[Last updated 21 April 2022]
The safety and well-being of our babies, mothers, families, doctors and staff is always our highest priority.
Maternity Screening Guidelines
- Maternity patients and partner / support person are required to have a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on admission to the hospital
- Where a maternity patient’s RAT is shown to be positive a discussion with the Obstetrician will occur to determine next steps, dependent on patient status
- Where a partner / support person’s RAT is shown to be positive a discussion with the Obstetrician will occur to determine next steps, dependent on maternity patient status
Please note: If a maternity patient or partner / support person develops symptoms of COVID-19 prior to admission they must have a PCR test, isolate and await result.
Please advise your Obstetrician if you receive a positive COVID-19 PCR or RAT result.
- Our preference is for all patients to be vaccinated, however at this stage our sites will continue to provide a service to all patients regardless of their vaccination status
Partner / support person
- Our preference is for all partners / support person to be vaccinated with evidence of having two doses of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccination
- We encourage partners / support people to minimise leaving and re-entering the Maternity Unit where possible. Where they need to leave the hospital they are requested to limit activities and avoid potential COVID-19 exposure. On returning to the hospital they will be required to undergo a risk assessment to determine their need to have a RAT prior to returning to the maternity unit
- Effective Thursday, 21 April 2022, where a partner / support person is unvaccinated, provision can be made for the partner / support person to be present for labour / delivery. The unvaccinated partner / support person will be required to wear protective equipment including disposable gown, N95 mask and eye protection for the duration of their visit. They will be required to leave the hospital within 2 hours post delivery (or prior to the maternity patient being transferred to the postnatal maternity suite)
- An unvaccinated partner / support person will not be permitted to return to the hospital or to visit the postnatal room or the nursery
- No other visitors are permitted at this time
- We encourage you to keep in touch with your loved ones via phone and other digital platforms, our teams are on hand to assist
We expect that these guidelines will be modified as we progress, dependent on the status of the pandemic in our state.
We appreciate that this is a challenging time and thank you for your support in helping to keep our babies and their families as safe as possible.
[Last updated 21 April 2022]
Can I have visitors during my stay?
Unfortunately no other visitors (other than your partner / support person) are permitted at this time.
Can my other children visit me at the hospital?
Unfortunately no other visitors are permitted in maternity at this time, including siblings.
We understand that this is very sad for our families, but it is important that we do everything we can to minimise the risk to our babies, maternity families, other patients and our staff.
Are antenatal classes still running?
Face to face classes are recommencing from May 2022.
Please refer to our Education and Classes page on our maternity website for the details.
Do I need to call ahead before coming to the Maternity Unit?
If you think you may be in labour, please call Ashford Hospital on 08 8375 5237 at any time to get guidance from one of our experienced Midwives.
This phone call is important as it helps us prepare for your arrival.
For any COVID-19 related questions and other enquiries related to your admission please contact our Maternity Services Manager Monday – Friday between 8.00am and 4.00pm on 08 8375 5688.
Who will be wearing face masks?
The maternity patients and partner / support person is required to wear a mask when outside of their room. In addition, healthcare workers must wear a provided surgical mask and eye protection when on site. This is mandatory for all staff, including doctors, nurses, food service attendants, cleaning staff, allied health staff, corporate staff and any contractors on site.
Can I have my partner AND another support person or doula with me during childbirth?
Unfortunately, only your partner / support person is able to be present during childbirth (including labour ward and operating theatre).
My partner needs to go home while I’m in hospital, will you let them back in?
We encourage partners / support people to minimise leaving and re-entering the Maternity Unit where possible. Where they need to leave the hospital they will be required to undergo a risk assessment to determine their need to have a RAT prior to returning to the maternity unit.
Unvaccinated partners / support persons will not be permitted to return to the hospital after delivery.
Can I still visit my baby in the Nursery?
Yes, you can visit your baby in the Nursery, additional precautions may be put in place for unvaccinated mothers.
Please note: unvaccinated partners / support persons will not be permitted to visit the Nursery.
Will a lactation consultant still be available?
Yes, the lactation consultant is available to assist with breastfeeding support during your stay on the ward.
What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 within the hospital during my stay?
If a patient exhibits COVID-19 symptoms during their stay, and becomes a suspect case, we are very well-prepared to manage them and have planned for this eventuality.
Are midwives now restricted in the way they interact with patients and partners/support persons while in the unit?
Our midwives, doctors and other staff are here to provide all necessary care and support required, with continued vigilance to social distancing and hand hygiene protocols.
How do I arrange a PCR test?
Maternity patients and support person / partner required to undertake a RAT on admission. Weekly PCR tests are no longer required.
Please note: Where a maternity patient or partner / support person develops symptoms of COVID-19 prior to admission they must have a PCR test, isolate and await result. Please advise your Obstetrician if you receive a positive COVID-19 PCR or RAT result
I don’t consent to having a RAT. Are there any other options?
If you don’t consent to having a RAT you will need to discuss this with your Obstetrician.
What proof of vaccination do you require?
We accept any of the following as proof of your vaccination:
- Vaccine Record(s) provided to you at the time of your vaccination or
- COVID-19 Digital Certificate (issued only after second dose) or
- Immunisation History Statement or
- Vaccination status on Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) or
- International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
How long will these restrictions be in place for?
Unfortunately, we are unable to determine how long these guidelines will be in place for.
I am feeling anxious. What should I do?
The COVID-19 pandemic can contribute to anxiety for many reasons – concern for your own health and that of your child, financial stress, or the impact of current restrictions. You are encouraged to touch base with your obstetrician about how you are feeling.
In addition, there are many resources available that may help you or your family members. We recommend the following website: https://www.wch.sa.gov.au/covid-19/covid-19-wellness-resources