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New Resource for Pregnancy

Nationwide, local maternity systems have developed plans and resources to improve maternity services in their areas. The maternity transformation programme (Better Births 2016), supports changes to the way maternity services are delivered and gives families more choice in their decisions regarding their pregnancy and birth.

The Norfolk and Waveney Local Maternity & Neonatal System (LMNS) has developed a comprehensive digital resource to help prospective parents, pregnant women, and birthing people to achieve the birth they plan, in the place they would like and feel safe, wherever possible. The booklet summarises the main options available and will help people to choose what is right for them and their family.

Nicola Lovett is the Lead Midwife for the Norfolk and Waveney LMNS: “This resource has been developed in co-production with maternity teams and service users and will provide women and families with a concise and comprehensive guide to maternity services in their area. I would like to thank everyone involved in this work and envisage that it will become an important tool from pre-conception to birth and into the postnatal period.”

People will find the information useful when talking with their midwife or specialist maternity doctors at antenatal appointments. It can also help to support any decisions made in partnership with healthcare professionals involved in care during pregnancy.

The Norfolk & Waveney LMNS is committed to considering the values and opinions of our Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) and service users to develop services that truly meet the needs of our patients.

The Norfolk and Waveney LMNS has worked closely with Trusts, clinical staff, specialist midwives, and local MVP groups from across Norfolk and Waveney, to develop this resource. Information and signposting will be rolled out to all GP practices, pharmacies, and other locations, where it may be useful. The options for giving birth in Norfolk and Waveney are:

Birth in a consultant-led birthing unit or delivery suite.

Birth in a midwife-led birthing unit

Birth at home with midwives

This booklet will give people the tools and information to help them plan their birth and location, in partnership with their midwife or doctor.

The three hospitals in the Norfolk & Waveney Local Maternity & Neonatal System are:

Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Queen Elizabeth Hospitals King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

All three hospitals were also involved in the development of this material.

Some people who have recently given birth commented about the resource:

“The release of the choices booklet will make a big difference to expecting parents. It will give parents a chance to be educated on the journey they are about to go through. It will give parents a chance to ask questions before they reach different stages which in turn will hopefully help both parents remain as calm as possible. ‘Happy Mum, Happy baby’!”

“I think it’s really important for information to have been included about different services offered at each hospital so parents can make informed choices of where they would like to give birth as feeling comfortable where you are during birth can be a huge factor in how women labour and how they can feel post-birth.”

“As a mum who has recently given birth, I was very fortunate that I had excellent pregnancy care so I was informed of choices I could make, however, this is not the situation in all cases. Being aware of what choices a parent has and being as informed as possible can make a tremendous difference to how a parent looks back on their pregnancy and birth and I really feel that this booklet can help more parents look back with happy memories!”

This resource also comes at a time when people of childbearing age are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.  The local NHS is urging everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine.  Anyone who has questions about having the vaccine whilst pregnant or breastfeeding, or who is planning a pregnancy, can find lots of information on the Just One Norfolk website

Download a guide to choices during maternity.

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