In these challenging circumstances, our maternity services are here to support you. See below a range of information based on frequently asked questions we have received from those expecting a baby, and their families.

Our number one priority when you enter the hospital is to offer you as much protection as possible and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please help us to help you by following the COVID-19 guidance below.

If you'd like to share your feedback on this COVID-19 maternity webpage, click here.

More detailed information in leaflet form is available under the 'Information' tab below, in multiple languages.

COVID-19 Information / معلومات / Informacja / তথ্য / 信息 / માહિતી / ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ / Informação / معلومات

English

Coronavirus:  Planning your birth

Coronavirus:  Looking after yourself and your baby in pregnancy

Coronavirus:  Parent Information for newborn babies

Coronavirus:  Illness in newborn babies

COVID-19 Isolating at Home Safety-Netting Leaflet

How to look after yourself at home if you have coronavirus

Pregnancy and coronavirus


عربى            (Arabic)

فايروس كورونا: التخطيط لولادتك

فايروس كورونا: كيف تعتني بنفسك وبطفلك أثناء فترة الحمل

فايروس كورونا: معلومات الوالدين لألطفال حديثي الوالدة

املرض عند األطفال حديثي الوالدة


বাংলা               (Bengali)

করোনাভাইরাস: নবজাতকের জন্য পিতামাতার তথ্য 
(Parent Information for Newborns)

নবজাতক শিশুদের মধ্যে অসুস্থতা 
(Illness in newborns)


廣東話    (Cantonese)

冠狀病毒:計劃生育

冠狀病毒病: 懷孕期間照顧自己和 寶寶

冠狀病毒:新生兒的父母信息

新生兒疾病


Français         (French)

Coronavirus: Planifier la naissance

Coronavirus : Vous occuper de vous et de votre bébé pendant la grossesse

Coronavirus:  informations pour les parents de nouveau-nés

Maladies chez les nouveau-nés


ગુજરાતી    (Gujarati)

કોરોનાવાયરસ: તમારા જન્મની યોજના

કોરોનાવાયરસ: ગર્ભાવસ્થામાં તમારી અને બાળકની સંભાળ રાખવી

કોરોનાવાયરસ: નવજાત માટે માતાપિતાની માહિતી

નવજાત બાળકોમાં બીમારી


普通话         (Mandarin)

冠状病毒:计划生育

冠状病毒: 照顾自己和 腹中宝宝

冠状病毒:给新生儿父母的信息

新生儿疾病


Polski             (Polish)

Koronawirus:  Planowanie porodu

Koronawirus: Jak dbać o siebie i nienarodzone dziecko w ciąży

Koronawirus: informacje dla rodziców noworodków

Choroby noworodków


Portuguesa (Portuguese)

Coronavírus:  Planeamento do nascimento

Coronavírus: Cuidar de si e do seu bebé na gravidez

Coronavírus: informações para os pais acerc dos recém-nascidos

Doença no recém-nascido


ਪੰਜਾਬੀ            (Punjabi)

ਕੋਰੋਨਾਵਾਇਰਸ: ਆਪਣੇ ਜਨਮ ਦੀ ਯੋਜਨਾ ਬਣਾ ਰਹੇ ਹੋ

ਕੋਰੋਨਾਵਾਇਰਸ: ਗਰਭ ਅਵਸਥਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੇ ਅਤੇ ਬੱਚੇ ਦੀ ਦੇਖਭਾਲ

ਕੋਰੋਨਾਵਾਇਰਸ: ਨਵਜੰਮੇ ਬੱਚਿਆਂ ਦੇ ਮਾਪਿਆਂ ਲਈ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ

ਨਵਜੰਮੇ ਵਿਚ ਬਿਮਾਰੀ


اردو                 (Urdu)

کوروناویرس: آپ کی پیدائش کی منصوبہ بندی کر رہا ہے

کورونا وائرس: حمل میں اپنے اور بچے کی دیکھ بھال کرنا

کورونا وائرس: نوزائیدہ بچوں کے والدین کے لئے معلومات

نوزائيده بچوں ميں بيماری

Maternity safety information for BAME communities

Topics covered in these resources are:

  • If you are pregnant and Black, Black British or Asian, Asian British – you might be more vulnerable.
  • Trust your instincts – call your midwife or maternity team anytime if you are worried about your pregnancy or if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • It is safe to attend for your care and appointments during the pandemic.
  • Is your mood ok? Who to speak to if it is not ok.
  • What to do if you miss an appointment.
  • Signs of labour and what to do if you think you are in labour.
  • What to do if you have signs and symptoms of pre-eclampsia.
  • The importance of taking Vitamin D.
  • Feeling safe in your own home and how to find support if you don’t.
  • Looking after you and your unborn baby.

