COVID-19 legal advice hub

Advice for pregnant women

In these unprecedented times, it’s understandable that expectant mothers will have additional worries. One of our expert midwives provides guidance to help put your mind at ease.

Pregnant woman with partner and child

These unprecedented times are worrying for everyone but even more so for those more vulnerable and with underlying health conditions and those who are pregnant.

The safety of you and your baby will obviously be your priority in these uncertain times which is why one of our specialist in-house midwives has provided guidance to help put your mind at ease.

It’s expected that a large majority of pregnant women who contract coronavirus will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. Cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache and loss of sense of smell.

Pregnant women have been placed in the ‘vulnerable group’ by the Chief Medical Officer, but so far, there’s no evidence to suggest that pregnant women who get this infection are more at risk of serious complications than any other healthy individuals. However, for a small number of women, being pregnant may affect the way their body handles a viral infection. If you’re pregnant and have an underlying health condition, such as asthma or diabetes, you may be more vulnerable, and if you have a serious heart condition, you’re considered very vulnerable. In any case, you should follow the Government advice which will have been sent to you.

What should I do if I start showing symptoms?

If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should use the NHS 111 online service for information. Some maternity units are also running specialist telephone services. The current advice is not to ring Maternity Triage for coronavirus questions alone. 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 specialised care. However, if you feel your symptoms are worsening or you’re not getting better, you should contact your Maternity Care Team in the usual way which will be the Maternity Triage telephone number provided at the start of your pregnancy.

So long as you’re well, it’s very important you attend all your routine appointments and scans unless you’re told otherwise. If you’re unwell, contact your midwife to rearrange your appointment for when your isolation period is over. Maternity care is essential. Not attending appointments can increase the risk of harm to you and your baby.

Some appointments at the hospital will be different, you may be advised to attend on your own and your partner, or the person supporting you through your pregnancy, may not be allowed to be with you during your scan appointments, however, you’ll still be well cared for. Midwives understand the worry this may cause you and are there to support you. Your birth partner will be allowed with you when you give birth so long as they have no symptoms.

How to keep safe and protected

To protect yourself from the virus – stay at home. When you need to attend your appointments, please ensure you follow the advice of the Government and the NHS.

Most importantly, babies have no idea what’s going on in the world right now. Pregnancy and birth will still happen during this pandemic and you’ll still have worries and concerns. Your midwife, however, is still there for you and will discuss any of your pregnancy concerns. If you’re worried about your baby’s movements, have any abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding (even just ‘spotting’), think your waters may have broken, are having headaches, visual disturbances, sudden swelling or think you’re in labour, please call the Maternity Triage as soon as possible, as you would usually have done.

PLEASE NOTE: This information was correct at the time of publication on 6 April 2020. Guidance during this pandemic is ever-changing so please visit the NHS website for up to date information.

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