you at booking or contacting your community midwife.
Maternity resources to support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and non-English speaking women
As a pregnant woman from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background, you may feel worried about coronavirus. Your local maternity team is still here to help you, so contact them as you would normally. They will be working together with you and providing you with extra support during this unprecedented time.
Some studies suggest that BAME pregnant woman are more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronavirus than white women, so maternity services have been asked to take extra precautions to keep you safe, which includes prioritising your care and access to services.
It is also important that you take extra steps to protect yourself and follow the advice about how to avoid getting coronavirus. If you think you have coronavirus then alert your maternity team and they will advise you about what to do next.
Remember to attend all your antenatal appointments and seek help early from your midwife or maternity team if you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health. Get help early so you have the best chance of recovery.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest coronavirus pregnancy and birth advice at www.nhs.uk/pregnancy-and-coronavirus, which has links to helpful resources; including a range of topical videos and leaflets and an animation. Alternatively contact NHS111 or in an emergency dial 999.
Pregnancy and Coronavirus support video (available in multiple languages)
Watch an informative video about pregnancy and Coronavirus (COVID-19) published by West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership.
Visit the Acacia family support website
Acacia is a dedicated family support network for mums and dads from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.
- Government guidance for households with possible Coronavirus infection
- Government Coronavirus guidance translated in 60 languages
Importance of vitamin D during pregnancy
All adults should consider taking 10 micrograms (400 units) of vitamin D a day to help keep bones and muscles healthy. This is important during the autumn and winter months (especially during the Coronavirus pandemic) when the sun is not strong enough for the body to make vitamin D.