Click here to access the resources.

Symptoms and shielding

If you are experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms below, please contact your community midwife to postpone or re-book your antenatal clinic appointments or scans until your isolation period is over, in line with national guidance:

  • A new, continuous cough
  • A high temperature or fever
  • A loss of, or change to, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • Living with someone who is isolating or has ​COVID-19 symptom​s
  • Be waiting for a COVID test or the results of a COVID test

The most recent guidance for pregnancy and shielding and FAQ’s can be found here.

 
Content last reviewed 24 December 2020.

Antenatal clinic appointments

All antenatal outpatient appointments at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital and East Lancashire community midwifery clinics are still taking place.

It may be that your appointment is carried out over the phone. If this is the case for you, the Trust will contact you directly to let you know. If you are not contacted regarding this, please attend your booked antenatal clinic appointment or scan as normal.

From Monday 12 April 2021, partners are welcome to accompany pregnant people to all antenatal scans and consultations. If your appointment is at Royal Blackburn or Burnley General Teaching Hospital, or one of our Birth Centres, you do not need to do anything further. If your appointment is at your GP or another primary care setting, please call ahead to check that they will allow a partner to attend.

Whilst attending your appointment, please be assured that all necessary health and safety precautions, in-line with national guidance, have been implemented. Face masks are available for you to wear when required (your midwife or doctor will advise you about this when you attend your appointment).

 

Content last reviewed 12 April 2021.

Ultrasound scans

Important information for patients using maternity services

From Monday 12 April 2021, partners are welcome to accompany pregnant people to all antenatal scans.

Face masks must be worn by everyone including staff and visitors; these are provided at the entrance to the hospital. Social distancing must be adhered to.

You or your partner must not currently have, or in the ten days prior to the scan:

  • A new, continuous cough
  • A high temperature or fever
  • A loss of, or change to, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • Living with someone who is isolating or has ​COVID-19 symptom​s
  • Be waiting for a COVID test or the results of a COVID test

If you, your partner, or anyone you live with have symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19 then please contact your midwife for advice before attending your appointment.

 

At Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre, Burnley General Teaching Hospital


Pregnant people may enter the building with their partner to book in at reception, and then partners will wait at the ambulance bay entrance (at the side of the Women and Newborn Centre). If there is sufficient space, security staff will guide you to a socially distanced waiting area.

Pregnant people will stay in the waiting area of the relevant department until they are called in for their scan. They will then be able to call or text their partner to come in to the building for the scan. Partners will be provided with an orange laminated slip by the security personnel so that staff can be made aware that they are attending for a scan.

On entering the room, there will be designated chairs for partners, in order to maintain maximum social distance. On completion of the scan, your partner will leave and wait for you outside at the ambulance bay, or in the car park.

 

At Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital

Pregnant people may enter the building through Entrance B (the Grane Restaurant) with their partner to book in at reception, and then partners will wait at the entrance to be called in. If there is sufficient space, security staff will guide you to a socially distanced waiting area.

Pregnant people will stay in the waiting area of the relevant department until they are called in for their scan. They will then be able to call or text their partner to come in for the scan. Partners will be provided with an orange laminated slip by the security personnel so that staff can be made aware that they are attending for a scan.

On entering the room, there will be designated chairs for partners, in order to maintain maximum social distance. On completion of the scan, your partner will leave and wait for you outside at Entrance B, or in the car park.

 
Content last reviewed 12 April 2021.

Visitor guidance

You must not attend the hospital under any circumstances if you have any of the following COVID-19 symptoms.

- A new, continuous cough
- A high temperature
- A loss of, or change to, your normal sense of taste or smell
- If you or someone you are living with who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19 or awaiting a COVID-19 test result
- If you have been asked to self-isolate following contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

You will be asked to replace the mask you have worn to the hospital with a surgical mask, provided by the ward staff. Please keep your mask on for the duration of your visit. 

