The safety and well-being of our babies, mothers, families, doctors and staff is always our highest priority.

In light of the South Australian borders opening and following extensive consultation with our Obstetricians, Paediatricians and key SA Health representatives, we will be implementing the following new maternity guidelines, effective from Thursday, 25 November 2021.

Maternity Patients

  • 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  

  • From 1 December 2021 a partner / support person must have evidence of having at least one dose of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccination
  • From 22 December 2021 a partner / support person must have evidence of having two doses of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccination

Screening

  • Regardless of vaccinations status, from 1 December 2021 the mother and partner / support person will be required to have weekly COVID-19 PCR testing from 36 weeks gestation
  • Maternity patients and partner / support person will be asked to show evidence of negative COVID-19 PCR on admission
  • Request forms will be provided by your Obstetrician at your 36 week appointment

In addition

  • The partner / support person may stay / visit for the entirety of the admission, other visitors may only visit between 2.00pm and 7.00pm 
  • Maximum of two vaccinated visitors per patient per day (including partner / support person)
  • No children (under age of 12 years) are permitted to visit (this unfortunately includes siblings)
  • Children 12 years and over must be vaccinated and will be included in the two vaccinated visitors per patient per day
  • Requests for visitors with an endorsed medical exemption will be considered on a case by case basis

We remind all visitors:

  • Consider your need to visit and where appropriate confirm with the patient prior to attending 
  • Do not attend the hospital if you are unwell
  • Visitors will be required to attend compulsory screening on arrival, including QR code / manual sign in and provide proof of vaccination status
  • Masks (supplied on arrival) are to be worn at all times whilst in the hospital
  • Use hand sanitiser on arrival and departure
  • Maintain social distancing during your visit
  • Visits are to be kept brief and within the patient room

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 29 November 2021

Can I have visitors during my stay?
Please refer to our website for our current maternity visitor restrictions.

Can my other children visit me at the hospital?
Unfortunately no children (under 12 years of age) can visit our hospital, including siblings.

Vaccinated children 12 years and over are able to visit and will be included in the two vaccinated visitors per patient per day.

Our learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic interstate (particularly in New South Wales and Victoria) is that the vast majority of cases are occurring in children. At this time, children under 12 years are not yet eligible to be vaccinated and are also highly likely to be asymptomatic.

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?

Yes, at this stage our maternity education and parenting classes continue.

However, we also have a number of our maternity education sessions available to view online.

For more information and to book please refer to our Education and Classes page on our maternity website.

Do I need to call ahead before coming to the Maternity Unit?

Please call Ashford Hospital on 08 8375 5237 at any time to get guidance and reassurance from one of our experienced Midwives. This phone call is important as it helps us prepare for your arrival.

Who will be wearing face masks?
Patients are required to wear masks when outside of their rooms. In addition, visitors and all healthcare workers must wear a provided surgical mask 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, due to social distancing requirements, 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?
At this stage your partner / support person is free to come and go as required, however, we encourage partners / support people to minimise leaving and re-entering the Maternity Unit where possible.

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?
There are many locations where you can access COVID-19 PCR testing.

Your Obstetrician will provide you with COVID-19 PCR request form (from their preferred pathology provider) at your 36-week appointment.

I don’t consent to having a PCR test. Are there any other options?
At this stage the only accepted testing option in South Australia is the PCR test. If you don’t consent to having a PCR test 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

What evidence of PCR testing do you require?
You can simply show us a copy of the text message that you received from your pathology provider.

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

Click here for the Australian Government COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy.

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