More personalised care on the way for mums-to-be in West Suffolk

Mums-to-be will be looked after by familiar faces during their pregnancy as a part of a change to how midwives work starting this month.

Around half the women in west Suffolk and south west Norfolk cared for by the maternity teams based at West Suffolk Hospital will initially benefit from the new ‘Better Births’ approach which focuses on building a strong relationship between the mum-to-be and her midwife.

It means the same small team will care for women during every step of their pregnancy, during the birth, and after their little one is born.

This new approach will initially be offered from the end of November to expectant mums from selected locations or where they have previously had Caesarian sections. It will be rolled out more widely next year.

The approach means women and families can build stronger relationships with their midwives, making them more comfortable during their pregnancy, labour and after birth.

It also means midwives will be more familiar with each mum’s personal circumstances, making care smoother and reducing the need for women to answer repeat questions during appointments and visits.

The move is backed by the local maternity voices partnership, which acts as a voice for mums-to-be within the NHS.

Partnership chair Shauna Tate said: “One of the key pieces of feedback we hear from women is that getting to know a midwife makes a big difference to your overall experience.

“I am therefore delighted that West Suffolk Hospital has introduced these new teams and are paving the way for other teams to follow suit.”

Head of midwifery Karen Newbury said: “The evidence shows that women who have a midwife they are familiar with when in labour are less likely to need interventions during pregnancy and birth, and are more likely to be satisfied with their care.

“There are advantages for midwives too. For many this ‘continuity of carer’ goes back to the way they envisaged providing midwifery care for women: providing holistic care throughout the whole transition from pregnancy to parenthood.”

“This is a fantastic opportunity to make the difference that the evidence tells us is possible, improving outcomes for those women and babies who receive care along this model and that is what this is all about.”