2.6.20 Looking after yourself and your baby in pregnancy
Looking after yourself and your baby is so important during this time. Here are some suggestions:
Attend all your antenatal appointments. They are there to make sure you and baby remain safe. Some may be on the phone, but if they are face-to-face we are taking precautions to keep you safe.
If you are worried about your baby or yourself in between appointments, call us. There is always a midwife available to answer your call at any time of the day and night.
Try and get enough sleep (day time naps are fine too!), exercise and a maintain a well-balanced diet
Implement daily self care, that might be reading a book, having a bath or meditation.. whatever makes you feel good!
29.5.20 We're here for you
Maternity services are open and safe for you and your baby. Your midwife is there to help and support you.
If you notice any changes in your baby’s movement or if you spot any bleeding, call your midwife for advice straightaway.
If you feel hot and shivery, or you have a cough that won’t go away, call your midwife or GP for advice.
Even if you think you have COVID-19, you will still get the same treatment for yourself and your baby – you may just notice some small changes, like your midwife is wearing different equipment, like a bigger mask or a visor
28.5.20 Making the Best of the situation
We know that it may be feeling a bit lonely out there when you don’t have all the normal support around you from friends, family and health care professionals. But we want you to know that there is still lots of support out there.
Best beginnings have made a list of all the fantastic charities doing their bit to help pregnant families and new parents during this time.
Take a look here… and be prepared there are SO many to browse (which means SO much help for you)!
21.5.20 Share your experiences of pregnancy/new parenthood during Covid-19
We have been asked by Homestart to share this important survey so that they can hear about your experiences of expecting a baby or being a parent to a very young child during Covid-19.
It should only take about 10 minutes to complete and is being conducted in accordance with the Market Research Society Code of Conduct. All answers will be held in the strictest confidence and you will not be contacted as a result of taking part.
No other parents in the UK has ever had to go through social distancing and a global pandemic as they navigate pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. You have unique and important views and we want to hear about the challenges you are facing so we can shape the work we do.
Please share widely, the more people we reach the more that can be learned.
04.5.20 Frequently Asked Questions
We have collated all of your Frequently Asked Questions that we have been receiving and answered them in the following document: Covid-19 FAQs
We aim to keep this document updated as regularly as possible but advice is changing daily so please keep checking back, following us on social media or ask your midwife if you are unsure.
29.4.20 Your baby and coronavirus - what to look out for
The risk of your baby getting coronavirus is very low, however we know it must be a worry at the moment. Here are some signs to look for and who to call if you are concerned (click on the image to enlarge).
The number you need to call to speak to a midwife is:
Wexham Park – 01753 634520
Frimley Park - 01276 604527
They will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your baby.
28.4.20 NHS Volunteer Responders
The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme is now open to all pregnant women, not just those who are shielding or vulnerable. In addition, you can access the scheme direct without needing a referral from a health professional. More information found here: https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/nhs-volunteer-responders-portal/isolating
If you need help collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies or just want a telephone ‘check in and chat’ to help prevent loneliness, you can call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm).
23.4.20 Advice for parents during coronavirus
Whilst it is extremely important to follow Government advice to stay at home during this period, it can be confusing to know what to do when your child is unwell or injured.
Remember that NHS 111, GPs and hospitals are still providing care. Here is some advice to help (click on the poster to enlarge):
10.4.20 Caring for your baby amid coronavirus
The Lullaby Trust has put together some really helpful advice on Coronavirus and caring for your baby. You can find all of their usual safer sleep advice on this link, but there is also helpful FAQs on there including:
- 'How do I self-isolate and keep my baby safe'
- 'Should I bedshare if I am unwell?'
- What do I do if my baby has a temperature?
- Can I still breastfeed if I have coronavirus (COVID -19)?
If you have questions about safer sleep contact their information line on 0808 802 6869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find can find out more information here.
1.4.20 Important changes to home visits and appointments
We are working hard to ensure that we are providing the best and safest care for you and your families, as well as ensuring our midwives are safe during these difficult times. We are continuously reviewing our processes and as a result of this, a decision has been made to no longer conduct visits in homes with immediate effect.
In addition to this, some appointments such as the booking appointment and 16-week appointment may now be virtual and conducted by phone or video. You will be contacted about any changes that will affect you.
Where face-to-face appointments are necessary, such as some postnatal visits, you will be contacted by telephone to arrange appointments in our Hubs. These are located in Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, Aldershot, Bracknell and Fleet, but you will be given more details once we have got in touch with you. Each woman’s case will be assessed individually and care will be provided accordingly.
