Maternity Care during COVID-19 Pandemic

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Maternity Services would like to reassure families that services continue at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary site.

Stay at home if you have a high temperature or new persistent cough, and follow guidance available at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

Only call 111 if you are not able to access the advice on-line

For general and regularly updated information we recommend you visit https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/coronavirus-covid-19-pregnancy-and-womens-health/

It is expected that the majority of women who are exposed to the Coronavirus will experience only mild or moderate flu like symptoms. We understand that you will be worried about what Coronavirus means for you and your baby and we are doing all we can to keep you safe.

Please follow the Government advice. Stay at home:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home).
  • Stay two metres (6ft) away from other
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

If you work in an essential service, as deemed by the Government, and you are less than 28 weeks pregnant, seek advice from your employer.

Community Midwifery Appointments

If you have either a high temperature or a new persistent cough please DO NOT ATTEND any appointment

If you think you may be pregnant, please contact your community midwife via your GP surgery who will give you the telephone number to make contact. Your referral for maternity care will be undertaken over the telephone by one of the Community Midwives, who will take your details and relevant history and then provide you with an appointment for your Booking appointment, (this will be over the telephone for the majority of women, but for some this may require a face to face consultation).

You ante natal booking appointment will be undertaken over the telephone, which your community midwife will arrange with you, this appointment will take some time to complete therefore please allow for at least an hour during which you will be asked lots of questions and given lots of information along with advice and guidance.

The Midwife will also discuss screening tests for you and your baby and ask for your consent for the ones you choose. An electronic version of your booking notes can be sent to you prior to the booking appointment which will give you an indication of the questions that will be asked

Following your booking appointment, you will then be invited for your dating scan and or nuchal scan (this will be explained to you at the booking consultation) at the Ante natal clinic either Thomas Linacre Centre or Leigh Infirmary where you will have your scan, your blood pressure taken; and a urine sample will be collected; you will be weighed and have any blood taken for any screening tests that you have requested. If you have had a face to face booking appointment some of the tests will have already been completed. You will be asked about Coronavirus symptoms as you arrive. Please attend alone unless you need support from a carer/relative (for example, if you have a disability and need support). If you require a review by a Doctor an appointment will be made for you to receive either a telephone consultation or in some circumstances a face to face appointment. Your midwife will advise you on this.

Your 16 week appointment will also take place over the telephone by your community midwife.

Your 20 week scan will take place at either Thomas Linacre centre or Leigh Infirmary

From 24 weeks onwards your appointments will be face to face. You will receive a phone call from a member of the team prior to your appointment. You will be asked if you or any members of your family have any symptoms of Coronavirus.

If you do, you will be advised to stay at home for the appropriate period of self-isolation and your midwife will give you further guidance. You will only be tested for Coronavirus if you become unwell and need to be admitted to hospital.

When you attend your appointment please come alone, at the allotted time. Partners and family members will not be allowed to enter the building unless you need support from a carer/relative (for example, if you have a disability and need support).

Hospital Appointments

If you are having shared care with an Obstetrician, you may need to attend your appointment – or you may receive a phone call from the Obstetrician.

If you are asked to attend the antenatal clinic you will be asked about Coronavirus symptoms as you arrive. If you are found to have a temperature, you will be asked to go home immediately and will receive a telephone call from a doctor. Please attend alone unless you need support from a carer/relative (for example, if you have a disability and need support).

Scans

If you have a scan appointment, please attend alone unless you need support from a carer/relative (for example, if you have a disability and need support), at the allotted time.

You will be asked about Coronavirus symptoms as you arrive. If you are found to have a temperature, your scan may be postponed, and you may be asked to go home immediately and will receive a telephone call from a doctor.

Urgent Care

If your baby’s pattern of movements changes or reduces in number, please call and speak to a Midwife promptly:

Triage on: 01942 7878628

If you are advised to attend Triage or Ante-natal Day Assessment, please attend alone unless you need support from a carer/relative (for example, if you have a disability and need support) at the allotted time. You will have your temperature checked and be asked about Coronavirus symptoms as you arrive.

Antenatal Classes

Following Government advice, we have suspended all group sessions.

Care in labour

In Labour, when you are ready to come to hospital, please call in advance. The midwife will ask you about your Labour and some additional questions about your wellbeing and that of your family.

We will do everything we can to respect your birth choices; however we have to limit you to one birth partner.

You will have your temperature checked and be asked about Coronavirus symptoms as you arrive.

In some circumstances our team are wearing additional protective clothing including face masks.

If you have symptoms of or confirmed Coronavirus you will be cared for in isolation with a team who will have additional protective clothing – including face protection and eye wear. In an emergency this may cause a delay, as staff need to have appropriate additional protective clothing for the safety of you, your baby and the staff caring for you.

