People who are pregnant don’t appear to be more susceptible to coronavirus (COVID-19) than the general population, but are generally more susceptible to infection.
If you get coronavirus during your pregnancy it's likely that you:
- won't be more seriously unwell than other healthy adults
- will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu-like symptoms
More about coronavirus symptoms and when to phone 111
You should continue to follow health advice during your pregnancy, including:
You should contact your midwife or maternity team immediately if you think your baby’s movements have slowed down, stopped or changed.
Antenatal and postnatal appointments
You should continue to attend your scheduled routine care when you're well. How you receive some of your care may change, for example by phone or by Near-me video call instead of in-person. Your maternity team will speak to you about this.
If you have symptoms of coronavirus and are self-isolating, please ask your midwife or antenatal clinic for advice on going to routine antenatal appointments. Do not reduce your number of visits without speaking to your maternity team first.
You can now choose one supportive person (children are still not permitted) to accompany you to antenatal appointments and scans, provided that person is not ill or showing any symptoms of coronavirus. If you need additional support, the supportive person can be accompanied by a:
- parent (in the case of a minor) - this person should not be counted as a visitor.
Group antenatal classes are now restarting online or face to face subject to physical distancing being adhered to. Please speak to your midwife to find out what is available in your area. You can access online antenatal classes (using the access code TARTAN) and discuss the content with your midwife at your next appointment.
If you are well, you should be able to attend your antenatal care as normal, and in order to receive your whooping cough vaccine.
If you have symptoms of possible coronavirus infection, you should contact your midwife to postpone your vaccination appointment until after the isolation period is over.
Stay updated about immunisations on our immunisation pages and follow the @NHSImmuniseScot twitter account for updated advice on immunisation.
Getting your baby box
You can still register for your baby box at one of your antenatal appointments and it will be delivered within 4 weeks of your due date. If you have coronavirus your midwife will be able to register on your behalf.
During this pandemic, some birth choices such as the homebirth service were unavailable due to staff and patient safety concerns. These restrictions are now changing and all Health Boards should be able to provide all choices to women including home births. You should speak to your midwife or maternity team who will provide you with up to date information on your options in your area.
Labour and your birth partner
Your birth partner can be with you during your labour and the birth of your baby and where local arrangements allow a second birth partner, if requested. However, if they have any symptoms of coronavirus, they must not accompany you to the hospital. You may want to think about who might be an alternative birth partner in that case.
In labour you may notice that midwives and the maternity team caring for you are wearing protective clothing such as aprons, masks or eye protection. These measures protect you and your baby, the staff caring for you and reduce the risk of spreading infection.
If you are in labour and you require additional support, for example of a carer, advocate or translator, or in the case of a minor, a parent, this person should not be counted as a visitor.
If you are being induced, your birth partner can accompany you from the beginning of the induction process, if it is possible to maintain a reasonable level of physical distancing from other patients.
If you are required to have an operative birth, your birth partner should also be allowed to be there, except when a general anaesthetic is needed.
Giving birth with suspected or confirmed coronavirus
There is no evidence currently to suggest that if you have coronavirus, giving birth vaginally or by caesarean has any difference in risks or benefits for you or your baby. As a precautionary approach, if you've suspected or confirmed coronavirus, you'll be advised to give birth in an obstetric unit. This is so the maternity team looking after you have the facilities in which to monitor your oxygen levels and the baby’s heartbeat. You'll be cared for in a dedicated area to keep you, your baby and staff as safe as possible.
Visiting rules within the maternity unit
When you, your birth partner or key visitor are attending the maternity unit, including to attend an appointment, a face covering should be worn where it’s not always possible to maintain a 2 metre distance from other people. The face covering should be similar to those that are now mandatory on public transport and in shops. Everyone must also adhere to strict hand and respiratory hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water, or using alcohol hand gel, before entering and leaving the ward and covering their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping or blowing their nose. These should be disposed of immediately in the bin and hand hygiene rules followed immediately afterwards.
Physical distancing should be maintained during visits and visitors should not visit other patients or other clinical areas during their visit. If your visitors are unwell or have any symptoms of coronavirus they should not be permitted to visit. All visitors should check local guidance and can also refer to Scottish Government national guidance on hospital visiting
Partners visiting after birth
Following birth, your baby and you will be moved to a ward. You can now choose one key visitor in addition to your birth partner, to visit you on the postnatal ward provided they are not unwell or have any symptoms of coronavirus. Please speak to your midwife to see the guidelines in your local area. Whilst we understand that this may be difficult, it's essential that we limit the number of visitors to hospitals during this time to protect other pregnant women, their babies, and staff.
Taking your baby home
If you and your baby are well you will be discharged home as quickly as possible. Your postnatal care will be discussed with you when you are discharged, but be reassured that you will get the support and care you need from your maternity team.
More information on caring for your newborn baby
Once home, your midwifery service, health visitor and family nurse will support you. We know that you'll want family and friends to meet your new baby. It is recommended you continue to follow government advice on physical distancing.
If you become unwell when you get home
If you become unwell in any way whilst at home with your baby please contact your GP, midwife or maternity unit.
- For non-emergency concerns do not hesitate to phone NHS 24 on 111.
- If it's an emergency phone 999.
If you are concerned about your physical or mental health or the health of your baby in any way do not wait to seek help. Phone your midwife or maternity unit straight away.
Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing
With all the changes happening it's normal to feel stressed and anxious. Parent Club has some helpful tips for managing anxiety during pregnancy
If you're worried about your mental health and wellbeing or have existing mental health difficulties, support is still available It's important to let your midwife know as they'll be able to help you put the right support in place.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has more detailed guidance about COVID-19 for people who are pregnant including on self-isolating and guidance for pregnant people in the workplace.