Maternity

What we want to achieve

The birth of a new baby is one of the most exciting and life-changing times in people’s lives. It can also be a time of questions and uncertainty. Making sure mums and dads-to-be are relaxed, confident and aware of their choices from the very beginning will help them adjust to their new lives more easily. It will also make them aware of where they can go for extra support.

The government’s Better Births plan 2016 highlights several areas for improvement that will improve services to parents-to-be throughout pregnancy and post-birth. The main areas for improvement are:

  • Recruiting more midwives within hospitals and to work in the community
  • Reduce maternal death and still birth
  • Give parents the choice of where they want to give birth before their first appointment with their midwife
  • Make sure each mum-to-be has a personalised care plan specific to her needs
  • Support mums-to-be to enjoy a healthy pregnancy

Where we are now

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.