RCOG Covid-19 Advice for Pregnant Women
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have issued advice to healthcare professionals to pass on to pregnant women during the recent Covid-19 (Corona Virus) outbreak.
If you are concerned about any symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider.
Travel advice for pregnant women
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the UK offers advice about travel safety that is regularly updated in line with the evolving situation. Pregnant women in the UK should follow the advice given by the FCO on the UK Government website.
All individuals, including pregnant women, should ensure that they have adequate insurance arrangements prior to travel. Finally, pregnant women should check that their travel insurance will provide cover for birth and care of a newborn baby in case they give birth while abroad.
General advice for pregnant women who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or are experiencing symptoms suggestive of COVID-19
Pregnant women concerned about exposure or symptoms indicating possible infection with COVID-19 in England, Wales or Northern Ireland should call NHS 111 or use the NHS’s 111 tool. In Scotland they should call their GP or NHS 24 (on 111) or visit NHS Inform for further advice and in Wales use the NHS Direct COVID-19 symptom checker. They should not visit their GP practice or attend A&E in person. If it is an emergency they should phone 999 and tell the operator of possible COVID-19 exposure.
Women with symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should be advised to self-isolate until advised otherwise, following advice given through the NHS services suggested above.
Advice regarding self-isolation for women with possible or confirmed COVID-19
Pregnant women who have been advised to self-isolate should stay indoors and avoid contact with others for 7 days. Public Health England currently provides guidance for:
- People who are advised to self isolate
- People who are living in the same accommodation as someone who is self-isolating
For women who are advised to self-isolate, the guidance currently recommends to:
- Not go to school, work, NHS settings or public areas
- Not use public transport
- Stay at home and not allow visitors
- Ventilate the rooms where they are by opening a window
- Separate themselves from other members of their household as far as possible, using their own towels, crockery and utensils and eating at different times
- Use friends, family or delivery services to run errands, but advise them to leave items outside
Women should be advised to contact their maternity care provider (e.g. midwife or antenatal clinic), to discuss attendance for routine antenatal appointments. See below for specific hospital guidance.
Pregnant women who are due to attend routine maternity appointments in the UK should contact their maternity care provider, to inform them that they are currently in self-isolation for possible/confirmed COVID-19, and request advice on attendance.
Pregnant women are advised not to attend maternity triage units or A&E unless in need of urgent obstetric or medical care. If women are concerned and require urgent medical advice, they are encouraged to call the maternity triage unit in the first instance. If attendance at the maternity unit or hospital is advised, pregnant women are requested to travel by private transport and alert the maternity triage reception once on the premises, prior to entering the hospital.
Diagnosis of COVID-19
The process of COVID-19 diagnosis is changing rapidly. If diagnostic tests are advised, pregnant women should follow advice given, which should not be altered based on pregnancy status.
In the UK, pregnant women should be investigated and diagnosed as per local/ Public Health England/ Health Protection Scotland criteria. Obstetricians and midwives should liaise with their local virology service/ health protection team for further details about arrangements for testing and notification reporting of a positive test result. women are requested to travel by private transport and alert the maternity triage reception once on the premises, prior to entering the hospital.