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COVID support for all at-risk in pregnancy

Research shows that some pregnant women/people are more likely to require hospital treatment for COVID. Research is ongoing to explain the reasons why this is the case, so we can provide appropriate care. All pregnant women/people will now be offered the COVID vaccination.

If you are pregnant and any of the following apply:

  • You are from Black, Asian, another Ethnic Minority Group or Multiple Ethnic Minority groups
  • You are aged over 35 years old
  • Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 35 or over at your booking appointment
  • You have a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • You work in healthcare or any role that is public facing
  • You live in a household that is or considered as overcrowded.

Your midwife will be asking you at every antenatal check if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID. This is to keep you and your baby safe.

  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms only, please call 111 and they will be able to advise you
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms and another pregnancy related issue, please call Delivery Suite on 01582 502285 (for the Luton & Dunstable University Hospital – L&D) / 01234 795805 (for Bedford Hospital). Lines are open 24 hours a day.

The main symptoms of COVID are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you experience more severe symptoms, as listed below you should attend Accident and Emergency immediately:

  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty completing short sentences without needing to stop/gasp for air
  • Coughing blood
  • Pain or pressure in chest (other than with coughing)
  • Unable to keep liquids down
  • Less responsive than normal or becoming confused while talking
  • Drowsiness

We are here to support you

In these uncertain times, we want to support you with any anxieties you might be experiencing about coming to or staying in hospital. We would like you to know that we are here to help and support you.

  • If you need to be admitted to the Labour Ward / Delivery Suite or Midwifery Led Birthing Unit (MLBU), one birth partner who does not have COVID symptoms, has a negative Lateral Flow Test result can be with you to support you
  • We have translation services available both face to face and over the telephone if you need. Please ask your midwife to make arrangements for this
  • If you are staying on the ward, we are constantly reviewing the visiting times, so please ask your midwife for the most up to date visiting information during these restrictions. We have midwives, student midwives and support staff who are all there to support and help you. You are not alone
  • If you have any concerns regarding the care you’re receiving at either of our Hospitals, please contact Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS) on 01582 497990 (L&D) or 01234 795814 (Bedford).

 COVID Vaccinations for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers

There has been some hesitancy amongst pregnant/breastfeeding women around getting the COVID vaccination. This is understandable given the initial medical advice when the vaccination programme started in December 2020. However, on the 16 April 2021 the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) deemed the COVID vaccinations safe for pregnant / breastfeeding women and those trying for a baby. Nationally there is a low uptake of the vaccination amongst this group resulting in the NHS using every opportunity to encourage pregnant women to take up the offer of getting their vaccination.

This message has become incredibly important due to the increasing number of pregnant women contracting coronavirus, becoming very poorly and then requiring hospitalisation.

Various medical and maternity staff across the Bedford Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK) patch have come together to voice this public plea. Please take a look here:   https://youtu.be/26w5R5tGkvw

Further information about the COVID vaccinations in pregnancy can be found here.