If your mask becomes damp and requires changing, please ask a member of staff for a replacement.

Please keep to the left on corridors and adhere to social distancing at all times.

Take-aways, balloons and flowers are not permitted on the wards at any time.


Antenatal Ward and Triage

From Monday 10 May, one nominated support partner will be permitted on the Antenatal Ward and Triage (There are no time restrictions and nominated partners can be present 24 hours a day). Face masks must be worn at all times, hand gel and hand washing station are available at the ward entrance.

The pregnant person will identify their nominated partner prior to admission to the ward and inform staff of the relevant details required. Children will not be permitted in line with the hospital visiting policy.

We provide many different services from the Antenatal Ward. We only have one entrance/exit therefore we have to be extra vigilant with the amount of foot fall at the ward entrance.

Please note that all visiting partners will be expected to fully comply with current hospital guidance.


Central Birth Suite and Birth Centres

Two nominated birth partners may accompany a person in labour.

We understand the Government has exemptions in place regarding birth partners. However, due to the high and rising number of cases in our community, the current 'lockdown' restrictions, and pregnant people being classed a vulnerable group, we would highly recommend birthing partners are from either the same household or support bubble.

This guidance is to reduce the risk of households mixing and the potential cross-infection from anyone who is asymptomatic and for the safety of people in labour, their babies and our staff.

We would very much appreciate your support in helping us to keep everyone who is involved in your birth as safe as possible. This includes other patients, all staff or anyone else who you may come into contact with.

Both birthing partners must not have received a positive test for COVID-19, be awaiting the result of a COVID-19 test, be displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or have been asked to self-isolate following contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive.

On arrival, birth partners are encouraged to ensure they have everything they need with them. This is to minimise the number of times they leave the room, and the building, during their partner's time in hospital.

Only one birth partner will be permitted to accompany a woman in labour who has planned or emergency surgical assistance during labour (such as a C-section or ventouse), in line with theatre guidance, which has been in place before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please be aware that the secondary birth partner may be asked to leave the room during labour, should social distancing become difficult due to the number of clinical staff required. 

If you are experiencing contractions in spontaneous (natural) labour and come to have your baby at the central birth suite or any of the birth centres, your partner(s) will not have to wait outside until your labour is assessed.

Children should not attend the hospital setting with their mothers for any routine appointments or scans. They are also unable to visit siblings on the postnatal ward.


Postnatal Ward

From 12 of May 2021, one nominated partner between 11am - 11pm will be able to visit the Postnatal Ward. These times have been discussed and agreed to maintain the safety of our service users , their partners and babies.

The mother will identify their nominated partner upon admission to the ward and inform staff of the relevant details required. Children will not be permitted in line with the hospital visiting policy.

Please note that all visiting partners will be expected to fully comply with current hospital guidance.

Security personnel and ward staff will monitor admission to both the hospital and the ward area for nominated visitors.

Currently full visiting is being reviewed in line with Government recommendations, and we will update with further restoration plans when we are in a position to have siblings and further visitors.


Visitors must adhere to our guidance at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust at all times, or visiting will not be permitted. These guidelines are in place to protect our patients, staff and community, we appreciate your continued support.


Access to Lancashire Women and Newborn Centre (LWNC)

Due to the entry and exit restrictions, women in labour and their birth partners are required to enter via the ambulance entrance of the LWNC building.

 

Content last reviewed 14 April 2021.

Birthing locations

As of Thursday 7 January, Rossendale Birth Centre will be suspended for births until the end of August 2021.

The reason for this is due to the ongoing vaccination programme for the Rossendale area, which requires the use of the birthing centre at Rawtenstall. The change to the service has been specifically requested by East Lancashire CCG.

Although births at Rossendale Birth Centre will be suspended from the 7 January, the Rossendale Birth Centre Clinic will be relocated from the 11 January, to the main Rawtenstall Hub attached to the Birth Centre on the second floor.

Clear signage will be in place for anyone attending antenatal clinic appointments to direct you to the new location.

Anxiety and concerns

You may be worried and have lots of questions at this time. Tommy's mental wellbeing page has some useful advice for  taking care of yourself before, during and after pregnancy.

