Obstetrics (Maternity) & Neonatal

COVID-19 Maternity Service Guidelines

The health, safety and well-being of our Burnside mothers, babies, their families, our doctors, staff and volunteers remains our number one priority during these challenging and changing times.

The Burnside Hospital reserves the right to alter these guidelines in its unfettered discretion. As such, changes may be made with minimal notice to ensure that we remain aligned with community conditions and the health advice available at the time.

We thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Please select options below for all relevant information.
 

Maternity Screening Guidelines

Our preference remains that all patients within the hospital are vaccinated, however we will continue to provide a service to all patients regardless of their vaccination status.

  • All maternity patients and partner / support person are required to undergo a RAT on admission to the hospital
  • Where a maternity patient’s RAT is shown to be positive a discussion with the Obstetrician will occur to determine next steps.
  • Where a partner / support person’s RAT is shown to be positive a discussion with the Obstetrician will occur to determine next steps, dependent on maternity patient clinical status

Please note: If a maternity patient or partner / support person develops symptoms of COVID-19 prior to admission they must have a PCR test, isolate and await result. Please advise your Obstetrician as soon as possible if you receive a positive COVID-19 PCR or RAT result.


Booked Elective Maternity Patients (caesarean)

From 1 August 2022, please be advised that all booked elective maternity patients (caesarean) coming to the hospital are encouraged to supply their own Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). All subsequent tests during your admission will be supplied by the Hospital.

All booked elective maternity patients will be required to undertake the following tests:

  • RAT at the time of admission. An onsite testing station has been established and the test will be facilitated by our screening staff ahead of your admission
  • RAT on day after admission. This test will be facilitated by the midwifery staff caring for you
  • Patients who are symptomatic must notify their admitting doctor and obtain a PCR test before they are admitted in to the Hospital

Unplanned / Spontaneous Maternity Admissions

For unplanned or spontaneous maternity  admissions, a RAT will be undertaken at the hospital at the time of admission.  The partner / support person of the maternity patient will be required to provide their own RAT kit if possible, with the test to be undertaken at the Hospital under the supervision of nursing / midwifery staff.

Maternity Service Partner / Support Person Guidelines

Our preference is that all partners / support persons are vaccinated with evidence of having two (2) doses of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccination.

  • Partner / support persons whom show evidence of up to date (at least two (2) doses) TGA approved vaccination status and a negative RAT upon arrival at the hospital are able to stay with the maternity patient at all times. 
  • Effective Friday, 22 April 2022, where a partner / support person is unvaccinated, provision can be made for the partner / support person to be present for the labour / birth.
    • The unvaccinated partner / support person will need to undergo a Rapid Antigen Tent on arrival and will be required to wear protective equipment including disposable gown, N95 mask and eye protection for the duration of their visit.
    • They will also be required to leave the hospital within 2 hours post-birth (or prior to the maternity patient being transferred to the postnatal maternity suite).
    • An unvaccinated partner / support person will not be permitted to return to the hospital or to visit the postnatal room or the nursery

Please note: If a partner / support person develops symptoms of COVID-19 prior to the patients admission, they must have a PCR test, isolate and await result. Please advise the patients Obstetrician as soon as possible if you receive a positive COVID-19 PCR or RAT result.

Maternity Service Visitor Restrictions

In addition to their partner / support person, all maternity and general wards patients are permitted to have one (1) visitor per patient, per day, for a maximum of two (2) hours only.

  • These visitors will need to be able to show evidence of up to date TGA approved vaccination status upon arrival at the hospital.
  • Visitors will need to show evidence of a negative RAT upon arrival to the hospital. This can be via a photograph on their mobile device, but the photo must be from that day.
  • Partner / support persons whom show evidence of up to date TGA approved vaccination status and negative RAT upon arrival at the hospital are able to stay with the patient at all times.

Special Care Nursery Guidelines

Please note:

  • Unvaccinated mothers with a newborn in the Hospital’s Special Care Nursery (once the mother is discharged from the Hospital) must have a negative RAT every 24 hours. These results will need to be presented to the Hospital's screening staff upon arrival.
  • The mother and their partner / support person whom are up to date (at least two (2) doses) of a TGA approved vaccinations must still participate in the hospital's screening process, and be able to show evidence of up to date TGA approved vaccination status upon arrival at the hospital.
    • A negative RAT result will need to be provided to the hospital each time you enter the hospital. The results of a negative RAT will be valid for 24 hours.
  • All unvaccinated partners / support person will not permitted to visit the Special Care Nursery under any circumstances.

Maternity Service Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Can I have visitors during my admission?

Please refer to our current visitor restrictions in the general information section above.

Can my child / children visit me at the hospital?

In line with other South Australian private hospitals and advice from SA Health, unfortunately children (<16 years) are not permitted in any clinical areas of the Hospital. This is an evidence based approach and has been reluctantly endorsed by SA Health and Senior Medical Executives based on the high levels of infection and rate of transmission amongst this age group.

