Visiting & Attending Maternity Services

Early pregnancy, maternity and neonatal care: Attending and visiting our services

Updated Monday 27 February 2023

Visiting our maternity services safely:

  • If you are Covid-19 positive and coming for an appointment, please inform your midwife and sonographer. This will not affect your care.
  • Birth partners and visitors are asked to not come to the hospital if they feel unwell. This includes symptoms of Covid-19, sickness, diarrhoea, fever, sore throat or flu.
  • Mask wearing is optional in our hospitals for patients and visitors. There may be some circumstances where face masks are required, such as when visiting patients with a suspected or confirmed Covid or flu infection, which you may be informed of prior to attending our hospitals or on arrival in ward areas.
  • Face masks are available for patients and visitors who choose to wear them.

Early Pregnancy Assessment Centre

  • One birth partner can be present with you at all appointments

Antenatal clinics (Southmead Hospital and the community)

  • One birth partner can be present with you at all antenatal appointments

Ultrasound appointments

  • One birth partner can be present with you at all Ultrasound appointments
  • Unfortunately we are unable to permit children to the ultrasound appointments 

Antenatal Assessment Unit (AAU)

  • One birth partner can be present with you at all antenatal appointments

Antenatal inpatient care

  • Antenatal care is provided on Quantock ward, this includes inpatient care and induction of labour. Visiting times in this area will be from 10am – 9pm for one birth partner and one visitor.
  • Some mothers that are admitted for induction of labour will be cared for in the induction of labour suite situated on delivery suite.
  • On the Quantock assessment unit, one person can be present with you in the unit day and night and stay with you as required.


You can be supported by one birth partner throughout induction, early labour and birth. Please note we do not have bed facilities for partners.

Once you are in established labour and have been transferred to our Central Delivery Suite, a second birth partner can also attend.

 Labour and birth

  • Two birth partners can support you once you are in established labour on Central Delivery Suite and Mendip Birth Centre at Southmead Hospital and at Cossham Birth Centre.
  • To minimise movement around our birth units we ask birth partners to remain in the birth room at all times.  Please bring food to keep yourself fed (we will supply tea and coffee).  All our birth rooms have en-suite facilities which birth partners are able to use.
  • We encourage pregnant women and their birth partners to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as soon as possible. You can be vaccinated at any point in pregnancy and this will help to keep you, your baby and our team safe. Guidance on vaccination in pregnancy is available from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Postnatal inpatient care

There may be times when exceptions are needed to this guidance - please speak to the Midwife/Nurse in charge to discuss these exceptions.

  • Once you have had your baby you may be ready to go home quickly, in which case you will be discharged. If you need to stay in for a few more hours or days you will be transferred to either Percy Phillips Ward or Transitional Care on Mendip Ward.
  • Visiting times in this area will be from 10am – 9pm for one birth partner and one named visitor per day. Siblings are welcome between 2 – 6pm. If visiting Percy Phillips ward, we encourage the use of the family room for the duration of the child's visit. 
  • One birth partner may stay overnight for support.
  • There may be times when our staff ask for a visit to be limited, especially if everyone in a bay has a visitor at the same time.  If we ask your visitors to leave and return at a later time, it will be for your safety and for the safety of those around you.

Neonatal care

  • Parents/carers can both have unrestricted access throughout your baby’s stay in the neonatal unit and we are now able to support visiting for extended family members, including siblings.
  • Due to the constraints of space within the unit, at times we may need to politely ask parents/carers to leave their baby’s room if there is a need for more medical and nursing staff to be in that room for emergencies or procedures.

Transitional care

  • Visiting times on Mendip Transitional care ward will be from 10am – 9pm for one birth partner and one named visitor per day. Siblings are welcome between 2 – 6pm.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Covid-19 testing for women

  • If you do test positive for Covid-19, please follow the instructions in the testing kit, and contact your community midwife.

 Covid-19 testing for partners

  • Birth partners must not have any symptoms of Covid-19 - we will ask everyone on arrival whether they have any symptoms – we are sorry but if you have symptoms of Covid-19 you will not be able to come into the hospital in order to protect patients and staff.  In this situation, an alternative birth partner could come in to support but they would need to be free of any symptoms.


Site map

Entry and exit from any other route is not permitted without speaking to a member of staff. We appreciate your co-operation.

If you have any questions, please speak to your midwife or a member of the security team.