Maternity appointments and visits


Visiting guidance for maternity services to keep everyone safe

This guidance covers Colchester HospitalIpswich Hospital and Clacton Hospital.

Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (Opens in a new window), or anyone feeling unwell, should not visit our wards or accompany pregnant people to any appointments. This is essential to help prevent the spread of any infection.

Attending ultrasound scans (including early pregnancy units)

One adult can attend all ultrasound and fetal medicine scans with someone who is pregnant. Unfortunately, children cannot attend ultrasound scans.

A pregnant person and their support person are respectfully asked to:

  • maintain an arm’s length distance where possible from staff in the scanning room and others in the waiting area
  • be on time for your appointment. If you are more than 10 minutes late, we may not be able to scan you on that day and will have to reschedule your appointment

Visiting antenatal and postnatal wards

Two adults (one birthing partner and one other) may visit antenatal/postnatal wards anytime between 8am and 8pm.

We are also welcoming siblings of newborn babies to our postnatal wards. These sibling(s) visits should be discussed and agreed with the ward teams in advance.

We ask that visitors stay at the bedside and maintain an arm’s length distance from staff and other patients wherever possible.

A birthing partner should not be popping in and out of the ward during visiting hours. Please have any necessary drinks, snacks or belongings with you when you arrive.

Visitors should wash their hands regularly, especially before and after their visit to the ward.

Visitors may be asked to leave the ward for several reasons, such as a medical emergency. If this happens, please respect our staff and kindly do so when asked.

 Birthing partners

Two birthing partners may accompany someone in labour at our hospitals from the point of their admission.

Induction of labour

One adult may have 24-hour access to the antenatal ward with someone who is pregnant.

Caesarean sections

One adult may attend our hospitals with a pregnant person for an elective caesarean section. Following the birth, the support person may stay in the recovery area and will then be able to go to the postnatal ward.

Maternity triage / day assessment units

One adult may attend all appointments in maternity triage at Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals, and the day assessment unit at Ipswich Hospital, but they may be asked to wait outside if our waiting areas are busy until the time of the appointment.

Early pregnancy units

One adult may attend all early pregnancy unit appointments.

Consultant antenatal clinics

One adult may attend all consultant antenatal appointments.

Community antenatal and postnatal midwife led clinics

One adult may attend all community antenatal and postnatal midwife led appointments.

If your appointment is not at an ESNEFT site, please check the visiting guidance at that venue in advance or ask your midwife.

Got a question or need some support?

If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your baby, please contact your midwife. They can answer any pregnancy related questions or concerns whenever you need support.

Maternity helplines are also available:

  • Colchester Hospital: 01206 742 369
  • Ipswich Hospital: 01473 702 666
Back to top