COVID-19 Antenatal Care
We’re in the midst of a global health crisis and I’m mindful that many of you are feeling anxious about your health and that of your unborn baby.
North Shore Private and The Mater are in lockdown to keep you and the hospital staff safe. You can read more about the changes here.
The birthing units are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there are any issues with your pregnancy and you need help, you must call the labour ward and the midwives will assist you. In their ongoing efforts to keep labour wards safe, the midwives will ask screening questions before you come in. When answering, your honesty is paramount to keep midwives, staff, fellow patients, and doctors safe.
The screening questions are:
- Does the patient/partner have a fever and/or respiratory symptoms?
- Has the patient/partner travelled overseas within the last 14 days?
- Has the patient/partner had recent contact with a diagnosed case of COVID-19?
- Is the patient/partner waiting on a COVID-19 swab result?
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) is publishing the most up-to-date information in relation to pregnancy and COVID-19. You can find the information page here. Please also take the time to watch the video information message from the RANZCOG President Dr Vijay Roach.
One of the RANZCOG messages we want to reiterate is that, where possible, please work from home. Not only will you protect your health, but it will also limit exposure to COVID-19 to me and my lovely office manager Deb. Partners should also try to work from home to minimise their own risk.
Partners will also be asked screening questions prior to attending the birth suite. Partners that are unwell and answer positively to any of the screening questions will not be able to attend the birth suite. It may be worthwhile to think of another birth support person as a back-up who can be there if your partner is unwell.
Please be mindful of your health during this time and follow the guidelines that the Department of Health is recommending in order to reduce your risk of contracting the virus. This includes having your flu vaccination.
I’m mindful that anxiety during these uncertain times means that more patients are at risk of developing perinatal anxiety and depression. If you’re feeling more anxious, please let me know. Your GP can provide you with a Mental Health Care Plan for 10 free counselling sessions. Ask your GP if they’re providing patients with the option to conduct a consultation using Telehealth.
Here are some useful resources:
As the hospitals have had to close down their antenatal classes due to Department of Health regulations, there are some invaluable resources you can access online.
- North Shore Private Maternity FAQ
- Mater Hospital antenatal classes
- Sarah Howitt is a physiotherapist specialising in postnatal pelvic floor exercises. Her practice is setting up telehealth and virtual classes to help pre- and post-baby.
- Mater Maternity on Instagram
- Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond Information Session with Dr Charise Deveney
- Live Baby Massage Tutorials with Dr Charise Deveney
- Pamela Lam is a Pilates and Barr instructor. She is setting up pilates programs for new mums online. Call her on 0447 619 872, email via email@example.com or check her private Facebook group: Pilates with Pam – Pregnancy, Postnatal & Parenting Support
- Pregnancy, Birth and Baby is a national Australian Government service providing support and information for expecting parents and parents of children up to 5 years of age.
- BabyCenter is a digital parenting resource run by Australian health, pregnancy, and parenting experts.
- Acupuncture with Dr Kelton, who is still able to provide sessions at his practice.
This list is not exhaustive. If anyone knows of other valuable resources, please let Deb and I know as we hope to keep sharing information during these tough times.