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Maternity services FAQs

Can I have someone with me at my scans or consultant antenatal appointments?

You will be able to attend all scans and consultant antenatal appointments (apart from scans in our day assessment units in St Michael's and Ashcombe Birth Centre in Weston, as space does not allow) with one non-symptomatic adult from the same household or support bubble (ideally the birth partner). Please do not attend with any children.

If you are an accompanying partner coming to St Michael's you must wait outside of the hospital until you are called in (this is to ensure adequate social distancing in the waiting areas).

In Ashcombe Birth Centre in Weston General you can come into Ashcombe and wait with your partner in the waiting area on the unit.

You and your partner will both need to wear a surgical face mask (with the exception of those who are exempt) in our hospitals at all times. These are available as you enter the building. Guidance around face mask exemptions is available on the  Government website. Please notify us on attendance if you are exempt from wearing a face mask. The Trust will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments for you, if appropriate.

You must also use the hand gel at all entrances and exits.

You must not visit in any circumstances if you have a new continuous cough, high temperature or have a loss/change in your normal sense of smell or taste. For more information and guidance on coronavirus, please visit

We advise that you and your partner ideally do a lateral flow test prior to appointment so you can demonstrate you do not have COVID-19. These are available free. See the NHS website  for information about regular rapid coronavirus tests if you do not have symptoms.

If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the Matron by calling switchboard on 0117 923 0000.

These measures have been put in place to protect our patients, staff and visitors, which includes being able to ensure we can maintain social distancing in our waiting areas and appointment rooms. We will continue to keep this guidance under review.

Can I film my scan appointment?

Please be aware that we do not allow any video calling, photographs or recordings to be carried out during scan appointments due to the concentration required by the sonographer.

Can I still give birth on the Midwife Led Unit (MLU)?

Yes, the unit remains open and we are dedicated to keeping it open to facilitate the women that are booked there. All facilities on MLU are open.

We are lucky that we are separate from the main hospital and we are seeing a large reduction in people attending St. Michael's Hospital.

If your partner has coronavirus symptoms please respect the safety of your baby and all other women, their babies and staff who are caring for you. It is not appropriate for them to attend the unit whilst they have symptoms.

Can I have a birth partner with me?

Yes for the birth you can have a birth partner of your choice. In these difficult times it may be worth having a back-up birthing partner, just in case your first choice partner has coronavirus symptoms.

Please be aware that once on Central Delivery Suite (CDS) or the MLU your partner cannot leave the birth room. It might be worth bringing in some snacks. We will provide a hot drink and water if required.

What shall I do if my birth partner is unwell and has symptoms of Covid-19?

If your partner has the symptoms please respect the safety of your baby and all other women, their babies and staff who are caring for you. It is not appropriate for them to attend the unit whilst they have symptoms.

When will my birth partner have to leave after the birth?

If you are going home within 2-3 hours of your baby's birth, your partner may stay in the room with you on Central Delivery Suite. This may also be possible if you gave birth in the Midwifery Led Unit, if capacity allows. This means that you can all go home together.

If you are admitted to a postnatal ward one named asymptomatic partner/supporter can visit between 3 and 5pm.

If you believe that you have additional needs that need to be taken into account please contact the matron or your community midwife who will be happy to discuss this with you.

Can I still use water for pain relief and the birth?

Yes, as long as you are free of symptoms of Covid-19 this is still available to you.

Where can I ring for support?

On the front of your hand held records you will have local telephone numbers for your midwifery team in the community who can help, as always.  The CDS at the hospital you are booked to birth your baby at is still open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Please continue to ring us and talk to us.

Should I still ring someone if I have reduced fetal movements, pain, bleeding any other symptoms that I am worried about?

Yes please contact us so we can ensure you and your baby are well. We have precautions in place to protect you and your baby. It is really important that we still see you but you will be asked to attend on your own. We will give you a surgical mask to wear on arrival at St Michael's and the staff will be wearing a mask, apron, gloves and googles for yours and their protection.

How can I access antenatal education?

We are currently designing materials that we can share with you electronically as you are no longer able to attend antenatal classes. As soon as these are ready, your midwife will be able to share them with you should you ask for them.

Breastfeeding support

We continue to run a tongue tie division service as long as you and members of your household are well.  A breastfeeding support service (additional to your community midwife) is provided but is now mostly by telephone to minimise exposure. The Health Visitors also have help lines for you to ring if you require breastfeeding support and the number will be shared with you by your community midwife on discharge from maternity services. Please remember that there are many useful links on the Pregnancy App that will provide additional support.

Postnatal Care

On leaving the hospital, the community midwives will continue your postnatal care although the number of visits may well be reduced but dependant on your needs. They will telephone before visiting to ensure that everyone in the household is well. If you haven't heard from the midwife by 3pm, please call the community base, the number is on the front of your notes. Many of the bases are offering postnatal care in clinics rather than coming to your home. The midwife will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and will need access to handwashing facilities. If in your home, they will ask that they see you and your baby in a room near the entrance to the house and ask that no one else is in the room, again to minimise exposure to the virus. They will need to dispose of the PPE (except for glasses and mask) in your bin.