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How does coronavirus affect my pregnancy, birthing journey, and baby?

1 April 2020


IMPORTANT: This is general information only. Please speak with your doctor or midwife about what care is right for you. There is limited information available about coronavirus, pregnancy and birthing.

We understand you may be concerned. If the below information does not answer your concerns, our midwives remain available 24 hours a day for ongoing support, and we encourage women contact their midwife or doctor if they have any questions.

Coronavirus is new and we are still learning how it may affect you and your baby. Our information is currently from women who have had the virus later in their pregnancy.

How will coronavirus affect me?

It is expected that most pregnant women who get the virus will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.

However, if you are also a smoker, have a heart or lung condition such as asthma, or other medical conditions, you may become more unwell than a pregnant woman who does not.

One of the symptoms of coronavirus is fever. If you have a high fever at any stage of your pregnancy call your healthcare provider, midwife, or 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) as soon as possible.

How will coronavirus affect my baby?

The risk of coronavirus passing from mother to baby during pregnancy is thought to be low. So far, the virus has not been shown to pass from the mother to her baby before birth.

Is it safe to come to hospital?

Yes, it is safe for you and your birthing partner to come to hospital. Our birthing services, and special care nursery, will continue to be provided.

To reduce the chance of you, your baby and the staff looking after you contracting coronavirus, our hospitals have changed the way care is provided in the below ways:

  • Providing care in the community rather than in the hospital
  • Offering care by telehealth, videoconference or phone
  • Limiting the number of support people and visitors coming into the hospital Each hospital has different restrictions on visitors, talk to your midwife about your hospital’s visitor allowances.
  • Promoting hand hygiene, social distancing, and other infection control measures.

I am due to have my baby soon, who can I have in the birthing suite with me?

We understand the birth of your newborn is a special occasion, and in normal circumstances, you would be surrounded by family and friends.

To minimise activity at our hospitals, we are restricting the visitors in maternity to one support person per birth, with no other visitors while in hospital.

Our normal practice of supporting women to return home as quickly as possible to be with their family and loved ones will continue.

Can my family send flowers, balloons or gifts to my while I am in hospital?

We strongly encourage all gifts and flowers to be sent to your home address. This will limit the activity at the hospital as well as ensure that you get to enjoy these in your home environments as we aim to have you home as soon as possible.

I have multiple antenatal appointments coming up, am I still required to go to the hospital?

To further reduce activity at the hospitals where we can, and limit patient’s exposure to germs, we are planning to reduce the number of face to face ante-natal clinic visits. We are also establishing alternative sites away from the hospital to provide some antenatal care and we will be in touch if this may affect you.

We will be making contact with all women over the coming weeks to develop individual plans that will include consultations over the phone where possible.

Can coronavirus be prevented or cured?

There is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus yet (but a lot of people are working on it). There is also no specific treatment. You can reduce your risk of catching coronavirus by following the below steps:

  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Using social distancing to stay 1.5m away from other people
  • Avoid anyone who is unwell
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

One of my family members has tested positive, I’m concerned for myself and my baby. What do I do now?

If you think you or a family member might have coronavirus, take the quiz here. Call your GP, 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or speak with your midwife.

Our midwives are available 24 hours a day for ongoing support. If you are concerned about your wellbeing, or your baby’s, we encourage you to contact your midwife or doctor.

Last updated: 1 April 2020