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New Birth Reflections service launched

A new service, Birth Reflections, has been launched at our Trust to support parents after giving birth. The confidential service is offered by midwives to ensure parents can discuss their birth experience after the initial weeks of new parenthood.

Six weeks after giving birth, new parents are invited to contact the hospital and arrange a time to come in to meet the midwifery team to discuss their birth experience, or perhaps even prepare for a future birth.

Lynne Saunders, head of midwifery at WSFT, said: “I’m really pleased we are being able to offer this service. Sometimes a birth can be complicated, and not what a new mum or a partner expects it would be.

“We believe that it is important for us to be able to review the experience with new parents once the dust has settled, so we can answer any of their questions and even go through their clinical notes if they’d like us to.

“It is a very physical and life-changing experience, and we’re here to make sense of it and direct our new parents to other services and support if necessary.”

Robyn Harris, a midwife at WSFT, who was instrumental in setting up the service, explained the importance of supporting new parents: “Women are sometimes being misdiagnosed with postnatal depression when in fact they have post-traumatic stress disorder – the act of giving birth can sometimes be really scary and difficult, and we want to encourage our new mothers to feel there is a safe space where they can talk about it.

“It can also be really traumatic for a partner, and we are there for both of them. We can do group visits where both partners attend, or just one of them. Whatever is best for the family involved. It’s personal, holistic care.”

One of the first patients to use the service has given some really positive feedback. She said: “I had a complicated first birth and, as a medical professional myself, I wanted the opportunity to go through the sequence of events of my labour and understand what had happened and why.

“Meeting Robyn really helped me to make sense of the experience and prepare in advance for having my second birth. Even though the same complications arose the second time, my husband and I felt more in control. It was a much better experience as there was a clear plan in place to manage the situation. I’d really recommend the service.”

Lynne added: “We hope this service will help many new parents. I’m delighted that we can help to support not just their physical care, but their mental wellbeing too.”

 

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From left to right: Justyna Skonieczny, maternity ward manager, Robyn Harris, senior midwife, Karen Bassingthwaighte, acting maternity outpatient services manager, Cathy Adkins, senior midwife, and Nina Fawcett, community midwives team leader

From left to right: Justyna Skonieczny, maternity ward manager, Robyn Harris, senior midwife, Karen Bassingthwaighte, acting maternity outpatient services manager, Cathy Adkins, senior midwife, and Nina Fawcett, community midwives team leader