How to cope with a crying baby

Click here to view information on help and emotional support for parents during pregnancy, and the first year after having a baby.

 

Content last reviewed 24 December 2020.

Lateral flow tests for pregnant people and support partners

Health and development reviews for parent and baby

You should expect to be invited to take your baby for a check with your GP at around six to eight weeks after they are born.  As part of an overall check of the health of your baby the following will be considered:

  • Weight of baby
  • Measurement of head circumference and plotting on the growth chart
  • If you are breastfeeding

At this appointment you will also be offered a series of vaccinations for your baby, along with a postnatal check for you.

National guidance on babies checks, including six to eight week checks is here.

Information about vaccinations is here.


Postnatal check for new parents

Usually (but not always) at the same appointment as your baby’s six to eight week check with the GP, you will be offered the opportunity to discuss the following:

  • How you are feeling, as part of a general discussion about mental health and wellbeing
  • If you still have any vaginal discharge and whether you have had a period since the birth
  • Blood pressure check, and if you had problems during pregnancy or immediately after the birth
  • Wound check after an episiotomy or caesarean section
  • Cervical screening check if this was due during pregnancy, this should be rescheduled for 12 weeks after the birth
  • Contraception check
  • Weight check if overweight or obese, with a BMI of 30 or more. You will be offered advice around weight loss and guidance on healthy eating and physical activity

National guidance on post-natal checks is here.


Health Visitor and Child Health Clinics

The service offer for health visiting is different depending on where you live.

Blackburn with Darwen

Face to face  appointments are taking place for:

  • antenatal visits to parents expecting their first baby
  • all new parents, for six to eight week checks
  • vulnerable families

Virtual appointments are taking place for:

  • those giving birth to their second plus baby
  • eight month and two year checks

Child Health Clinics are being reinstated gradually by appointment only.

For more information, click here.

East Lancashire

Baby clinics are still closed, however, discussions are in progress for a phased approach to reinstating them. Updates will be shared here.

  • Antenatal visits will be undertaken over the telephone
  • New birth visits will continue face to face where possible, following appropriate telephone screening
  • Visits to support vulnerable families and safeguarding visits will continue following appropriate telephone screening.
  • All safeguarding and Looked After Children will continue to be prioritised
  • Follow up visits for high risk mothers, babies and families will continue following appropriate telephone screening.
  • Blood spot screening will continue.

For more information, click here.

Community clinics

Following several changes to community midwifery care within the Trust and the facilities we have within the community setting, the following changes to community clinics will continue throughout the summer.

As several Children's Centre's closed at the start of lockdown we have had to facilitate movement of these clinics to other areas in order to continue providing antenatal and postnatal care effectively. The community midwives have been making daily contact with those who are affected by these changes but please see further information below regarding the locations of some of the clinics with the Pendle/Burnley/Rossendale Areas.

Barnoldswick Children's Centre - All dates and appointment times remain the same but the location is now the Rainhall Centre, Rainhall Road, Barnoldswick.

Colne Children's Centre - This clinic is now running from Colne Health Centre all day on a Monday, all day on a Tuesday, and half a day on Wednesday and Thursday. Please still ring the booking line for an appointment and then a midwife will contact you the week before to inform of the change in location and if any change to the time or date is required.

Ightenhill Children's Centre - All dates and appointment times remain the same but the location of the clinic is now at South West Children's Centre, Tay Street, Burnley.

Family Tree Children's centre 

- Monday Clinic - All dates and appointment times remain the same but the location of the clinic is now at South West Children's Centre, Tay Street, Burnley.
As these are booking appointments (first appointments), the midwife will attempt to contact you before your appointment to complete some of the booking over the phone to reduce the time required for a face to face appointment.

- Tuesday Clinic - This clinic is now held on a Wednesday but all appointment times will remain the same and the location will be the Chai Centre, Hurtley Street, Burnley.

Whitefield Children's Centre - All dates and appointment times remain the same but the location of the clinic is now at the Chai Centre, Hurtley Street, Burnley.

Chai Centre - Remains open, no changes

Haslingden Children's Centre - All dates and appointment times remain the same but the location is now at Rawtenstall Primary Care Centre, Bacup Road, Rossendale.

