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We understand that you will be worried about the impact of coronavirus on your pregnancy and your baby. The information below aims to provide you with information about coronavirus, your pregnancy care and changes we have made to maternity services at Good Hope, Heartlands and Solihull hospitals during the coronavirus outbreak to keep you and your baby safe.

Ensuring that you are supported and cared for safely through pregnancy, birth and the period afterwards remains our number one priority.

 

Maternity visiting

There is no longer a requirement for patients or partners to have completed a lateral flow test before attending appointments. However, we do require all attendees to continue following the below measures to keep virus transmission low:

  • Wear masks at all times
  • Use hand washing/sanitising facilities
  • Follow presonal protective equipment (PPE) guidance as instructed by staff

Unfortunately no children will be allowed to visit at this time.

Antenatal appointments

One partner can attend for antenatal appointments.

Delivery suites/midwifery-led units

Two birth partners can attend when the woman is admitted in established labour. Following delivery, one named birth partner can visit during the post-natal stay, between 11:00 and 20:00. 

Postnatal wards

Birth partners can visit their partner on the postnatal ward between 11:00 and 20:00 – as long as the partner has been with the woman throughout labour and birth.

Induction of labour

A named birth partner will be able to accompany a woman for this part of their care, in line with individual department visiting hours.

Antenatal wards

One birth partner may attend the antenatal ward (for women who are not in labour or induction of labour) between 11:00 and 20:00.

Symptoms and what to do

Do not leave your home if you have any of the symptoms listed on the NHS website.

If your symptoms are mild please use the NHS 111 online service for further information and advice. Only call 111 if you cannot access the online service.

Self-isolation helps stop coronavirus spreading

Do not leave your home if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or live with someone who does.

This is called self-isolation. The isolation timetable shows you how long you must isolate for depending on whether it is you or someone you live with who has symptoms.

What to do if you are self-isolating and have a midwife or other maternity appointment

If you are due to attend an appointment with your community midwife or another team, it is important you contact them in advance to advise you are self-isolating due to you or a family member having symptoms.

Your handheld record has contact details for your community midwife and other departments.

Antenatal support

General helpline

Call between 09:00 and 17:00, Monday – Friday and your call will be answered by a midwife, who will do their best to support you and answer your questions/queries/worries.

Tel: 0121 424 2829

This helpline doesn't replace your existing advice channels, so please continue to contact triage, maternity assessment centres or community offices as normal, if those are the services you need.

Blood clots and enoxaparin

You may have been given some medication to help you prevent blood clots during pregnancy. These videos will help explain how to reduce blood clotting during pregnancy and how to administer the medication yourself at home.

Blood clots (thrombosis) and pregnancy

Enoxaparin in pregnancy

Reduced Fetal Movement (RFM)

Call during working hours (09:00 – 17:00) and your call will be answered by an experienced midwife. If you need to get in touch outside of those hours, please contact the delivery suite of the hospital you are booked to have your baby at.

Tel: 0121 424 1720

A change in your baby’s movements can be an important warning sign that they are unwell, so please call if you are worried. We understand you may be concerned about exposure to COVID-19. However, you should still come to hospital to be checked out. Providing you and your baby are OK, we will aim to get you back home as quickly as possible. Please be reassured that we have protocols in place to ensure your safety and that of your unborn child.

Maternity triage

It is very important that you continue to contact our maternity triage with any concerns during your pregnancy and at the onset of labour. Our midwives will be able to redirect you to your GP or community midwife if they feel that this is a more appropriate route.

If you experience any of the following please call triage:

  • Suspected labour
  • You suspect your waters have broken
  • Stomach pain in pregnancy
  • Bleeding in pregnancy
  • Reduction of or changes to your baby’s movements
  • Headaches
  • Feeling unwell
  • Postnatal concerns

Maternity Assessment can be contacted via these direct lines:

  • Heartlands: 0121 424 1514
  • Good Hope: 0121 424 7055

If we invite you in to be assessed in our Maternity Assessment area, you must inform us if you are suspected or confirmed as having coronavirus, even if you only have symptoms. This will enable the health professionals to wear the appropriate protective equipment when they meet you at the ambulance entrance. We will provide you with a surgical mask to wear for the duration of your time in the hospital. If someone else brings you to the hospital, we need to ask them to remain outside the hospital to help us reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

During your labour

We will aim to adhere to your birthing preferences but we have had to make some changes that you will need to be aware of.

