This includes offering tests to all women who attend hospitals for urgent or emergency maternity care, including attendance for spontaneous labour and birth.• New national guidance from NHS England and Northern Ireland recommends that individuals admitted for elective procedures should be offered testing prior to admission, following a period of self-isolation. In this situation, everything will be done by the clinical staff – midwives, doctors (obstetricians) and anaesthetists – to keep your birth partner with you. What is the main advice for pregnant women? Seven out of 10 midwives have been abused by pregnant women, their partners and families due to changes to attendance rules during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey. Provided your baby is well and does not require care in the neonatal unit, you will stay together after you have given birth, so skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding can be initiated and supported if you choose.The main risk of breastfeeding is close contact between you and your baby, as if you cough or sneeze, this could contain droplets which are infected with the virus, leading to infection of the baby after birth.If you choose to feed your baby with formula or expressed milk, it is recommend that you follow strict adherence to sterilisation guidelines.However you feed your baby, the following precautions are recommended:• Wash your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles• Try to avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while feeding at the breast or from a bottle• Consider wearing a mask or face covering while feeding• Follow recommendations for pump/bottle cleaning after each use• Consider asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk or formula milk to your babyIf you are expressing breast milk in hospital, a dedicated breast pump should be used. Shielding guidance is now being relaxed but this is happening differently in the four nations of the UK – advice in England, in Scotland, in Wales, and in Northern Ireland. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) works to improve health care for women everywhere, by setting standards for clinical practice, providing doctors with training and lifelong learning, and advocating for women’s health care worldwide. You should be asked about your mental health at every contact with a health professional. The Royal College of Midwives Trust, a company limited by guarantee, registration number 1345335. Q5. Emerging evidence suggests that transmission from a woman to her baby during pregnancy or birth (vertical transmission) is probable. If you live in Wales or Northern Ireland, ask your midwife about the local guidance about face coverings and check on the local Trust or Board websites, as well as Government/Assembly websites. infographic on preparing for a home visit from your midwife. What is the advice if I am in my first trimester/less than 12 weeks’ pregnant? We have developed a poster to help you prepare for a home visit or birth. Q3. The number of babies born at term (37 weeks or later) to women who had tested positive for coronavirus that required neonatal care was similar to the number of babies born to women without the virus – about 1 in 10. The Q & A will address questions from pregnant and postnatal women about their pregnancy and care during the current coronavirus epidemic. Midwives magazine, Evidence Based Midwifery and Midwives Jobs are published by Redactive Publishing Ltd on behalf of The Royal College of Midwives. Voices. Another key change to how your pregnancy will look and feel is that you and your partner will be asked to wear a face covering or mask when you attend a hospital for appointments in England and Scotland. If you have more severe symptoms, you might be treated in hospital. Will my baby be tested for coronavirus? In Scotland, advice is available from Parentclub and NHS Inform. The well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding and the protection it offers to babies outweigh any potential risks of the transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk. What we do know is that pregnancy in a small proportion of women can alter how your body handles severe viral infections. Q2. If you already have mental health problems, these may become worse as a result of the additional stress of the pandemic. Current research evidence suggests that healthy pregnant women are no more likely than others to contract COVID-19. As this is a very new virus, we are just beginning to learn about it. Q4. Will being in self isolation for suspected or confirmed COVID-19 affect my birthplace choices? You are encouraged to have an alternative, trusted birth partner who is symptom free who can be with you if your ‘first choice’ birth partner is unwell and not able to be with you. What is an antibody test – will I have this? The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional body responsible for education and training, and setting and raising standards in psychiatry. This is so that you and your baby can have additional monitoring and care if needed. Politics. We have produced an evidence review on supporting women and babies to stay together during the pandemic. RCM Trust Trading Company ltd, registration number 5399453. In labour rooms in hospitals, there is a greater ability to ensure that every surface is deep cleaned before each admission and midwives have access to the full range of protective equipment and to other members of the team to relieve them when they are wearing this equipment. Q4. This means that if you have symptoms suggestive of coronavirus and you are awaiting test results whilst in hospital, you may be treated as potentially infectious until the result is returned.If you have symptoms of coronavirus but have recently received a negative test result, your maternity team may still use caution when caring for you.
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