Guidance for women due to give birth at Morecambe Bay hospitals
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Carol Carlile, Head of Midwifery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT), said: “In line with national guidance and to keep local mums and babies safe during the pandemic, we have recently made some changes across our maternity units and in our community services provided across Morecambe Bay.
“At the end of March, we made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend home births and all births that were scheduled to take place at Helme Chase, our Midwifery led maternity unit at Westmorland General Hospital, until further notice.
“This decision was made so that we can continue to ensure the safety of both our service users and staff. Midwives who would normally work at Helme Chase or be on call for home births have been deployed to other areas of the maternity service, including helping to support more complex births within our hospitals and supporting women in the community.
“We have also asked that partners, relatives, or children do not accompany women to antenatal appointments, including any scans, until further notice. While these restrictions are in place, videos will not be permitted during the scan but photographs will be provided free of charge.
“Although visiting is suspended across all UHMBT wards, one named birthing partner can still attend the labour and birth, including induction. However, this does not include staying overnight following the birth.
“We understand the concern that this may be causing for some women and their families, and whilst we do want our women to have the support they would like after the birth as well as during labour, we have to reduce the risks to all women, babies and staff wherever we can, and have a consistent approach across all of our maternity units.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues who are working so tirelessly to provide the best care possible during this extremely difficult time, and I would also like to thank our service users for their understanding.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation very carefully, and will issue any updates or further guidance on the Trust’s website, on social media, and on our maternity app.
“We urge any mums-to-be with concerns to contact their midwife.”