The staff were phenomenal, says a new mother praising her pandemic maternity care

on 21 December 2020 Maternity Services

Maternity services have been under incredible pressure throughout the pandemic as staff coped with shortages caused by illness or self-isolating because of COVID-19. Despite these pressures, midwives, maternity support workers (MSW) and other maternity colleagues have adapted and pulled out all the stops to continue supporting women and their families.

In collaboration with one if its alliance partners, Emma’s Diary, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has collected some of the women’s pandemic birth stories, as they offer their thanks for the care and support they received from midwives and their colleagues.

Dena gave birth to her daughter prematurely in Derby Royal Hospital. She said the midwives were aware she had mental health problems and did everything they could to keep her calm and allowed her husband to come in earlier than originally planned. “I think the staff were absolutely phenomenal throughout my time spent in the labour ward. For those people to help expecting mums through a difficult time is truly amazing and they deserve the biggest thank you,” said Dena.

Rhia from Leicester also suffers from mental health. “I was always worrying up until my birth, what if I have to stay in, what if my COVID test comes back positive,” she said. “I suffer badly with my mental health and I was extremely worried about the quality of care both me and baby were going to receive.” Despite her fears Rhia said her midwife was amazing. “It felt as if I had a good friend in with me during labour, she made me feel so comfortable and at ease! Overall, my pregnancy during lockdown experience wasn’t at all negative. If anything it was made very positive thanks to the wonderful staff at the Leicester General Hospital, my birth sure was a birth to remember and honestly I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, said “I know how worrying, even frightening, it must be for women going through pregnancy during a global pandemic. Throughout this, though, as a midwife myself, I know how those maternity teams will have pulled together to make sure women’s minds were put at rest. As we’ve heard here from Dena and Rhia, staff are showing great compassion in supporting women, especially those with poor mental health. Hearing these women’s stories and their gratitude for the care they received makes my heart swell, because they had a really positive experience, and because it was midwives, MSWs and the maternity team that came together to make it happen.”

Emma’s Diary collected the stories via their website here, and Faye Mingo, Chief Marketing Officer at Emma’s Diary said; “It’s been incredible to hear the positive birth experiences from our mums, despite the pandemic sweeping across the country, demonstrating the vital role midwives and Emma’s Diary continue to play in supporting pregnant women and their young babies.

Read more of women’s positive pandemic birth experiences in the earlier news story.