North Tees and Hartlepool (NTH) NHS Foundation Trust is fully embracing the Continuity of Carer initiative, making sure that expectant mums are more likely to see the same midwife every time.
Continuity of Carer is a national initiative that is championed by NHS England, providing new mums with the security of seeing the same midwife throughout their pregnancy.
At NTH, 20% of women have been booked to take part in the initiative and this is set to rise to 35% by March 2020 in line with the NHS Long Term Plan.
Marina Carrillo-Jones, aged 23, from Hartlepool gave birth to her little boy, Erik, less than four weeks ago. She explains ‘this is my second pregnancy with the trust, my first child, Iker, was born 18 months ago and Caz was my midwife throughout both pregnancies and births.’
‘I really wanted to have a home birth, so Caz worked with me to make it happen. I ordered my own birthing pool for the house, and my husband was really supportive too. By the time it came to my second child, it was like second nature!’
‘I started having mild contractions through the night, at which point I texted Caz straight away. Because Caz looked after me through my last birth too, she knew I wouldn’t be in labour for long, so she packed her bag and came round to the house to join us. Erik arrived within two hours!’
Caz Wood has been a midwife at the Trust for nine years, she reflects on her own experience of Continuity of Carer ‘it hasn’t always been part of normal practice, when I started out, we may have seen one or two mums continuously but nothing like this. Our Trust has always been ahead of the curve with this, our maternity pathways are quite innovative.
Continuity of carer not only improves outcomes for women and babies, it brings a great deal of job satisfaction as well. Following new mums all the way through their journey means you get to watch them grow as a family. That truly is a privilege.”
There is evidence to support this too, with a recent study highlighting a strong link between women who know their midwives well and reduced use of pain relief such as epidurals. When the body is more relaxed, it releases a hormone that naturally induces labour, making the whole experience a smoother one for new mums.
When asked about what Continuity of Carer means for Marina, she added ‘it’s been an excellent experience, I have a close relationship with Caz and the birth was so much easier because I felt safe in her hands.’
There’s evidence to support this too, with a recent study highlighting a strong link between mums who know their midwives well and mums who are less likely to use pain relief such as epidurals. When the body is more relaxed, it releases a hormone that naturally induces labour, making the whole experience a smoother one for new mums.
To find out more about the maternity services available at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, you can access the website here.