News

Hapū māmā and pēpē in the Bay of Plenty during COVID-19 Alert Level 4

26 August 2021

To keep people who are pregnant and their babies, as well as our staff safe from COVID-19, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board has changed the way we provide our maternity care services during Alert Level 4.

Maternity care in Bay of Plenty hospitals

All people in our hospital who are pregnant, but not in active labour, must wear a mask when within one metre of another person not from within their bubble.

All staff will wear masks when they are within one metre of a person who is pregnant, a baby or a support person.

Lead maternity carers (LMCs) and midwives will still provide labour and birth care for people who are pregnant and:

  • do not have suspected or confirmed COVID-19
  • are in self-isolation for epidemiological risk (due to recent travel or contact with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 case) and are well/asymptomatic

People who are pregnant and are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 will be transferred to the nearest BOPDHB hospital for labour and birth care.

Inpatient postnatal visits with lead maternity carers are postponed during Alert Level 4. Lead maternity carers will be in touch with a detailed care plan following birth and will make daily phone contact with the postnatal staff for updates and ongoing care.

BOPDHB hospital visitor and support persons

There are no visitors* permitted during Alert Level 4 across the maternity service. A support* person may be permitted in some situations.

Delivery suite

People who are pregnant and well/asymptomatic needing to access the delivery suite can be accompanied by their LMC and one support person. The support people must be well, wear a mask, and cannot be changed with another support person during their stay.

Inpatient areas

There are no support persons permitted in the inpatient areas unless exceptional circumstances are approved by the Charge Manager in discussion with the Midwife Leader.

Outpatient areas

Women’s health outpatient areas, including antenatal care, will continue to see people who are pregnant and well/asymptomatic. People who are unwell should not attend. No support people are permitted.

*A visitor is someone periodically coming into the clinical space to see the person who is pregnant or who has given birth, or their baby.

*A support person is a constant companion (over the age of 18 years old) who is with the person who is pregnant or who has given birth to provide support and care, not including the LMC.

Maternity care in the community

Alert Levels 3 and 4 represent an increased risk of community transmission of COVID-19, and additional public health measures are in place for community-based maternity care services. At Alert Levels 3 and 4, primary care consultations (including primary maternity care consultations) will take place remotely where possible. Masks should be worn during all in-person visits.

In-person midwifery care for people who are well/asymptomatic and less than 37 weeks pregnant will be reduced unless clinically necessary (this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis). Instead, primary maternity care consultations will take place over the phone or via video, according to the pregnant person’s regular schedule.

In-person midwifery care for people who are well/asymptomatic and more than 37 weeks pregnant will continue.

Thank you for your understanding as we work to contain the spread of COVID-19 while taking care of the Bay of Plenty’s hapū māmā and pēpē.


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