Giving birth in hospital during the Coronavirus pandemic

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EXTREME changes have been made to the way hospitals deal with people giving birth, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Everything is now much harder for NHS staff, according to Anna Francis from Stoke-on-Trent who recently gave birth at Royal Stoke University Hospital.

“Everything is taking them so much longer and it must be so hard to make sure everybody is safe and everybody is looked after, but they are doing a great job.”

“If you call for somebody, they have to go and get changed before coming to you. So everything is really, really, much harder.”

Anna who was due to give birth to her second baby, had to wait alone in hospital because her partner Andy lives in a different household.

“My partner couldn’t be there because of the rules about mixing households and he needed to stay with my daughter, but my Mum came to support me.”

As Anna was on the list to have a caesarean, her Mum had to wait outside in her car until she went into the delivery theatre, which wasn’t until around 5pm that day.

“It’ was all quite strange, it was obviously a challenge, but the delivery went well” said Anna who gave birth to a baby girl.

“They have definitely stepped up on making sure everything is cleaned” said Anna as she praised NHS staff for working hard.

“It is always really busy in hospitals anyway and they do a fantastic job, but now they have this added layer of complication where everything they do is logistically more challenging.”

Anna explained that the hospital tried to get people in and out as quickly as possible, and even after having a caesarean birth, she was out of hospital 48 hours after giving birth.

“Even things like when you can go home is logistically challenging because your partner has to timetable when they are going to get to the door of the hospital, and a midwife has to take you down with your case and your baby”.

Anna didn’t name her baby girl for 48 hours because she wanted her partner and other daughter to be able to meet her.

“Her name is Vita – it means ‘life’ which we think is the perfect name for her”.

Baby Vita at Royal Stoke University Hospital, © Anna Francis

Another Mum from Stoke-on-Trent, is due to have her third baby at Royal Stoke University Hospital on 22nd May and has expressed her concerns.

“I do feel confident in the NHS but I’m unsure of how safe we will be” said Julia Edge from Packmoor, who is 37 weeks pregnant.

“I’m worried about going to hospital and being alone for some of the labour. I was going to take my Mum but I can’t now.”

The expecting Mum has been informed of the new rules and processes, that will be very different to when she gave birth to her two previous children.

“My fiancé Ian will drop me off and wait on the car park while I’m checked to see if I’m in established labour, he will then be called up if I am 4cm dilated and then he can stay until one hour after the baby is born”.

“I can’t have visitors and the baby has to stay in the house for one week, and then after that can go into the garden.”

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