A new pilot project to provide mums-to-be with complete continuity of care with midwives they know is being launched by Kettering General Hospital.
The Eden Continuity of Care Team consists of six midwives who will be looking after 210 pregnant women from the Lakeside Practice in Corby over the next year.
The new team will be officially launched tomorrow (Friday, July 19), but since June 1 it has been working with mums who will benefit from the project.
Continuity of Care Lead Midwife Mary Grey said: “Currently mothers-to-be in the local area have an assigned community midwife, but when they come into hospital to give birth they often have their delivery with a hospital midwife.
“After the birth post-natal care is often given by the original community midwife – but not always.
“The Eden team differs in that mums-to-be will be assigned a named midwife – and will also have met the other five midwives in the Eden team.
“Ideally that midwife will follow the mum-to-be right throughout the pregnancy journey – including being present during labour and the birth of the baby.
“If they are not available to deliver the baby another member of the Eden team – who the mum will already know – will be present for labour and birth.”
The pilot project is part of the hospital’s response to NHS England’s Better Births Five Year Forward View – a plan to improve the quality and consistency of midwifery care across the country. https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-maternity-review-report.pdf
Community Midwife Laura Matthews said: “The aim of our team is to build strong relationships with the mothers and families we are supporting.
“It is well recognised that having a midwife you know throughout the pregnancy journey is beneficial – but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen under the present system.
“So this pilot is about developing a new way to further improve the continuity of care that we give to mums and their families.
“The advantages are that the midwife will know the mum and their family very well and be aware of their needs, and perhaps concerns, and will therefore be better able to support them throughout the pregnancy journey.
“Having a baby is a really special time for a family and we think that this project will help to make the whole pregnancy and birthing experience even more positive.”
The first person that a mum meets once she is booked in for care with Kettering General Hospital will be a member of the Eden team and they will become that person’s named midwife who will support them throughout the antenatal and post natal journey.
All six midwives will hold ante-natal classes on a monthly basis so that mums get know all of the team – and their own midwife better.
There will also be a drop-in and meet-and-greet meeting with the team on a monthly basis for those who cannot make the classes.
Labour and birth will be attended ideally by the named community midwife – or by one of the other team members - rather a hospital midwife who they may never have met before.
Chloe Bethel, 22, from Corby, had her son, Cohen, at Kettering General Hospital on July 1 after being supported by the Eden team since early June.
She said: “I had regular meetings with my Eden midwife during my pregnancy and she came to my home when I started to have contractions to assess me.
“As things progressed she met me at the hospital and stayed with me the whole time while I had a water birth which was lovely.
“She saw me again the next day and five days later. It was amazing and I was so relaxed and calm, more so than my other two pregnancies.
“Everything was explained and it was very comforting to have someone with you who knew the whole story of your pregnancy and who you had a good relationship with. I think this idea of continuing care is really great and will help to improve people’s birth experience.”
Sian Frowen, from Corby, had her daughter, Charlotte, delivered by members of the Eden team on June 18.
She said: “I think it is a great idea. I arrived back in Corby from university in early June and the team took me on.
“I soon got to know them and felt at ease and comfortable. In the end I had a home birth and I knew my midwife so it was calm and flowed well and I had a good experience. I think having this sort of continuous care is a very good idea.”
Head of Midwifery Mara Tonks said: “We are very excited to be launching this new initiative which will help us to further personalise care for mothers-to-be and their families.
“We anticipate that the pilot will be successful and that we will be launching further continuity of care teams in the autumn.”