“I cannot imagine how we would have made it through without your wonderful staff”
We understand that local families who are expecting a baby right now may be worried about the COVID19 situation or have questions about current hospital access arrangements. That’s why we thought we’d share with you the story of Katie, who had her baby, Jack, at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital a few weeks ago.
We hope Katie’s story* – told in her own words – helps to reassure you if you’re concerned about your birth partner not being able to spend time or be involved with you and your newborn.
If you have any questions at all, please speak to your midwife for up-to-the-minute, accurate information, or use our daily ‘Ask the Midwife’ facility on our facebook page. Please be assured we’re committed to doing all we can to keep your family safe and make your birth experience a positive one, and we thank you for your understanding in these most testing of times.
*Forenames have been changed at the family’s request
“My husband Connor and I recently welcomed our son at your hospital, and I just wanted to highlight the incredible care I received from your staff.
“Given the COVID restrictions, I had been very anxious in the lead up to delivery, largely around attending alone without Connor being able to support me.
“From the first call from the induction clinic, I was offered reassurance, had my options explained to me, and advised on the earliest opportunity my husband could join me.
“As soon as a bed was available for me on the labour ward, the staff let me know I could call Connor to join me.
“While on the labour ward, the midwives were wonderful. They involved both me and my husband throughout, ensured he was as comfortable as possible and offered reassurance. They gave me lots of notice as the end of their shift approached, and time was given to introduce us to our next midwife, who then remained with us through to delivery.
“As my labour failed to progress, our baby became distressed but all of the midwives had open and frank conversations with us. We appreciated this so much, and felt fully informed in decision making around our care.
“The decision to undertake a caesarean section was made, and my midwife, the medics and anaesthetists involved were all calm, reassuring and informative throughout.
“When our baby needed support to breathe and I became unwell during surgery, the team looked after me, and particularly my husband, wonderfully. The anaesthetists in particular supported me while my husband was with our son.
“While the delivery was traumatic for us both, the team of staff ensured my husband was supported which will forever mean so much to me.
“Our midwife stayed with us throughout the night in recovery, sensitively supporting all three of us at such a stressful time. She enquired as to our wishes and helped me to begin breastfeeding our son. Despite the difficult circumstances around his arrival, we have successfully breastfed so far, and I put this down to staff respecting my views and helping me to achieve this.
“Unfortunately, I remained unwell and continued to need hospital care for almost a week afterwards. Staff on the postnatal ward went above and beyond to care for and support my son and I. Despite the obvious clinical pressures staff were facing each shift, those I saw regularly ensured that I felt looked after and able to ask for any support I may need.
“Given the understandable restrictions currently upon visiting, at times it was incredibly difficult to care for my new born son despite being so ill myself, but I genuinely cannot imagine how we could have made it through admission and be at the point we are now – recovering well at home – without your wonderful staff.
“When my husband was able to visit the ward, they supported him to be involved in our care. One key action which meant so much to us was the staff ensuring that both my husband and I had a full debrief in order to understand and process the circumstances around delivery.
“I have no doubt that for these amazing clinicians, all of this was simply ‘another day at the office’. And yet I’m not sure words can ever fully express how grateful we are for the care and support we received during a period which was quite simply the scariest time in our lives. We will never, ever forget them or their work.”