New NHS Guidance For Partners

Published on: 17/12/2020

MAMA Academy welcomes the NHS guidance around support for women throughout pregnancy and childbirth – which urges NHS hospitals to allow women to have a supporting person with them throughout their care, as long as they do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

The new guidance will ask maternity units to complete more risk assessments to enable pregnant women to have access to support from a person of her choosing whilst also preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19 and protecting pregnant women and NHS professionals.

The guidance asks NHS hospitals to “welcome the woman and her support person, regarding them as an integral part of both the woman and baby’s care throughout and not as a visitor”. It includes making sure that women can safely take a support person/ partner to:

the early pregnancy unit

all antenatal scans

other antenatal appointments where the woman considers it important to have support

labour and birth from the point of attendance at the hospital or midwifery unit.

What does this mean for pregnant women? 

You and your partner may be asked to complete a COVID-19 test on arrival.

You and your partner will need to wear face coverings to appointments.

You and your partner must keep to the 2m social distancing rule.

Your partner may be asked to wear further protective clothing (PPE), as instructed by your maternity team.

Your maternity team will let you know where to wait – this may mean waiting in your car until called to reduce the numbers in the waiting areas.

If you or your partner tests positive for COVID-19, you will be able to speak to your maternity team about the next steps – you will be able to select an alternative support person who has not tested positive.

If your baby needs extra support after birth and is admitted to a neonatal unit, you will be offered a test at regular intervals. If these tests are positive, you will be offered video access to your baby if required to self-isolate.

MAMA Academy very much hopes that NHS Trusts will be able to carry out their risk assessments quickly and that tests are made readily available to start reducing the stress and anxiety that expectant parents are currently experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The full publication can be viewed here.