Maternity and Fertility services

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Sheffield Hospitals will support partners to attend for first baby scan and other maternity restrictions will begin to be eased into the New Year

Following new national guidance this month, partners will shortly be able to attend the first pregnancy scan (the dating scan) and visit the ante-natal and post-natal wards for one hour per day at the Jessop Wing Hospital as restrictions begin to be eased.

Restrictions on the attendance of partners are being reduced in a stepped manner, in line with the new national maternity service guidance. We are pleased to be able to remove some restrictions from Christmas Eve, and ask that people bear with us while we work to further reduce restrictions over the coming weeks. The safety of women and babies in Jessops and the need to limit transmission of COVID-19 as much as possible is still the first priority and so there will be strict measures which we will be asking people to adhere to before they can accompany or visit. This includes social distancing, wearing PPE and having a COVID-19 test for some types of attendances.

  • From Thursday December 24, a partner or nominated support person can visit the ante-natal and post-natal wards for one hour per day, in a nominated time slot. They will be provided with PPE to wear and will need to follow social distancing rules. Unfortunately children are not allowed to attend.
  • From Monday December 28, partners will be able to attend the first pregnancy scan (the dating scan). Social distancing measures are in place, and partners will be escorted to the scan room and leave via a one way system. Masks must be worn throughout.

Partners are already able to attend during labour and for the birth of the child, including elective C-sections, and to stay for a short time afterwards.

Work is ongoing to enable us to reduce restrictions further over the coming days and weeks including enabling unlimited joint visiting for partners on the neo-natal unit and allowing partners to attend 20 week anomaly scans from January. 

We are doing some final work to install testing areas and increase the space we are using to make it possible to have increased social distancing, and then we will be informing women and their partners of the new arrangements in more detail.

The reason restrictions have been in place for scan attendance and other appointments has been to protect patients and their babies. The level of COVID-19 cases in Sheffield has been very high during the pandemic and so we have tried to minimise the number of people coming into Jessops who could potentially transmit the virus unknowingly, given that many people do not display symptoms.

We also now have to consider the new variant of the virus, which we know is likely to be in our communities already and is up to 70% more transmissible, and for this reason we ask that all those attending strictly adhere to the arrangements we are putting in place.

Professor Chris Morley, Chief Nurse, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, explained:

“Our teams have worked really hard to balance the safety of women and their babies with the understandable desire for partners to be as involved as possible with such a special event in their lives, and so we are pleased to be in a position where we can now take these steps to ease some of the restrictions  we have had in place. We will need to continually monitor the position given the new rise in COVID-19 cases and ask partners to strictly adhere to any new guidance which is issued and undertake a COVID-19 tests when asked, wear PPE and socially distance at all times. By working together we can limit the potential transmission of this awful virus to women and babies in Jessops.”

Antenatal appointments

Attending your antenatal appointments either with your Community Midwife or at the Jessop Wing Antenatal Clinic is really important to ensure your personalised plan of care is followed. If you need urgent help or advice it is also important that you contact us to discuss your pregnancy concerns.

We have measures in place to protect you from coming into contact with Coronavirus which includes coming to your appointments, including your scans, alone.

If you have symptoms of a high temperature, loss of taste and/or smell, a cough and new shortness of breath or are in self-isolation due to a family member being symptomatic of Covid-19 please contact us before coming to your antenatal appointment on 0114 2268091.

Partners/support person at maternity appointments update 17 December 2020

We are pleased that we now have guidance that will enable partners to attend maternity appointments and scans in the near future, and are currently working through this to ensure that we can implement any changes that are needed in a COVID safe manner.

While we do this we would ask that you please bear with us and continue to follow the existing rules that are in place for scans and maternity appointments.

We will provide an update as soon as any changes are implemented.  In the meantime, if you feel there is an exceptional circumstance that applies to your situation you can discuss this with your midwife.


Jessop Wing visitor and birth partners update 28 September 2020

We are aware of the unhappiness of women and their families regarding the current restrictions in place at the Jessop Wing and the fact that they have not been lifted yet like in some other maternity units  We also wish we were in different circumstances because we understand how special the arrival of a baby is for couples and their wider family. These are the reasons why in Sheffield we have not changed the restrictions yet.

