There are rules for maternity patients for Northern NSW hospitals due to COVID-19.
There are rules for maternity patients for Northern NSW hospitals due to COVID-19.

HAVING A BABY? Here are the latest hospital rules

IF YOU’RE about to have a baby in one of the hospitals in the Northern NSW Local Health District, there’s some rules you need to know before you go in.

Director Nursing, Midwifery and Aboriginal Health, Katharine Duffy, said current visitor restrictions are in place at hospitals in the NNSWLHD to reduce any transmission of COVID-19 among patients, staff and the community.

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“For women and families accessing maternity services, women can nominate two people for support during labour and birth. One person is classed as a ‘support person’ and the other as a ‘visitor’,” she said.

“As with any visitors and caregivers attending a health facility, health screening restrictions apply, and visitors are asked to wear a mask.”

Before coming to either Grafton Base Hospital or Lismore Base Hospital to access any pregnancy-related services patients are being asked to call ahead before every visit on the usual hospital or midwifery contacts details they have been given.

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No visitors are allowed in maternity areas during the pandemic period. This is to help protect the mother, patients and staff.

Parents will be the only people allowed to the special care nursery.

For exceptional circumstances the health department encourage families to discuss their individual needs with staff.

There are new rules around maternity units due to COVID-19.
There are new rules around maternity units due to COVID-19.

For people who have a hospital or clinic appointment, all attempts should be made to restrict companions to one support person. As children under the age of 16 are a vulnerable group, they should not come to the hospital at this time.

The schedule of appointments may change depending on your individual circumstances. Some planned face-to-face visits will be made by telephone or using telehealth (video) with your maternity care provider.

The health district is reducing the number of face-to-face antenatal clinics. Women will be contacted to develop individual plans that will include consultations over the phone where possible. Midwives are available 24 hours a day for ongoing support.

Ms Duffy said if a woman and her baby needed to re-attend the hospital for any reason following the birth, staff will work with the woman to assess any risk of COVID-19 exposure. “In cases where there is a low risk, women may continue to be supported by two nominated people while in hospital,” she said.

“In cases where there may be an elevated risk of exposure to COVID-19, more restricted visiting rules may apply.

“Compassionate and cultural considerations are also taken into account on a case-by-case basis.”

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The restrictions come on top of those for general visitors to all hospitals in the NNSWLHD.

Visitors to the hospital are restricted to one per patient, for one hour once a day.

All visits will occur in the patient’s room, and the person is to be identified by the patient in consultation with their family or carer.

All visitors will have their temperature checked, and will be asked:

  • Have you returned from overseas in the past 14 days?
  • Have you had close contact with a person confirmed

or suspected of having COVID-19?

  • Are you feeling unwell with any flu-like symptoms?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, or have a temperature of 38 degrees or above, you will not be permitted to enter the facility.