There are new COVID-19 screening measures in place for everyone entering our hospital.
All patients and visitors will be asked screening questions prior to and on arrival to hospital. These include
- If they have been overseas in the last 14 days
- If they have fever or acute respiratory symptoms
- If they have come into close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
If your support person is symptomatic they will be given a mask to wear and encouraged to present to the COVID-19 Clinic next to the Emergency Department for assessment. Please consider a backup support person, should they be unwell.
Changes to Pregnancy Care Appointments
If you have a hospital or clinic appointment, all attempts should be made to attend your appointment by yourself. We would encourage you to video call your partner into your appointment should they wish to be involved.
Your schedule of appointments will most likely change depending on your individual circumstances. Some planned face to face visits including your booking visit, will be made by telephone. Face to face appointments will be kept to a maximum of 15 minutes.
To limit people in the waiting areas we ask that you ensure you are on time for your face to face appointments.
If you have any concerns regarding your pregnancy or baby’s wellbeing, please call the birthing unit for advice. If you need to come to hospital for further assessment, we will ask the screening questions and meet you when you arrive.
Childbirth Education/Preparation for Parenthood
Our classes have recently been reformatted to allow greater choice and flexibility. Parents and grandparents can focus on the topics of interest. Our classes are fun, interactive and dynamic, using multiple mediums to keep you interested and involved. We will soon add a breastfeeding module and Calmbirth classes and in future hope to add further modules including twin and next birth after caesarean section classes. Read more
Labour and Birth
You have the right to a safe and positive birth experience.
To help protect you, your baby, other families and staff at this time, we ask that you please choose two support persons for your labour and birth. This might be your partner or another person.
These persons will be asked the same screening questions and will only be allowed entry to the hospital if they have no symptoms of illness or suspected infection.
If you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection:
- you will be asked to wear a mask over your face and nose during labour
- you will still be able to move in labour and birth in the position of your choice
- you will have access to a range of pain relief options
- you may not have access to water birth
- you will be recommended to have continuous fetal heart rate monitoring in labour
- a paediatrician will discuss the care of your baby with you
Feeding your baby
Skin-to-skin contact at birth and breastfeeding will continue to be encouraged. Breastfeed with careful attention to hand hygiene as well as taking care not to cough or sneeze near baby.
If you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 infection, we will encourage you to wear a mask when feeding or expressing breast milk for your baby. Where possible, have someone else help with the care of baby.
Visiting Restrictions in Place
For the protection of our women, babies and staff, restrictions have been placed on support persons and visitors.
Women will be able to bring two nominated support persons with them during labour and birth. For you postnatal stay in maternity, we ask that you nominate one person only to visit for the duration of your stay.
Visitors within our Special Care Nursery are being restricted to parents of the baby only.
For exceptional circumstances we encourage families to discuss their individual needs with staff. We know these restrictions can be challenging so we ask for your understanding during
After Birth - Midwifery Visits in your Home
During your postnatal stay, visitors will remain restricted to the one nominated person. If you and your baby are well, going home as soon as possible after the birth is best and will be encouraged. To support you, we will offer you telephone support and home visits where needed.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has further information, as does the Australian College of Midwives.