Maden Children's Centre - Remains open, no changes

Waterfoot GP Surgery - Now based at Rawtenstall Primary Care Centre, Bacup Road, Rossendale

Whitegates Clinic - back to original base at Whitegates Children's Centre, Victoria Road, Padiham, Burnley.

 

*Birth notification information is sent to the health visiting team for your area once your baby has been born. 

You should be contacted to arrange further check-ups for your newborn baby, once you have been discharged from the community midwife. 

 

Content last reviewed 6 November 2020.

Getting your flu vaccine

Flu vaccine and coronavirus (COVID-19)

Flu vaccination is important because:

  • if you're at higher risk from coronavirus, you're also more at risk of problems from flu
  • if you get flu and coronavirus at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill
  • it'll help to reduce pressure on the NHS and social care staff who may be dealing with coronavirus

If you've had COVID-19, it's safe to have the flu vaccine. It'll be effective at helping to prevent flu.

Click here to find out more about the flu jab and COVID-19.

 

Why are pregnant people advised to have the flu vaccine?

The flu jab will help protect both you and your baby.

There is good evidence that pregnant people have a higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy.

One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia.

If you have flu while you're pregnant, it could cause your baby to be born prematurely or have a low birthweight, and may even lead to stillbirth or death.

You can access the flu vaccination at your GP practice, at your antenatal clinic, and it's also provided at Blackburn Birth Centre. If you're unsure, speak with your midwife.

 

Is the flu vaccine safe in pregnancy?

Yes. Studies have shown that it's safe to have the flu vaccine during any stage of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date.

Those who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first few months of their lives.

It's safe for parents who are breastfeeding to have the vaccine.

Click here for more information on the flu jab in pregnancy.

Stop smoking services

Protecting your baby from tobacco smoke is one of the best things you can do to give your child a healthy start in life. It can be difficult to stop smoking, but it's never too late to quit.

Every cigarette you smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, so smoking when you are pregnant harms your unborn baby. Cigarettes can restrict the essential oxygen supply to your baby. As a result, their heart must beat harder every time you smoke.

Click here to find out more about stopping smoking in pregnancy.

Click here to find local stop smoking services (some consultations may take place over the phone due to COVID-19).

Healthy Start vitamins

Under the national Healthy Start scheme, pregnant women, women with a child under 12 months old and children aged up to four years who are entitled to Healthy Start vouchers, are also entitled to free Healthy Start vitamins which contain the correct vitamins at the correct doses. You can check your eligibility for the Healthy Start Scheme here.

If you live in Blackburn with Darwen, a local scheme provides free Healthy Start vitamins to all children under 5 years of age, all pregnant women and all women for one year after giving birth, regardless of whether you qualify for Healthy Start vouchers.

Due to changes in the way services are being delivered during Covid-19, there may be changes to the ways you can get your supply of Healthy Start vitamins. 

Find out more about accessing Healthy Start vitamins.

 

Content last reviewed 29 October 2020.

Gender-neutral language

Gender-neutral language
You may have noticed that some of the terms we use within our communications are slightly different then you might expect, for example “pregnant people”, or “those who are pregnant”, in place of the term “pregnant women”. This is because the Trust aims, where possible, to use gender-neutral language.

The purpose of gender-neutral language is to avoid word choices which may be interpreted as biased, discriminatory or demeaning by implying that one sex or social gender is the norm.

In the case of our maternity services, those who use these services may not identify as female. They may identify as another gender, or as no gender at all. We want the language we use to reflect that no matter how you identify, you are entitled to safe, personal and effective care from us and will not be discriminated against.

Using this language, however, does not mean that those who identify as female and use our services will be discriminated against either. We just want to ensure that the way we address our patients is as inclusive as possible.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss this further, please contact the Trust’s Communications Team, by emailing communications@elht.nhs.uk.

 

Content last reviewed 29 October 2020.

 

FAQs and useful contact details

You can find useful contact details and answers to frequently asked questions in your Antenatal Book 1.

  • Page 2
    Antenatal contact numbers
  • Page 18
    Growth Scan Pathways
  • Page 21
    Reduced Fetal Movements advice
  • Page 37-41
    Additional information and resources 
  • Page 42-43
    Useful telephone numbers