The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has called on every pregnant woman to support them in keeping services open and available. With maternity services across the country working to maintain as broad a range of services – including antenatal appointments and scans – as they can, the RCM has urged pregnant women and their families to do their bit to keep themselves healthy and protect midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) too.
The RCM is calling on pregnant women to let their midwife know if they or anyone in their home starts to have symptoms of Covid-19 and they must also continue to attend routine appointments for antenatal care and scans to support the maternity services.
Commenting, Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, said: “It’s really important to remember that maternity services are open. Every day, up and down the country, babies are being born and new families are created. Coronavirus isn’t putting a stop to that. Yes, some things may be slightly different – you may see your midwife via a video screen for some appointments, for example – but you will still receive the care and support you need throughout your pregnancy.
“We want you to have a happy and healthy pregnancy and birth, and our members will support you every step of the way. What we’re asking in return is that you support them too, by reducing their exposure to coronavirus. If you or your partner has coronavirus symptoms, it’s vital that you let your midwife know before you attend an appointment. You’ll still get the care you need, but your midwife will be able to take the precautions they need to keep themselves as safe as possible. The same applies when you go into labour. Let the maternity unit know so they can be ready for you and help you welcome your new baby into the world.”
The RCM has applauded the maternity units that are embracing innovation to replace some face to face consultations with phone or by video calls. They have stressed the need for pregnant women to continue to attend all appointments for scans, blood pressure, urine checks and blood tests as planned. It is also vital to contact their midwife if they have any concerns, particularly around the movement of their baby, without delay.
“I am so proud of the work Heads and Directors of Midwifery are doing to keep services open and to make sure pregnant women still receive the care they need. Please support them as we head into the Easter weekend, by not taking a break from the important measures that are in place to keep you safe. Stay at home as much as you can, and if you can’t continue to observe social distancing; wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face; and if you cough or sneeze, do it into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue.”
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