BBC News. Coronavirus: latest patient was first to be infected in UK. 2020a. (accessed 28 February 2020)

BBC News. Coronavirus: PM says everyone should avoid office, pubs and travelling. 2020b. (accessed 16 March 2020)

What does coronavirus mean for violence against women?. 2020. (accessed 19 March 2020)

As Cities around the world go on lockdown, victims of domestic violence look for a way out. 2020. (accessed 18 March 2020)

Domestic abuse killings ‘more than double’ amid Covid-19 lockdown. 2020. (accessed 16 April 2020)

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologist, Royal College of Midwives. Guidance for antenatal and postnatal services in the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic: information for health care professionals. 2020. (accessed 3 April)

Sun. Mums the word: coronavirus advice for pregnant women in the UK – when should I self-isolate?. 2020. (accessed 3 April)

World Health Organization. COVID-19 and violence against women: what the health sector/system can do. 2020. (accessed 1 April 2020)

Women's Aid UK. The impact of COVID-19 on women and children experiencing domestic abuse, and the life-saving services that support them. 2020. (accessed 17 March 2020)

Guidance for the provision of antenatal services during the COVID-19 pandemic

02 May 2020
Volume 28 · Issue 5


Novel coronavirus, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-COV-2), is a new strain of coronavirus causing the COVID-19 infection. The incubation period is estimated at 0–14 days (mean 5–6 days). The majority of people with COVID-19 infection have mild symptoms. Typical symptoms include a fever and cough which may progress to a severe pneumonia causing breathing difficulties. Severe symptoms are more likely in people with weakened immune systems, older people and people with long-term conditions. Pregnant women do not appear to be more susceptible to the consequences of an infection with COVID-19 than the general population. Special consideration should be given to pregnant women with concomitant medical illnesses. There is currently no evidence concerning transmission through genital fluids or breastmilk.

On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus, a new strain of coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-COV-2) causing COVID-19, had caused a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. The earliest documented transmission of COVID-19 within the UK appeared on 28 February 2020; all of the cases detected previously had been infected abroad (BBC News, 2020a). By 1 March 2020, cases had been detected in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. This led to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce that ‘non-essential’ travel and contact with others, as well as suggesting people should avoid pubs, clubs and theatres, and work from home if possible. Pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions were urged to consider the advice ‘particularly important’, as they were considered ‘vulnerable’ and were asked to self-isolate (BBC News, 2020b)

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Midwifery and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for midwives. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to our clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month