Coronavirus: Uncertainty over maternity care causing distress

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Women say the uncertainty surrounding maternity services during the coronavirus outbreak is “making a stressful situation harder”.Some NHS trusts are not allowing home births or partners on a ward following a birth, while others are.

One trust only provides face-to-face postnatal support when it’s “absolutely essential”.The Royal College of Midwives says services must be reduced thanks to Covid-19.

Maternity services are restricted thanks to staff shortages due to sickness and workers self-isolating, the school adds.Nadia Hussein from Leeds is quite every week overdue together with her second child.

Due to coronavirus measures, the 33-year-old’s birthing plan is not any longer possible and she or he is anxious her husband can only stick with her for 2 hours following the birth.”It’s getting to be difficult because it’s getting to vary ,” Nadia explains. “What tons of pregnant women are experiencing may be a loss of control.

“I understand any decisions that trusts have made are for the advantage of my health and therefore the midwives, but it’s sad because you’ve got a picture in your mind of what you’d like, and it isn’t understanding .”

Jacqui Budden gave birth to her first child Evie on Good Friday , quite fortnight after the UK’s lockdown was announced.Husband Tom was allowed to be present for the birth, but was soon asked to go away the ward.

“It was hard to mention ‘bye’ to Tom so soon after Evie arrived,” says the 31-year-old. “The nurses and midwives were amazing, but it isn’t an equivalent as having your partner there to offer you the emotional and physical support that you simply need.”

The BBC asked a gaggle of NHS trusts and boards across the united kingdom about the services they’re ready to provide during the coronavirus pandemic.Nine trusts in England, five boards in Scotland and one trust in both Wales and Northern Ireland responded.

All 16 bodies said one birth partner might be present during labour, but just over 1 / 4 of these asked are allowing partners on the postnatal ward following the birth.Around a 3rd of trusts and boards that spoke to the BBC are now allowing home births.

In the weeks after a birth, midwives and health visitors are now heavily counting on virtual communication to supply families with postnatal support.Home visits are mostly still happening, but one trust in London said it only allows face-to-face contact when it’s “absolutely essential”.

NHS Providers – which represents hospital trusts – say maternity services are constantly under review.Kim Moralee from Alnwick in Northumberland was deemed a high-risk pregnancy, but despite some eleventh hour changes she says she had a “positive birth” at the top of March.

However, the 27-year-old’s family haven’t been ready to meet baby William due to social distancing measures.Without the support of relatives, Kim wishes she and her husband could have more face-to-face contact with health professionals.

“We have had three health visits in fortnight ,” she explains. “The midwives always say they’re at the top of the phone, but in normal times i might are ready to attend our midwife-led unit whenever I wanted.

“As a primary time mum, I just want to be ready to regularly make sure everything is ok.”The health community have acknowledged that the coronavirus outbreak may be a particularly “distressing” and “uncertain” time for pregnant women and new mothers.

“Our advice to women is to regularly contact your local service and your midwife because services are changing by the day,” explains Gill Walton, from the Royal College of Midwives . “Careful thought goes into how maternity services are being provided so we will reduce anxiety.

“Women can have their partners with them at at the birth of the baby as long as that partner doesn’t have Covid-19 symptoms. we propose women have a back-up plan just in case their partner does have symptoms.

“Not having your partner with you once you’ve got born must be extremely unsettling, but we are encouraging women to use their phones to remain in-tuned and take videos and pictures.

“We’re seeing many stories of happy births,” she says.

Source: bbc news

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