Maternity

For further information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

 

Antenatal Care

Changes to visiting

In lines with national guidance, please be advised that general patient visiting has now been suspended at both of our sites – University Hospital, Coventry and The Hospital of St Cross, Rugby.

These measures are necessary to help us to further protect our patients, staff and visitors from Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Birthing partners are an exception to this rule and there is more detail on this in the section on labour and birth. However, there are no visitors permitted on the antenatal ward (Ward 24) or the postnatal ward (Ward 25) due to these restrictions.

Friends and family are encouraged to keep in touch with patients, who can make free phone calls to landlines from their hospital beds (calls to mobile phones will be charged).

Changes to antenatal care

Pregnancy Booking Appointments

For now, our pregnancy booking appointments will be conducted over the telephone with a midwife who can go through your individual needs and requirements and direct your care appropriately. You will be contacted to arrange this virtual booking appointment.

Dating Ultrasound Scans

The dating ultrasound scan will take place between 11 weeks and 2 days and 14 weeks and 1 day. Following this scan, you may opt to have screening blood tests. In light of the current visiting restrictions you must attend this appointment alone. We realise this may be disappointing but we are offering free scan photos to share with partners and the family. At the end of your scan, the Sonographer will allow you to briefly video call your partner with a still of your baby on the scan machine, as we understand at this special time you will want to share this moment. A midwife will also see you at this appointment and take some measurements and your booking blood tests while you are here.

18 - 20 Week Ultrasound Scans

At this visit a midwife or maternity support worker will check your blood pressure and urine. In light of the current visiting restrictions, we are offering free scan photos. After the scan, the Sonographer will allow you to briefly video call your partner, to share a still picture of your baby on the scan machine, as we understand at this special time you will want to share this moment. If you choose to find out the gender of your baby, and it can be seen on scan, we can provide this information in a sealed envelope so you can open it with your loved ones, as a gender reveal.

Antenatal Appointments Before 28 Weeks

All antenatal appointments before 28 weeks of pregnancy will be conducted    over the telephone with a midwife or doctor who can go through your individual needs and requirements, answer your concerns and direct your care appropriately.

Antenatal Appointments After 28 Weeks

All antenatal appointments after 28 weeks of pregnancy will be conducted face to face with a midwife or doctor who can go through your individual needs and requirements, answer your concerns and direct your care appropriately. You can collect your MATB1 form (if you need your MATB1 form sooner than 28 weeks, please inform your midwife). You will be contacted and advised when and where the appointment will take place which could be at the hospital or at a clinic in your local area. In light of the current visiting restrictions you must attend this appointment alone.

PPE

When you attend our services you will notice that our staff are wearing face masks and other PPE. You may even be asked to wear one too at times. We appreciate that this can seem strange and may be a barrier to the way we communicate. Please be reassured we are here for you and do let us know how you are feeling so we can reassure you.

Contact Details

Labour Ward Triage, Open 24/7 (02476 967333)

Please call Labour Ward Triage is you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • You think the baby is not moving or movements are less than usual
  • You experience any vaginal bleeding
  • You have starred or blurred vision
  • You experience swelling of the hands and feet
  • You think your waters have broken or you are worried about vaginal discharge
  • You have pain passing urine
  • You experience a constant tummy pain
  • You have headaches that are not relieved with rest or paracetamol
  • You have a persistent pain in your upper tummy area/under your ribs
  • Itching of the hands and feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Generally feel unwell and feverish
Fetal Well Being Unit (02476 967427)

FWBU is still open for pregnant mothers who may be referred if problems have been identified by the midwife or consultant. Pregnant women can self refer if they have any concerns about their baby’s movements. In light of the current visiting restrictions you must attend this unit alone. FWBU is open from 8am to 8pm. Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on weekends.


Labour and Birth Care

Birth Partners

We understand how important support is during birth. When you come to the hospital in labour, we are able to support your chosen birth partner to stay with you throughout your birth. This person must be well and not recently exposed to COVID-19. They can accompany you onto the Labour Ward, the Birth Centre and into theatre but we request they do not leave the unit and stay with you throughout labour and birth.

