If you have any worries regarding your maternity care, your points of contact have not changed. Your community midwife is available on their individual phone numbers. Contact can also be made by ringing either of the consultant units in Carlisle or Whitehaven.
All areas of maternity care are doing their best to protect you from the risk of the coronavirus. Our already thorough cleaning regimes have been enhanced and we have rearranged waiting areas to comply with social distancing advice from the government.
We have also asked that women attend their routine antenatal care (community midwife, scans, and hospital appointments) alone; the only exception being where childcare is unavailable as the safety of your previous children take priority.
We understand that this might be hard for some people and apologise for the difficulties this may cause but it is essential we reduce the number of people in face-to-face contact to reduce the spread of infection.
When appropriate, midwives will be wearing personal protective equipment to protect both themselves and those in their care. We have clear guidance from the Royal Colleges of Obstetrics, Midwives and Anaesthetists which we are following in this regard. This advice is changing regularly but we are committed to following the latest guidance.
All women will have received a message via the maternity notes app with regards to their antenatal care. An individual care plan will be developed with your midwife and consultant. Wherever possible this will be based on a telephone service but there are times when a face-to-face appointment is necessary.
This situation is ever changing so please keep an eye on your maternity notes app for further information. If you are planned to attend the delivery suite for care such as an induction of labour or elective caesarean section that appointment will not change, however it is essential you report any symptoms you or your household may have developed so we can plan safe care accordingly.
If you are attending the Maternity Day Assessment Units, Antenatal Clinics please can you inform staff of any onset of COVID-19 related symptoms for yourself or anyone in your home before attending any of these areas.
Birth Place Choices
All births are now taking place on delivery suite. We are unable to offer a homebirth service at the moment. The hospital remains a safe place to deliver your baby. There are hand sanitising stations throughout the hospital and we ask you to wash your hands with soap and water frequently and for at least 20 seconds as per the government advice.
Current guidance from the Royal College of Gynaecology states that women that are suspected of or are COVID-19 positive should not use the birthing pool as there is a risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus through faeces.
RCOG Corona virus (COVID-19) Infection in Pregnancy Version 5, March 2020
Women are asked to attend their appointments alone wherever possible; the only exception being where childcare is unavailable as the safety of your previous children takes priority. However we must stress this is only where an alternative option (such as your partner) is not available. We understand that this has the potential to impact upon anxiety levels however the scan rooms and triage rooms are small and this makes social distancing impractical.
When you attend in labour you are permitted to bring one birth partner with you who can stay for the duration of your labour. You may then have the same partner visit you on the postnatal ward, no other visitors will be permitted.
If you or your partner smoke you may wish to consider nicotine replacement therapy as we are reducing the number of people entering/exiting the unit. Women can access this via our smoking cessation services and partners will find it available from your local pharmacist. When you go into labour you will phone the triage number as normal. Attending the unit is your own responsibility and will vary based on individual needs. We advise you make a plan in advance of labour and we ask that you do not call an ambulance unless medically indicated.
For the time being we have had to postpone our antenatal classes. We understand this is a big disappointment to some people however it is the only safe option at the moment in line with national social distancing guidance.
The topics covered in your antenatal classes include healthy pregnancy, what to expect from labour and birth, relaxation techniques, medical interventions in labour, feeding your baby and emotions in pregnancy and postnatal. We would advise you to speak to your midwife so she can answer any questions you may have.
What if I have coronavirus?
Generally speaking we are unable to routinely test women for COVID-19 at this moment in time.
If a woman is symptomatic, you and your partner will be asked to wear a surgical mask on entering the maternity unit and for the duration of your stay. You will be shown to an appropriate room on admission. Those who are caring for you will wear appropriate personal protective equipment, this can seem quite daunting but it is there to protect you and the staff caring for you.
You can still use the Entonox (gas and air) but will be asked to use a mask rather than a mouth piece to reduce transmission to those around you. Your partner can support you in labour as usual however if they are displaying symptoms or isolating due to COVID-19 it would be advisable to consider an alternative birth partner to be able to support you. This is in line with RCOG guidance.
Your postnatal care will be developed on an individual basis. When you are discharged from the hospital your community midwife will be informed of your return home. The midwife will phone you the following day and arrange an appropriate care plan. We will still see you at home when needed but will also be offering a regular telephone service.
