Midwives are giving extra support to Black, Asian and minority ethnic women during coronavirus

As a pregnant woman from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) background, you may feel worried about coronavirus. Your local maternity team is still here to help you, so contact them as you would normally. They will be working together with you and providing you with extra support during this unprecedented time.


Some studies suggest that BAME pregnant woman are more likely to be admitted to hospital with coronavirus than white women, so maternity services have been asked to take extra precautions to keep you safe, which includes prioritising your care and access to services.


It is also important that you take extra steps to protect yourself and follow the advice about how to avoid getting coronavirus. If you think you have coronavirus then alert your maternity team and they will advise you about what to do next.


Remember to attend all your antenatal appointments and seek help early from your midwife or maternity team if you have any concerns about your health or your baby’s health. Get help early so you have the best chance of recovery.


Keep up-to-date with all the latest coronavirus pregnancy and birth advice at, which has links to helpful resources; including a range of topical videos and leaflets and an animation (see direct links below). Alternatively contact NHS111 or in an emergency dial 999.


Helpful leaflets, animations and videos


A series of NHS coronavirus leaflets for pregnant women and new mums, which have been translated into 11 different languages

Topics include: –



A helpful animation has been produced and features the Chief Midwife for England, Prof Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent, and National Clinical Director for Maternity, Matthew Jolly. They explain how NHS maternity services have changed during this time and why it is important to keep in touch with your maternity team.



In addition to the above leaflets, the NHS has collaborated on a series of videos with the ‘Baby Buddy’ app, supported by charity Best Beginnings, to help remind pregnant women about some of the issues that they need to look out for when pregnant. These are especially relevant to women from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds and both the app and charity have further resources to support diverse audiences.


DID YOU KNOW? Information about:  
  • Taking Vitamin D and Folic Acid
  • Jaundice


Vitamin D and folic acid

  • Taking vitamin D is especially important when you are pregnant but low levels may make you more vulnerable to coronavirus.
  • If you have dark skin or always cover your skin when you are outside, then you may be at particular risk of vitamin D insufficiency and should consider taking a daily supplement of vitamin D all year round if this applies to you.
  • All women who could get pregnant should take a daily supplement of folic acid before they are pregnant and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, when the baby’s spine is developing. If you did not take folic acid supplements before getting pregnant, start taking them as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Folic acid also helps prevent anaemia.
  • You can get vitamin supplements containing vitamin D and folic acid free of charge if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and qualify for the Healthy Start scheme. Also talk to your midwife who will be able to offer advice about all the vitamins, supplements and nutrition you need. Don’t forget to eat a healthy, varied diet.



Jaundice in newborn babies – don’t hesitate to alert your maternity team if you are concerned:

  • Look out for the early signs of jaundice in your newborn baby. This can be difficult to spot in babies with darker skin tones. Support on spotting concerning signs is available online.
  • More babies are being affected by jaundice during this time as families are delaying seeking help. Jaundice is a common and usually harmless condition caused by rising levels of a natural chemical in the blood after birth. Most babies will not be affected, but a small number require urgent treatment. It causes a yellowing of the whites of the eyes and the gums and skin and can also lead to babies being sleepy and reluctant to feed. Remember, feeding is the best prevention.
  • If your baby has signs of jaundice contact your maternity department at any time of the day or night. The NHS has prepared a Signs of Illness in Newborn Babies leaflet to help you identify the early signs of jaundice and other useful information including the expected feeding pattern for young babies.
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Herefordshire & Worcestershire
Local Maternity and Neonatal System