Mackay HHS has undertaken planning to care for women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. These plans will continue to be updated in line with the latest advice from the Chief Health Officer.
Our hospitals are well prepared to respond to COVID-19 to ensure they are a safe place for you and your baby. Here are some frequently asked questions about birthing with COVID-19.
Antenatal classes and appointments
Depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in the community we may change the way appointments and antenatal classes are held. Our plan is to offer more antenatal class times with fewer participants to allow us to social distance. Information will also be available online.
Initial appointments may be conducted by phone and then subsequent appointments will be individually reviewed, with some face to face or over the phone. We will work individually with each woman so please keep in touch with your midwife for the latest information.
It remains incredibly important that everyone is vaccinated. Pregnant women are a priority group for vaccination; vaccination during pregnancy is proven to be safe.
Although pregnant women are not more likely to contract the infection than the general population, COVID-19 infection during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk of severe illness and other adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Where will I birth if I have COVID-19?
Women with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are able to birth at Mackay Base Hospital in dedicated rooms in Labour Ward. This is the case as long as there are no other factors that would normally result in transfer to a tertiary hospital. Staff will use COVID-19 precautions until results are returned.
After birthing you will be cared for in a dedicated COVID-19 section in the Women’s Health Unit. If babies are well and not requiring care in the Special Care Nursery they will room in with their mothers as usual.
Your mode of birth will not be influenced by COVID-19 unless urgent delivery is indicated. Your choice of feeding is supported and breastfeeding is still recommended even if you have COVID-19.
The Mackay HHS response is based on the Queensland Clinical Guidelines that translates evidence into best clinical practice. This document outlines maternity care for mothers and babies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support during labour
You are welcome to have two support persons during labour and birth. While we can allow an unvaccinated partner to attend (provided they follow all staff instructions regarding Personal Protective Equipment), we do require that any secondary support person be vaccinated, to limit risk to our staff.
Visitors after the birth
Visiting restrictions are determined by the Chief Heath Officer’s Visitor Policy Direction. You will need to check this policy at the time of your birthing. The Chief Health Officer (in accordance with emergency powers arising from a declared public health emergency) has the authority to restrict visitors to hospitals.
Babies are precious and we want to keep them safe. At times we may limit the number of visitors in our Birth Suite, Women’s Health Unit and Special Care Nursery. Visitors must be double vaccinated.