Covid-19 Advice

COVID-19 Maternity Hotline

We have set up a COVID-19 maternity hotline number which is available for you call from 9am until 6pm Monday to Friday for any queries you may have. Please call us on 07831 122 271.

We are here to support you

Our services remain open, please continue to attend your appointments as normal or as advised by your midwife. Please use the Labour Ward reception for all appointments. For a map of our hospital site, please click here.
 
We have produced a helpful summary of additional support, please click here to view.
 
View the latest COVID-19 news updates for children's and maternity services here.
 
Please wear a face mask when you attend your appointment
 

How have maternity services changed?

When should I come to the hospital?

Pregnant women have been put on the vulnerable list as a precaution during COVID-19. Social distancing has therefore been recommended for this group. As a result of this, we need to limit the number of times you need to travel to see us but please be assure that we will still give you the best possible care.
 
Please note that you can still self-refer online from 6 weeks of pregnancy.
 
If you have an appointment with a doctor at the hospital, they will contact you over the phone and give you advice to decide whether you need to come in.
 

If you feel unwell or your baby’s movement is reduced, please attend the maternity assessment unit to be seen. Please do not stay at home as you may need to have urgent care

What will happen when I need to come in to the hospital?

All health workers are now wearing gloves, aprons and masks when caring for you. This is so we can keep you and NHS staff safe. We also require anyone who is entering the hospital to wear a face mask so please ensure you bring one with you.

For antenatal appointments please come on your own, unless it is absolutely necessary to bring someone who is essential to your care such as a signer or interpreter. Please use our labour ward entrance only when attending for appointments, we have a map of our site available to view here.

We ask that you tell us if you develop COVID-19 symptoms before your appointment. If you do have symptoms, please don't worry as this won’t affect the quality of the care you receive, but it will ensure that those looking after you, and people around you, can be protected.
 
If you are being admitted to the maternity unit within the next few days, you will be offered a test for COVID-19. You can find out about what happens during the test by clicking here.

 

Are antenatal and breastfeeding education workshops still available?

Following current government advice, all face-to-face group antenatal education workshops at Whittington Health are  unfortunately paused until further notice except for VBAC workshops. However you can access information and support via these apps and websites:

As a Trust, we are looking at ways in which we can offer online classes with you, please discuss with your midwife as to when these classes may be available.

How will Covid-19 affect my appointments?

 Booking by a midwife will be on the phone or via a video call with your consent.
We are now able to offer the booking appointment via video consultation. Details about this will be sent with your Welcome Pack which includes booking information, this will be sent to you by email.
 
Before your video call, please read this information about how the virtual appointment works. It is worth noting that you will need access to wifi or have plenty of data to use the video appointment successfully.
 
If we feel that a face-to-face booking is necessary we will arrange this for you and you will be offered a brief face to face appointment shortly after you booking appointment to take the screening bloods.

Your dating scan at 11 plus weeks and bloods appointment will be face to face in one session.
At the moment, we are unable to allow partners into your appointment room, this is so that we can maintain social distancing. Your partner is welcome to use our waiting area nearby to see you after your appointment.

At 16 weeks you will be contacted to see how you are and your blood tests results reviewed.

At 20 weeks you will have your anomaly scan,. We are pleased to be able to now offer a partner to this scan. Your partner will also need to wear a mask if they attend the appointment with you.

From 28 weeks you will have an appointment every 3 weeks as normal. They will be face-to-face with a midwife. Some community hubs (Children’s Centres) are re-opening and your midwife will inform you where to attend. We ask that mothers attend these appointments alone.
 
At 36 weeks you will discuss your birth preferences and options with your midwife.

Can my partner attend antenatal appointments?

At the moment, we ask that you attend any outpatient appointments, including antenatal visits, scans* and blood tests on your own so that we can maintain social distancing whilst in the room itself. *Partners are able to come to 20-week scan.

Your partner or supporter is welcome use our waiting area to see you after your appointment. Please ensure you are wearing a face mask to your appointment as well as if you are using the waiting area.  An interpreter will be arranged if you need one, so please let us know before your appointment.

How will the birth of my baby/babies be affected?

Can I bring a birth partner?

If you are having your baby in the Labour Ward or Birth Centre, we are pleased to advise, following recent restrictions, that you can now bring two consistent birth partners. This could be a member of your family, a doula, birth companion or an independent midwife.
 
