Please contact us if you have any concerns
If you're pregnant, you might be feeling anxious or confused by all the information and opinions out there about coronavirus (COVID-19) and wondering what it means for you and your pregnancy - please see the NCT (National Childbirth Trust) website: Dealing with anxiety over coronavirus.
We would like to remind pregnant women that we're here 24/7 if you have any concerns, questions or something doesn't feel right.
Please don't worry in silence.
Contact details are on the front of your orange folder, or please see Contact.
A recent study by the UK Obstetric Surveillance System, has provided some new insights into how the coronavirus has affected pregnant women.
The study looked at the outcomes of 427 pregnant women admitted to hospital with coronavirus and their babies during the pandemic.
Key findings include:
- The majority of women who did become severely ill were in their third trimester of pregnancy, which is why social distancing is particularly important from 28 weeks of pregnancy.
- Pregnant women from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds were more likely than other women to be admitted to hospital for coronavirus. Please be reassured that you can contact your midwife at any time if you have any concerns.
- Pregnant women over the age of 35, those who were overweight or obese, and those who had pre-existing medical problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, were also at higher risk of developing severe illness.
If you fall into any of these groups please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, no matter how minor your concern may be.
We have made a number of changes to our services to minimise the number of people visiting the hospital to help reduce the risk of infection among patients and staff.
We would like to reiterate that the evidence we have so far is that pregnant women are still no more likely to contract the infection than the general population.
What we do know is that pregnancy, in a small proportion of women, can alter how your body handles severe viral infections.
This is something that midwives and obstetricians have known for many years and are used to dealing with.
What has driven the decisions made by officials is the need to restrict spread of illness because if the number of infections were to rise sharply, the number of severely infected women could rise and this could put the lives of pregnant women in the third trimester in danger.
Our general advice is that:
- If you are infected with COVID-19 you are still most likely to have no symptoms or a mild illness from which you will make a full recovery.
- If you develop more severe symptoms or your recovery is delayed, this may be a sign that you are developing a more significant chest infection that requires enhanced care.
Our advice remains that if you feel your symptoms are worsening, or if you are not getting better, you should contact your maternity care team, NHS 111 or a local alternative straight away for further information and advice.
Advice regarding social distancing and self-isolation
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 gestation, 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:
- For all vulnerable people including pregnant women - please see the UK Government publication: COVID-19 guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people
- For individuals and households of individuals with symptoms (please check using the online NHS 111 service) - please see the UK Government publication: Stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
Women above 28 weeks' gestation 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) - please see the UK Government website: major new measures to protect people at highest risk from coronavirus.
Thank you for your co-operation.
- Maternity Services - COVID-19 Patient Information Leaflet
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website: Coronavirus infection and pregnancy