At least six face-to-face antenatal consultations during coronavirus pandemic, says guidance

on 31 March 2020

Guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Royal College of Midwives states that antenatal care should be standardised to the minimum targets during the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidance says pregnant women should have a minimum of six face-to-face antenatal consultations during the coronavirus pandemic.

RCM and RCOG have stated that routine maternity care is essential in detecting common complications in pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and urine infections that do not present symptoms.

Speaking about the guidance, CEO of RCM Gill Walton, said: “We know that this is a worrying time for pregnant women and they are, understandably, doing all they can to ensure the health and safety of themselves and their baby. Antenatal appointments are there to do just that, which is why it’s so important to continue to attend them.

“If you are pregnant, with no coronavirus symptoms, you should continue to go to your antenatal appointments as usual, while following the social distancing guidance of keeping a two-metre distance from others and using private transport if possible. Even if you have symptoms, contact your midwife and they will work with you to ensure you continue to get the care and support you and your baby need.”

The guidance also suggests maternity services should maximise the use of remote means to provide additional antenatal consultations. This enables services to provide a greater compliance to social-distancing measures.

The guidance aims to safely reduce face-to-face contact through virtual consultations during the coronavirus pandemic and avoiding unnecessary hospital admissions.

President of RCOG, Dr Edward Morris, added: “We welcome the rapid and largely successful implementation of remote access to antenatal care throughout the UK, ensuring women receiving high quality care and regular access to essential services while minimising the need for travel to antenatal clinics and face-to-face contact with healthcare staff.

“However it’s important to remember that some pregnant women have underlying conditions that require additional antenatal monitoring to ensure the wellbeing of the woman and her baby.”

Guidance for maternal medicine in the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be found here.

Guidance for antenatal and postnatal services in the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can be found here.

Media release can be found here.