The return of midwife-led pregnancies in Hartlepool has seen the pitter-patter of two pairs of tiny feet as two babies, both called William, were welcomed to the world by their proud parents.
On Saturday 6 March, Sarah Ferry was the first to give birth to her baby William in the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s newly refurbished Rowan Suite.
Four days later on Wednesday 10 March, Sally Dunnett gave birth to her baby William at home, in Hartlepool.
Midwife Caz Wood provided ‘continuity of care’ throughout their pregnancy journey for both Sarah and Sally.
Continuity of Carer is a national initiative that offers new mums the security of seeing the same community midwife throughout their pregnancy. Having the same midwife builds rapport and trust with the new mum.
This relationship can lead to better outcomes including being less likely to need intrusive painkillers as the mum is more relaxed and happy while in active labour.
Midwife Caz Wood said: “Both Sarah and Sally were great mums to work with. Continuity of Carer really helps you build a relationship. You deal with problems and setbacks together and you celebrate the milestones with each other. You’re in it together, right the way through.
“The two Williams are doing great. They’re perfect little bundles that will bring nothing but joy, even during the sleepless nights.”
Sarah Ferry, 33, from Hartlepool, and her partner, accountant Dave Hosker, 39, already have two young children, Thomas, 4, and Isabelle, 3.
Sarah, a sister in the University Hospital of Hartlepool’s rapid response team, said: “The whole experience was perfect. Caz was my midwife throughout the pregnancy and she was on call for my birth in the Rowan suite.
“We used the new birthing pool suite, which is lovely. It was all very relaxed. We had our own choice of music playing and the lights were dimmed. It was exactly how I wanted it to be.
“We were treated like royalty and any anxieties were quickly put at ease. Caz and her colleague Lyndsey Hepburn were just so reassuring.”
Entering the Rowan suite at 8pm on the Saturday night, Sarah and Dave were back home with William, who weighed 9lb10oz, by 6am the next day.
Sally Dunnett, 30, and her husband Liam, a 29-year-old mechanic, from Hartlepool, opted for a home birth for their second child. Already parents to two-year-old Arthur, the couple wanted to be at home when they first met their baby.
Sally, a video banker said: “Caz was with us throughout the pregnancy and had dropped off a box of things we’d need for the birth a few days earlier.
“We had everything lined up, but we didn’t have quite enough towels! I delivered William standing up in the living room and it was over very quickly, less than two hours really.
“Giving birth at home was everything I wanted. Liam was involved and Caz and her colleague Sue Bromley were there for me all the way. They’re both really calm and in control.
“Seeing Caz throughout the pregnancy was a huge help. She built up a real relationship with me, Liam and our toddler Arthur. It’s like she became part of the family. I almost don’t want her to discharge me from her care!”
Arthur enjoyed a sleep over with his grandma while his little brother was being born and Sally says he’s besotted with the new arrival, who weighed in at a healthy 8lb9oz.