Maternity ward covid rules parents-to-be need to know as they prepare to welcome their baby in Sunderland or South Tyneside

Becoming parents in the time of a pandemic adds an extra stress – but maternity units in Sunderland and South Tyneside are working hard to ensure families have everything they need to welcome their newborn.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has put together a guide to help mums and partners know the guidelines ahead of check ups, appointments and deliveries at South Tyneside District Hospital or Sunderland Royal Hospital.

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Sheila Ford, its Head of Midwifery, said: “We are delighted to be in a position where we can safely reintroduce visiting on our antenatal and postnatal wards.

South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has shared information for parents-to-be as it continues to manage the risk of Covid-19 on its maternity units. Photo by Jim Varney.

“However, Covid-19 is still very much with us, and we must remain cautious.

"To protect our mums and babies we are asking that all visitors take the necessary precautions, including; home COVID-19 testing where appropriate, wearing personal protective equipment, regular hand washing and staying away if they feel unwell in any way.

“We are looking forward to welcoming back visitors in a safe way and allowing parents and their babies to be closer during this special time in their lives.”

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Here’s what you need to know if you’re expecting:

*Mums-to-be can now take one person with them to scans, the ante-natal clinic and ante-natal day unit appointments – due to social distancing rules, they will only be able to stay for the appointment and wait outside the department at other times

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*A birthing partner is allowed in the delivery suite and midwife-led birthing centre, but they cannot leave the department and return

*Mums and those waiting to deliver are allowed one named visitor between 6pm and 8pm and this must be arranged with the ward in advance. People are asked not to turn up to the units otherwise.

*Masks must be worn at all times, with women exempt during labour

*Mums and their support person must take a Covid-19 test before all appointments

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*The support person must take a home Covid-19 test before attending a labour – tests can be ordered by clicking here and they are also free from pharmacies and test sites

*Mums will be offered a hospital test when admitted for labour or 48-hours before a planned caesarean or induction.

For more details on the trust’s maternity service visit

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