COVID-19: Advice for new and expectant parents


The advice currently is that pregnant women do not appear to be more likely to be severely unwell than other healthy adults if they develop the new coronavirus. It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has information about coronavirus and pregnancy. Please visit their website here for the latest guidance.

There is a wealth of evidence that breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies developing infectious diseases. There are numerous live constituents in human milk that help to destroy harmful pathogens and boost the baby’s immune system. Considering the protection that human milk and breastfeeding offers the baby and the minimal role it plays in the transmission of other respiratory viruses, it seems sensible to do all we can to continue to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.

UNICEF’s baby friendly statement on infant feeding during the Covid-19 outbreak can be found here.


There are lots of resources to support you through pregnancy at this time.

  1. Free online antenatal classes: Somerset NHS Foundation Trust are currently offering free online antenatal classes, run by Wise Hippo. Find out more and sign up on their Eventbrite page here.
  2. Dadpad: This is a useful resource for everyone, not just Dads. The Somerset DadPad app is available for free download on both Apple and Android devices. For more information about the DadPad visit their website.
  3. Carry Me Kate: Carry me Kate offers one to one and group support and social networking. Carry Me Kate are providing ‘Free sling hire’ to all Somerset newborns during Covid-19, get in touch with Kate on Facebook for more details.
  4. Home-Start West Somerset: Home Start West Somerset is a charitable organisation offering, friendship, advice and support to all young families across West Somerset. Tel. 01643 707304, find out more on their website, or on their Facebook page. or on their Instagram page
  5. Bump Start– during this current time is extending to offer free online antenatal provision across Somerset. More information can be found here.

Safer sleeping for you and your baby

Safer sleep advice gives simple steps for how you can sleep your baby to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) which is commonly known as cot death. It can give you the peace of mind to enjoy this special time.

The Lullaby Trust have put together some advice which is based on strong scientific evidence and should be followed for all sleep periods, not just at night. Find out more below in their ‘Do’s and Don’t’ video:

For more information on safer sleep head to the Lullaby Trust website here.

For more information to support you during Covid 19, the Lullaby Trust have also put together the latest advice on coronavirus for if you are pregnant or have a young child here.


To facilitate breastfeeding, mothers and babies should be enabled to stay together as much as possible, to have skin-to-skin contact, to feed their baby responsively and to have access to ongoing support when this is needed (Unicef, 2020).

If you are requiring support to breastfeed, express or wish to relacate to offer your baby your precious milk then please use the resources listed below.

You can also speak to your midwife or health visitor about the support with breast feeding which is available through social media and online.

Lots of information can also be found on the UNICEF baby friendly website, including baby friendly resources here and information about infant feeding during the Covid-19 outbreak here.

The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers has put together a resource pack for new and expectant mothers which you can find here.

Dorset Health Care NHS Foundation Trust have put together a free online breastfeeding course for new and expectant parents. The course aims to give you the building blocks to help you have a successful and enjoyable breastfeeding journey and can be found here.

For more information about breastfeeding and breastfeeding support in Somerset, visit the Healthy Somerset website’s ‘Positive about breastfeeding’ pages here.

For more information about pregnancy and the resources and advice available in Somerset, visit the pregnancy and babies resources on the Somerset Children and Young People Health and Wellbeing website.

You can also take a look at the information provided by the Institute for Health Visiting, in the leaflet posted at the bottom of this page.

Common childhood illnesses

The Institute of Health Visiting has produced new resources on managing the most common childhood illnesses. You can find information on their website here or find out more on the Healthy Somerset ‘keeping children and young people safe at home’ web resource pages.

Shielding guidance for pregnant women with significant heart disease

Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, either congenital or acquired should be following the shielding guidance on the GOV.UK website. Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus. Find out more here.

For parents who will be delivering at Yeovil District Hospital, there are antenatal workshops available on webex, to find out more and to book, visit the YDH maternity Facebook page.