Changes to maternity services at Freestanding Midwifery Units (FMUs) in response to COVID-19

  • Continued support for women to have their baby at Trowbridge Freestanding Midwifery Units (FMUs) until Monday 1 June.
  • Temporary closure of the postnatal beds at Chippenham FMU from Monday 4 May to reduce the clinical risk of having postnatal mums and newborn babies in hospital environments during the Covid-19 period.
  • Replacement of overnight staffing at both Chippenham  FMU with an ‘open on demand’ system to support mums during labour from Monday 4 May.


During your pregnancy most of your care will be carried out by the Midwife.

Please contact Trowbridge Maternity on 01225 711314 within the first month of finding out you are pregnant to book a Midwife appointment.

As your General Practitioner we are very keen to see you at least a couple of times during the pregnancy. This gives us an opportunity to discuss any medical issues with you as well as enabling us to get to know you a little before your baby is born.

We therefore propose that you try to see your GP as part of your maternity care at 25 weeks, if this is your first pregnancy. If this is not your first pregnancy you may not need an appointment at 25 weeks, so see us at 31 or 38 weeks.

Please ask at reception for a maternity pack which encloses helpful guides, information and advice including 'healthy habits for baby and you', Screening Tests and maternity services.

If however, you are not sure how you feel about the pregnancy please contact reception who will arrange for an appointment with the Doctor for you, so that you may explore your feelings and discuss your options further.


 **COVID 19 Update**

We appreciate this is a worrying time for pregnant women and mums who have recently had their baby. We want to ensure we give you the latest information about how we have had to change our services to keep everyone safe. We also want to reassure you that you are not alone in your pregnancy and that we are still here to help and support you throughout your pregnancy to parenthood journey.

As you are aware Covid-19 presents a significant challenge to the NHS. The health, wellbeing and safety of everyone accessing and working in maternity services is our utmost priority. In a rapidly changing situation, the care we provide is guided by national evidence for safest practice as this becomes available.

In our maternity services and the wider hospital, we are minimising all face to face contact appointments including obstetric clinic appointments and cancelling all group appointments such as antenatal preparation. In addition, we are making amendments in our community services to limit non-urgent face to face contacts between women and our midwives. Your midwife will be in contact with you and will continue to provide support and virtual consultation with face to face visits provided when necessary and will provide information on antenatal education and all other aspects of maternity care.


As part of the social distancing strategy to protect staff and patients, the public are being asked to limit visitors. In line with national guidance we have taken the decision to restrict birth partners to one per woman at this time. We know how disappointing this will be for everyone and want to reassure you that the midwives and maternity team are focused on supporting you and your birth partner through your pregnancy, birth and following the birth of your baby.


If required, your partner can drive you to your appointment and wait in the car for you.

To enable us to ensure that you have the most up to date information for care within the area that you live we encourage all pregnant women, mums and partners to access your local hospitals website. Here you will find up to date information relating to important issues such as visiting policies, birth partners and contact numbers if you have any concerns. Contact numbers are also available on these websites. Please do not hesitate to contact maternity services if you have any concerns


Baby’s movements and growth scans


Your baby’s movements in pregnancy are a sign that they are well. If you baby moves less or if you notice a change this can sometimes be an important warning sign that your baby is unwell.


Please do not hesitate to contact your local maternity services if you have any concerns about your baby’s movements. Please follow the advice and guidance that you have been provided by your midwife relating to observing your baby’s movements and please do not delay contacting your midwife or maternity service due to worries about hospitals being too busy to see you or concerns about catching Covid-19 (Coronavirus).


Maternity services are focused on keeping you safe and are available to provide care if you have concerns about your baby’s movements. Please do not put off calling until the next day. It is important to know for the midwives and your doctors to know if your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped. Information is available on the hospital websites.

Covid Kicks Count 

If you have been asked to attend scans to check your baby’s growth it is very important that you attend these scans so that we can check that your baby’s growth and wellbeing.


Registration of Babies


Some Registration offices are not currently registering baby’s births at this time. Your GP practice should still be able to register your baby as a patient without the birth registration and they have been sent information about this.





There is no evidence showing that the virus can be carried in breastmilk, the well-recognised benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of coronavirus through breastmilk.

The main risk of breastfeeding is close contact between you and your baby, as if you cough or sneeze, this could contain droplets which are infected with the virus, leading to infection of the baby after birth.

A discussion about the risks and benefits of breastfeeding should take place between you and your family and your maternity team.

This guidance may change as knowledge evolves.

When you or anyone else feeds your baby, the following precautions are recommended:

  • Wash your hands before touching your baby, breast pump or bottles
  • Try to avoid coughing or sneezing on your baby while feeding at the breast
  • Consider wearing a face mask while breastfeeding, if available
  • Follow recommendations for pump cleaning after each use
  • Consider asking someone who is well to feed your expressed breast milk to your baby.

