The local NHS are urging parents to not be put off seeking medical help, going to appointments or keeping up childhood immunisations because of worries about catching COVID-19. Experienced maternity teams across the county are still available to support families and their babies. Still contact your midwife or health visitor as normal, they are there to support families, no question is too silly, don’t be afraid to get help. And it’s important women do not ignore signs such as their baby moving less.
Rebecca Percival, Project Midwife for Maternity Transformation Programme/Better Births at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, CCG, said: “We understand that pregnancy can be a very stressful time for women but local maternity and health visiting teams are working hard to keep you, your baby and family safe. The NHS has adapted amazingly locally and whilst families might see changes such as staff in PPE, or different locations for appointments, the care is still the same safe care the NHS has always provided.”
Some community-based clinics have changed locations but those who need to be seen face-to-face are being seen. Families are encouraged to keep these antenatal and postnatal care appointments as they are there to keep women and their babies safe and monitor any concerns that may arise during the pregnancy or following birth. It’s also really important to take babies or children for their vaccinations when invited, as well as pregnant women getting their whooping cough vaccination too.
Anyone who is due to give birth soon and has COVID-19 symptoms should still get the same support, including going into hospital to give birth –just call the maternity unit beforehand and before entering the ward. It’s important to make sure stand in birth partner is lined up at the moment because if a birthing partner has the symptoms of coronavirus they will not be allowed into the hospital. Visiting times and restrictions to the postnatal wards have temporarily changed since the beginning of the pandemic, so please check with your midwife or health care professional how these changes might affect you.
Local new mum Katy, from Fen Drayton gave birth to baby Elora at The Rosie Hospital in March, she said “It was obviously very strange for the staff to be wearing their PPE and having to manage the increasing restrictions around birth partners, they were very apologetic about it all, but it didn’t affect the care or support offered to us. It was hard my husband was only allowed to stay for two hours following Elora’s birth and then wasn’t able to come back until we left the following evening. But all the other mums on the ward were in the same situation so that helped in a way as we were able to support each other.”
All screening tests are continuing, along with all routine scans and pregnancy blood tests. These include the Newborn Infant Physical Examination at birth and at 6-8 weeks, postnatal check for mothers, blood spot test due at day 5 and all the baby immunisations are also continuing. Each maternity service will inform parents how to access those services as those appointments approach.