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.
Full guidance on visiting a maternity or neonatal setting.
Antenatal and postnatal appointments
You should continue to attend your scheduled routine care when you're well. The majority of scheduled care will be in person.
However, how you receive some additional parts of your care may change. For example, you might have a Near-Me video call instead of an in-person visit. 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 organising your routine antenatal appointments.
Do not reduce your number of visits without speaking to your maternity team first.
Provided someone isn’t ill or showing any symptoms of coronavirus in levels (Tiers) 0 to 1, you can have one person accompany you to antenatal appointments and scans. One additional visitor may also be able to attend with you. In tier 2, one person can accompany you to all appointments.
In Tiers 3 to 4, one person can accompany you to the booking scan, 20-week scan and any emergency appointments to support you.
All arrangements are subject to local risk assessments and physical distancing.
Provided the 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 may be available online or face-to-face. This will be subject to physical distancing rules and depend on your local tier.
Please speak to your midwife to find out what’s available in your area. You can access online antenatal classes, use 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 the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak, some choices such as home birth were unavailable due to staff and patient safety concerns.
These restrictions are now changing and you should speak to your midwife or maternity team who will provide you with up to date information the options in your area.
Labour and your birth partner
In all tier levels your birth partner can be with you throughout induction, your labour and the birth of your baby, unless you need a general anaesthetic.
In Tier 0 to 2 areas you may have a second birth partner, subject to local risk assessments and physical distancing.
However, if they are self-isolating for suspected or confirmed coronavirus or have recently returned from a country requiring quarantine, they must not accompany you to the hospital.
You should think about who might be an alternative birth partner and you discuss this with your midwife.
In labour you may notice that midwives and the maternity team caring for you are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), such as aprons, masks or eye protection. These are to protect you and your baby and the staff caring for you by reducing the risk infection.
If you’re in labour and need extra support, like 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, such as a C-section, 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
Visitors should wear face coverings and any PPE instructed by the clinical team.
Face coverings should be similar to those 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
- using alcohol hand sanitiser, before entering and leaving the ward
- covering their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping or blowing their nose
Tissues should be disposed of in the bin provided and hand hygiene rules followed immediately afterwards.
Physical distancing should be maintained during visits and visitors must not visit other patients or other clinical areas during their visit.
If your visitors are unwell or have any symptoms of coronavirus or are self-isolating they will 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.
In all Tier areas (0 to 4) your one birth partner can visit you on the postnatal ward, However, they must not be unwell or have any symptoms of coronavirus or be self-isolating.
Visiting time may be restricted to support physical distancing so speak to your midwife to check the guidelines in your local area.
We understand this may be difficult. However, it's essential we limit the number of visitors to hospitals 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 soon as possible.
Your postnatal care will be discussed with you when you’re discharged, but you’ll 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 you'll want family and friends to meet your new baby. It’s 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 at home with your baby please contact your GP practice, 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 so many changes, it's normal to feel stressed or 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 issues, support is 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.