 A unified approach for our maternity service has been carefully considered and this same approach has been applied to other private maternity hospitals also.

While vaccination is very effective at reducing the risk of serious illness and hospitalisation, a fully vaccinated person can still catch COVID and unknowingly spread it to another person. This may include:

  • people who cannot be vaccinated

  • young children and babies who are not vaccinated 

  • people who have a serious illness or weak immune system. In these situations, the consequences of contracting the virus can be devastating.

At Burnside Hospital, our patients include unvaccinated babies in our Special Care Nursery, unvaccinated patients and immunocompromised patients. This is why we unfortunately have had to reduce the number of hospital visitors. This difficult but necessary measure also helps us to maintain physical distancing and density limits, and protect our patients and staff.

We understand that this a difficult for our families, but it is important that we do everything we can to minimise the risk to our patients, newborns, families, visitors and all Burnside Hospital staff, volunteers and visiting medical officers.

We thank you in advance for your consideration, understanding and support.

Do I need to call ahead before coming to the Maternity Unit?

If you think you may be in labour, please phone the maternity service on (08) 8202 7218 at any time to get guidance from one of our experienced midwives. They will be able to advise you on what the next steps are and when you should perhaps come in to the hospital.

This phone call is also important as it helps us to prepare for your arrival.

Who will be wearing a face mask?

All patients (general wards and maternity) will be required to wear a provided surgical mask when outside of their room. You will not be required to wear a face masks during your labour, or in your room.

All visitors will be required to wear a provided surgical mask at all times.

In addition, healthcare workers must wear a provided respirator mask and eye protection when on site. This is mandatory for all staff, including doctors, nurses, midwives, food service attendants, cleaning staff, allied health staff, corporate staff and any contractors on site.

What happens if I get COVID before my admission at the Hospital?

If you or your partner / support person develop symptoms of COVID-19 prior to admission they must have a PCR test, isolate and await result.

Please advise your Obstetrician as soon as possible if you receive a positive COVID-19 PCR or RAT result.

For a list of all testing locations, please click here.

What happens if there is a case of COVID-19 within the hospital during my stay?

If any patient exhibits COVID-19 symptoms during their stay, or becomes a suspected positive case, our hospital is very well prepared to manage them and their required care. This may include additional support, or a transfer to another hospital to receive the require care / medical intervention.

The Hospital has a COVID plan in place and under the guidance of a highly experienced Infection Control Team, we have planned for this situation

What proof of vaccination do you require / accept?

We accept any of the following as proof of your vaccination status:

  • Vaccine Record(s) provided to you at the time of your vaccination

  • COVID-19 Digital Certificate (issued only after second dose)

  • Immunisation History Statement

  • Vaccination status on Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)

  • International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate

How long will the Hospital have these restrictions for?

We are unable to determine how long these guidelines will be in place for.

I don’t consent to having a RAT. What are my options?

If you do not consent to having a RAT (or PCR) you will need to discuss this with your doctor ahead of your admission. Without evidence of a negative RAT or agreeing to have a RAT on admission, your surgery / procedure may be cancelled.

This necessary measure has been put in place to ensure the ongoing safety of everyone at the hospital, including you.

Is the Hospital still running its antenatal classes?

Following health advice, and the evidence of COVID-19 community transmission within our state, antenatal education sessions will now be conducted online with one of our experienced midwives and delivered to patients in Zoom format. 

If you are booked in, or are approaching your class date, a member of our team will be in direct contact with you, to offer you options on dates and times.

Can I have my partner AND another support person or doula with me during childbirth?

Unfortunately, only one person is permitted into the labour ward / operating theatre during childbirth. This can either be your partner / support person or doula.

Can my partner go home and come back to the Hospital?

Wherever possible we encourage partners / support people to minimise leaving and re-entering the Hospital. Where they need to leave the hospital they will be required to undergo a risk assessment to determine their need to have a RAT prior to returning to the maternity unit.

Unvaccinated partners / support persons will not be permitted to return to the hospital after the birth.

Can I still visit my baby in the Nursery?

Yes, you can visit your baby in the Nursery, however additional precautions may be put in place for unvaccinated mothers.

Please note, an unvaccinated partner / support person will not be permitted to visit the nursery under any circumstances.

Further information relating to our Special Care Nursery Guidelines please refer to the general information section above.

Does the Hospital offer any exceptions?

Exceptions to any / all of the above mentioned information may be considered dependent on circumstances, by contacting the Clinical Manager, Maternity on (08) 8202 7219.

Please note, applications are not guaranteed.

Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

If you have any additional questions or require any assistance, please phone the maternity service on (08) 8202 7218.

Make a difference
and support the Hospital

We're a not-for-profit community hospital with NO government funding.

Donate Volunteer
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Seek advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner before proceeding with any procedure.
Close
Important update for patients and visitors regarding COVID-19

Access important information about our current visitor restrictions, screening guidelines, FAQ's and what we are doing at Burnside Hospital to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe during these challenging times.

Please click here for more information
Important update for patients and visitors regarding COVID-19