Thanks you for submitting your booking form:

Once you have submitted an online self referral your appointment dates will be sent to you via post and may take SEVERAL WEEKS. We will arrange your first visit with a Midwife. This is known as the ‘booking’ visit. It gives you the opportunity to meet your Midwife and start planning your pregnancy care. This will take place at your local GP Surgery or Children’s Centre, at your home, or in our Antenatal Clinic. You will be able to discuss the choices available to you at Darent Valley Hospital. This will take a few weeks to arrange.

For information on antenatal / screening tests for you and your baby visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/screening-tests-abnormality-pregnant/


Please read the useful information below:

Many women will be unsure whether or not to have the Covid-19 vaccine in pregnancy. Here at DGT we have complied some information to help aid in your decision. It is based on latest updates and advice published by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

The latest advice is that COVID-19 vaccines should be offered to pregnant women at the same time as the rest of the population, based on their age and clinical risk group. There are benefits and risks to having the vaccine and they will be explored below.

I am pregnant and have been offered a COVID-19 vaccination. What are my options?

Vaccination is being offered to pregnant women after the first trimester 13/40 of your pregnancy as the rest of the population, based on age and clinical risk.

Trials testing the vaccine in pregnant and breastfeeding women have not yet taken place. Whether to get the vaccine in pregnancy is your choice. The information below will help you make an informed choice about whether to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

Who can be vaccinated?

As of 16 April, COVID-19 vaccination is offered to the following groups of pregnant women:

  1. Women as they are called by age group
  2. Those with high risk medical conditions who have a greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19
  3. Health or social care workers – who are at increased risk of catching COVID-19
  4. People considered at high risk of COVID-19 because of health and personal factors that include age, ethnicity, BMI and underlying health conditions (this includes pregnant women in priority group 6)
  5. Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes in pregnancy or pregnant women with a BMI of more than 40

As COVID-19 vaccines are made available to younger people in the general population, they will also be made available to pregnant women in those age groups.

What are the benefits of the vaccination?

COVID-19 may be more dangerous in pregnancy

Studies have shown that hospital admission and severe illness may be more common in pregnant women (compared to those not pregnant), especially those in the third trimester of pregnancy, and that preterm birth is more likely (compared to pregnant women without COVID-19). Pregnant women with underlying medical conditions are at higher risk of severe illness.

Vaccination is effective in preventing COVID-19 infection

You cannot get COVID-19 from vaccination

COVID-19 vaccines do NOT contain live coronavirus Vaccines do NOT contain any additional ingredients that are harmful to pregnant women or their babies Other non-live vaccines (whooping cough, influenza) are considered to be safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

What are the risks of the vaccination?

 The COVID-19 vaccines have not yet been tested specifically in pregnant women.

  • COVID-19 vaccines have been given to large numbers of people to ensure they meet stringent standards of effectiveness and safety.
  • There is still limited evidence for pregnant women. Monitoring from the United States, where more than 100,000 pregnant women have had a COVID-19 vaccine (using Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccines), has not raised any safety concerns. More information may come from studies in the future.
  • Future studies in pregnancy will give us more information on how effective the vaccine is in pregnancy, and on pregnancy outcomes after vaccination. There have not been any signals to suggest safety concerns so far.

Side effects from the vaccine are common. These do not affect pregnancy, but may include:

  • injection site reactions (sore arm)
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • fever, chill
  • joint pain

Extremely rare but serious side effects involving thrombosis (blood clots) have been reported for the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccines should be offered to pregnant women where available as most of the safety monitoring data from the United States relates to these two vaccines.

What is known about COVID-19 in pregnancy?

About two-thirds of women who test positive for COVID-19 in pregnancy have no symptoms at all. In the UK, surveillance shows that approximately one in 100 pregnant women who have been admitted to hospital test positive for COVID-19 (although this will change during the stages of the pandemic). However, some pregnant women can get life-threatening illness from COVID-19 – particularly if they have underlying health conditions. In the later stages of pregnancy women are at increased risk of becoming seriously unwell with COVID-19. If this happens, it is two to three times more likely that your baby will be born prematurely, which can affect their long-term health.