When you attend your appointments, you will need to be seen alone (or with your baby if postnatal) and if possible, please wait outside in your car before being called into the waiting room.
If you are symptomatic for COVID-19, your appointment may be delayed but only if safe to do so.
We appreciate that this is a worrying time and as always, we are here to care for you and your babies in the best way that we can.
30.3.20 - Birth registration deferred
The General Register Office has issued guidance that birth registration appointments are now to be deferred beyond the current pandemic period.
New parents should be advised that they can now make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered, where they have not been able to register because of these measures.
New parents should also be advised that there will be no consequences if their baby's birth is registered outside of the 42 day time limit.
Please see the following for information regarding where you live:
30.3.20 Breastfeeding and coronavirus
If you're worried about what the Coronavirus means for you and your baby as far as breastfeeding is concerned, take a look at the below image.
The Royal Colleague of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has also answered some of the frequently asked questions around pregnancy and coronavirus. You can find this here.
27.3.20 Home birth service suspended
Message from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust Maternity Services:
It is with deepest regret that a decision has been made to suspend the home birth service we currently provide. This is to ensure the safety of the women and their babies as well as the midwives.
This was not a decision that was taken lightly but the safety of you and you baby, as well as the community midwives, is paramount.
We have never been in a situation like this before and we want you to know that we are not refusing you care but offering you to labour and birth within our midwifery led facilities that are open 24 hours a day. These offer a low risk environment and provision for you to go home soon after delivery.
There are no exceptions and planning to attend the maternity services needs to now be part of your birth plan.
Women who had home births booked in the next few weeks have been contacted individually by a midwife. If you have any concerns you are advised to speak to your own community midwife.
We thank you for all your support.
27.3.20 New visiting arrangements - your questions answered
We realise that yesterday’s announcement has generated concern for some. This was not a decision that was made lightly, but a decision that was needed to continue to prioritise everyone’s safety in these very challenging times.
We wish to answer as many of your questions as possible but our advice may continue to change over the next few weeks. We are not able to respond to everyone’s individual comments and questions on social media but will endeavour to keep you updated regularly as soon as we have information.
- If women attend for a labour or triage assessment, birth partners will need to drop women at the hospital and wait off site. If women are found to be in labour and ready for admission to Labour Ward, birth partners can be called to attend then.
- Birth partners are permitted to stay a short time after the birth, to spend some time as a family, and to undertake some skin to skin contact if wanted and appropriate, so please be reassured by this.
- Women who come in for an induction of labour to the Antenatal Ward, will be able to call their birth partners in once they are transferred to the Labour Ward.
- Birth partners are permitted to attend with women for their elective caesareans. Birth partners will transport women to the hospital for their electives and then will be asked to wait off site. Women will then contact their birth partners to attend prior to the operation. Unfortunately, there are no facilities for waiting on site.
- At present, visiting to the Neonatal Unit is restricted to parents, but only one parent at a time to limit the number of people entering the ward.
- If you require additional supplies whilst you are in hospital with us, birth partners can drop these supplies at the door and staff will help you pick these up. When you are ready to be discharged, staff can help you pack your belongings and help transport you, your bags and your baby to be picked up outside the ward.
- If women and babies are well and without complications following birth, we will aim to discharge them when clinically safe and appropriate. Please be patient whilst we work hard to do this as safely as we can.
All of our new regulations have been put in place in line with national guidance and to keep you, your babies and NHS staff safe.
The midwives will continue to be there to support and care for you and your baby throughout your stay.
Integrated Digital Midwife
Wexham Park Hospital
26.3.20 Hospital maternity visiting suspended
Under National NHS guidance, to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, a difficult decision has been made to temporarily suspend ALL visiting to the hospital. This includes our maternity department.
Women are permitted to have one, well adult as a birth partner but this birth partner is only able to attend during the labour and birth. Birth partners are NOT permitted to be in hospital before or after labour and birth. Birth partners will be required ...to attend for labour and leave following the birth.
When women are ready to be discharged home, we will ask women to notify their birth partners who will be required to remain outside the wards during pick up.
We really understand how difficult this new regulation will be for women and families. Please understand that this decision has not been taken without careful consideration. These decisions have been made to prioritise the safety of mothers, babies and staff during these very challenging, unprecedented times. Advice and regulations may continue to change over the next few weeks and we will endeavour to keep you updated throughout.
We understand this announcement is going to generate some questions. You can find some frequently asked questions that we've provided answers for here.