Enhanced guidelines for pregnant health care workers and employers during coronavirus outbreak

  • Women who are under 28 weeks pregnant should be socially distant but may continue to work in a patient-facing position if appropriate measures are taken.
  • Women who are pregnant for more than 28 weeks or who have underlying health problems should avoid direct contact with patients.
  • Pregnant women are encouraged to follow the guidelines on social distancing in the same way as the general public and all colleagues in their first or second trimester, which is under 28 weeks 'gestation, with no underlying health conditions. This means that they will continue to function but avoid taking care of patients with suspected or confirmed infection with coronavirus by using PPE.
  • Some working environments, such as operating theatres, respiratory wards and intensive care / high-dependency units, carry a greater risk of exposure to the virus for pregnant women and it is recommended that all health workers in these settings use adequate PPE.
  • A more precautionary approach is recommended for pregnant women in their third trimester, after 28 weeks of gestation, for those at any point of pregnancy with an underlying health condition-such as heart or lung disease.

Dr Edward Morris, President of The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said:

“We are aware that the current uncertainty about the risks posed by coronavirus to pregnant women and their babies is causing substantial difficulties and confusion for women, their families and their employers.

"Therefore, we very much welcome this further guidance for pregnant healthcare workers which we have developed with the UK Chief Medical Officers. This will enable women and their employers to more effectively plan their working patterns and continue to make a valuable contribution to the workplace until the start of their maternity leave.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of The Royal College of Midwives, said:

“We know that many pregnant midwives and maternity support workers have been concerned at the lack of official guidance to help them keep themselves and their babies healthy while also caring and supporting pregnant women.

"We therefore welcome the publication of this guidance for all pregnant healthcare workers and the clarity it brings for them and for employers.”

Professor Russell Viner, president of The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, said:

"Our utmost goal is to protect all those who work at our NHS. Our physicians and healthcare professionals are about to go through a time of unprecedented challenges that will bring.

"We have a duty to ensure that everybody on the frontline has clear instructions to keep them as secure as possible. Read More in the source