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In these exceptional times the maternity team at Albury Wodonga Health (AWH) want expectant mothers to know they are here to help and support families as they go through their own special experience.

AWH Operation Director of Women’s and Children’s Services, Julie Wright said with the added complexity of the current COVID-19 environment, many new parents were feeling a heightened level of anxiety.

“As health professionals we really appreciate the need to support families as you juggle the natural excitement of pregnancy with the uncertainty many are experiencing because of COVID,” Ms Wright said.

“We want to reassure all parents that the safety of you and your unborn child will always be our number one priority and that the hospital remains the safest place to give birth so do not delay in contacting us if you need to.

“AWH has strict infection control processes in place across the entire service, including the birth suites, maternity ward and the special care nursery.”

Ms Wright said the recent revised restrictions on Victorian hospital maternity visitors was there to balance the needs and preferences of women with the need to care for them and their babies in the safest possible environment.

“We really feel for all our mothers and families but these necessary limitations on the number of visitors and duration of visitors stays is to protect everyone, including women, babies, partner or support person and staff”.

“A woman’s partner or nominated support person can stay for the duration of her labour and birth and for some time after, as agreed with the Midwifery team. Subsequent visits are allowed for up to two hours a day by the same partner or support person.”

Ms Wright also encouraged expectant mothers not to delay treatment or cancel appointments because of the border closure and COVID-19 environment.

“Importantly we would like to reassure our NSW mums that with the correct paperwork and our help, you can re-enter NSW after receiving care in Victoria with AWH.

“If you have any questions at all, please call on 02 6051 7250 or speak with the Midwives when you arrive.

“All women should know that if they are feeling any level of concern throughout their pregnancy, that our hospital remains a safe place. We want all women to be able to access the appropriate maternity and medical care as soon as they need it.

“Delaying treatment can cause unnecessary worry, illness, injury and concerns can become more serious. It can even put mothers and baby’s lives at risk that is why it is so important to not hesitate to contact the Maternity Ward Midwives.”

Ms Wright said even when you have returned home our care for you does not stop. 

“AWH offers a range of support and follow up care for you and your baby. This is offered through the home visiting Midwife program and the Maternal and Children Health service.

“This in addition to a range of other support services either face to face (COVID-19 compliant), or via telehealth. Similarly the Parents and Babies Service offers breast feeding support.”

What to expect:
So we can prepare for your arrival please call ahead 02 6051 7250. This gives us an opportunity to ask you a few questions around your COVID risk. This is to ensure your
safety, your baby’s safety and the safety of our staff and that we are prepared for your visit. Expect to meet our staff wearing the appropriate personal protective wear, face
mask and face shields. It is also compulsory to wear face coverings in the hospital for patients and visitors. Additionally our staff may wear gowns and gloves.

Pregnancy Care:

It is important you book your appointment early, preferably by 16 weeks. The AWH team or your chosen pregnancy care doctor will support you during your pregnancy with regular antenatal appointments to check on your health and the health of your baby.

Maternity Care:

Your Midwife will be with you throughout labour and delivery and Doctors will be available within the Birth Suite at all times. With you is also your partner or support person for the duration of your labour and delivery (and this includes caesarean sections). This support person stays with you until you and your baby are settled postdelivery.

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