  • Only one birth partner is allowed to accompany you during labour in the birthing areas only
  • Once you have been assessed in Triage, your birth partner will be contacted to join you in the delivery suite or birth centre
  • If you have suspected or confirmed coronavirus please attend the delivery suite reception and inform them of this when you arrive. Please attend on your own; if your birthing partner is needed they can be contacted
  • The anaesthetic service is under great pressure at the moment and this may mean significant delays in providing epidurals for pain relief. If this happens we will offer you alternative methods of pain relief

Postnatal care following birth

If you and baby are well we aim to get you home as soon as possible, ideally within six hours, after we have completed newborn baby checks, which we can do when your baby is four hours old.

Postnatal care at home and in the community

Our community midwives have now commenced home visits. Following discharge from hospital, your community midwife will contact you by telephone on your first full day at home. During this call your midwife will talk to you about how you and your baby are doing, any concerns you have and make sure you know how to access any support you might need. Your midwife will arrange to visit you that same day or invite you to a postnatal clinic to be reviewed.  It’s important that we have your up-to-date contact details when we discharge you. You should expect a call from us from 09:00 onwards.

Your midwife will either invite you to a designated postnatal clinic or visit you at your home on day five to carry out neonatal screening checks.

If you are suspected or confirmed as having coronavirus, midwives will be wearing protective equipment and will visit you at the end of the day. All midwives will wear protective personal equipment for all patients, but if you have been tested positive for coronavirus, some tests may be delayed until it is safe to do carry them out.

For all home appointments we request that the midwife sees you and the baby in a separate room to others in your household. It is helpful if you can ensure you have the things you need ready to change baby along with your red book, as this prevents you needing to go in and out of the room while the midwife is there.

Around day 10 – 12 your community midwife will contact you again by telephone to complete a well-being check for both you and baby, and arrange for your baby to be weighed. They will also arrange for you to either attend the postnatal clinic to be discharged or for a home visit, depending on the circumstances.

Thank you for your patience and understanding at this challenging time.

For your postnatal check-up and newborn examination at six weeks

Your GP surgery should have made contact with you, either by telephone or letter two weeks after having your baby to arrange your six weeks postnatal appointment for you and your baby. If you have not received an appointment, please call your local surgery to arrange one.

For registration of your baby’s birth

Birmingham registrations

Birmingham is open but due to a significant backlog of registrations, they are prioritising in order of date of birth. There is an online pre-registration form to complete and the office will contact you with an appointment date and time. You can also telephone for more information.

Tel: 0121 675 1000

Staffordshire registrations

Staffordshire is now fully open open and appointments can be booked online.

Tel: 0300 111 8001

And finally

You can currently make a claim for child benefit and universal credit prior to the birth being registered. Claim forms are available in the Bounty Packs available from the postnatal ward or can be completed online.

Infant feeding support

All face-to-face feeding support groups have been suspended until further notice.

For initial feeding enquires you can contact either your community midwife or call the postnatal ward you were discharged from.

A hospital-based telephone support line for infant feeding support is available on Mondays only between 13:00 and 16:30.

Tel: 0121 424 9741

Alternatively, you can call one of the following helplines.

National Breastfeeding Helpline

Tel: 0300 100 0212

Breastfeeding Network (BfN)

Tel: 0300 456 2421

NCT Breastfeeding Helpline

Tel: 0300 300 0700

La Leche League

Tel: 0345 120 2918

When to seek help

  • If you become unwell with symptoms of coronavirus, a high temperature or a new, continuous cough, please use the online 111 coronavirus service. Only telephone 111 if you are unable to get support or advice online
  • If you have very heavy postnatal bleeding, you are passing blood clots or are feeling generally unwell please contact the relevant service
    • Maternity Assessment Centre at Good Hope Hospital: 0121 424 7055
    • Pregnancy Assessment Emergency Room at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital: 0121 424 1514
  • For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

Most newborn babies have jaundice. If your baby has jaundice, their skin or the whites of their eyes may look slightly yellow. For most babies jaundice is nothing to worry about. However, if you are concerned that your baby is jaundiced or that it is becoming worse, please contact your community midwife for advice and support. If you are unable to get in contact your community midwife, please contact the postnatal ward you were discharged home from for further advice.

