NHS maternity staff across Lancashire and South Cumbria are looking to reassure expectant and new parents that maternity services are open, they can continue to attend their appointments and services are personal and safe, so they continue to come forward for routine checks and urgent advice.

Maternity services in Lancashire and South Cumbria are working hard to ensure expectant parents and newborn babies receive the highest quality care during the coronavirus pandemic. They are doing all they can to make sure services are personal and safe. This means that some appointments may now be made by telephone or by video call, women may need to have their babies in a different place to where they had planned, and they may see staff wearing protective clothing.

The message from NHS maternity services is clear:

  • If you are pregnant, it is important that you still attend your antenatal appointments and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team.
  • If you are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby, please contact your midwife or maternity team.
  • For the latest pregnancy and birth advice, go to NHS.uk or contact 111.nhs.uk
  • It is really important that women have a midwife with them when they are giving birth to ensure they and their baby are safe. One birth partner is encouraged, so long as they do not have symptoms of coronavirus.

Local people can be reassured that maternity and birthing services are separate to NHS services treating COVID-19 patients, so the risk of catching COVID-19 from these patients is minimal.

Rineke Schram, Lead Obstetrician for Lancashire and South Cumbria Maternity System said:

“If you are an expectant new mum, I want you to know that the NHS is still here for you and midwives and maternity support workers are standing right beside you. Services across Lancashire and South Cumbria have gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of you and your baby, so please, help us help you: if you’re worried about your health or that of your baby, contact your midwife just as you always would, and if you’re asked to come in for a planned or urgent check, it’s vital that you do so.”

This message comes as the remarkable work of NHS maternity teams is celebrated to mark International Day of the Midwife. Since the NHS put itself on the highest level of alert over coronavirus on 30 January, this work has seen local midwives and maternity services help to bring an estimated 1,800 babies into the world across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

Vanessa Wilson, Programme Director for Women’s and Children’s Services in Lancashire and South Cumbria, said:

“I want to thank all the midwives and maternity support workers across Lancashire and South Cumbria who have worked tirelessly throughout this pandemic to ensure the delivery of safe care for women and their babies.

“The current crisis has seen midwives turn to new and innovative ways to maintain contact and carry out some appointments, including by phone or video call. Of course, for some appointments, including scans, there’s no substitute for attending clinics and hospitals. It’s absolutely vital that women continue to go to their antenatal, postnatal and scan appointments to ensure that they and their babies are staying well.”

To find out more about maternity services in Lancashire and South Cumbria, visit https://healthierlsc.co.uk/BetterBirths