Expectant mums in Norfolk and Waveney urged to access NHS services as usual during the coronavirus pandemic
The consultant midwife for Norfolk and Waveney has praised NHS maternity teams for continuing to provide high-quality care during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and urged new and expectant families to continue to come forward for routine checks and urgent advice.
Marking International Day of the Midwife (Tuesday 5 May), Amanda Price-Davey, Consultant Midwife for the Norfolk and Waveney Local Maternity System, praised her colleagues who have worked tirelessly to come up with innovative ways to carry on delivering services in the safest way possible.
Amanda said: “We have started to use video and teleconferencing systems so that we are able to see and speak to women and families safely where it is appropriate to do so, we have moved most of our community services out of GP surgeries and into community hubs, to ensure your safety when you attend in person and we are working closely with our Maternity Voice Partnership teams across the region to make sure we are building the services around our families and their needs at this critical time.”
Health leaders are concerned that both fear of contracting the virus and also a desire not to overburden the NHS, is leading to some women not attending routine appointments, or not getting in touch with their midwife or maternity team as quickly as they usually would with any concerns.
Amanda said: “As mums and midwives both know when a baby is ready to be born, he or she will not wait. So, while NHS staff have been pulling out all the stops to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, our midwives and their colleagues have also continued to work around the clock to support birthing mothers and expectant families through a really uncertain time.
“If you’re expecting or recently had a baby and are concerned in any way at all, I want you to know that the NHS is still here for you and has gone to great lengths to ensure you and your baby’s safety during your pregnancy and during anytime you spend with us at one of the hospitals across Norfolk and Waveney.
“During the course of your pregnancy you will get to know your baby’s normal pattern of movements and if these have changed or are less than they were before or you are worried in any way, please contact your midwife or your maternity unit for advice in the way that you normally would. If you’re advised to come in for a planned or urgent check, it’s really important that you attend.”
Angela McConville, Chief Executive of the National Childbirth Trust, said: “Coronavirus has led to increased feelings of anxiety and isolation amongst expectant and new parents. We’ve heard how worried women are about their and their babies’ health, as well as the care and support they will receive before, during, and after birth.
“It’s really important that women continue to attend appointments during pregnancy and ask for help if they are worried about themselves or their baby. We’ve heard so many positive stories of how maternity services have adapted to make sure women still receive really excellent care. I would like all expectant parents to hear this message - the NHS is still here for you and it’s vital that you get the checks and support that you need.”
Dr Edward Morris, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said: “We welcome this important campaign as we know this is a particularly anxious time for pregnant women. Our key message is that antenatal care is essential and if you are invited to come to an appointment at a hospital or a clinic, it is because these are necessary to support your pregnancy, despite the current pandemic. If you have any concerns or worries about your or your baby’s health – including the baby's movements – seek medical advice immediately.
“Giving birth is a very special time and I would like to thank everyone in our maternity services who is working tirelessly, in challenging circumstances, to continue to provide the safest possible care and support to women and their babies.”
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