Birth Choices

We are happy to support all birth choices as before COVID-19. This means you can chose to have a home birth, give birth in Lucina Birth Centre, water birth or on the Labour ward. We are still supporting planned cesarean sections and epidurals for pain relief. However, we would hope that you have had the opportunity to discuss these choices in advance with your midwife or obstetrician so that you can understand birth choices in context with your health and well-being and the progress of your pregnancy. If you wish to discuss this further please contact your community midwife.

NB: If you test positive for COVID-19 or have suggestive symptoms, we would care for you in the Labour Ward as outlined above and water birth and home birth would not be recommended.

When Labour Starts

If your contractions start, your waters break, or you have any other concerns please call and speak to one of our midwives, who will be able to advise you: 02476 967333

We recommend, if it is safe to do so and following advice from one of our staff, that you remain at home in early labour. You should keep hydrated, try different positions, and check you are passing urine regularly. In the early stages you may also find paracetamol 1g (2 tablets) is helpful, and these can be taken 4 - 6 hourly but no more than 8 tablets in 24 hours. You can call back regularly e.g. every 4 hours for further advice and to keep us updated.

If You Need Your Labour To Be Induced

This will be discussed with you in advance and a date to attend will be arranged. There may be the option for you to start your induction in hospital and then go home to see if labour starts before coming back the next day. We will let you know if this is a suitable option for you. If not we will start your induction on the ward where visiting restrictions will apply, but once you are in labour your birth partner can attend to support you.

If You Have A Cesarean Section Planned

Someone will contact you a few days before the date you have been given, to ask if everyone in your household is well. Everyone having a planned cesarean will also be asked to attend UHCW NHS Trust’s outpatient testing pods for a Coronavirus swab. This screening will help us to manage your care appropriately and avoid delays on the day of surgery.

Once Your Baby Has Been Born

We will aim to get you home as a family as soon as possible. For some women and babies, if all is well and you have not had surgery, this could be quite soon after birth (minimum of 2 hours) and you can leave with your birth partner. If we need to take more time to look after you or your baby then we may need to admit you to the ward areas. This would mean that visiting restrictions apply and your birth partner would need to leave, and come back to collect you when you are ready for discharge.

Friends and family are encouraged to keep in touch with patients, who can make free phone calls to landlines from their hospital beds (calls to mobile phones will be charged).


Postnatal Care

Day 1: Your First Day At Home (Primary Visit)

This will be a telephone consultation and your midwife will review if a visit is clinically indicated. Your midwife will check your physical and emotional wellbeing, answering any concerns you might have. Your midwife will also discuss feeding your baby. An individualised postnatal care plan will be discussed with you depending on your needs.

Day 3

Some women may have a telephone consultation. For example if you have any concerns about your baby’s feeding. A face-to-face appointment can then be arranged if required.

Day 5

Your midwife will visit you at home and will offer to carry out a Newborn Blood Spot Screening Test for your baby.

Day 14

Your midwife will either visit you at home or offer you a telephone consultant. During this consultation your midwife will check your physical and emotional wellbeing and discuss how well your baby is feeding. You will also have the opportunity to discuss any other concerns you may have.

It is quite common for your care to be handed over to your GP and Health Visiting team which means you and your baby will be discharged from community midwifery services. However you can still contact the midwifery services for support for up to 28 days following birth.


COVID-19 Screening of Patients

As part of national policy from NHS England, we are now swabbing all people who need to be admitted into hospital for any reason. This also includes women being admitted into our maternity services. If you are expected to stay with us overnight for an episode of care in either the antenatal, postnatal period or in labour, you will be swabbed (with consent) on admission for COVID-19. If the results are known before your discharge you will be informed and if positive you will be moved to a separate area for your care to continue. If negative your care will continue.

If you have gone home before the result is known, some-one will contact you by telephone to let you know only if you have a positive result, and to give advice for your household.