Unlike some areas of the UK, Sheffield is seeing a continued rise in cases of COVID-19 both in the community and also hospital admissions. Due to this we simply don’t feel we can take the risk of bringing mums, their babies and indeed our staff into potential contact with the virus whilst it is increasing. We also know now that more people with the virus are not showing any visible symptoms and so unwittingly could be bringing the virus into the maternity unit, which is something none of us want.  We have over 6,500 pregnancies at Jessops and so just by adding a partner to scan appointments means a significant increase in people coming through the unit where mums and babies are being cared for. Add to this social distancing requirements and we risk not being able to offer the care needed in the safest way possible.  The safety of women and babies has to be our first priority and this is the reason we still have the restrictions in place. We are trying to allow as much as we can safely including:

  • Allowing partners to be present during labour and after the birth of the baby.
  • Partners are also allowed in theatre if that is where the birth will take place. 
  • Visiting is allowed on the antenatal and postnatal wards by a named person for one hour each day too.
  • A partner is also able to attend to support a mother experiencing emotionally distressing situations.

We will continue to review the situation but safety will always to be the priority and we would ask people to be kind to our midwives and other staff who are simply trying to do the right thing for everyone concerned so that babies are born as safely as possible in these unprecedented times.

Breastfeeding Support

Even in these more difficult times we are continuing  to provide all the usual help and support for breastfeeding mothers’.

Babies rely on their parents for protection and breastfeeding not only provides food, comfort and security, breast milk also contains substances that help fight infections and boost a baby’s immune system. Protecting our health during this pandemic has become a priority for us all and there is currently no evidence that the Covid-19 virus is carried in breast milk or can be passed on in breast milk.

During pregnancy, mothers can discuss their thoughts about feeding with their midwife during antenatal appointments, and once the baby is born mothers will continue to be supported at every step of the way. This will include supporting mother’s to hold their baby in skin to skin contact which will trigger the baby’s natural instincts to find the breast and have the first breast feed.

More mothers are now considering breastfeeding or giving the first few breast feeds to provide valuable protection and support for their baby’s immune system. During the pandemic some mothers have chosen to give their breast milk in a bottle instead of formula milk. Whatever your decision is, we will be there to support you.  

Community midwives will contact mothers by telephone, and support mothers and babies face to face at Family Centres around the city and in the mothers’ home. They give the same support as the maternity service has always provided, with the only difference being that they will be wearing protective clothing (PPE) when seeing women face to face. The community midwife will continue to support breastfeeding until transferring the mother and baby to the health visitor at around 10 days after the birth.

There is also on-going support from the Local Authority Infant Feeding Peer Supporters via telephone or video call and all mothers will be given the usual telephone numbers for emergencies or extra support for the duration of breastfeeding. Although breastfeeding groups are currently suspended across the city, mothers can access mother to mother support via the Breastfeeding in Sheffield website and Facebook groups

Stop smoking support

There’s never been a more important time to look after your lung health.

Pregnant women are at risk of serious illness from coronavirus. Pregnancy can change how your body handles viral infections, like COVID-19, and insome cases, these infections can be worse in pregnant women. Smoking increases the risk even further. Emerging evidence suggests smokers.

who catch COVID-19 are more likely to get severe disease and need intensive care than non-smokers.

If you want support to give up smoking this leaflet provides more information and contact details to get help you.

Download our leaflet

Jessop Fertility services

We are so happy to be able to let you know that we are now able to reopen most of our routine services. We do appreciate your patience and understanding and hope that you will bear with us while we work our hardest to bring you in for your treatment as soon as we can. If you’re already a patient at Jessop Fertility and you haven’t heard from us yet please ring us on 0114 2268050 to make an appointment. If you’ve been referred to us during or since our service was suspended then we will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

As always, if you would like emotional support then please ring us on 0114 2268050 to make a telephone appointment with one of our specialist counsellors.

Frequently asked questions

We have a Frequently Asked Questions section on our website which may provide the information you need.

Please also visit for all national changes regarding COVID-19 and maternity.  

FInd out more

Open afternoons

At the present time it is not practical due to social distancing to hold our popular open afternoons. We hope to restart them soon and in the meantime we are exploring some online chat options. We will annouce further details of when these may be able to take place shortly.

Jessop Fertility website

As one of the leading UK hospital based fertility centres, you can be confident that we will do all we can to give you the very best chance of becoming a parent.

Visit our website