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Maternity (Obstetrics)

COVID-19 Changes to Maternity Services

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed from the 12 April 2021, visiting restrictions in maternity services will be relaxed further.

We know the additional relaxing of restrictions will be welcome news to women and their support partners as they will be able to share the experience of these important antenatal appointments and get the additional support they need throughout all stages of their pregnancy journey. These changes are applicable to both Bedford Hospital and the Luton and Dunstable University Hospital.

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 these relaxing of restrictions could change at short notice if it becomes unsafe to continue.

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

From 12 April 2021, 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 Monday 12 April 2021, one support partner will be allowed to visit for one hour per day on the postnatal wards.


Women can have one birthing partner to help provide that much needed extra support during all times whilst on the Delivery Suite. 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.

Whooping 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.
You can drop-in to the L&D Monday to Thursday 9am to 3pm, or if you would prefer to attend at a quieter time, you can call during this time to arrange an appointment. For those earlier in pregnancy, we will try to accommodate you after your 20-week scan.
Call 01582 491166 and ask for extension 2312.