Birth Voices East Blog
Updates on what we're doing and how your feedback is making a difference
It was great to see some new faces (adult and baby!) at the meeting today – thanks to all for coming! Thank you very much also to Jodie, who resigned as chair today to focus on her bump! Her hard work over the past year is really appreciated and she has really made a difference to the amount of people we have reached, including those with non-English speaking and difficult to reach groups.
I'll split this update into two - this one on the hospital/midwifery side, and the next one on health visiting and mental health. There are lots of new developments from JPUH:
1. There is now a perinatal mental health clinic happening fortnightly, that midwives can refer women to antenatally or postnatally. There is a consultant psychiatrist and obstetrician present, and this means women at this crucial time do not have to wait weeks to be seen. The focus is on women concerned about antenatal/postnatal depression and related issues, and a personal care pathway is made for each woman. They say there is much work still to do, but they are very proud they are making steps in the right direction. We really welcome this, and of course, would love to hear from any women that have used the new service what their experiences were
2. Partners staying: after working with us user reps on this since the start of the year, JPUH is planning to launch a trial scheme from October:
4. Ward tours are now available every Tuesday at 1pm and include Central Delivery Suite, Dolphin Suite, and Ward 11 – which is great as we asked for this at the last meeting :)
5. Children at scans – Norfolk and Norwich hospital has announced under-12s are not allowed at scans anymore. JPUH is not going down this route, despite some staff concerns. Instead, the wording on the scan letters will be changed to limit the number of children, and make clear that an additional adult should be present to take any disruptive children out if necessary, as sonographers need to be able to concentrate (especially during the anomaly scan), and of course there is also the possibility of bad news, which mums may not wish children to be present for.
6. Breastfeeding – the hospital was very proud to get accredited for ‘Unicef Babyfriendly Initiative Stage 3’ a couple of year ago but must now apply for re-evaluation to keep that status. The Head of Midwifery feels that this is very expensive at around £9,000 plus a large amount of time by specialist midwives on paperwork for the auditing process. She is concerned this is not the best use of funds and wonders if women would rather that money and time was spent increasing the amount of face-to-face time the specialist infant-feeding midwives can spend with new mums – and hopefully setting up a drop-in breastfeeding clinic (unlike peer-supporters, midwives can refer for tongue-tie etc). She says that the Unicef BFI standards would still be carried on, just without the certificate. What do you think?