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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

COVID-19 and pregnancy

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still important that you keep your baby safe and follow these important messages

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Barwon Health is regularly reviewing health recommendations regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the impact on Maternity Services and care.

Our service is currently focused on encouraging staff and patients to practice good personal hygiene and recommending social distancing of at least 1.5 metres to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

We encourage pregnant women to work from home where possible. If you can’t work from home, please discuss with your employer ways to minimise risk within the workplace.

If you are currently in quarantine for possible/confirmed COVID-19 and you are due to attend a routine maternity appointment, please contact Maternity Services so that arrangements can be made to conduct your appointment via teleconference. If you need to come to hospital, please travel by private transport and phone Maternity Hub reception when you arrive, prior to entering the hospital, on 4215 2060.

Pregnancy Care at Barwon Health

Pregnancy is a time of great joy and expectation for women and their families. We understand that COVID-19 may cause pregnant women to feel a sense of anxiety about their own health and that of their unborn baby. 

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, it is still important to make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible so you can begin antenatal care. Your GP can arrange tests, monitor your health and refer you to our maternity services for your pregnancy care. 

Having an ultrasound at BMI

There are temporary changes to having an ultrasound at BMI. Read about these changes here.

What to expect when you attend appointments

  • During the lockdown, all first visit appointments will be done over the phone. All other face-to-face appointments must be attended alone during this time.
  • You will be asked about signs and symptoms of COVID-19, either by phone before your visit, or upon arrival.
  • Facemasks must be worn during appointments.
  • If you are unwell please DO NOT attend your appointment, We ask that you call maternity reception on 4215 2060 so an alternate appointment can be made.

What to expect when you come in to have your baby

  • You will be asked about signs and symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival.
  • You can designate one support person to attend Birth Suite while you are in labour.
  • For women who are not suspected of or have a confirmed case of COVID-19, we can offer water immersion during labour and birth where it is considered safe to do so for you and your baby. Please see Planning your birth for further information. To view our water immersion facilities please take a tour of our Maternity Services.
  • Women having an elective caesarean or an induction of labour: All elective surgery patients are asked COVID screening questions and will be required to take an asymptomatic COVID test.
  • Women who need an emergency caesarean will be tested in Birth Suite with a COVID-19 rapid test.

If you have suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection:

  • You will be asked to wear a mask upon entry to the hospital and until you are settled into your room.
  • You will still be able to move in labour and birth in the position of your choice.
  • You will have access to a range of pain relief options, including Nitrous Oxide.
  • An epidural will be strongly recommended early in labour to minimise the need for general anaesthesia if you require urgent delivery via caesarean section.
  • We will recommend that you have continuous fetal heart rate monitoring during labour.

Information for the designated support person

  • Support people will continue to be COVID screened upon entry to the hospital and will only be allowed to enter the hospital if they have no symptoms of illness or suspected infection.
  • The support person who has been designated by the woman will be issued with an identification wristband that will allow access to Birth Suite, Maternity Ward and Special Care Nursery.
  • When entering the Maternity Ward or Special Care Nursery, the support person will be given a band at the door so they can be identified by staff.

Information for visitors

  • One support person for birth suite (vaccinated or unvaccinated).
  • One parent, carer or guardian for Special Care Nursery.
  • One visitor, partner and/or support person for postnatal ward up to two hours (maximum one hour for unvaccinated visitors). 
  • One parent, carer or guardian to accompany a person under the age of 18.

All visitors are instructed:

  • To wear a surgical mask at all times whilst within a Barwon Health facility. You may wear your own or we will supply you with one.
  • To avoid touching the mask whilst it is being worn.
  • To practise hand hygiene.
  • To practise social distancing.

Please note: policies are reviewed daily and may change at any time. View Barwon Health's visitor guidance and advice here

What to expect when you go home

  • If you and your baby are well, going home as soon as possible after the birth is best advised and will be encouraged.
  • We will offer you visits at home, telephone or telehealth (video) visits.
  • We will call to assess if you or anyone in your household have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 prior to doing a home visit.
  • If you are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, we will coordinate postnatal midwife care with you that is best suited to you and your baby’s needs.
  • For information about taking your baby home and postnatal home visits click here.
  • For information about Maternal Child Health Services click here.

Useful Links

COVID-19 vaccination and pregnancy

The Australian Government has an information sheet for women COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy.

Pregnant women, women planning pregnancy and women who are breastfeeding are encouraged to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. For more information, please read the information sheet.

Taking care of your emotional and mental health for you and your baby

We understand that experiences of pregnancy, birth and postpartum during COVID-19 may affect the emotional well-being of women and their families.  This may be due to restrictions of movement, socialisation and engagement in normal routines, along with concerns about the risk of infection and the health and wellbeing of your baby and family members. 

It is essential to maintain contact with loved ones and support networks at this time.  Supportive personal and professional networks are of central importance to the mental health of you and your baby, and can still be engaged with virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people are concerned about being a burden on the health system at this time but please be reassured services are equipped to help you and your family.

We encourage all of our families to be aware and to engage with supports in order to protect perinatal mental health and well-being during this time.  If you have concerns for your mental health please bring these up with your doctor or midwife. 

Alternatively, please also visit the following resources for information and support

COVID-19 and family violence

It is important that anyone experiencing family violence knows that this is never okay, no matter the circumstances or the situation. With the impact of physical distancing rules, isolation and stress on families, there has been a spike in reports of domestic violence in the broader community. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence and need help or support,  please refer to the below information: 

Call 000 for Police and Ambulance help if you are immediate danger.

Leaving your house due to family violence during COVID restrictions

You can leave home if there is family violence, or violence by another person in the home, and you are at risk. If you are stopped by police, tell them you are feeling unsafe at home and they will help you. Safe accommodation and support for family violence is available. Call safe steps on 1800 015 188 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

To find local services near you and phone support lines, please visit Barwon Health Family Violence resources.

Ending family violence

You may find yourself under increased strain under social distancing or arguments with your family have become more common and things you once considered small may now seem huge. 

The Men’s Referral Service (1300 766 491) is a counselling service available to men and families. The service specialises in family violence matters.

Alternatively, please visit the following resources;

Last Modified: Friday, 19 November 2021