We understand how difficult it will be to not have visitors when you have had your baby, both at the hospital and at home. We urge you to use technology in this time and stay in touch with your families and friends using video calling and photo sharing as well as voice calls. We appreciate that isolation can feel lonely, more so when you have a new baby, and encourage you to reach out to your support network on a regular basis.
Feeding your baby
Current evidence advises that the benefits of breastfeeding outweigh potential risks of not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding support remains in place for those who need it.
Those who are bottle feeding their baby must continue to follow strict hygiene procedures for sterilising and making up bottles and ensure you wash your hands before doing so. If you are struggling to get hold of formula milk for your baby please speak to your local pharmacist who will be able to help you.
If you have symptoms of COVID-10 consideration should be given to wearing a face mask while feeding your baby to reduce the risk of droplets passing from you to your baby. Your midwife will be able to guide you on this.
The health visitor will be advised of your discharge to their care at around 10 days of age as normal.
For information on birth registrations please visit: https://cumbria.gov.uk/registrationservice/births/births.asp
The Baby Buddy app guides you through your pregnancy and the first 6 months following your baby's birth. It is designed to help you look after your baby's mental and physical health, as well as your own, and give your baby the best start in life. Find out more at: https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/baby-buddy/
Penrith Birth Centre
Penrith Birth Centre
West Cumberland Hospital
West Cumberland Hospital
Community midwives contact numbers:
Appleby: 01768 54959
Brampton: 016977 41365
Carlisle: 01228 814872
Cockermouth: 01900 705760
Copeland: 01946 523229
Keswick and Penrith: 01768 245558
Maryport: 01900 811840
Wigton: 016973 66609
Workington: 01900 705033
Your first midwife appointment usually lasts about 1 hour. Appointments can take place in your home, or in your local GP surgery, hospital or children’s centre.
During the appointment we’ll ask you some questions to help us make sure you get the right care. We may also carry out some checks and tests such as urine and blood pressure checks.
We’ll also tell you about the other appointments you’re likely to be invited to and explain how each of them will work. You can also ask us questions and talk to us about anything that’s worrying you.
At this appointment, we’ll also talk to you about your maternity notes. You need to take these with you wherever you go in case you need medical attention. You can either have a printed copy of your maternity notes or you can download an app. The app allows you to be paper free and:
- keep track of appointments
- see your antenatal and postnatal information
- document your pregnancy with photographs
During your pregnancy you'll be invited for:
- 10 pregnancy appointments to check the health and development of you and your baby (7 if you’ve had a child before)
- routine checks and screening tests e.g. blood tests and ultrasound baby scans
- antenatal care classes to help you prepare for your baby’s birth
After your baby is born you'll be invited for:
- vaccinations for flu and whooping cough
- postnatal care and clinics
- breastfeeding support at home and weekly support groups
Whether you have already made your booking appointment with your GP practice, or whether you still require a booking appointment with the midwife, we would like you to send over some details. This allows the midwives in your area to give you access to the new Maternity Notes App and book in your first appointment if not already booked.
Once the midwife has received your online referral, they will set you up with access to your maternity notes through the app/website and email you with further instructions on how to register with your email address and password.
The app will help you to keep track of appointments, track your pregnancy journey, see your antenatal and postnatal information and upload pictures of you, your bump and your baby to document your journey. Using the app means you will no longer need to carry around handheld paper notes, all your pregnancy information will be available on your phone with the tap of a few buttons!
Please click on the name of the team closest to you in the list below.
This will open an email for you to complete, these mailboxes are checked on a daily basis, and your community midwives will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please check your email spam folder.
In preparation for your midwife sending through your registration information, please download the 'Maternity Notes' app on the Apple App Store or Google Play store. It should look like the icon below and is provided by Clevermed Ltd.
If you can't access the app, you can go to www.pregnotes.net.
Cumberland InfirmaryCumberland Infirmary
Penrith Birth CentrePenrith Birth Centre
West Cumberland HospitalWest Cumberland Hospital
Community midwives contact numbers:
- Appleby: 01768 54959
- Brampton: 016977 41365
- Carlisle: 01228 814872
- Cockermouth: 01900 705760
- Copeland: 01946 523229
- Keswick and Penrith: 01768 245558
- Maryport: 01900 811840
- Wigton: 016973 66609
- Workington: 01900 705033