Maternity services across Bradford district and Craven are reminding women and families that they are #StillHereToHelp during pregnancy, birth and beyond.
Local midwives are still worried that mums and families are not contacting them as they normally would due to worries about coronavirus. Maternity services are #StillHereToHelp at this time and want to reassure people that they are doing all they can to make sure that your experience of pregnancy, birth and new parenthood continues to be safe and personalised.
It is vital that women continue to attend pre-natal appointments, whether in hospital, or with a midwife at their GP practice as they are so important for checking the health of mum and baby before delivery.
The local maternity units at Airedale Hospital and Bradford Royal Infirmary, as well as GP practices, are safe places for women to attend their appointments. If you have been invited for an appointment, please attend, you will be advised what to do.
Image one: midwives at Bradford Hospitals, image two, midwives at Airedale Hospital
If you have a face to face appointment, staff will wear personal protective equipment (PPE) including an apron, gloves and face mask when in close contact with you. At the moment, women are asked to attend all appointments on their own unless they need support from a carer or relative (for example, if you have a disability).
Pregnant women are still considered to be in the ‘vulnerable’ category of people who should shield and stay at home. If you do start to develop any symptoms of coronavirus, it is important to let your midwife know. There is no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus, or that it affects the chances of miscarriage or how your baby develops in pregnancy, however, in general, pregnant women are more at risk of catching viruses such as flu.
You should get in touch with your midwife or maternity team if; you’ve missed an appointment, need to book another one, or do not know when your next appointment is; you have questions about your care or appointments; or if you are at all concerned about baby’s movements.
Dr Amy Tatham, associate clinical director for maternity, NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “I can understand that this might be a worrying time for women who are pregnant, but I would like to reassure people that midwives, midwifery teams and doctors are very much still here to help and support women and their families throughout pregnancy and birth.
“Pregnant women are offered a series of appointments which are really important to attend, these appointments are continuing throughout the coronavirus pandemic. They might be a bit different to normal but I urge women to please carry on going, they are there to spot any problems which may put mum or baby at risk and manage any problems as quickly as possible. If you are nervous or anxious about your appointments, please speak to your midwife or midwifery team, they are there to support you throughout pregnancy.”
Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Family Health services are also #StillHereToHelp. Health visitors are providing telephone appointments and will be providing some face to face visits – just phone 01274 221223. You can also find lots of helpful, reliable NHS information on the Family Health services website, including caring for a crying baby, a baby’s development, feeding, mental health and safe sleep.
Bradford Breastfeeding Buddies are offering online drop in sessions if you need help with breastfeeding, or you can get telephone support by texting FEED and your name, postcode and baby’s due date or date of birth to 66777. You can find full details on their Facebook page.