Centenary Hospital for Women and Children (CHWC) prioritises the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, their babies and our staff.
We would like to assure women that we are here to care for you and will not turn you away for any reason.
We have considered the current COVID-19 situation in the ACT, the safety of women and babies at CHWC and the important role a partner or support people have as part of a woman’s maternity journey.
Our arrangements are as follows:
Women in labour
If you are in labour, please call us before coming to hospital. We will ask you some questions to ensure everyone’s safety. Your handheld maternity record has the number to call on the back.
Please be assured we will not turn you away for any reason, but we may need to take extra precautions to ensure everyone’s safety.
You will be allowed to have one nominated support person during labour and after the birth (the postnatal period) until you are discharged. However, we have extra precautions to limit traffic through the hospital and protect everyone, these are:
- Your support person must not leave your room
- They must wear a mask
- If they need to leave the hospital for any reason, they will not be able to return.
Your support person can stay overnight, subject to room availability.
We will provide meals to your support person while they are with you in hospital.
Your nominated support person does not have to be a member of your household.
You cannot swap support people during the birth or after the birth.
If your support person is in isolation/quarantine, even if they have no symptoms, they will not be allowed to enter the hospital and you will need to nominate another support person.
This is to protect you, your baby and all other patients in the hospital.
The usual screening tests and vaccinations will be available after your baby’s birth.
Women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
If you have COVID-19, we will not turn you away, we are here to support you as usual.
We have a COVID midwife and a dedicated birthing room. Our team will be wearing full protective equipment (PPE).
If you have COVID-19 you will be required to wear a mask during labor. This is to protect you, your support person and our staff. Your support person will also need to wear a mask.
If you have respiratory symptoms, a COVID-19 swab will be taken, and you will need to wear a mask during the second and third phases of labour (pushing, delivery and delivery of the placenta).
Women admitted for pregnancy concerns but are not in labour
In line with general visitor exclusions across the hospital you will not be allowed a support person if you are admitted to hospital unless there are concerns regarding complications of pregnancy, perinatal loss or you require a support person for normal caring activities. Our staff will work with each woman to ensure we achieve both safety for our staff, all our patients and provide the appropriate supportive environment for the best outcomes.
If you are not allowed a visitor, staff will assist you in maintaining contact with your loved ones through phone and video contact.
Coming to hospital for ante-natal or gynaecological appointments
We are still offering maternity appointments as usual.
We can offer you a telehealth appointment if you prefer not to attend your appointment in person. Please let us know.
If you have an appointment but are in self-isolation/quarantine, please call us so we can assess you and figure out the best course of action. We will continue to care for you and will not turn you away.
We are not generally allowing support people to attend outpatient ante-natal or gynaecological appointments. This includes:
- Fetal Medicine Unit
- Gynaecology outpatient visits and
- visits to the Maternity Assessment Unit.
A support person will be allowed if there are compassionate reasons. Please talk to clinic staff if you believe you need a support person with you for your appointment.
You will be required to wear a mask while at the hospital, including during the appointment and in the waiting room. We will provide you with a surgical mask on arrival.
We continue to offer first home visits and the midcall program. We will call you before we arrive to make sure it is safe to visit.
We ask that only the mother and baby are in the room when we visit your home.
Our staff will wear a mask when we visit you at home. We will also ask the mother to wear a mask.
If your child is admitted to Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, one parent/guardian will be allowed to stay with them at all times.
No other visitors will be allowed.
The parent/guardian must wear a mask. If the child is 12 years of age or older, they must also wear a mask, unless there are valid reasons not to.
We are allowing one parent to visit the NICU and Special Care Nursery.
If you held a visitor exemption prior to the lockdown (5pm, 12 August) you will need to reapply for it.
As always, our staff will apply visitor restrictions with compassion and common sense.