Induction of labour

If you are booked to come into hospital for induction of Labour you will be contacted by a midwife from the Maternity ward who will call you on the evening before you are due to come into hospital between 16:30 and 18:30.

The midwife will ask you about your pregnancy and some additional questions about your wellbeing and that of your family. We have to limit you to one birth partner.

Planned caesarean sections

If you are booked to come into hospital for a planned caesarean section you will be contacted by a midwife from the Maternity ward who will call you on the evening before you are due to come into hospital between 16:30 and 18:30.

The midwife will ask you about your pregnancy and some additional questions about your well-being and that of your family. We have to limit you to one birth partner.

Birth at home

With effect from 16 April 2020 we are unfortunately suspending our home birth service. This is a temporary suspension and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis; this is to ensure the upmost safety of women and the midwives who provide care.

Women who are symptomatic of the Coronavirus are recommended to birth in an Obstetric Unit, where additional monitoring of maternal and baby wellbeing can be facilitated.

After your baby is born

Once your baby is born and as long as you and your baby are well, we will encourage you, with support, to go home as soon as possible.

Your care will be personalised to your needs and those of your baby. Baby screening tests will arranged by your midwife. If you have symptoms of or confirmed Coronavirus you will be cared for in isolation with your baby, and the team will wear additional protective clothing. You will be encouraged and supported to breastfeed.

Should you need to stay in hospital, your partner will not be able to stay with you; we have introduced limited visiting (partner only) on the Maternity Ward

Following your discharge home, you will receive a telephone call the next day by your community midwife who will undertake a risk assessment and determine if a face to face visit is required. You will also receive a telephone call from the Infant feeding team following your discharge home who are additionally providing a virtual clinic to support women who are experiencing feeding problems.

If you and your baby are well a midwife will visit on Day 5 to check on you and your baby’s well-being, at this visit the midwife will undertake the new born screening blood tests. If you or a member of your family are unwell then this visit may be delayed, a midwife will discuss this with you.

Wigan Maternity Ward Information

In light of the current coronavirus outbreak, visiting on Maternity is suspended apart from for the following exceptional circumstances:

Maternity Ward – 1 birth partner (who lives in the same house), who is fit and well can visit twice a day for 1 hour each visit. Women are encouraged to think about who they would like as a nominated birth partner in the event their partner is not able to attend due to illness.

Delivery Suite – 1 birth partner can be present for the duration of the woman’s stay, until the woman is transferred back to Maternity Ward.

No other visitors are permitted at present including patient’s own children.

Registering the birth of your baby

The registration of births has been suspended temporarily until 30 April 2020 – please see more information at:

https://www.wigan.gov.uk/Resident/Births-Marriage-Deaths/Births/index.aspx

Useful telephone numbers

We recognise this is a difficult time and if women have any questions or concerns regarding their care, they should contact their community Midwife (contact details can be found on the front of their green notes).  

Alternatively, women can call the community hubs on:          
Wigan South Team – 01942 481487
Wigan North Team – 01942 483602
Ashton Team – 01942 482476
Leigh Team – 01942 264004 
Thomas Linacre Clinic Out Patients and Scan 01942 774778  
Maternity Triage 01942 778628

If you think you are in labour or have any concerns about you or your baby please call Maternity Triage as usual and a midwife will be available to advise you.

To assure you, the maternity services remain on site at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary.

For further information on any services provided by Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust visit https://www.wwl.nhs.uk/.

Breastfeeding Together services update:

Some of the different services Breastfeeding Together are currently offering:     

  • Community team to continue to provide intensive feeding support to mothers and babies from birth to 6/8 weeks via phone/text and Skype.
  • Breastfeeding Groups have been replaced with online groups, running at different times throughout the week.
  • 1:1 antenatal and postnatal video call appointments available between the hours of 10am-8pm 7 days a week.
  • Live Chat accessed via Breastfeeding Together website will continue to run every evening 7-10pm, with a new additional session running every day 10-1pm.
  • Online support group ‘Connect & Share’ runs 24 hours a day.

A new Breastfeeding Helpline accessible 7 days a week from 10am-10pm on 07742 234496.

Did you know Breastfeeding Together also have breast pumps available for hire?

Infant Feeding team

During the Covid 19 crisis The Infant Feeding Team are still available on the maternity and neonatal units to support mothers. However, the amount of visits has decreased.

Mothers can still receive infant feeding support from the virtual clinic which is run by our Infant Feeding Coordinator.

You can access the clinic by using the following URL: https://nhsattend.vc/WWLInfantfeeding or ring 07384459308/07384459308 for further information or support.