Coronavirus crisis causing stress for pregnant women as pandemic disrupts maternity services

  • Video report by ITV News Reporter Lucy Watson

Huge uncertainty surrounding maternity services in the UK during the Covid-19 crisis is causing pregnant women increased stress and anxiety.

Reduced face-to-face services and staff shortages mean some NHS trusts aren't allowing home births - or partners on wards after babies are born.

Many home births and antenatal classes and some planned c-sections have been cancelled.

Rochelle Pemberton, who is expecting a boy, told ITV News: “There is more concern about the baby’s safety, it’s very up and down days trying to cope with everything and sort of control the worries.”

During the long lockdown, couples are having to go online for advice.

Louise Broadbridge has been taking classes online.

Louise Broadbridge is a midwife taking virtual antenatal classes. She said: “Since the lockdown started, I’ve now taught over 1,500 couples.

“I’ve probably been working 12-hour days every day, if we hadn’t have had technology I think we would have seen far more mental health implications for new couples.”

Dr Larisa Corda, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, described it as a “desperately difficult situation” in which they must prioritise and “make excruciatingly difficult decisions”.

More than 116 million babies worldwide are expected to be born under the shadow of Covid-19.

This is a virus that is straining health services and medical supply chains but also recasting motherhood.

Coronavirus: Everything you need to know