Our commitment to care for those who live in Mid and South Essex begins way before babies take their first breath. Central to our plans is to recruit more midwives within hospitals and working in the community, to support parents so they have contact with the same midwife throughout pregnancy. Having the same midwife means mums, especially those from vulnerable and minority backgrounds don’t have to repeat their stories each time they see a new midwife. They can develop a trust and confidence that, during birth, has shown to improve patient experience reduce the number of requests for epidurals.
We are also helping mums understand their choices and what support is available. This includes being able to choose where they want to give birth right at the start of their pregnancy, to getting information on healthy living, how to stop smoking and practical and mental health support.
We have launched a new maternity app that will give mums to be more support, and have set up a Maternity Voices Partnership User Group. The group will welcome women to tell us how they think we are doing and if we are meeting priorities set out in the Better Births plan and in particular, whether we are doing better at saving babies’ lives and monitoring foetal movement and growth.