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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 with one non-symptomatic adult from the same household or support bubble (ideally the birth partner). 

You and any supporting person will be asked to wear a mask on the central delivery suite (CDS), the maternity-led birthing unit (MLU), the day assessment unit (DAU) and the maternity wards at St Michael's Hospital, and in the birth rooms and the day assessment unit (DAU) at Ashcombe Birth Centre.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive please contact your midwife to discuss what should happen to your appointment. For more information and guidance on coronavirus, please visit  www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

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.

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.

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 two nominated birthing partners with you during labour and the birth.

What shall I do if my birth partners are unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19?

If your partner(s) 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(s) have to leave after the birth?

If you are going home within 2-3 hours of your baby's birth, your partner(s) 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 a maximum of two adult visitors at any one time can visit you on the ward between 9am and 9pm. Please do not bring any other children with you to the wards.

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 handheld 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.

How can I access antenatal education?

We are running antenatal classes. Ask you community midwife for details of the classes. 

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. 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 dependant on your needs. 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.