Maternity Covid information

If you have any concerns around your pregnancy please call our Triage Helpline
Tel: 0300 131 5341

We’ve made some changes to our maternity services, due to Covid.

Please see details below, including some information videos.

Coronavirus infection and pregnancy

Accordion

We recognise that the emotional support of a partner, relative, friend or other person throughout pregnancy and childbirth is a key component of safe and personalised maternity care. At the same time, it is our priority to prevent and control COVID-19 infection and keep all pregnant people and staff safe.

Although COVID restrictions in England are easing, Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines will remain in place for all staff and visitors to NHS building. This includes birth supporters.

While you are present on healthcare premises, you must continue to follow social distancing rules, use a face mask and other personal protection equipment. We also ask that you and the person supporting you undertake a lateral flow COVID test 24 hours before your appointment.

You can order for free, Lateral flow test kit via this website:

One person is welcome to support you for all appointments within the hospital, or community setting. This includes ultrasound scan appointments. We do not have a waiting area and therefore respectfully ask that you do not bring children, or arrive early for your appointment. We also remind you that not all community venues are managed by ESHT and rules relating to additional people attending appointments may differ between venues. We do not have control over this.

Within the maternity department at Conquest Hospital or Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU), we welcome a nominated person to support you if you require admission to the antenatal or postnatal ward. To keep you, other service users, babies and our staff safe, we will be maintaining a six-hour, pre-bookable visiting time slot. Visiting times will be – 9am to 3pm and 3.30pm to 9.30pm.

When you are admitted in established labour, two nominated people are welcome to support you. The size of our birth rooms is not sufficient for multiple people and equipment. Therefore, your supporters will be admitted on a rotational basis during your labour. Both people can be present for the birth if you wish.

Please be aware that no exemptions will be made.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that pregnant women/people should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group.

We encourage pregnant women/people to discuss the risks and benefits with their clinician – those at increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 are encouraged to promptly take up the offer of vaccination when offered.

90,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated, without any safety concerns being raised

Please use visit the Royal College of Obstetricians website to see their decision aid – click here

There is more real-world safety data from the US in relation to the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines in women who are pregnant – therefore, we advise a preference for these to be offered to pregnant women/people.

“Vaccination offers pregnant women the best protection from COVID-19, which can be serious in some women” – Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

We would strongly encourage women/people and their supporters to undertake a lateral flow test no more than 72 hours prior to each visit to our maternity departments or midwifery clinics (we recognise this may not be possible prior to urgent/ emergency appointments). The test kits can be obtained via this link:

Instructions for performing the test can be found here:

and are available in various languages.

Women/people and their supporters are expected to continue to:

  • Wear a face mask
  • Use the available hand sanitiser
  • Maintain social distancing where possible.

Thank you for your support in keeping you and our staff safe.

From Monday 17 May 2021, we are pleased to be able to allow women/people to bring one support person with you to your midwife and consultant obstetrician appointments. Please read the following information carefully.

We are still challenged with providing enough space to for social distancing in some of our venues, especially in waiting areas, therefore to keep everyone safe:

  • Please only bring a support person with you if you really need to. If possible, please attend routine appointments on your own
  • Please don’t bring children with you to any appointments, including scans
  • Please attend at your appointment time, don’t arrive early
  • You and/or your support person may be asked to wait outside the venue until called in some circumstances
  • We do not own or control access to all venues, some GP surgeries and Children’s Centres are still not allowing support people at appointments. If you would like to bring a support person with you and your appointment is to be held in a GP surgery or Children’s Centre, please contact your GP surgery or midwife for local advice
  • Please ensure you wear a mask, use hand sanitiser and practice social distancing while at your appointment.

Thank you for your support with this.

From Monday 22 February pregnant women/people will be able to be accompanied at all obstetric scans. Safety of our patients and staff is paramount during the pandemic.

  • You can bring one support person only with you, ideally someone who lives with you or is in your ‘support bubble’
  • Your support person and you will be expected to wear a face mask, sanitise their hands and maintain social distancing as much as possible
  • Please do not bring children with you

This change is due to the reduction in Covid-19 cases in our communities and within our hospitals. The decision may need to be reviewed in future if case numbers increase.

Thank you for your support during this challenging time.

Friday 19 March 2021

We are very pleased to announce that we are are running a full home birth and Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU) service. Please see below for some important updates:

  • One birth partner can attend throughout labour and the birth
  • Visiting for the birth partner only is now 4 hour pre-booked slots on the antenatal, postnatal wards and Eastbourne Midwifery Unit (EMU).
  • One partner can attend all pregnancy scans

We are also pleased to say that the South East Coast Ambulance Service has improved and they are again able to offer support with emergency transfer to hospital, if needed.

Antenatal and postnatal appointments still continue to run from EMU during the day.

Thank you for your support during this very difficult time.

Because there has been some inaccurate information circulating, we want to reassure you that you will not be asked to wear a face mask during your labour.

The times when you will be asked to wear a facemask are:

  • when you come to the hospital for any antenatal or postnatal appointments
  • when you are transferring from one ward area to another
  • if you are admitted to stay with us, once you have been reviewed and your temperature is normal you can remove your facemask.

Thank you for your ongoing support and understanding.