Pregnant women will now be able to attend face-to-face antenatal appointments and classes according to new advice from The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG).
It's welcome news for expectant parents, many of whom have seen a reduction in the frequency of their antenatal visits and the cancellation of hospital-based pre-natal classes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
RANZCOG issued a statement reading: "In light of the successful flattening of the curve in Australia and New Zealand ... Antenatal visits may now be undertaken face to face and at usual intervals," the college advised. In addition, "Antenatal face to face classes can now resume within the limitations of social distancing requirements."
In light of the successful flattening of the curve in Australia and New Zealand, RANZCOG has updated our advice regarding routine antenatal care & birth. Read: https://t.co/XAU89dkoko #COVIDー19 #COVID19Aus #auspol pic.twitter.com/oGSk5tulJI— RANZCOG - O&G (@ranzcog) June 5, 2020
When it comes to visitors and support persons during labour, RANZCOG advises expectant parents to consult their maternity hospital. "Accompanying partner at routine visits, hospital visitors and number of support persons in labour as per local protocols, allowing for social distancing measures," they note.
"The College recognises that individual institutions and other jurisdictions will have their own protocols in place and these should be adhered to. There remains a risk of a second wave of infection and all social distancing and hygiene precautions should remain in place."
In an Instagram post, The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne shared that two support persons are now allowed during labour and birth and one may remain with mum throughout her stay in hospital.
For current advice relating to your own pregnancy and post-natal care, please contact your hospital or midwife.