Covid-19 information

Covid-19 maternity website
Key advice for pregnant women during the pandemic
Maternity Service Helpline


Covid-19 maternity website

The Public Health Agency has launched a website dedicated to Covid-19 maternity information throughout Northern Ireland.

The website covers different topics such as:

  • Covid-19 infection and pregnancy
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • early pregnancy services
  • birth planning
  • antenatal and postnatal care
  • virtual classes
  • child health services

Key advice for pregnant women during the pandemic

  • Attend all your pregnancy scans and antenatal appointments unless you are advised not to.
  • Contact your maternity team if you have concerns about the wellbeing of yourself or your unborn baby.
  • Monitor your baby’s movements from around 24 weeks, when your baby will start to develop its own pattern. Although a change in your baby’s movements could be nothing to worry about, it could be a sign that your baby is unwell.
  • If you think your baby’s movements have changed, call us in the Maternity Assessment Unit straight away, no matter how many times this happens: 028 9615 0596.
  • Keep yourself mobile and stay hydrated to reduce the risk of blood clots in pregnancy.
  • Stay active and eat a healthy balanced diet to help support your pregnancy.

Maternity Service Helpline

Please seek help if you have any concerns about you or your baby’s health. Don’t think it’s not important.

You can speak to a midwife on the Maternity Service Helpline:

  • Tel: 028 9615 1173
  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
  • Saturday: 9am to 1pm

  • How to register a new baby with a GP and claim benefits

    Birth registration offices have now reopened to the public on an appointment only basis. There will be no penalty for non-registration of births during this emergency period. However, you can now contact your local registration office for an appointment to register any outstanding births.

    For more information on how to register a birth, please check your local council website. Alternatively, visit the District Registrars page on NI Direct for contact details of your local registration office.

    Due to social distancing and new ways of working, there may be a longer delay for an appointment to register a birth.

    In the meantime, you can still register your baby as a patient with your GP practice, without a birth certificate. You can also apply for benefits. Please follow the processes below, which will run until the end of the emergency period or until further notice.

    Registering your baby as a patient with a GP

    You can still register your baby at a GP practice during the emergency period, despite having no birth certificate. You will need the following information when you contact the GP practice:

    • your child’s Health and Care Number
    • the full name your child is to be registered under
    • your child’s home address
    Child Benefit

    When a baby is born, midwives have a legal duty to notify the Registrar of the birth. This is done electronically through a ‘notification of birth’ form (CHS1). As a new mother, you will also be given a copy of this form. This is a legal document and during the emergency period, this fully completed form will be accepted as supporting evidence of the birth instead of a birth certificate.

    You should submit the CHS1 form along with the Child Benefit application form. We would recommend that you retain a copy of the form as it will still be required for birth registration. If you do not have a copy of the form, you should contact your midwife, who will be able to provide one.

  • Questions and answers for pregnant and postnatal women
  • Visiting and clinics update

    The health of our women, babies, visitors and staff is our biggest priority. We have put in place a number of measures to keep our community safe while providing the highest level of care.

    The latest visiting guidance for maternity services is available to download here.

    Please also note the following:

    • Some antenatal appointments will take place by telephone consultation or video call, with your agreement.
    • You may be asked to wait in your car or outside the maternity building until you receive a phone call inviting you into the building for your appointment.
    • Please attend antenatal oral glucose tolerance test appointments as scheduled.

     

    Midwife-led antenatal clinics have resumed at the Midwife-Led Unit in the Mater Hospital. However, women who choose a midwife-led care birth will be accommodated at the Active Birth Centre in the Maternity Hospital.

    If you have any queries about your Midwife-Led Unit clinic appointment, please contact the Mater Hospital antenatal team on 028 9504 1288.

    We wish to reassure women that we will continue to offer and support midwife-led births in the Maternity Hospital.

    We are here to support you and we are very grateful for your flexibility and understanding.

  • Maternity Service Helpline

    We have a Maternity Service Helpline to provide pregnant and postnatal women with support and advice.

    Call: 028 9615 1173

    This information line is available:

    • Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
    • Saturdays, 9am to 1pm
  • Looking after your mental health

    Coronavirus (Covid-19) can affect your mental health and wellbeing. Pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period often brings with it added anxiety and concerns.

    If you have any concerns about your mental health and wellbeing, please contact your GP, midwife or health visitor. They will provide the support you need.

    Download this booklet on how to look after the mental health of you and your baby.

    You can find more information on the Public Health Agency’s website dedicated to Covid-19 maternity information throughout Northern Ireland.