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Maternity (Obstetrics)

COVID-19 Changes to Maternity Services

From 19 July 2021, one visitor a day is now allowed to stay for two hours on our postnatal wards across both hospital maternity units. Other restrictions at both units will remain.

These changes are applicable to both Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

Although from 19th July regulations changed across the country around wearing facemasks and social distancing. At Bedfordshire Hospitals all COVID infection prevention measures remain.

To help protect the health and safety of everyone accessing our maternity units we still need you to:

  • Wear a facemask (unless exempt)
  • Keep your distance
  • Sanitise/wash your hands
  • Take a Lateral Flow Test before (up to 72hrs) attending the hospital (wherever possible) – this includes support partners.

When there are higher incidences of COVID-19 cases locally we have to be extremely careful about further lifting visiting restrictions. As such, it’s important to note that relaxing of restrictions could change at short notice if it becomes unsafe to continue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about maternity restrictions at Bedfordshire Hospitals can be found here: Maternity FAQs

We know that during pregnancy, your birth and beyond are crucial times when women and their families need our support the most and we take great pride and commitment to provide safe, supportive and compassionate maternity care.

Antenatal appointments

One support partner will be allowed to accompany women at ALL antenatal and scan appointments.

We are encouraging all pregnant women and their support partners to use the rapid coronavirus (COVID) testing service (also known as Lateral Flow Testing) ahead of attending their antenatal/scan appointments.. You can get a rapid test at various testing centres across Bedfordshire. We ask all pregnant women and support partners to be tested no more than 72hrs before their appointment date. Full details about this can be found here.

Postnatal wards visitors

From 19 July 2021, one visitor a day is now allowed to stay for two hours on our postnatal wards across both hospital maternity units.


Women can have one birthing partner to help provide that much needed extra support during all times whilst on the Delivery Suite, not just in established labour. Birthing partners must not attend if unwell, particularly if they have symptoms such as a temperature, headache, cough, breathing difficulties, or if they are self-isolating. If your birthing partner is unwell, you may nominate someone else to be with you in labour.

Induction of labour

If you require an induction of labour, and you need to be admitted to the ward to start the induction process, your birthing partner will not be able to be with you while you are on the ward. This is to help us keep everyone who uses our services as safe as possible. Once your labour is established or you’re transferred to the delivery suite your birthing partner can join you. The midwives looking after you will advise when you are ready for transfer to labour ward, so that your birthing partner can join you.

Elective Caesarean Section

All elective C-Sections for clinical needs are proceeding as normal on both hospital sites. Elective C-Sections by maternal requests (where there is no clinical need) are being assessed on an individual case by case basis across both hospital sites.

Whopping vaccination – at the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital

We are providing a catch-up opportunity for women who may have missed their whooping cough vaccination.

Due to social distancing restrictions, this service is appointment only and takes place on Wednesdays between 08.15am and 1.45pm.  For appointments, please call 01582 497952.

COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines available in the UK have been shown to be effective and to have a good safety profile. These vaccines do not contain live coronavirus and cannot infect a pregnant woman or her unborn baby in the womb.

We hope our video below helps you make a decision on having the vaccine, to protect you and your baby.