Updates and resources in response to COVID-19 – antenatal care at St George and Sutherland Hospitals

21 April 2020

St George Hospital update

  • Limiting people coming to the hospital for outpatient visits, as support people or visitors.
  • All women are screened at reception at every visit. 
  • Community antenatal clinics at Riverwood, Hurstville and Kingsgrove continue.
  • Antenatal Services are changing bookings and 20week appointments to telephone consultations. Any women with risk factors will follow-up within a week at the clinic for consultation with the O&G Consultant.
  • Screening and diagnosis of gestational diabetes continues as per protocol with GTT at booking for women with risk factors and 28 weeks as per protocol.
  • Lactation Service still available during pregnancy and first two weeks post birth – using telehealth as much as possible or clustering Lactation consult with a medical review to decrease antenatal or postnatal visits to facility. GPs can call page on 9113 1111 pager 181 for advice seven days a week.
  • Women in labour are only allowed one support person. If this person has a positive Covid19 result or is in the incubation period, they will not be allowed to attend the Birth Unit as a support.
  • Visiting to the postnatal ward is limited to one support person only for the day (inclusive of partner).
  • Outpatient gynaecology clinics are being reviewed, some will be telephone consultation and non-urgent will be postponed. 
  • Paediatric clinics are also under review, some will be telehealth consultations and non urgent postponed. 

Sutherland Hospital update

  • All women attending clinics are screened via telephone the day prior to their appointment. They are also screened on arrival to the clinic by a staff member at reception. Appropriate measures are in place to manage women at high risk of COVID-19 exposure with immediate transfer to the COVID-19 Clinic.
  • Partners and siblings are not able to attend the Antenatal appointments
  • Antenatal Services are changing. All appointments up to 20 weeks will be done by the telephone or Telehealth.
  • GTTs are no longer being utilised for GDM testing as per RANZCOG. Women with risk factors will be offered a HBA1c at booking. All other women will be offered a fasting glucose at 26-28 weeks.
  • Women in labour are supported by one person only with no swapping.
  • Visiting in the Maternity ward is limited to partners only.
  • Midwifery in the Home continues with COVID-19 screening occurring before each visit. Appropriate measures are in place to manage women at high risk of COVID-19 exposure including review in the COVID-19 Clinic.
  • Lactation services are still available in both the antenatal and postnatal periods.
  • Gynaecology appointments have been prioritised by urgency. Less urgent appointments will be conducted via telephone or postponed.
  • Paediatric clinic appointments are being conducted via a TeleHealth consultation.

SESLHD Child and Family Health Services

Currently:

  • Child and Family Services have suspended all home visiting
  • Clinic appointments are still offered for 1-4 week and 6-8 week checks as a priority
  • Helplines for Child and Family Health issues have been established
    • Nursing Support ph 9540 7322 - Click here for flyer
    • Breastfeeding Support ph 9540 7012 Click here for flyer
  • Appointments will be offered (if required) following phone triage
  • Vulnerable families will be offered telephone and/or skype support
  • Facilitated Online New Parents Groups - all mothers contacted for their babies 1-4 week check will be offered an online parenting group facilitated by Child and Family Health Nurse.

Please note this information is subject to change.

Consumer information

Importance of monitoring fetal movements
With reduced face-to-face antenatal visits, it is important for women to get to know the pattern of their baby’s movement. Women should be informed to contact the hospital immediately if they have any concerns.

Below are some resources available for both health professionals and consumers

Looking after perinatal mental health
There are a number consumer resources and services to support perinatal mental health

  • Click here for a list of on-line support services to keep new parents connected
  • Click here for PANDA Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Support ph 1300 726 306
  • Tresillian PND groups. These groups will be held as virtual groups (telehealth)

Parenting Services

Karitane Services

  • Kartiane have transitioned all their services to be delivered using Telehealth
  • Parents can now self-refer. Click here to complete referral form

Tresillian Services

  • Parents can now self-refer. Click here for further information

Breastfeeding support

Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA)

  • ABA have resources for mothers, families and health professionals.
  • Click here for breastfeeding questions answered (including about COVID-19)
  • Free 24 hour Breastfeeding Helpline – 1800 686 268 and LIVECHAT via website

Online learning options for health professionals
Wishing to complete some online learning to update skills and knowledge around antenatal and postnatal care? Click here to view available on-line modules covering these topics.

Click here for a printable version of the information sheet