What is known about the effects of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women?

The large trials which showed that these vaccines are safe and effective did not include pregnant women – as often happens in clinical trials. This means there is limited information about the effects of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnant women. A very small number of women became pregnant after they received the vaccine in a trial. There was no sign of problems, but the numbers are too small to be certain. Monitoring from the United States, where over 100,000 pregnant women have had a COVID-19 vaccine, has not raised any safety concerns.

COVID-19 vaccines do not contain ingredients that are known to be harmful to pregnant women or to a developing baby. Studies of the vaccines in animals to look at the effects on pregnancy have shown no evidence that the vaccine causes harm to the pregnancy or fertility. The COVID-19 vaccines that we are using in the UK are not ‘live’ vaccines and so cannot cause COVID-19 infection in you or your baby.

As of 28 April 2021, over 22 million people in the UK have received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and nearly 6 million people have received their second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. There have been 242 reports of serious thrombosis (blood clots) following vaccination, meaning that about 11 people have had these blood clots for every million people vaccinated. There is therefore an extremely low risk of the serious side effect of blood clots with this vaccine. The government has advised that individuals under the age of 40 should be offered an alternative vaccine to the AstraZeneca vaccine, based on the risk/benefit ratio for that age group.

Pregnant women should be offered the Pfizer BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, as most of the safety monitoring data from the United States relates to these two vaccines.

Does it matter what stage of pregnancy I am in?

The vaccine should work whatever the stage of pregnancy you are in. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advises that women do not need a pregnancy test before vaccination, and that women planning a pregnancy do not need to delay pregnancy after vaccination. However, as COVID-19 has more serious complications in later pregnancy, some women may choose to delay their vaccine until after the first 12 weeks (which are most important for the baby’s development) and will plan to have the first dose at any time from 13 weeks onwards.

Will having a COVID-19 vaccination affect my work?

No vaccine is 100% effective, but studies suggest that it will help prevent some (but not necessarily all) transmission. So, having a vaccine will not change your occupational risk assessment. This includes advice that you should not work in high risk areas if you have another serious medical condition, or if you are beyond 28 weeks’ gestation. You will still need to follow the advice in your workplace and at home:

  • practice social distancing
  • wear a face mask as necessary
  • wash your hands carefully and frequently

The information below will help you to think about your decision to have the vaccine if you are pregnant and are eligible for vaccination

  1. you or someone in your household is a health or social care worker or works in a    care home
  2.  your community has a high or increasing rate of COVID infections
  3.  you have frequent contact with people outside your home
  4.  you are not able to comply with social distancing for the rest of your pregnancy you live in a crowded household
  5.  you are of Black or Asian ethnicity, or from another minority ethnicity background

You are at higher risk of becoming unwell with COVID-19 if:

  1. You have underlying medical conditions such as immune problems, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or asthma
  2. You are overweight
  3.  You are over the age 35
  4.  You are in your third trimester of pregnancy (over 28 weeks)

What should I do if I am offered a COVID-19 vaccine?

  1. If you are at higher risk of catching COVID-19, you should consider getting the vaccine
  2. If you are at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if you do catch COVID-19, you should consider getting the vaccine
  3. You should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination, including possible side effects of the different vaccines, with a healthcare professional before making your final decision. If, after discussion, you choose to have a vaccine, then your healthcare professional will help to facilitate this choice

Website links to info for Covid-19 vaccine and pregnancy

The Pfizer and Moderna are mRNA vaccines (are not live vaccines), they contain strands of mRNA which are molecules that deliver the set of instructions that cells in the body can use to make antibodies to help fight the virus that causes COVID-19.

Alongside this ingredient there are components that have been given to pregnant women in flu and whooping cough vaccines for many years and have a good safety record among pregnant women.

To book your Covid-19 vaccine, please use the link below:

Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

If you have any further questions please contact our dedicated COVID-19 email service on dgn-tr.covidadvice@nhs.net we will get back to you within 5 working days