UNICEF infant feeding recommendations during COVID19:


Formula feeding of babies


If you are feeding your baby with baby formula milk it is important that formula milk is prepared as directed on the manufacturer’s instructions and is not watered down as this will result in your baby not receiving the adequate nutrients required for health.


It is also important that the correct stage baby milk is used for your baby e.g. First Infant formula (Stage 1 milk). Follow on formula milk should never be used for babies under 6 months and they can continue to have First Milk up the age of one year as part of their diet. If you have any problems obtaining formula milk, try shopping around smaller shops if you can’t find it in your usual supermarket. The manufacturers are still distributing regular supplies to shops and increasing production.



Emotional health and wellbeing


It is understandable to feel more anxious and stressed than usual in times like these and it’s a big adjustment to stay inside all day. It’s important to look after yourself whilst you stay at home, and in particular to look after your mental health

Taking active steps to stay healthy and well will help you manage anxiety and help you feel more in control. Try to:

  • Stay active as best you can
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
  • Eat well
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Establish regular sleep habits


Useful guide to support mental health when staying at home:


Tommy’s wellbeing resources for pregnancy and post birth:

Mind resources to support mental health during pregnancy and post birth:

Maternal Mental Health Alliance:



Physical health and wellbeing


Exercise is important in pregnancy. It’s okay to go out for a walk once a day. Keep your distance from others, wash hands and follow guidance for social distancing. There are lots of free classes on social media platforms to follow that are pregnancy related. If you are concerned about safety check with your midwife first.


Further useful information can be read here:




In addition to seeking advice from your midwife, do use reliable sources of advice and information in relation to pregnancy. The following links give reliable information and advice in relation to staying healthy and well during pregnancy and early parenthood:



Coping with a crying baby


During this challenging time stress levels at home may be increased and it is important to find ways to cope with a crying baby. Infant crying is normal, and it will stop! Babies start to cry more frequently from around 2 weeks of age. After about 8 weeks of ages babies start to cry less each week. It's okay to walk away if you have checked if baby is safe and the crying is getting to you.

Never, ever shake or hurt your baby - it can cause lasting brain damage or death


Follow the ICON guidance for coping with crying:


I – Infant crying is normal

C- Comforting methods can help

O- It’s OK to walk away

N – Never, ever shake your baby


Useful links for further information:


Support for Dads

DadPad is a guide for new dads, developed with the NHS. This resource supports Dads and their partners to give your baby the best possible start in life. The DadPad supports dads to get involved and gain confidence which can help reduce anxiety.


You can find out more here and download the DadPad app:


Domestic abuse in pregnancy


The current advice to stay at home can cause anxiety for those who are experiencing or feel at risk of domestic abuse. Pregnancy is a time when domestic abuse can start or worsen. For anyone who feels they are at risk of abuse, it is important to remember that there is help and support available to you.


Guidance: Coronavirus (COVID19): support for victims of domestic abuse


Refuge – Freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247


Women’s Aid:


Respect helpline offers help for domestic abuse perpetrators who want to change and provides confidential advice and support: 0808 802 4040,

Other useful information:

Whooping cough

Whooping Cough Vaccination

Since the end of September 2012 you may have heard on the news that the whooping cough vaccination will soon be available and can be given to expectant mothers who are 28-38 weeks pregnant.

We have now received full guidance from NHS Wiltshire and we have got a supply of the vaccine - please contact the surgery to book your appointment with the practice nurse.

Click here to view the patient information leaflet.

start for life logo

The NHS have provided a new digital advice service for parents-to-be and new parents. The service offers up to date material from NHS Choices, the Pregnancy Care Planner and the online Birth to Five guide, covering a wide range of issues including how a baby develops, birth and pain relief options, healthy lifestyle advice, breastfeeding, immunisations and much much more. To find out more information and to sign up, please click here.

Emmas diary logoRCGP

In association with the Royal College of General Practitioners Emma's Diary is a an on-line pregnancy guide giving medical information and helpful advice to mums-to-be to see them through pregnancy and the first few months at home with their new baby.  The site includes FREE gift packs.  

Please click here for more information.

Breastfeeding picture

Pregnant and thinking about breastfeeding? or a Mum already breastfeeding? Meet other mums with experience who are trained to provide support.  Find your local group - click here

Registering the birth

You can now register births and deaths at this hospital

Ground Floor

Bath and Wessex House

Department B21

Royal United Hospital 

Mondays and Thursdays 9:30 to 4:00pm

Commencing Monday 10 November 2014
For appointments telephone 01225 477234or speak to Patient Affairs at the RUH


Additional content supplied by NHS Choices:

The more you know about your pregnancy and your options, the more you are likely to feel in control. The information given here is based on The Pregnancy Book, which your midwife should give you at your first appointment.    

Before you are pregnant

 Your pregnancy and labour

 You and your baby

 General pregnancy topics

Content Supplied by NHS Choices

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website