If you are Black, Asian or another ethnic minority and pregnant we want you to know, we’re here to support you.

Pregnant people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds have 4 x the chance of needing a hospital stay because of COVID-19 symptoms. Research is ongoing to explain why this is. It’s natural to feel anxious in these uncertain times, especially if you are pregnant, but we’re here to help.

  • Hospital wards currently have restrictions around visitors to help keep you safe. Midwives, student midwives and support staff are all on hand to support you if you’re staying on a ward – you won’t be on your own. If you are in established labour, a birth partner who is free of COVID-19 symptoms can be with you to support you.

  • Interpreting services are available over the phone if you need them. Please ask your midwife to arrange this

  • Please see information regarding vitamins in pregnancy, you may need to take a higher dose if you have dark skin (for example African/African Caribbean or South Asian origin) or if you don’t expose your skin to sunlight (for example spending a lot of time indoors or covering skin when outside)

Your midwife will ask you at every antenatal check if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This is to try and keep you and your baby safe. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms only please call 111 and they will be able to advise you. If you have Covid-19 symptoms and another pregnancy related issue please call Labour Line 0300 3690388. Lines are open 24/7.

Equity and equality five year action plan

Equity for parents, carers and babies from minority communities and those living in the most deprived areas

What we want

Our vision is a maternity care service that is truly accessible to everyone in Dorset. From the moment you start planning to have a baby, throughout your pregnancy, and after your baby arrives, we want to make sure you get care that is safe, fair and personalised to you.

Working together

We’ll work with local NHS services, the councils, health visitors, Maternity Voices Partnerships and communities, and local people to make sure your needs and the needs of your family are at the heart of everything we do.

How we’re going to do it

Over the next five years we will focus on key actions to improve maternity services and make sure the care you get is fair and meets your needs. We will track our progress while we put these actions in place. Some of the areas we will focus on include:

  • Making your records available digitally, in different languages and formats

  • Creating maternal medicine networks

  • Tracking ethnic data quality and supporting digital education

  • Referrals to the diabetes prevention programme

  • Early antenatal care for people with complex social factors

  • Improving accessibility to perinatal mental health services

  • Creating personalised care and support plans

  • Promoting healthy weight during pregnancy

  • Stopping smoking during pregnancy

  • Dorset infant feeding network improving its infant feeding experience and outcomes

  • Staff training

COVID-19 symptoms to look out for:

  • A raised temperature or fever in the last 24 hours

  • A cough

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Loss of taste and/or smell

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and a pregnancy-related issue, call Labour Line: 0300 369 0388.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms only, call NHS 111.

Patient Advice Liaison Service

If you have any concerns that your ethnicity is affecting the type of care you receive, call the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS).

  • Dorset County Hospital: 0800 7838058

  • Poole Hospital: 01202 448499

  • Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals: 01202 704886

Labour Line

Call: 0300 369 0388 right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Your waters break

  • You are bleeding

  • You have unexplained abdominal pain

  • Your baby is moving less than usual, or the pattern of movements has changed

  • You are less than 37 weeks pregnant and think you might be in labour

  • You feel unwell or feverish

  • You are unsure or worried about your labour, yourself or your baby