Last updated: 22/07/2020
Who can I speak to if I’m worried about my pregnancy or my baby during COVID-19?
Maternity care is still essential during the COVID-19 pandemic and services are still running. If you have any concerns about your pregnancy, it’s important to call your GP, midwife, nearest early pregnancy unit or maternity unit as soon as possible.
If you are asked to visit the hospital, it is because this is the safest thing for you and your baby. Health professionals have put lots of measures in place to protect you during the pandemic.
If you are from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background, you may have additional appointments. Your maternity team may refer you to a doctor or specialist clinic if there are any concerns about the health of you or your baby.
"No question is too silly to ask. As midwives, there is absolutely no topic out of bounds, or that we will shy away from answering, even if you feel embarrassed to ask it. We’re on your side, throughout pregnancy."
Sophie, Tommy's Midwife
In many cases symptoms can be treated easily and will not lead to a serious complication. But sometimes they are signs of something more serious and you should always get them checked. Symptoms can include:
- Stomach (abdominal) pain or cramps
- Baby movement's
- Increased discharge
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Swollen hands and feet
- Vision problems
- High temperature
For more information, you can use our symptom checker.
What if I have symptoms of COVID-19?
Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- high temperature
- shortness of breath
- loss or change to your sense of smell or tastes.
You should contact your maternity unit to tell them that you have symptoms of COVID-19. This is particularly important if you have any routine appointments in the next 7 days.
If you develop more severe symptoms, or if it is taking you longer to recover, this may be a sign that you may need specialised care. If you feel your symptoms are getting worse, or if you are not getting better, you should contact your maternity care team, GP, or use the NHS 111 online service / NHS 24. In an emergency, call 999. Tell them if you think you are at higher risk of complications.
What do I do if I think I’m going in labour?
Once labour gets going, your contractions will become more regular and will not go away. Call your midwife, birth centre or hospital labour ward when you are having a contraction every 5 minutes that last 30–60 seconds.
If you go into labour while self-isolating for COVID-19, you should call your maternity unit for advice, and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. If your symptoms are mild, they will encourage you to stay at home in early labour, which is usual practice.
Your maternity team will make sure you get safe and high-quality care, respecting your birth choices as much as possible.
When you attend the maternity unit:
- you should take private transport where possible, or call 111/999 for advice
- a member of your team will meet you at the maternity unit entrance and give you a face mask, which you will need to wear until you are isolated in a room.
Find out more about COVID-19 on our FAQs page.
What do I do if I am bleeding?
If you have any bleeding during your pregnancy, with or without pain, it is very important to get it checked. It is common to have light bleeding or ‘spotting’ without pain before 12 weeks. This is not often serious, but you should contact your GP, midwife or local early pregnancy unit straight away.
A telephone appointment will be arranged for you as soon as possible with your local early pregnancy unit. They will check your symptoms and check whether you have possible symptoms of COVID-19 to make sure you get the safest care.
If you are bleeding very heavily or feel very unwell, you should contact your GP for advice. If this is not possible, you should attend A&E.
If you are more than 12 weeks pregnant, contact A&E or your hospital maternity unit immediately so you can be checked.
What do I do if I think my baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped?
If you are more than 24 weeks pregnant and your baby’s movements have stopped or slowed down, you should contact your midwife or local maternity unit immediately. Do not wait until the next day or next appointment.
You should also contact your midwife if you have not felt your baby move by 24 weeks. From 18-24 weeks, you should feel the baby move more and more. After 32 weeks, the movements will stay roughly the same until you give birth.
You should continue to feel your baby move right up to the time you go into labour and during labour.
We're here to support you
Although we've had to temporarily close our support line as our midwives have moved to homeworking, our Tommy's midwives are still here to support you.
We are working hard to provide the best support and information we can during a time of extra anxiety and worry for pregnant women and their families.
Watch out for updates and contact us on the following platforms:
If you have non-urgent questions, we have developed Tommy's Midwife, a skill for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa that answers many pregnancy queries, including some about COVID-19.
Read more about the Tommy's Midwife voice-activated skill.
The NHS is taking urgent action to protect expectant mums from a black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) background during the coronavirus crisis, as new research shows these women face an increased risk.
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