5 May 2020

SaTH is committed to maintaining the safety of its staff and Maternity Services users and remains open for care during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Nicola Wenlock, Directory of Midwifery, said: “During the COVID-19 outbreak, pregnant women may feel anxious about accessing our Maternity Services. We want to make it clear that we are taking full precautions, in line with national guidance, to keep expectant and new mothers, and our staff, safe. These measures include: video consultations where possible, the use of PPE and social distancing and restrictions to our visiting.

“We strongly encourage local women to keep in touch and to keep attending appointments, unless they are advised otherwise.

“If a pregnant or new mother has any anxieties whatsoever, we ask them to speak to their midwife, or call our COVID-19 Maternity line on 01952 565948 (option 1) or our Maternity Triage Service on (Nicola please add number). “Our webpages also have up to date information, FAQs and links to online support: www.sath.nhs.uk/wards-services/az-services/maternity

To help pregnant women who might be feeling anxious about attending antenatal appointments and giving birth during the COVID-19 outbreak, two local women have shared their stories.

Rachel White with her baby, Jonathan

Rachel White, 33, from Bayston Hill, gave birth to baby Jonathan on March 24 2020, the day after lockdown measures were introduced.

She said: “Despite Coronavirus, the experience of giving birth to my son on March 24 wasn’t all that different to when I had my daughter three years ago.

“It was clear that full precautions were being taken by staff, but it was very easy to forget that I was giving birth during a pandemic.

“I felt very reassured and every question I had was answered patiently and fully. I was made to feel that COVID-19 was in the background and that it was business as usual as far as helping me to deliver my baby was concerned.

“My partner was able to join by for my active labour and birth before baby Jonathan and I were transferred to the postnatal ward. All the necessary checks for Jonathan were carried out quickly, and as soon as I was well enough to leave hospital, my partner came to pick me up and I was taken out to the car in a wheelchair.

“The care given to me by the midwives, women’s service assistants and consultants was fabulous. They were always there when I needed them and my midwife was very protective.

“Jonathan hasn’t been able to meet his grandparents yet but they are happy to wait until this is all over to safely have a cuddle with him.

“To any expectant mums out there, I would say try not to worry about Coronavirus. If my experience is anything to go by, the hospital has taken every precaution possible to make sure that pregnant ladies and new mums are looked after as safely as possible and I couldn’t fault the care I was given.” 

Keeley and Russell Carter

Keeley Carter, 26, from Bridgnorth, is expecting her first child. 

She said: “After a fall last week, I was anxious that my unborn baby might have suffered some harm. Following a call to my midwife in Bridgnorth, I advised to go to the Maternity Triage service at PRH. I called ahead to tell them I was coming and was told what to expect on arrival, including the fact that I would need to buzz for access as the doors would be locked.

“After being seen by a triage midwife, I was hooked up to a CTG where my heartbeat, and that of my baby, were monitored for around an hour. After that, I was given a thorough examination by an Obstetrician.

“The team talked me through the results, were calm, answered any questions I had and were really reassuring. I felt listened to and they didn’t rush me at any point. Although everything was fine with my baby, I was told that, if I had any concerns, not to hesitate in calling the team again and that they would organise a scan if I wanted one.

“We then chatted through everything, not just my fall, but about how my pregnancy was going in general and whether I had any anxieties.

“Although what we’re living through at the moment isn’t normal, it feels as though everyone at the PRH is still there when you need them. Despite what you see in the newspapers, it’s very much business as usual, except for the staff wearing extra PPE. I actually found the PPE reassuring though, and I understand the extra precautions that are being taken at the moment and that they’re to protect me and my baby, as well as staff.

“After this experience, any anxieties I felt about giving birth during Coronavirus have gone away. If I were to give any advice to other expectant mums in the area, it would be if you feel like something isn’t right, or you have any questions or concerns, get in touch with your midwife. I would be far more worried now if I hadn’t called in and got checked out.”