Very occasionally babies can become unwell very quickly. You know your baby best, so do not wait too long if you are worried. Ask for help sooner rather than later. Contact your midwife or GP if your baby has symptoms such as:

  • a high pitched cry
  • paleness
  • faster-than-normal breathing
  • a disinterest in feeding
  • reduced passage of urine
  • bulging fontanelle (the soft part of a baby's head)
  • blood in stools

Please seek urgent medical attention by calling 999 if your baby:

  • has a fit or convulsion
  • vomits green fluid
  • has a rash that doesn't fade when you press it
  • stops breathing/goes blue
  • is unresponsive and shows no awareness of what is going on
  • has glazed eyes and does not focus on anything
  • cannot be woken

Ask the Midwife

As part of our commitment to continue providing a high standard of care during the pandemic, we are working with our local maternity system partners at Birmingham Women’s Hospital to offer free regular online "Ask the Midwife" Zoom sessions.

For more information, including upcoming sessions, please see the Ask the Midwife page.

Contact details

Maternity Assessment Area

Tel: 0121 424 7055 (Good Hope Hospital)
Tel: 0121 424 1514 (Heartlands Hospital)

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Delivery Suite

Please use this number at the onset of labour and for anything that is concerning you.

Tel: 0121 424 9201 (Good Hope Hospital)
Tel: 0121 424 2710 (Heartlands Hospital)

COVID-19 related enquires

Tel: 0121 424 2829 (Monday – Friday, 09:00 – 17:00)

Women who experience reduced fetal movements

Tel: 0121 424 1720 (Monday – Sunday, 08:00 – 20:00)

COVID-19 maternity surveillance

Tel: 0121 424 1720 (08:00 – 20:00)

Watch the NHS England COVID-19 maternity video

Vaccination and pregnancy

All women of childbearing age must read this guide before they go for vaccination.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile. These vaccines do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.

COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that pregnant women should be offered COVID-19 vaccines at the same time as people of the same age or risk group. In the USA, around 90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and no safety concerns have been identified.

Evidence on COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously reviewed by the World Health Organisation and the regulatory bodies in the UK, USA, Canada and Europe.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are the preferred vaccines for pregnant women of any age who are coming for their first dose.

Anyone who has already started vaccination and is offered a second dose while pregnant, should have a second dose with the same vaccine unless they had a serious side effect after the first dose.

Is COVID-19 disease serious in pregnancy?

Although the overall risk from COVID-19 disease in pregnant women and their new babies is low, in later pregnancy some women may become seriously unwell and need hospital treatment.

Pregnant women with COVID-19 have a higher risk of intensive care admission than women of the same age who are not pregnant. Women with COVID-19 disease are also two to three times more likely to have their babies early than women without COVID-19.

Pregnant women with underlying clinical conditions are at even higher risk of suffering serious complications from COVID-19.

Risk factors for pregnant women

If any of the following apply to you, you are more at risk from COVID-19 than women of the same age who are not pregnant:

  • You have any of the following:
    • Immune problems
    • Diabetes
    • High blood pressure
    • Heart disease
    • Asthma
  • You are:
    • overweight
    • over the age 35
    • in your third trimester of pregnancy (over 28 weeks)
    • of black and Asian minority ethnic background

Getting pregnant

There is no need to avoid pregnancy after COVID-19 vaccination. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines have any effect on fertility or your chances of becoming pregnant.

If you are pregnant

COVID-19 vaccines offer pregnant women the best protection against COVID-19 disease which can be serious in later pregnancy for some women.

The first dose of COVID-19 vaccine will give you good protection. You need the second dose to get longer-lasting protection. You do not need to delay this second dose.

If you have already had a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you can have your second dose with the same vaccine when this is offered.

If your first dose was the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine you should also consider reading the information on the COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting.

Breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known.

The JCVI has recommended that vaccines can be received while breastfeeding. This is in line with recommendations from the USA and the World Health Organisation.

Side effects

Like all medicines, vaccines can cause common side effects. It may be helpful to make sure you know what to expect after you have the vaccine, especially if you have had your baby or have other children to look after.

Continue to follow current national guidance

No vaccines are 100% effective so it is important to continue to follow current national guidance.

To protect yourself and your family, friends and colleagues, you must still:

  • practise social distancing
  • wear a face mask
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently
  • open windows to let fresh air in
  • follow the current guidance

Further information

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have a decision guide and other information you may find helpful.

If you would like to discuss COVID-19 vaccination, please contact your midwife, doctor, or nurse.