Swansea health board suspends home birth services over 'severe pressure' caused by coronavirus

Families planning home births have been asked to contact their community midwife as soon as possible Credit: PA

Home birth services provided by Swansea Bay University Health Board have been suspended due to "severe pressures" caused by coronavirus.

The health board said it had made the "difficult decision" to suspend the services after a number of staff were off work with the virus or forced to self-isolate.

It comes as another 655 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Wales.

Families who are planning on having a home birth have been asked to contact their community midwife.

The health board have birth centres at Neath Port Talbot and Singleton hospitals Credit: ITV Wales

The health board said: "Our maternity services are under severe pressure because of the number of staff who either have Covid-19, are having to self-isolate or are unavailable due to sickness in addition to Covid related issues.

"In response we have to change how we provide services with immediate effect – including making the very difficult decision to suspend the home birth service. This is to maintain and ensure safe maternity care for all our families, in line with professional guidance from the Royal College of Midwives and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

"We will be reviewing the situation in two weeks and will update you as soon as we have any changes. We would urge those families who have planned a home birth to make contact with their community midwife to discuss the options available.

"We appreciate this may cause disappointment, but please be assured the decision to suspend this service has not been taken lightly."

A review of the suspension is due to take place in a fortnight.

Read more: