The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge number of changes to the way that antenatal and postnatal care are provided.

The RCM and RCOG have developed guidance on antenatal and postnatal appointments. This outlines which elements of routine antenatal and postnatal care are essential and which could be modified, given national recommendations for social distancing to reduce transmission between women, their families, and maternity staff. This includes advice on how to manage in person consultations and provide alternatives online or over the phone.  This was last updated on 21 October 2020 and remains current.

Where women require or chose an in person consultation, a system should be in place for evaluating whether she has symptoms that are suggestive of COVID-19, or if they meet current ‘stay at home’ guidance (criteria for England, Wales and Northern Ireland/ in Scotland). This may be a telephone call prior to the appointment or an assessment at entry to the maternity setting, or both.

If the woman tests positive for COVID-19, please refer to the joint RCM/RCOG guidance for healthcare professionals.

The RCM has developed a range of professional briefings to support midwives in providing key aspects of antenatal and postnatal care through and beyond the pandemic.