The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) have produced COVID-19 guidance for clinicians working in community and inpatient services, including perinatal mental health teams and Mother and Baby Units.
As well as information for pregnant women and their families (see below), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) have published guidance for healthcare professionals on COVID-19 infection in pregnancy, with support from Royal College of Midwives (RCM), Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Public Health England and Health Protection Scotland.
Tommy’s has shared some FAQs which are being regularly updated in response to latest recommendations from the NHS and Royal Colleges. Their midwives are also answering questions via email and social media (see support page for details).
Best Beginnings have updated the Baby Buddy app to include information about Covid-19 during pregnancy and early parenthood, including infant feeding. App users also have access to 24/7 crisis support (see support page for more).
Practical support, including rights at work
Maternity Action has compiled some helpful facts about coronavirus and rights at work during pregnancy, in response to the Government’s advice about self-isolation.
“Having a trusted birth partner present throughout labour is known to make a significant difference to the safety and well-being of women in childbirth. At times like this, when coronavirus is heightening anxiety, that reassurance is more important then ever.
“While we concur with decisions to restrict access to birth partners who have or are suspected of having coronavirus in order to safeguard the health of the woman and the maternity staff supporting her, NHS Trusts and Boards should continue to follow guidance allowing birth partners access to the maternity suite.
“Localised restrictions on visitors may mean that partners are not able to attend routine antenatal appointments or stay with women on antenatal or postnatal wards. However, this should not impact on a birth partner’s presence during labour and the birth, unless they are unwell.”
Looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak
The Mental Health Foundation have developed some tips to help people look after their mental health at a time when there is much discussion about our physical health. Tips include:
Avoid speculation and focus on reputable sources
Try to stay connected
Manage how you follow the outbreak in the media.
Mind have also produced information to help people cope if they’re feeling anxious or worried about coronavirus, particularly those in isolation.
Public Health England have released guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus, including advice for those with specific mental health needs.
Please note that the MMHA is not responsible for the content of any of the links above but hopes that they may provide comfort and help at this time.
A recent survey, conducted by Healthwatch England, of 1,738 women who had been affected by perinatal mental health problems highlights inconsistencies in support during pregnancy and after having a baby, despite national NICE guidelines.
“We are delighted to collaborate with iHV on their second annual PIMH conference and look forward to welcoming delegates, hearing from those with experience of PIMH care and discussing opportunities to improve relationships and access to specialist services.” Clare Dolman, Vice Chair of the MMHA