Sydney Local Health District is taking steps to protect our staff, our patients and our community against any potential transmission of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
RPA Women and Babies is making some changes to our services to ensure pregnant women, their families and our staff stay as safe as possible at this time.
We recognise this is a difficult time for many in our community, and we are working hard to ensure our patients continue to receive high quality healthcare while also reducing the potential transmission of COVID-19.
The birth of your baby is a joyous time and RPA Women and Babies will continue to support you and your family during your pregnancy and birth.
To reduce the number of hospital visits during your pregnancy, a new pathway for providing your pregnancy care has been developed in consultation with GPs, midwives and obstetricians.
Some antenatal visits will now be done using telephone or video conferencing rather than face-to-face.
If we need to see you at the hospital we will aim to make your visit as short as possible. We ask that you attend appointments alone and you do not bring children with you – this is to reduce any risks to your family.
Currently, all staff, patients and visitors are being screened before entering the hospital to ensure they are well.
If you need to attend hospital but do not have an appointment, please call ahead to the Delivery Ward on 9515 8444.
Childbirth and Parenting programs
Our Childbirth and Parenting programs, including maternity tours are not being held at this time.
We invite expectant parents to view our RPA Women and Babies virtual tour in advance of their delivery at RPA.
RPA Women and Babies virtual tour
We are hosting online Childbirth and Parenting education programs covering pregnancy, labour, postnatal and breastfeeding. The Zoom classes will allow for questions and interaction and cost will vary depending on the course you wish to attend and time of day.
To date, the vast majority of pregnant women coming to RPA Women and Babies have not been exposed to COVID-19 and their labour is managed in the normal way.
As always, if you start having contractions and think you are in labour, please call the Delivery Ward on 9515 8444. The midwife will discuss your symptoms and give you advice on whether you should attend hospital.
When you arrive at hospital, please go to the Women and Babies entrance on Johns Hopkins Dr (off Missenden Road). At the entrance, there is a screening station where staff will check for risk of COVID-19. You will then be directed towards the appropriate labour facility.
If you are having a planned delivery (for example an elective caesarean section or induction of labour) please follow the instructions from your midwife or healthcare provider.
Most women stay in hospital for 1-2 days after a normal birth or four days after a caesarean section. We are working with women and their families to try and reduce the length of stay in hospital after delivery. We would be grateful if you could make any arrangements necessary to support your return home.
The postnatal and other maternity wards will be closed to all visitors except your nominated partner or support person in order to continue to keep women, babies and staff safe.
The Sydney Local Health District offers breastfeeding support from your very first antenatal visit. Breastfeeding support is provided free of charge and is available during your stay in hospital and postnatally within the community.
The SLHD offers breastfeeding support
Risks of COVID-19 in pregnancy
The data available suggests that most women who have a COVID-19 infection during pregnancy will have a relatively mild respiratory infection and that the virus will not affect the pregnancy.
As is the case in the rest of the young adult population, there is a small risk of developing a severe respiratory infection such as pneumonia. If you are confirmed to have COVID-19 during your pregnancy, please inform your midwife or healthcare provider to ensure your health is monitored.
The data available to date shows there is very little impact of COVID-19 on your baby, although there are some reported cases where the baby has not grown so well or where the amount of fluid (amniotic fluid) surrounding the baby is reduced. We may arrange an extra ultrasound scan to check for this.
There is some evidence that newborn babies who contract COVID-19 can have problems fighting the infection. If we suspect a mother has COVID-19 when you are admitted in labour, we will discuss the best way to care for you and your baby after delivery to manage the risk of COVID-19. We may suggest that you are separated for a short period of time.
The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 in the community is to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly, stay home, and if you have to leave home for essential reasons, practice social distancing and stay at least 1.5 metres from others.
To reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 close to the expected delivery of your baby, you may consider further reducing your social interaction and self-isolating in your own home where possible from 36 weeks’ gestation.
Our team is here to support you.
If you have a general question that is not answered in the FAQs, you can contact:
Fetal Medicine/Ultrasound: 9515 6042
Parent Education: 9515 5284
Lactation Clinic: 9515 8422
Early Pregnancy Assessment Service (EPAS): 9515 7101
Gynaecology Services: 9515 7101
If you have a question specific to your health and pregnancy, please contact your midwife or healthcare provider who may arrange a telehealth consultation.