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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and your pregnancy

Due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus, our service is changing slightly to ensure the safety of yourself, your family and our staff.

Whatever your personal situation, please consider the following:

  • If you have any concerns you will be able to contact your maternity team as usual, but please note they may take longer to get back to you.

  • If you have an urgent problem related to your pregnancy but not related to Coronavirus, get in touch using the same emergency contact details you already have. Please do not contact this number unless you have an urgent problem.

  • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), please follow the standard procedure which can be found here. Please call your maternity service and they will arrange the right place and time to come for your visits. You should not attend a routine clinic.

  • You will be asked to keep the number of people with you to a minimum. This will include being asked to not bring children with you to maternity appointments. For full visitor information, visit this page.

  • There may be a need to reduce the number of antenatal visits you have. This will be communicated with you. Do not reduce your number of visits without agreeing first with your maternity team.

Visiting our maternity services

Due to our COVID-19 response our guidance for visiting our maternity services has changed. Please click here for more information.

 

Guidance

We are guided by advice that has been published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

You can read their guidance here.  

 

Breastfeeding and coronavirus (COVID-19)

There is currently no evidence to suggest that coronavirus can be transmitted through breast milk. The main risk of feeding your baby is the close contact between you and your baby. However, while babies and children can get the virus through close contact with someone that has it, the current evidence is they get far less severe symptoms than adults.

Current evidence suggests the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of your child getting the virus (through breast milk or by being in close contact) - however, this is your personal choice. If you have any concerns, you can discuss it with your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone.

Please take precautions to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 to your baby:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before touching the baby, breast pump or bottles.
  • Avoid coughing or sneezing on the baby while feeding at the breast.
  • If you are feeding with formula or expressed milk, sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.
  • When making formula feeds, carefully follow the manufacturer's instructions. Use the right amount of formula and water – ensuring the water is hot enough (at least 70C) to kill any bacteria.  
  • Clean any breast pump as recommended by the manufacturer after each use
  • Consider asking someone who is well in your household (if you are showing symptoms and are unwell) to feed your expressed breastmilk to your baby.

 

More NHS information about coronavirus for parents can be found here.

General information about breastfeeding or formula feeding can be found on the links below:

 

Breastfeeding

The first few days of life - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/breastfeeding-first-days/

 

Off to the best start

https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2010/11/Off_to_the_Best_Start_Leaflet_4_Pages-2017_.pdf

 

Feeding formula or expressed breastmilk by cup or bottle and Coronavirus (COVID 19)

If you are feeding with formula or expressed milk, sterilise the bottles, cups or a breast pump carefully before each use. You should not share this equipment with someone else. If you are infected with coronavirus (COVID19) consider the advice for feeding your baby in close proximity as detailed above.

 

Formula feeding

Further guidance for formula feeding and sterilisation can be found here: 

For general advice about the choices of infant formula, and feeding your baby responsively click here

For breastfeeding and bottle feeding advice for parents in languages other than English click here