If you would like to bring an additional birthing partner, Please speak to your midwife for further information about the rules we are asking everyone to follow to ensure everyone is safe.  Your partner(s) will be required to wear a face mask at all times when they are with you.
 
If you are moved to theatre, one partner can go with you.
 
On the postnatal ward, one partner can stay with you, but this arrangement will be kept under review and may be subject to change according to how the safety measures around COVID-19 develop.
 
Please note that your chosen partner(s) or supporter(s) will be asked to leave if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19. In this instance, please plan to have another partner or supporter available should your chosen partner be ill. 
 
We are very pleased to be able to welcome an additional birth partner to be with you throughout labour. Postnatally, we are the only Trust in the North Central London sector that is able to offer one person to stay with you throughout.

Our Birth Partners agreement can be viewed here. You can print this in advance or we will ask you to sign when you arrive.

Can my partner or supporter attend my induction?

Yes, they can. This arrangement will be kept under review and may be subject to change as the health and safety guidelines around COVID-19 change or develop.

Where can I have my baby?

You can have your baby at home, in our Birth Centre or Labour Ward or a planned caesarean. Please speak to your midwife about your choices.

Can I still use water during labour or water birth?

Please speak to your midwife about this option.

Will my planned caesarean still be able to go ahead?

 We will carry out all planned caesareans, both for medical need and maternal request. We might have to change the planned date and /or venue of your caesarean, if it is safe to do so. We will always let you know if this is the case.

Keeping safe and looking after you and your baby

What should I do if my baby's movements are slowing down?

If you notice any changes please contact the Maternity Assessment Unit immediately on 020 7288 5880.

What happens to my care if I have tested positive for COVID-19 or I have symptoms?

We will continue to care for you as normal and have processes in place to keep you safe.  As a precautionary approach we recommend monitoring your baby's heart rate using continuous electronic foetal monitoring.

Who should I contact if I am feeling worried or depressed during my pregnancy or after the birth?

Please do talk to your midwife or health visitor.  There is still lots of support for you, please click here to view our free support summary. 
 
 

How can I look after my mental wellbeing during the crisis?

It is important to look after your mental health at any time during your pregnancy and especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
 
Try to stay connected with family and friends, which could include using video calls and messaging services to share photos and keep a daily routine. Keep active, eat well, make a to-do list. Ensure you take a lunch break, and be kind to yourself, make sure you rest if you need to.
 
Finally, please speak to your midwife – we are here for you.

Is it safe to breastfeed my baby during the Coronavirus pandemic?

Yes it is. Keeping you and baby together is still important and breastfeeding is strongly encouraged and there is currently no evidence that the virus passes into breast milk. You can find more information about breastfeeding and Coronavirus here.
 
When you are breastfeeding, you will make antibodies that will be passed on to your baby via your milk, usually within four hours, this antibody protection will not exist if your baby/babies are exclusively formula fed.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, try to wear a mask when feeding and ensure you wash your hands regularly.

After your baby is born

Can I register my baby's birth?

Please remember to register your baby’s birth, you will be given the relevant paperwork you need to register your baby when you are sent home from hospital. Your local Registry Office may have individual arrangements in place so it is important to check before you try to go in person.
 
Information about registering the birth of your baby from the main boroughs we serve can be found below:


Your baby does not need to be registered to receive medical care. You can also claim for child benefit or universal credit if the birth has not been registered as yet.

What happens after my baby's/babies' birth

We will phone you before we visit you the for first time after you have had your baby when you are at home. 
 
The day after you go home we will then visit you at home and then 5 days after your baby’s birth we will visit you at home again. This visit will include the heel prick test (blood spot check) for your baby.
 
Then 8 days after your baby’s birth we will check in with you by phone to see how you are and at around days 10-12 you will receive another phone call and a visit can be arranged if required.

Our Midwives will decide when to transfer your care to health visiting services, depending on you and your baby’s health. They may also refer you to other services for further help and support.

Health visiting and breastfeeding support services will contact you by phone and inform you on how to access their support after you have had your baby.

I have more questions and concerns, what can I do?

You can contact the COVID-19 maternity helpline from Monday-Friday 8am-6pm, 07831 122 271.
 
During weekends or after hours, please contact Maternity Assessment Unit on 0207 288 5880.

Working on it!